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Showing posts from March, 2019

‘Crammed' (verb) - Full to Overflowing...

From the title you’ll no doubt be expecting a story of a pub at the peak of it’s popularity, full of adoring customers enjoying a range of top quality real ales...


...well no - that’s not quite it....

This is a story of  a 'Herne Disciple’ the owner of a micro-pub, who is overflowing with determined optimism, despite the difficulties he has experienced, to own a successful micro pub.

It’s easy to forget when new micropubs are opening every week (if not every day) that there are also a proportion that are closing after relatively short existences.

Matt Lucker previously owned the Tram Stop Bar & Kitchen micro-pub in Portswood which closed in 2018.  I’d been in there once during a local CAMRA micro-pub tour, and it was a generously sized micro on a corner plot in Portswood's main shopping street.  It comprised a bar area and a lounge area with sofa seating etc where light lunch type meals were served.  The bar had a good range of real ales.  A really nice place and it’s a s…

The Cricketers Arms

The Cricketers Arms sits in the quiet backwater which is Carlton Place in Southampton and rubs shoulders with adjoining regency style properties.  The adjacent Carlton Crescent conservation area is known for its fine rows of Regency houses - once the private residences of businessmen, army and navy officers, but converted to offices for solicitors and the like during the 20th century, and now all Grade II listed.


Records indicate that The Cricketers Arms was around as a public house/beer house as far back as 1861.  I couldn’t find out if has always had the same name - but I couldn’t spot any others on a brief search of the internet.  Perhaps the name comes from the fact that it was not far away from the Hampshire County Cricket ground which was in nearby Northlands Road from 1885 until the new Rose Bowl ground took over in 2001 (the Rose Bowl is now the Ageas Bowl thanks to the wonders of modern sponsorship).

The sound of leather on willow, appeals for lbw or the cheers from the crowd…

The Guide Dog

Finally I made it to the pub with more CAMRA Pub of the Year awards than you can shake a stick at...and achieved another tick in my 2018 Good Beer Guide...


Yes of course I’ve worked out that if I buy a Good Beer Guide very year, the pubs in it change, and that would mean that you would have to race round the UK every year to keep up with ticking all the new pubs in the Guide.

What would be the point of that....when I can take my time ticking the ones in the 2018 copy....(if I’m not too busy visiting Hampshire dining pubs)?

Anyway - I digress....

It was a nice walk from Weatherspoons Standing Order to the Guide Dog, fortified with curry, Peerless Oatmeal Stout and Wychwood Dirty Tackle...

...past the rather grand Star Hotel...



...which according to the stone plaque, once did a competitive stage coach service to London...


...latterly superseded by National Express coaches which probably don’t stop at Alton and Alresford on their way up the M3.  Of course what the history books don’t te…