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The Louis Armstrong, Dover

The Louis Armstrong doesn't seem to have changed very much since the first time I visited donkey's years ago.

Externally, the place looks a bit worse for wear. The pub sign with poor old Louis Armstrong on it, which dates back to the days when Charrington had the house, has almost faded away to nothing. However, things are much more welcoming and interesting when you step inside.

The Louis is a real, proper boozer, make no mistake about that. Once through the door the year could be anything from 1973-83 and most of the decor certainly dates from that period - including the massive etched mirrors and yellowing jazz posters (a reminder of the late Bod Bowles, former landlord and Jazz fanatic - his wife, Jackie, continues to run the pub) .

The seats are all comfortable (I would swear that they came from the old Post Office Club prior to its demolition years back) and the staff, on the whole are very friendly.

Beer wise, it's a pretty good place for real ale fans. There are usually between three and four on hand pump at any given time - Skrimshander seems to be a permanent resident .

The pub has made its reputation on live music, particularly Jazz, which can be heard most Saturday nights. Friday nights are often devoted to Rock and Metal acts.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Loius when Jackie Bowles finally gives it up. I would imagine that it's a goldmine waiting to be uncovered. It just needs somebody with a few quid to invest in the place and the nouse to build on what has already been acheived there.

Always worth a look at the weekends.

16 Mar 2011 16:25

The Railway Hotel, Faversham

The rather ordinary red brick exterior of The Railway Hotel leaves the first time visitor totally unprepared for the very impressive and well kept Victorian interior of this deceptively large Shepherd Neame pub next to Faversham station.

My partner and myself have visited on a couple of previous occasions and have always found the welcome pretty reasonable but the Sheps beers somewhat predictable. So we were nicely surprised to find a guest beers on hand pump - Lancaster Bomber - which made a far more acceptable alternative to the other brew on - Masterbrew (yawn).

Our brief visit was somewhat spoilt by a group of blokes who had obviously had far too much to drink and had become rather loud.

A decent enough place, particularly if you've got time to fit in a final pint before catching the train home.

14 Mar 2011 21:16

The Old Wine Vaults, Faversham

My partner and myself visited the Old Wine Vaults as part of a Faversham pub crawl last Saturday.

Cannot really fault the Vaults for the look of the place - all stripped wood and comfortable chairs. The bar also looks inviting, but it could do with one or two more beers on draught to maker the place a really impressive destination.

Ales on offer during our visit were: Hopdaemon - Incubus, Tring - Side Pocket for a Toad, and Hook Norton Brewery - Old Hooky. There was also a real cider if I remember rightly.

Have a look at the menu but didn't eat. Looks as if they've got some interesting grub on offer, including some unusual burgers - Venison and Rabbit!

Worth another visit next time we're in town.

14 Mar 2011 21:02

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robertsdover1968 has been registered on this site since 13th March 2011