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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?