The Shipwrights Arms, Oare
Despite what the listing on the Campaign for Real Ale website says, The Shipwrights Arms is not readily visible from the road (unless the writer means the meandering single lane road that leads to the Arms but first you have to find that road). However, it was well worth the several false starts that led us to both sides of it before discovering the right road. In fact, as of this writing, it is my second favorite pub in my UK travels.
Be warned that mid-Sunday afternoon arrivals may find a limited selection of lunch items as the pub does quite a good Sunday business. Still, I did have a tasty vegetable melt and a Coke in a glass bottle (it was left to my companion to taste the ale). All seating outside was taken so we sat in the front window nook which signs advised might well be host to ghosts. After lingering over our meal (and a second Coke), we went outside to explore the bank where numerous folks were already enjoying summer sit downs.
The weather was perfect, the view from the river bank – boats that looked like the tide had just abandoned them – was from another time, small groups of people hummed in private conversations, we were full of good pub food, beer and Coke – there was only one thing left to do: take a nap right there on the river bank. We curled up on the grass and for a few minutes drifted in and out of broken but restful sleep. At least once a couple walked by and – to each other – questioned our sobriety. Well they should, we were drunk – drunk on the perfect pub, the perfect late summer afternoon and the perfect river bank.