Friday 4th December 2015
Ever the relentless march of the micropub across the territory of East Kent. Today, we were visiting one of the latest (but only at that moment in time) manifestations of the genre.
We knew that this pub was about to open, yet it wasn’t until one of our semi-regular trips to the Butcher’s Arms at Herne, that we learned that it had really opened. Imparting the information was Kevin, regular visitor and fount of all knowledge in the world of the Kentish micropub.
We went straight there after finishing our drinks at the Butcher’s. Beltinge is a village to the east of Herne Bay on the road to Reculver Abbey.
We found a lovely little pub with a good atmosphere and some great beer. There was only one problem. Not expecting to go there, I did not have my camera with me. Oh dear, we would just have to go back another day! So here we are and I remembered to bring my camera.
I was with wife Linda and I will describe our second visit. The pub opened on Friday 26th June 2015 and is operated by Gavin and Gary. These two provide the inspiration behind the somewhat unusual name. The only clue is actually not a clue at all. A pottle is an old measure of four pints of beer, yet that is red herring. The pub’s name actually comes from the colour of Gavin’s hair (ginger) which he likes to refer to as Tuscany Sunset. The surname of his partner Gary is Pottle, easy really!
Gavin was the bar-tender on this visit. We had met him several times previously as he used to work in the Butcher’s Arms for three days a week in rotation with Martyn. We had a look around the small room in what was formerly Smackerjack’s Pet Foods. With a name like that it’s no wonder they closed down! Actually I have to say that the exterior is also very attractive with shiny blue tiling under the windows.
Inside the ceiling decoration is very unusual as it is unfurled brightly coloured umbrellas and that sets the scene for a humour that permeates the pub. In this vein the blackboard announcing a forthcoming cheese evening was a parody on the words of a famous song. Please look at the photograph.
To the left of the entrance door was a nice matched set of wooden table and chairs. Virtually every other item of furniture is definitely mismatched. There are mostly wooden but of many different colours. There are “stools” fashioned out of metal casks with a cushion on top. In the middle of the room is an upright circular table for standees.
On the right of the room is a small service counter. It would be wrong to call it a bar as most of the service here is direct to the table. Behind are the shelves of sparkling glasses. The blackboard with all of the offerings is to be found on the left back wall.
The cellar or cool room is down some stairs in the middle of the back wall. The toilets are also to found here. I understand there is an area out the back that is likely to be developed as an overflow (smoking?) space.
The beers on offer on this visit were: Kent Brewery (Birling, Kent) Session Pale (3.7%); Old Dairy (Tenterden, Kent) Copper Top (4.0%); Adnam’s (Southwold, Suffolk) Ghost Ship (4.5%) and Mighty Oak (Maldon, Essex) Captain Bob (3.8%). The cider offerings were all from Kent Cider Co of Canterbury (pressed in Oare, Kent). They were Cherry Twist (6.0%), Lemon Twist (6.0%) and Green Hop Cider (6.2%).
There is good range of wines. They also offer juices and soft drinks along with a large selection of packaged snacks and pickled eggs and onions from the jar.
Should you ever be in this area of the North Kent coast you should really divert to visit this very likeable little pub.
Copper Pottle, 84 Reculver Road, Beltinge, Kent CT6 6ND. Tel: 07873 436122
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12.00-15.00ish, 18.00-21.00ish; Sunday 12.00-15.00ish
Beltinge does not have a railway station and is around one and a half miles from Herne Bay station which has two trains an hour to and from London Victoria and one to London St Pancras. Fewer on Sundays.
The triangle bus routes from Canterbury (No 4 clockwise outward via Whitstable and Herne Bay and No 6 anti-clockwise via Herne). The routes are very frequent but only divert via Beltinge Dollies Corner (at the junction of Sea View Road and Reculver Road) every 30 minutes. Hourly in the evenings, these routes run from Monday to Sunday.
There is also the number 36 from Canterbury to Margate via Whitstable and Herne Bay running hourly Monday to Saturday, not evenings.
The No 4 and 6 routes are notable because they pass no less than seven micropubs on their way from Canterbury to Canterbury.