Archive for the ‘Isle of Wight’ Tag

October Recap: Pubs, Daily Tipples, Chippies, and the G-Had   81 comments


New pubs to the blog count, all on two day trip to IoW

New pubs to the blog count, all on two day trip to IoW


At first glance, October seemed a month of two halves — the first healthy and spry, the last stinking of death and decay.  Yet, closer examination reminds me that I’ve been ill more or less constantly since the 10th of the month despite making the Isle of Wight Marathon trip, another cancer surgery (and spillage from the same), and having a busier than usual month at work.  The weather has been spectacular, I’m told.

I added 11 pubs to the count entirely on the two-day trip to the Isle of Wight Marathon.  Two new ones appeared in Oxford (old ones but with major refurbishments and name changes) but they will have to wait until November.  The best of the new additions has to be the Red Lion in Southampton, but you could do a lot worse than The Crab and Lobster Tap (Ventnor), The Traveller’s Joy (Northwood), or most-up-my-alley The Painter’s Arms (Cowes).

The Daily Tipple list accurately represents the beer consumption for the month with a little more than half favouring darker varieties like stout, porter, and mild.  Choosing one per day was really the hard part as almost every new pub mentioned above supplied local brews that I have never tried before and the Swindon Beer Fest introduced 7 beers and 3 ciders new to me (and scores more I didn’t get around to):


DT #





274 01-Oct Thwaites Wainwright bitter Wheatsheaf
277 04-Oct Yates 130 Birthday Ale bitter Yates
296 23-Oct John Willie’s 100 bitter Four Candles
278 05-Oct Andwell Gold Muddler blonde ale Steam Railway
284 11-Oct Ale of Wight blonde ale Crab and Lobster Tap
287 14-Oct Old Growler dark beer Far From the Madding Crowd
291 18-Oct Trojan Horse dark IPA (IDA) The Savoy
297 24-Oct Edinburgh Pale Ale IPA The William Morris
285 12-Oct Theakston’s Mild mild Isle of Wight Community Club
292 19-Oct Colonel’s Whiskers mild The Savoy
293 20-Oct Moorhouse’s Black Cat Reserve mild Four Candles
298 25-Oct Plain Ales Inncognito stout 2014 Swindon Beer Festival
299 26-Oct Belhaven Black stout Beehive
302 29-Oct Marston’s Oyster Stout stout Four Candles


DT #





301 28-Oct Taylor’s Select Reserve port house
275 02-Oct Anciano Reserva Tempranillo red wine house
276 03-Oct Simo Crianza red wine house
279 06-Oct Trapiche Pinot Noir red wine house
280 07-Oct La Rabatte Chianti red wine house
282 09-Oct Banrock Station Shiraz Mataro red wine house
283 10-Oct Arpeggio Nerello Mascalese red wine Rustico, Swindon
286 13-Oct Desconocido red wine house
288 15-Oct Villa Garducci Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine house
289 16-Oct Morrison’s Claret red wine house
290 17-Oct Rosemount Reserve Shiraz Grenache red wine house
295 22-Oct Featherstone Ruby Cabernet Shiraz red wine house
303 30-Oct Bin 99 Cabernet Franc red wine house
304 31-Oct Navarra Old Vines Garnacha red wine house
294 21-Oct Luis Felipe Edwards Rose rose wine house
281 08-Oct Inycon Pinot Grigio Grecanico white wine house


DT #





300 27-Oct John Lee Bourbon booze house


The Fish and Chips Challenge was in a lull partly due to the ongoing medical problems and partly due to the remoteness of new venues and my ability to reach them.  My spreadsheet updates my days-per-fish rate and the minimum number for the year (based on one every 7 days until year-end) after each fish.  The average of these two appears to be converging on 124.9 for the year (let’s say 125).  I’m going for a pub fish and chip lunch when I finish this post, so this looks like a fairly good prediction.

103 Yates’ Swindon, Wiltshire 04-Oct-14 Pub
104 Stotesbury’s Fish and Chips Newport, Isle of Wight 11-Oct-14 Chippy
105 Tottie’s Fish and Chips Cowes, Isle of Wight 12-Oct-14 Chippy
106 Morrison’s Battered Cod Fillets Swindon, Wiltshire 17-Oct-14 House
107 The William Morris Cowley, Oxfordshire 24-Oct-14 Pub
108 Swindon Beer Fest Food Tent Swindon, Wiltshire 25-Oct-14 other


Chippy Challenge 2014-10-31 prediction chart

The G-Had has started to make an impact.  In October, the site had more hits than in all months prior combined.  It also led to paranoid behaviour by North Wilts HHH when they tried to pretend a run wasn’t going to happen and then came up with a clever (but easy to defeat) trail marking plan to foil the IntifadHHHa.  With local attention piqued and health poor, the war became one more of propaganda than contact but a fresh scalp was added courtesy the Isle of Wight HHH.

Also, the subtleties of the Intifad-HHH-a versus a Calip-hhh-ate became a matter of record, over on the G-Had HHH site.


GHadHHH Hits


Tottie’s Fish and Chips, Cowes, Isle of Wight, Chippy Challenge #105   1 comment

Totties Fish and Chips Cowes cod

[The Chippy Challenge: to eat more fish and chips in 2014; see original post for details.]

Fish: cod
Sides: chips
Evaluation: I just missed the ferry to Southampton so had a bit of time to burn and was absolutely famished having had no solid food since breakfast (a couple of Wheatabix and some prunes). The marathon had nearly killed me, I was beginning to realise, and I really needed some solid carbs and protein.

I found Totties in the rain a hundred meters from the Red Funnel dock and they loaded me up with some spectacular dining. As I write this, hours later on the train, I am still full and fond of the meal.
Days since last: 1 (Stotesbury’s Fish and Chips, Newport, IOW)

Totties Fish and Chips Cowes
Map link.

Monthly consolidations/compilations: January

Painter’s Arms, Cowes, Isle of Wight   2 comments

Painter's Arms Cowes sign
During World War Two, a bunch of Free French sailors regularly wreaking havoc on German U-Boats sailed from the port at Cowes and frequented the Painter’s Arms when not at sea.  (The Painter’s was a rough pub then as it is now or as the Editor of On the Wight put it “I missed some forking action Friday night“).  They approached the landlord and asked if he could come up with some garlic as the English food was dreadful (in their humble opinions). The landlord arranged for a flight dropping off some covert agents on the mainland to return with a couple of bags of garlic which were the basis of what is now, arguably, the Isle of Wight’s most famous crop (they have a huge festival dedicated to the bulbs every summer).

It was this story of garlic that I put the Painter’s on my shortlist of pubs for this trip.  I was not disappointed in what I found.

I needed some sugar for my leg cramps from the marathon and got a pint of Strongbow then settled in to listen to the guitarist playing for me and the bartender and a couple of guys shooting pool. He wasn’t half bad, either, but his set was soon finished and I went out to the smokers’ area and found about twenty locals discussing the legal merits of entrapping paedophiles.

I think this is one of my new favourite pubs.

Painter's Arms Cowes

Traveler’s Joy, Northwood, Isle of Wight   3 comments

Traveler's Joy Northwood sign

After the Off the Rails, there was a long drought in the pub crawl / marathon that lasted the next 13 miles or so. Near the top of the dreaded long hill into Cowes the Traveller’s Joy emerged on my right and I zipped in for some nourishment finding a large line-up of ales on tap to choose from.

Traveler's Joy Northwood bar

There were a bunch of jokers at the bar who kept me entertained while I polished off a pint of Squirrel (my pronunciation of which amused the landlady no end…which is to say my CORRECT pronunciation of it as ‘skwerl’ like they do it in the Deep South and not ‘skweer-ehr-rel’ like the local protagonists of the Queen’s English would have it).

Anyway, the race was nearly done and a glance at my watch showed me I shouldn’t linger lest I blow my planned four-hour and 26 mile pub crawl finishing time.

Traveler's Joy Northwood

Off the Rails, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight   2 comments

Off the Rails Yarmouth 3

At the Horse and Groom, a couple at the bar suggested that I might hit the Off The Rails but I just thought they were insane (for loads of reasons, and fair enough they had loads of reasons to reciprocate). But, down the old rail path near Yarmouth and along the marathon route there it was: an old station converted to a restaurant or, at least, a snack bar.

“Is this place licensed?” I yelled up to some diners on the platform who laughed riotously (as did the race marshalls at the end of the platform). then, to drown out their laughter, I repeated, “no, really, do they serve adult beverages?” and one guy at a table near the entrance said yes. I hopped up on the platform and came in to find the staff unable to comprehend my request for beer until I pointed at the cooler full of lager and said, slowly, “Staropraman.” “You really want a beer, mate?” “Oh, yes please. That would be lovely.”

They were awful nice after that, as I went out, draped my legs off the platform and started to boo runners I had chatted to before and calling others “freaks” and “losers” before returning my bottle and heading out to overtake them, again.

Off the Rails Yarmouth 1

Horse and Groom, Ningwood, Isle of Wight   2 comments

Horse and Groom Ningwood

Almost too soon after the New Inn, the race cruised up on the Horse and Groom, a huge house that I made the mistake of entering form the first entrance I could find and then walking half the length of a football pitch to get to the bar. It was hot and humid and my glasses fogged over but I was greeted by a very friendly bartender who, while much busier than the one at the Sportsman’s was actually able to serve the crowd ahead of me and chat with us all while doing it. Soon, I was out front, heckling the passing marathoners.

And, the beer was good (Scrum, from the photo I snapped).

Horse and Groom Ningwood beer clip

New Inn, Shalfleet, Isle of Wight   2 comments

New Inn Shalfleet

A few miles up from the Sportsman’s, I had made up a lot of my lost ground when the New Inn appeared on the right and the race route continued on leaving me with a choice. It would have been rude not to stop, though.

The two guys at the bar were efficiency incarnate and completely nonplussed by an American showing up from the island marathon demanding drink. I soon had a Ramsbury Best Bitter and crowds of other customers wishing me well on the rest of the run. Nice house.

New Inn Shalfleet interior

%d bloggers like this: