17th November 2022.

Back on the Sussex coast, Mrs RM finally took a break from IT to spend an afternoon had a spare afternoon in Rye.

It really is a gem of a place,

but how good are the pubs that aren’t called “Ypres Castle” or “Waterworks“, I wondered.

But not for long. Mrs RM suddenly announced “Let’s do the Mermaid“.

I’ll be honest, I’d forgotten the Mermaid Inn, even though it’s on that famous cobbled street that’s almost as iconic as the Hovis one.

I was extremely sceptical. Wasn’t there a Labour Club in Rye that would serve scratchings ?

No, we were doing the “real” Rye, mainly so Mrs RM had some Instagram material. Irritatingly her pictures are FAR better than mine. But then she’s not as surreptitious as me.

Having stood outside the door for 5 minutes even though the bar had opened an hours earlier, we’d missed out on the best seat, but I reckon that couple were feeling the heat within 10 minutes.

These ancient (1456 says What Pub, so must be right) inns are generally overpriced with minimal cask turnover.

The Dolphin was a revelation.

Lovely staff, comfortable seats,

plenty of Harvey’s (3.5+) being drunk,

(note scummy head)

and superb fish and chips and burgers at well below Brunning & Pricey levels.

The bar was taken up with lots of couples like us, except of course we’re not old. The conversation surrounded “Tarkha Dhal” (full of iron, apparently, and condiments;

“Where’s malt vinegar from ?”.

“Malt. It comes from Malt. Not cider. Malt”.

Really great. As is the Catholic church up the hill.

And the sunset over the harbour.

Wish we were there tomorrow (22/12), but as you know by law I have to be somewhere I’ve never been before on that day.

But where ?

13 thoughts on “MERMAID STREET

  1. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, several times before, Mrs PBT’s and I spent the first part of our honeymoon at the Mermaid. 2025 will mark our 40th anniversary, and as we’re long overdue a return visit, that would be a good excuse to book a stay.

    I’m not sure whether we would count as one of your “old couples,” though.

    ps. I really struggled with Instagram, and gave up on it, in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Where’s malt vinegar from ?”.
    I remember a long time ago from a train in south London seeing a Victorian tower brewery, thinking ‘there’s not one here’ and then seeing the Sarson’s sign.
    So a proper vinegar brewery though I expect it’s imported from some factory abroad now.


      1. Andrew,
        The Sarson’s Vinegar factory was situated in Tanner Street in Bermondsey, London, on the southern approach to Tower Bridge.
        In 1932 the company merged with other British vinegar producers to form British Vinegars Ltd.
        In 1968 British Vinegars purchased a site from the Co-op in Middleton, Greater Manchester and production moved there.
        The Tanner Street factory was closed, and the building and factory were used for storage.
        Starting in 2000, parts of the site were redeveloped for flats.
        That accounts for it still being identifiable as the Sarsons vinegar brewery up to 2000.


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