Wednesday 21 April 2021

A Window on Hythe History...


Last August the second wave/lockdown of the pandemic and Retired Martin's move to Sheffield were still events that were unimaginable* when, with both excitement and apprehension,  I set off to visit one of the oldest pubs in Hythe, and amazingly one which has kept (more or less) the same name since first being opened in 1851.

According to the authoritative source of Hythe history, Graham Parkes, in his book ‘Hythe A Waterside Village’, the site of the pub has been associated with beer and brewing for over 250 years, when a malthouse and possibly a brewery existed from around 1750. 

The Malt, as it is now known, started out life in the 19th century as the Malt and Hops Tavern.  Though the brick building itself is not a historical attention grabber, it still sits on a street of pretty terraced cottages of similar vintage, though some shades of their exterior decor may be more modern.  

Inside The Malt there is now little sense of the pub's history and it is laid out as a 'homely' pub. Sofas, well spaced tables and chairs, vases of flowers, clock over the mantelpiece and the TV playing the afternoon quiz shows... 

...and the cosy little bar, definitely make it feel like you could be in someone's front room.  The most striking (and probably the main remaining historical) feature is definitely the front bay window (top photo) which lets the sunlight stream into the bright and airy front lounge bar.  There's a rear bar/games room too and out back there is a pleasant secluded garden (I should have been an estate agent).

I mentioned being apprehensive about this visit because I had heard that there was no cask ale here.  Indeed there wasn't, but I needn't have worried, as the keg John Smith's Smoothflow was drinking well (as Retired Martin would say)....and little did I know that post Lockdown2 this might become the pub bloggers 'drink of choice' across the land.

...and it was pleasant just to sit, sipping my classic ale and listen to the other two locals having a go at answering quiz show questions when prompted by the TV.

The sign on the wall said it all really and though this historic pub may be firmly in the modern age, it is still doing a good job of being a great place where locals can relax and socialise over a drink or two.....what more can you ask for?....


hmmm...a keg of top craft ale like Greene King West Coast IPA wouldn't go amiss...!

* though of course the threat of Russ' apostrophe check was ever present... (did I get that one right Russ?)