Before I start, a reminder to make a note of the most magical day of the year. NO! not Ed Balls Day, my birthday, once again on 22nd December.

Last year it was a Scottish cracker as I singlehandedly cheered St Mirren to a point against Celtic and finally ticked the Kilmarnock Spoons. Where will I be this 22/12 ? Somewhere I’ve never been before with a new GBG entry. Not much to ask. Suggestions please.

8th November 2022. More trips by rail from Rye.

What joy. A belated return to St Leonards.

First trip to western Hastings since the blog started, which is odd as it was pumping out new GBG entries a decade ago.

Given the continuing gentrifications round here, the two pubs outside the main station look remarkably unfussy;

In fact, the Railway looks unmissable.

It all feels a bit like Kemp Town, or even Falmouth without the art students. The colour is just gorgeous.

Posh charity shops, organic antiques, “Fusion” cafes, adverts untouched in a century.

Rejuvenation is the polite word for it.

(Greater) Hastings, along with Ramsgate and Folkestone, is my big Southern discovery of the last decade, the place that really made be challenge my preconceptions about the grimy south coast.

Remarkably, St Leonards retains its back street boozers.

But does anybody still use them on a Tuesday afternoon.

Well, yes, and it’s a real match of Old Boys and youngsters.

You can trust a pub that sells homemade sausage rolls, as long as they’re not artisan and costa fiver.

I resisted those, but enjoyed a Conquest (£3.90) that was rich and cool but a bit home-brew (NBSS 3+). Almost everyone else was on the Amstel and Peroni, with a Madri launch planned for 2027.

Pub entertainment from Bruno the dog (“I will NEVER have a catsays Old Boy 2, proceeding to list feline deficiencies), and Derek & the Dominoes.

A great little pub, an oasis of tranquillity and nonsense and decent seating.

And if I’m not wrong, there’s another little classic just round the corner.


    1. I mentioned that to Simon when we met in Maidstone. There’s a very noticeable cohort of old, traditional pubs new to the Guide, some of which have re-entered after 30-40 years out (Jim in Saddleworth keeps a spreadsheet). They may have a local beer to entice the GBG surveyor, but they’re rarely craft. That said, wait till we get to Lancashire !


    1. Bill,
      My first pub sausage roll was just over fifty years ago in the Princess of Wales, Villiers Street.
      My most recent was ten days ago in the Bird in Hand, Stafford with Martin.

      Liked by 2 people

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