This pub wasn’t on my little Good Beer Guide pub run, but it looked interesting from the outside as part of it is a converted chapel, once part of the Seaman’s Mission.
The interior really does have a lot of character, it’s one of those pubs that it’s exciting to go in.
I was aware of the real ale situation before going in (primarily as I’d just read the CAMRA review), and this was the only choice. So, I had half a pint of Old Mill traditional bitter, brewed from a recipe they’ve been using since 1983. The barman seemed moderately surprised that I was limiting myself to half a pint, but he was friendly enough. Although he then poured the drink and forgot to give it to me, but he was welcoming and engaging, and this suffices me.
I only realised that this pub was operated by Old Mill themselves when writing this, which makes the lack of real ale a little more disappointing. The brewery make a coffee porter, it’s a shame that their own product hasn’t reached their own pub….
The beer was served in a branded glass, which is a little unusual for half pints. Despite my slight concerns, it was fine with a malty and bitter flavour, it was very drinkable.
And some photos of the interior, which are unfortunately not very clear as the lighting impacts on the images somewhat. Anyway, it gives an idea of what they’ve done with the former chapel area of the mission. It’s a sensitive and intriguing transformation, I liked it. Actually, the major problem with this pub is that there was nearly no-one in it, despite its size.
From the reviews, it’s clear that this is a pub which makes its money from the night-time trade (by which I mean drinks sales in the evenings, not prostitutes). The menus were on the tables, but the food service had finished, but I’m guessing that they weren’t packed at lunch. With a few more real ale options (or craft beer options, I’m not fussy – well I am – but I’m trying to get over that), a web-site that was finished and some food options throughout the day, this would be one of the most atmospheric and appealing pubs that I’ve visited. I’m pleased I went in though, a wonderful pub building with a friendly welcome.