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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Lions of Southwick Part 1 - Golden Lion

So who, or what, are the lions of Southwick?  Could it be Churchill and Eisenhower who met here to discuss D-day strategy in World War II?...


Fish Sandwich and Condiment?...

Another day in the hazardous but relentless search for another new pub for the 2019 Good Beer Guide tickers...

.....brings me to The Drift Inn, in the New Forest National Park.

In Essex a ‘drift’ is something you do in your Nissan Skyline, but in the New Forest it is a periodic round up of the four legged occupants......

The Drift Inn is about halfway between Lyndhurst and Beaulieu and is owned by the adjoining Beaulieu Road Hotel.  Beaulieu Road railway station stands behind the pub - still in use on the London commuter line from Waterloo to Weymouth - but as quiet as it ever was in it’s remote location.  The station was intended to serve both Lyndhurst and Beaulieu but is not particularly near to either...

The car therefore seemed the best form of transport to get us there for a pint and a lunchtime sandwich, and as this was a 'dog friendly' pub we thought we’d test that out by taking a giant one....our Leonberger, Henry....


On the way in, Henry attracted the attention of an…

Woolly Pheasants and Wooden Spoons

An interesting combination by anyones standards but both part of the decor at The Wooden Spoon in Downton, Wiltshire....and before you ask - no - Downton doesn’t have an Abbey...

All Country Life...

Netley Marsh, not quite in the New Forest National Park, is a small hamlet along the fairly busy A336.  It narrowly escapes the creeping residential sprawl of nearby Totton, but still manages to retain its rural charm, thanks mainly to its attractive church, surrounding pastures and a Polish hand car wash (ok maybe not the last one).

Big Big Day

Another slight throwback post, this time to last October and one of my rare visits to the Metropolis, when my friend David and I went to see top prog rock band Big Big Train 🚂.....

What’s Lover Got To Do With It...?

Slightly mis-appropriated words from gravel-voiced glam gran, Tina Turner, but on an early February outing to Redlynch in Wiltshire, Valentine’s Day looming and millions of flowers destined to wilt on supermarket shelves, just what has Lover got to do with it?

Faith and Hope in Stoke Charity

When a man from Cumbria takes on a neglected pub in a small village in Hampshire he would no doubt need a great detail of faith and hope that his endeavour would bear fruit.

Going To The Ebenezer(s)

Well no point in using 'Ebenezer Goode’ by the Shamen as a title as Life after Football has recently bagged that one.  However the history of this small pub in Hythe, Hampshire, really provides its own useful title.......

Summoned By Bells

At six o’clock from Bourton-on-the-Hill
The bells rang out above the clumps of oak;
A lighter peal from Longborough lingered on;
Moreton-in-Marsh came echoing from the vale...
So gently broke the triple waves of sound
On a still evening of enormous light
That, when they ceased, I almost seemed to hear
From open church-doors village voluntaries
A mile and more away.

from Summoned by Bells - John Betjeman

I couldn’t resist this title, and a bit more Betjeman, prompted by a visit to Tim’s real ale palace, The Six Bells, in the upmarket coastal town of Lymington, Hampshire.
(Warning: the photos in this post are (un)intentionally blurred - do not adjust your devices, or contact your optician....)

Weighing (The) Anchor

Mrs GH and I popped out for a quick early evening drink to The Anchor Inn in the nearby village of Eling on Southampton Water, which was a nice change from the four walls of the hermitage.

A Friend Like Ben...

No - not the ballad by the diminutive Michael Jackson (which was a blot on my music landscape when I was a youth), but here’s something a bit more highbrow...

Tobacco, nectar, or the Thespian spring,
Are all but Luther's beer to this I sing.
Of this we will sup free, but moderately,
And we will have no Pooley, or Parrot by,
Nor shall our cups make any guilty men;
But, at our parting we will be as when
We innocently met. No simple word
That shall be uttered at our mirthful board,
Shall make us sad next morning or affright
The liberty that we’ll enjoy tonight.

from ‘Inviting a Friend to Supper’ by Ben Jonson.

They Don’t Like It...

...up’em, said Corporal Jones in famous sitcom Dad’s Army (referring to fuzzie-wuzzies of course), but the subject of this post, Upham Brewery’s Running Horse, is quite the opposite - really a case of what is there not to like?
(Phew - I think I just about survived that tenuous title link).

Life’s a Beach (House)...

In no particular chronological order I thought I'd do a post on this previous visit to The Beach House at Milford on Sea.  It was a beautiful autumn day when Mrs GH and I had a pleasant Saturday lunchtime drive through the New Forest, now quiet again after the tourist season, to this Hall and Woodhouse pub.

Pontefract - The Cobbler

The light and dangling liquorice flowers
Gave off the sweetest smells;
From various black Victorian towers
The Sunday evening bells
Came pealing over dales and hills
And tanneries and silent mills
And lowly streets where country stops
And little shuttered corner shops.
from The Licorice Fields at Pontefract by John Betjeman


Though I’m nearing the end of my 6th decade I’ve never been to Pontefract before, even though I’m South Yorkshire born and bred. However as my oldest son Andy and his partner Leah have recently set up home there, it was time for Mrs GH and I to head off ‘oop north’ for an epic day visit.

Tryanuary at the Waterloo Arms

What better on an early Tryanuary Saturday lunch time than a visit to one of Hopback Brewery's finest pubs, the Waterloo Arms in Southampton.

I have only been to this long-time Hopback Brewery pub once before a couple of years ago even though it's quite near to where I live.  A lovely quiet pub with traditional decor and pub games (darts board - with electronic scorer for the mathematically challenged, and sets of dominoes and cribbage boards n'all).  It has just one main room wrapping around the bar in an 'L' shape, and a conservatory for functions/families and stuff and a rear garden (too cold to go out there today).
On this occasion I was accompanied by my son Martin.  We were dropped off (courtesy of Mrs GH) at the opening hour (12:00) and were waiting in an orderly (almost nonchalant fashion) outside when the door was unlocked.  First in!
Decision time - where to sit in an empty pub - managed that one without too much difficulty choosing a proper upholstered …

GH at the Poet & Hack

Oh no!  Not another pub blog you cry!  Oh yes I say, and it's all the fault of established pub bloggers like Retired Martin, Life After Football and BRAPA, for it is reading their excellent blogs (and a few others) that has got me started.