Keeping it real … Real Ale
If you’ve never taken a walk down the beautiful seafront at Leigh on Sea then you should! Old Leigh can boast some of the best seafood from this part of the country and walking down this sea front you have plenty of opportunities to sample it. Walking down the roads is almost like going back in time as you walk along the cobbled streets and pass the old red London phonebox!
Another reason to check out Old Leigh is the pubs! There are four pubs within short walking distance of eachother and all of them above decent! The Crooked Billet, The Peterboat, Ye Olde Smack and The Mayflower, these pubs all have their advantages, the food in The Peterboat is very good and once upon a time when the Southend Airshow used to take place there’s nowhere better to watch it, the size of Ye Olde Smack is great for meeting a big group of mates to watch a sporting event while enjoying good beers and the Crooked Billet is like drinking back in time including an outside toilet! But for me my favourite pub is The Mayflower and I didn’t even know it was there!
You would be excused for walking past The Mayflower as the front of house isn’t your typical pub! From the outside it looks like a fish and chip shop… This is because it is! The front of the building is a fish and chip diner but if you walk through then you will walk into a CAMRA award winning pub! You can also find another enterance straight into the pub from the side of the building.
This small wooden room looks out onto the water making it a perfect spot to spend an afternoon. As you walk in the large bar is to your right and to your left is a gathering of tables. High stall seats surround the bar for those who want to be closer to the beers!
5 handpumps sit on the bar which when we visited included local brewers Crouch Vale and St Georges Brewery as well as the further afield breweries of Kelham Island and the brilliant Purple Moose. There was also your usual lager and Adnams dry hopped lager on tap. All the beers tasted great and we’re clearly kept well.
All the tables were busy when we were there with everyone enjoying their fish and chip dinners. Being so close to the seafront it would be rude not order some seafood and the bowl of scampi we had was without doubt the best scampi we had ever had, I actually can’t stop thinking about how good it and I can wait to go back and get some more!
Leigh on Sea is perfect for a good pub crawl as there is more decent pubs on the Broadway a short 10 minute walk away and it is especially good for a pub crawl in Old Leigh, as the pubs are all within a few steps of eachother just remember that the walk back to station is slightly longer than it looks, give yourself enough time to catch that train otherwise, like we did, you’ll find yourself running up that hill!