Me. I love a good old British Pub. You will have to be of a certain age to appreciate what I am talking about here. I’m not talking about the fancy wine bars and soulless chain establishments found on today’s high streets, but the good old British Boozer of yester year. These drinking emporiums, were to be found tucked in side street, nestling down a country lane or on the prom at the seaside. Drink, fun and community spirit, was their motto, along with good old sing songs, folk music and a general feeling of togetherness. The only food found in these hives of happiness was a pickled egg and maybe a dried up cheese roll! Hey ho, how times have changed.
In the UK it is estimated that one pub closes down, every twelve hours. I didn’t think I would ever have the chance to step into the kind of pub I experienced, in my younger years ever again. That is until I walked through the portals of The Royal Hotel, Appledore.
The Royal Hotel, Appledore, North Devon, is situated on Bude Street, which is behind the Quay in Appledore. You will easily find it by following your ears and nose. Your ears will be filled with the sounds of raucous laughter, music and song and your nose? will be pleasantly filled with the delicious aroma of freshly cooked fish and chips from The Royal Plaice, which is both opposite the pub and owned by the same people. Matt and Tracy. These entrepreneurial individuals have owned the pub for twenty six years and the Fish and Chip Restaurant for nine years. Order your meal and they will happily bring your food to the pub, where you can enjoy all it has to offer. Service with a smile.
Alice Kitto, who describes herself as Manager/General help has been at the Royal for ten years. Now, Alice is a proper barmaid. Oh! Sorry, need to be politically correct here “Bar Person”. You won’t find Alice ignoring you when queuing for your drink, she knows exactly who is next in the queue. Just like it use to be. Involving herself in all aspects of running the pub, Alice is a “hands on” girl. One of her latest feats is to organise a Charity Shave, to raise money for McMillan. When I spoke to her last week over £2,000 had been raised, with still another two weeks of collection to go.
I visited the pub on the night of the Charity Event. The place was packed with both locals & visitors alike. Alice and her team of local “maids” were in full swing.
The pub was rocking. I managed to get a quick snap of local hairdresser Polly from Appledore, who had scissors in hand.
Debbie Nixon and Brian Tucker were the fantastic volunteers who awaited the shearing. By the way. Brian Tucker & Gerry Lindley play in the pubs band, The Dukes – did I mention the fabulous live music & jam sessions held here almost nightly? – Both looked calm as the awaited there turn.
All in all The Royal Hotel, Appledore, North Devon is a proper British boozer. Good Ales, wines and spirits. Great music and sing a longs. Community caring and fabulous hospitality and as for Alice, what more can I say but “Fine girl you are”.
The Royal Hotel, Bude Street, Appledore, North Devon. EX 39