May 2023.

Thee only way to finish the eastern part of the GBG is Essex. BRAPA’s adventures in getting from King’s Cross to Thurrock on a rail replacement bus and back in time for an unwise ESB at the Parcel Yard would make classic reality TV.

Excitingly, one of my new Essex ticks is in Grays.

My first pubby visit to the Capital of Thurrock for a decade, I reckon, though I did drop my parents (not literally, they’re brittle) at Tilbury Docks before their last cruise, around the British Isles, back at the every start of this blog when 150 words was plenty.

There was a cruise ship at the end of the street as I approached my tick.

The best view of Grays is from my drone, which shows estuary Essex in all its sludgy brown glory, as well as “the Beach” and a certain pub that we’d rather not talk about.

Grays has been in the news of late for the abhorrent views of its recent licensees, so I’m pleased to report that as the White Hart gets booted out of the Guide there’s still a couple of decent boozers in town.

The venerable Theobald Arms flies the flag for Grays in my Essex highlights package, and the Wharf is everything you hope for from a riverside community pub.

The only warning I give you about the Wharf is not to go for a dip in the Thames, even if it looks less polluted than your average English beach in 2023.

I’m greeted by the sound of ferocious barking from a car boot (a giant cage) full of large dogs, and a bloke shouting “Shuddup !!”.

I sense immediately BRAPA would make more of this blogging opportunity than I will, nipping in for a half of the sole beer (I think the Pride was turned round in the Public).

Once again, this is the sort of Proper Pub that no-one believes that CAMRA puts in the Beer Guide in 2023, and again I love it, the joy, the noise, the greeting, the pot plants on the table (for me ?),

and the beer, a cool tasty Doom Bar enjoyed on the outside terrace (NBSS 3.5).

But it’s the ghost signs you want to see, isn’t it ?


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