We tried to book at this well-known sailor’s hotel, but all six rooms were reserved and we had to stay elsewhere. We walked over from our beach hotel for supper and were not disappointed by the friendly atmosphere. For a while we sat at the bar and chatted with the yachtsmen, freshly back from racing in the Solent, and the friendly owner, who regretted she wasn’t able to show us any of the newly renovated rooms. Later as the place was rapidly filling up, we snagged the last available table, albeit next to a rowdy group of mariners dressed in outlandish nautical costumes (one overdressed pirate had a stuffed parrot stitched to his shoulder). The jolly atmosphere didn’t detract from our enjoyment of our meal. First, fresh whitebait, crisp and tender, available by the half or full pint. Then pie of the day, which was a tasty chicken and leek concoction, generously stuffed with chicken but a bit light on the leek, with oodles of mashed potatoes, veggies and a sauceboat of gravy. As we left, some of the sailors were staggering out arm in arm, and more were squeezing in, so I’m not sure we would have had a restful stay. As it was, we worked off our plentiful repast with a moonlit walk along the seafront.
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