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She Sells Seashells on the Seashore....


Hythe seashore - more mud than shells...

...don’t try the title if you have dentures, or if you are in a Covid secure environment where spitting could be dangerous.  

Pastel cottage perfection...

Once again I am in my home village of Hythe, Hampshire checking out the pandemic pub scene.   But as the sun always shines on Hythe - as LifeAfterFootball will verify - I couldn’t resist the chance to appreciate the cute fisherman's cottages and soak up the rays in the seafront park.

Is that our cruise liner Edna...?

Of course Hythe is as cosmopolitan as Bournemouth but smaller and without the hordes of weekending Midlanders.  Container ships glide silently by in Southampton Water (as the sea is known in these parts).  Old ladies with wheelie cases sit on a bench by the shore and wonder what they are going to do now that their cruise ship is moored off Bournemouth and isn’t doing cruises, annoying the nimbys who don't want them any more than wind turbines.

Accommodation with sea views...

But tell us more about Hythe’s excellent pub scene, I hear you cry...
...well there's this one, once known as The Drummond Arms after the well known land owning family on this peninsular.  Now sadly an extinct pub and another candidate for Curmudgeon’s ‘Closed Pubs’ blog.

Seashells - through the door in the corner and up the stairs...

So just down the other end of the village precinct we saunter, in search of Seashells (hold on to your teeth).  Some may call it a pub, others a restaurant, but who cares as long as they will sell you a cask ale.  Admittedly - it doesn’t look like a pub, hiding as it does, in the shopping complex that is  aesthetically a carbuncle on the face of a pretty village, but functionally provides a posh Waitrose supermarket, a Superdrug, a newsagents, a bookies and (upstairs) Seashells.

Space - lots of it...and a quality pub sofa...

On a weekday after the August government sponsored cheap food rush and mid afternoon all is quiet...
...Covid precautions aren’t too bad with plenty of yellow and black tape, use of face masks by the bar staff and a quaint homemade ‘engaged’ /‘vacant’ sign on the toilet door.  (Turn it round yourself on entry and exit).

The single cask option from Carlsberg/Marstons is Ringwood Best Bitter - yes the traditional name is used here and not the newer alter ego ‘Razorback’.  It looks well enough but the head is a bit weak and incapable of lacings, and it is slightly lacklustre (GHBSS 2.5).

It’s nice and quiet inside but there isn’t much to see, so I ask the bar staff if I can go out onto the balcony area - no problem... there but plenty of table choice...

...and the view is nice...

....Southampton docks far enough across Southampton Water not to be an eyesore...

..with the abandoned cruise liner that may eventually be converted to a floating hotel/casino off Skagway...

...and the gentle curve of the Itchen Bridge, famously crossed by RetiredMartin on his way to his Olafs Tun tick in 2018  (warning: contains images of pre-pandemic socialising in a micro pub).

Clear blue sky punctuated by Martini Ringwood umbrellas...

...families walking by with fishing nets and buckets and spades... catching Portuguese men o’war crabs on the sea wall...

...the clear blue murky grey sea...

...the seagulls shrieking...

...a glass of (admittedly average) beer on a sunny balcony...’s a bit like being at a Majorca hotel without the worry of quarantine...

 Yes life is truly idyllic here...


  1. Is the move back to Ringwood Best from Razorback the result of mass protests in the streets of Hythe (or Ringwood) ?

    1. Would like to claim we have militant tendencies here in Hythe, but not so. It seems to be just a random use of either name in different pubs. Perhaps the Carlsberg/Marstons rep sells it as Ringwood Best to any tranditional looking landlord/pub and Razorback to the more trendy looking ones. ;)

  2. "don’t try the title if you have dentures"

    Haven't headed down that road... yet.

    But, I prefer Betty Botter for tongue twisters:

    "But as the sun always shines on Hythe"

    Nothing against LAF but, is there any place in the UK where that statement is true? ;)

    "Is that our cruise liner Edna...?"

    Sadly, cruises are definitely on 'hold' right now.
    (my darling wife has a 'voucher' good for two years for an Alaskan trip with a good friend - not me)

    "who don't want them any more than wind turbines."

    Too bloody right mate!

    "Now sadly an extinct pub and another candidate for Curmudgeon’s ‘Closed Pubs’ blog."


    "Seashells - through the door in the corner and up the stairs..."

    I 'sea' it! :)

    "in the shopping complex that is aesthetically a carbuncle on the face of a pretty village"


    "Space - lots of it...and a quality pub sofa..."

    Actually, it doesn't look 'arf' bad.

    "(Turn it round yourself on entry and exit)."

    I see mischief in the making there!

    "is Ringwood Best Bitter - yes the traditional name is used here and not the newer alter ego ‘Razorback’."'

    I could be wrong but I thought you were a bit of a Razorback fan?

    " there but plenty of table choice..."

    Best place to be is outside. Personally, I'm not a big worrier about Covid, but I have found myself sitting on my back deck in the afternoon more than I did last year. ;)

    "..with the abandoned cruise liner that may eventually be converted to a floating hotel/casino off Skagway..."

    Probably the one my dear wife should have taken for a cruise this year! :)

    "(warning: contains images of pre-pandemic socialising in a micro pub)."

    Phew! I won't click then.

    "Yes life is truly idyllic here..."

    Always look on the bright side of life. :)


    1. No permanently sunny spots that I know of in the UK - we pride ourselves in our rainy/grey weather. Though undoubtedly the Meteorological Office will have stats to prove that the sun does (almost always) shine in Hythe - as I said to LAF - something to do with a weather shadow caused by the (lost) Isle of Wight. :)

      'But, I prefer Betty Botter for tongue twisters:’
      Never heard of that one before - but I’ve given it a test drive and think it is better for denture retention....(only joking - still got all my own teeth by the way - honest).

      'I see mischief in the making there!’
      Funny you should say that Russ - I dutifully turned the sign to engaged when I went to the toilet and as I was washing my hands afterwards a guy opened the door to check that the ‘Engaged’ sign actually meant the toilet was occupied. When he saw me he retreated and closed the door!

      'I 'sea' it! :)’
      Definitely a slow golf clap for you there! :)

      'I could be wrong but I thought you were a bit of a Razorback fan?’

      Same beer so it doesn’t matter but...I’ve given up trying to be trendy now - so old fashioned/traditional Ringwood Best is ‘best' for me.

      Incredibly coincidental that I should mention the possibility of a floating hotel in Skagway - with your wife’s cruise pending an’ all.

      'Phew! I won't click then. ‘
      Do you know it’s kinda weird, but when I looked at the crowded micropub photo on Martin’s Olaf Tun post, my immediate, almost subconscious response was slight concern. Terrible how the pandemic has left such psychological marks on us - though hopefully we’ll recover. ;)

      Cheers Russ.

    2. - Agree on the giving up being 'trendy' for beers. Can name it whatever, as long as they don't muck up the taste.

      - Yes the Skagway thingy was freakishly coincidental.

      And with that I have to go and prep for the lunch truck run. I may be slow in replying over the next few days as my darling wife flies back later today after being 'oop north' for a week. (she was at a sister's wedding, which included the small wedding party flying by helicopter to the side of a mountain where the ceremony was performed). We plan on becoming reacquainted over the weekend. ;)


      Oh, and thanks for the slow golf clap. :)

  3. Is there not a pub blogging law that prevents bloggers from seaside shots due to unfair restriction of trade on us Midlanders?
    A proper looking estate/precinct boozer from the outside!!!! Ringwood Best...whatever next Watney's? Ansell's Mild!!!


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