Going to the Ebenezer(s)

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Well no point in using ‘Ebenezer Goode’ by the Shamen as a title as Life after Football has recently bagged that one.  However the history of this small pub in Hythe, Hampshire, really provides its own useful title…….

Ebenezer was the name for a chapel used by religious groups such as Methodists and Baptists.  In turn this probably originated from Biblical references to Ebenezer – a stone set up to remind of Israel’s victory over the Philistines, and which today continues to be used as a term with religious reference ‘setting up an Ebenezer’.

The Ebenezer (Congregational) Chapel in the village of Hythe, Hampshire was built in 1845 and used until 1914.  Since then it has had one or two other uses, before becoming the current GBG pub Ebenezers.

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Ebenezers on left with Hythe’s historic ferry terminal in background on the right. (image Google maps street view)

Hythe (old English for sheltered landing place)  is a quiet little village on Southampton Water looking across to its giant neighbour Southampton.  Though a modest little place Hythe is the home of some notable achievements:

The oldest pier railway set up in 1922 using locomotives from a first world war mustard gas factory in Avonmouth (and still operating daily with the ferry to Southampton);

Home of Hubert Scott-Paine’s British Power Boat Company;

Home of Sir Christopher Cockerill’s hovercraft development.

You could also add another (IMHO) which is that Ebenezers is probably one of the finest little pubs in the New Forest for miles around.

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A typical crowd of customers in Ebenezers tonight – all ignoring the words of wisdom on the ceiling beams.

This was a Thursday night visit at the beginning of February and I half expected to see a well known pub blogger there, on his way to a nearby island.  However my hopes of benefiting from some wise words on pub blogging were dashed as there was no sign (or at least I didn’t spot him).  So I had to make do with the words of wisdom dotted around the walls of the pub.

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The genial landlord chatting (or more likely joking) with locals at the bar, bedecked (the bar not the landlord) with the ghosts of pump clips past.

The cosy single roomed pub has high and low tables and seating and though in many ways the quintessential micro-pub, also does a good food menu – all home cooked in the small kitchen.   The pub was busy and whilst a ‘quiet pub’ in the sense of no dominating music – it always has a great ‘buzz’ of conversation.  The landlord adds to the banter at every opportunity mingling with the customers, joking and generally adding to the friendliness of the place.

There are four handpulls on which there are 2 regulars, Flack Manor’s Double Drop (from nearby Romsey) and GK’s Abbott Ale.  The other 2 have ever changing real ales often from local breweries, as the numerous pump clips over the bar testify.

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Regulars Abbot and Flack’s Double Drop, with Alton and Downton locals

I went for the Moondance (4.2% best bitter) from Triple fff brewery in Alton (very good), dispensed by a proper barman with stylish facial hair.

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A freshly poured pint of Moondance drooling on the bar

A delicious pint of Moondance savoured amongst the wonderful atmosphere of friendly folk doing some respectable socialising, what more could you ask for?  Definitely no need to rush home then, so another pint was was needed, this time Flack’s Double Drop (good/very good).

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Pint of Flack’s Double Drop – on a ‘home’ beer mat but in a foreign (if not alien) Westons cider glass.

Strangely enough – although quite busy, the pub’s ‘Naughty Corner’ table was empty…demonstrating that only the good people of Hythe were present this evening… or perhaps just that everyone had managed to find an alternative seat.

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No naughty people in tonight then….

Another GBG18 tick then (I’m going to have to go out a buy a fluorescent marker pen)….

and I might (he says cautiously) have just visited this one ahead of the well-travelled RM?

4 thoughts on “Going to the Ebenezer(s)

  1. Drat – I couldn’t find it when I searched your blog – but I should have known 😉

    Though a local I don’t profess to know what the best deals are RM. Southern Vectis rover tickets here:

    http://www.islandbuses.info/page.shtml?pageid=1271

    Best ferry trip is probably the Red Jet from Southampton Town Quay (opposite the Dancing Man and just up from the Platform Tavern). Possibly the off-peak period return (after 18:15 mon-fri but no time restrictions Sat/Sun) here:
    https://www.redfunnel.co.uk/en/isle-of-wight-ferry/fares/passenger-fares-to-the-isle-of-wight/

    Click to access Red_Jet_Timetable_30_Oct_17_-_28_Mar_18.pdf

    Red Jet only takes 25mins (though you can opt for the 1hour cruise on the slow boat if you want). Fast goes to West Cowes, slow goes to East Cowes.

    There’s a Blue Star bus which shuttles between the train station and Town Quay (you may prefer to walk) – £2 or free if you have your Red Funnel ticket.
    http://www.bluestarbus.co.uk/service.shtml?serviceid=3863

    Other ferry alternative is Wightlink ferry from Lymington – harder to get to on foot and 90p more for return ferry ticket.

    I have no special knowledge on B&B’s – sorry.

    Like

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