Yarmouth: The Mariners
Simon ParkinWHERE IS IT? Even the most fussy of real ale lovers will be spoilt for choice at this flint-walled pub on Great Yarmouth's historic back streets, a short walk from the harbour quayside.Simon Parkin
WHERE IS IT?
Even the most fussy of real ale lovers will be spoilt for choice at this flint-walled pub on Great Yarmouth's historic back streets, a short walk from the harbour quayside.
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
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Norwich and Norfolk CAMRA has just named it their pub of the year. A two room pub, with a twin-sided bar between the two. The main bar with a large fireplace at one end has a real homely, front-room feel. There are a few idiosyncratic flourishes; including an old sign for the Railway Hotel hanging from the ceiling and a bear dressed as a policeman in the corner. The second room has been re-christened the cider lounge. Licenee Shirley Twose is the sister of the owner, Shaun Underdown, who along with partner Gemma, also own the Mariners Compass in Gorleston and the recently opened Mariners Rest in Lowestoft, so the pub is definitely a family venture.
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You could easily choose a different beer every day and you'd still not be repeating yourself for months such is the selection quandary facing customers. In the cider lounge the menu boasts five choices on tap as well as more than 20 bottled ciders, perrys and exotic fruity strawberry and raspberry varieties. If cider isn't your tipple the real ale selection is constantly changing, with plenty of seasonal and regional offerings. On tap are the likes of Lowestoft Green Jack ales, St Peter's brewery in Bungay, and favourites like Buckley's Revd James and Elgood's Old Wagg. The selection changes daily with the highlights chalked up on a blackboard outside.
It's not a gastro-pub by any stretch of the imagination, but they do a basic food menu that features hearty pub grub favourites like bangers and mash.
There's a big screen for sports and occasional one-off events, but the main thing here is the banter with a lively collection of regulars.
The pub now draws punters from far and wide, plus locals. They are a diverse and eclectic bunch who really only have a love of pubs in common. But that's part of the charm.
t The Mariners, 63 Howard Street South, Great Yarmouth, 01493 332299