A small artistic community and fishing port as well as holiday destination, Whitstable has recently been blessed with not one but two micropubs. So who could resist the opportunity to visit one-time Brighton residents Chris and Hilary? Certainly not me.
Whitstable has lots of pleasing streets of interesting independent shops, and a lot of lanes and alleys. The Crab and Winkle Way is a wider lane, part of the National Cycle Network, that runs 6 miles to Canterbury. We crossed part of it in town near to this garden.
One alley is called Squeeze Gut, and there are stories about brave and fit smugglers outwitting cruel and overweight revenue men by nipping down it, probably carrying plug tobacco rather than kegs of rum. In town we found a converted cinema, now a Wetherspoon’s named after one-time resident and filmstar Peter Cushing (Purity brewery Saddle Black, dark ale with Cascade, Chinook and N Brewer hops). From enormous spaces to a tiny one- we found our first micropub – the Black Horse.
Friendly busy atmosphere, not unlike the Chequers in Beverley, visited a couple of weeks ago. But the beer pumps here were just for show, all the beer was poured from casks in the cool room visible through a glass partition behind the bar. Later in the day Chris and Hilary walked us along the front, east to Tankerton, to try the other micropub, the Tankerton Arms. Excellent beers here as well, but I just can’t recall what I drank. Funny that. On the way there saw this spit of sand sticking out to sea.
Chris said its been a feature of the town since Roman times. Presumably maintained by a balance of tidal and river flows at just the right place. On the way back the tide had risen, but the difference in surface-water texture still reveals the location of what is called the Street, but seems more like a cul-de-sac to me.
Just an average Whitstable sunset as we returned for dinner.