Nauti-cal but Nice…

After a quiet start to The Tester pub walk at (the) Anchor, it was all hands on deck and splice the main brace as I set sail for the second nautical-themed pub…

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Continue reading “Nauti-cal but Nice…”

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Tragedy In The Tap Room…

As they say in Hampshire you’re never more than a couple of miles from a dining pub…(ok I made that up – it just feels like it sometimes)…and here’s another one…

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Undershore Road and the upper reaches of Lymington harbour

According to a local newspaper article, The Ferryman pub on Undershore Road, Lymington, derives it’s name from the nearby Isle of Wight ferry.  But there was another ferry in this locality…

…In the last century, the coastal town of Lymington, Hampshire had a ‘halfpenny’ ferry across the harbour.  It was just a small rowing boat, and it is said that one ferryman called ‘Puffer’ Tomkins was worse for drink one night, rowing an old lady across the harbour.

On his return trip he fell into the river and clung on to the stern of the boat, until found later by his son who rowed out to search for him.   Despite the attention’s of the doctor, ‘Puffer’ died of hypothermia.

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Perhaps that story would be a more intriguing reason for the pubs name and The Ferryman, then known as the Waggon and Horses, was certainly witness to the tragic demise of Puffer the Ferryman, in fact the pub probably goes right back to the 1600s.

As the Waggon and Horses, the pub used to be owned by Wadworth Brewery, but is now in private ownership and in the last couple of years has been leased and ‘converted’ to what the manager called, a ‘restaurant and bar’.   Despite this it still shows plenty of old pub character outside and in…

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Dining area awaiting diners…

…though a good deal of the interior has adopted more modern pastel shades.

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Fine fireplace…

This is a single space pub divided into an informal dining/drinking area on the left of the pub near the bar, and a formal restaurant area on the right hand side.  Beer garden out the back and views over the harbour to Lymington town.  There were a few other diners, but it was fairly quiet this Thursday evening.

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Marker pens at the ready….as future Good Beer Guides will be too big to carry around, every GBG pub will soon have it’s own copy, in which tickers can highlight their name…

There were lots of lighted candles in candelabras, and on tables, mantelpieces etc, and though there were none floating above our heads, it felt slightly ethereal – like a mini-Hogwarts banqueting hall.

The service was very good quality as was the food…just as you would expect from an establishment calling itself a ‘fine dining pub’…

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art on a plate….

The Ringwood Razorback (aka Ringwood Best Bitter) was good…

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…though most of the decoration seemed to be related to a non-alcoholic beverage, also known for it’s excellent cleaning capabilities….

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…refreshes, cleans and shines…

In summary I’d say The Ferryman is aimed upmarket, it’s very pleasant, with very nice food, friendly staff and great service, pretty expensive though…once you’ve clocked up 3 courses…

As it happens this pub is the ‘sister pub’ to the Kings Head , an altogether more straightforward dining pub, which to be honest, I preferred….

In it’s previous life as the Waggon and Horses, the pub was witness to another tragic event, which was even more unusual than that of Puffer Tomkins…I’ll leave you to read the story from the sign by the door…

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Taproom Tragedy…

For any history buffs the article dated 30 December 1893 from the Spectator archive – tells of the Ardlamont ‘murder’ case.

In the end the Scottish case was found ‘not proved’, the verdict apparently hinging on lack of evidence of, and motive for the murder, rather than the question of whether suicide was possible.  Perhaps making Mr Card’s terminal tap room demonstration, even more tragic in the circumstances…