Tuesday, 22 February 2011

let me fill you in...

Hi ho readers.

Well to begin with I suppose I should bring you up to date with my life so far regarding the last 9 months or so. I live in the small tourist town of Rye in east Sussex, which as far as places to grow up, live and work go, its not half bad. One thing that the town is particularly known for (well locally at least) is that for only having a permanent population of about 3000ish, (which around 60% are OAPs and also don't go out regularly, but luckily the population more or less doubles in the summer) it has around 18 pubs and bars, which is more then enough to cope with the residents of this historic little town.

Right, i know what your thinking. "Small tourist town with lots of pubs. Great!! Must be full of good, proper, traditional English pubs." Unfortunately this wasn't the case. Pretty much every pub in town had been caught in the trap of all serving the same bland lagers, no choice of real ale (or if there was, it was always just Harveys Best, which don't get me wrong, it's a wonderfully hoppy beer, but it just gets a bit boring when its your only choice.) and they genuinely only cared about catering to the weekend youth crowd, which mostly meant there was very little atmosphere, loud, crap music blasting the speakers and some evenings ending in a fight. Not my idea of a pub at all. There were of course some exceptions, but even they weren't what i would call "good pubs" either. So imagine my joy when one day, wile i was at work, i was reading the local paper (it was a slooooow day) and i happened to come across an advert for the reopening (I didn't even know it was closed) and beer festival at The Queen's Head pub. i was shocked and kind of skeptical at first because this pub had a reputation of being one of the worst in town, and seeing how little other pubs have changed under new management in recent years, how much could it of changed?? Later that afternoon i was given all the persuasion i needed when a good number of customers were making positive remarks of the change at the pub, with a few suggesting i pop along down there. (one person who made the biggest fight for the case to make a visit there, ended up being a good friend of the new management....but I'm not going to hold it against him, in fact...thanks Damian) So my arm had been twisted enough and i decided to pop in after work. My life changed that evening.

I went straight home after work, got changed, had a bite to eat and then headed for the pub. When i arrived and walked through the already open door, i could see the change immediately. The walls had been repainted and decorated with amazing artwork of ships and a wonderful hand painted patten that made it look and feel special and unique. The loud, in your face music had been replaced by the sound of laughter and chatter as people did one of the fundamental things that pubs are for...socialising. Most importantly though, it had something else, something I'd not felt in a pub before in Rye...it had atmosphere. I walked round to the bar to order a drink, but i couldn't, i was too stunned, too happy and too impressed to speak. The gentleman behind the bar greeted me and after giving me a quick run through what was on offer, i went for a pint of Ringwood 49er and we got chatting. It turns out that this man was Chris, the new landlord of the pub, and after giving him all the praise in the world for what he and the rest of his team (who i was yet to meet, but they are all amazing, wonderful people..but I'll get to that in a bit) had done to the pub and then telling him about my self, i let him get back to work wile i explored the place a bit more.

Wow it was different. I couldn't get over it, it just made me soooo happy, i cant really explain it but "if carlsberg did pubs" hang on...bad example, that would be crap, but you know what i mean. All i could think about was that I'd found a very special place, a new home away from home. My first thought was that it was going to be my new local, but my second thought, or at that point, my dream, was what if i could work here? Well i made that dream happen after going back to the bar, then being even more overjoyed by finding the choice of Belgian beers available (I've been looking for a good supply of Belgian beer for AGES) and after a evening of chatting, getting drunk and having the best night out in rye for a loooong time, i came straight out with it and pretty much begged for a job. I was told to come for a trial shift in a few days time and see how that goes. Well it must of went well, cause here i am, 9 months later and i wouldn't trade this job for the world.

As I've mentioned previously though, its not just the beer and the pub it's self that makes it a great place to work and to drink, its the people. Over the passing months, Ive come to consider those that work here more then just employers and colleagues, no, they are more then that, they're my friends and as naff as it sounds, i consider them as family. They like me for who i am and they don't treat me any differently cause I'm abit weird, slow, annoying at times (I make ALOT of crap jokes and puns) and I've not really experienced life as much as they have, but they really are amazing, kind and special people. So in alphabetical order (just for funsies) Andy, Charlotte, Chris, Helen, Joe and Marcus.... thank you :)

Well that's a pretty short sum up of what I'm up to (ohhhh yes, it could go on for alot longer) but I hope I stick with doing this blog (and I hope some bugger reads it lol) and don't worry it wont all be this long and I'll try and make it a tad less boring aswell...but I'm making no guarantees :p

p.s. Yes i know my grammar is crap, and that my spelling isn't much better, but hey...give a guy a break


  1. I agree that most of the pubs in Rye are rubbish - The Ypres makes an effort with the ale, but is let down by the landlord. The Standard's usually got an ale or two on.
    When I first read your comments I really disagreed with you, but on reflection you are right. Five years ago Rye was *the* town for a pub crawl. Nowadays it is nothing but Harveys all the way.

    The Queen's Head is doing a very good job - keep up the good work!!!

  2. Well thank you. Its nice to know im not spouting complete rubbish. I have to admit, in the last few months, other pubs in Rye have tried (slightly) harder to improve but i honestly think thats just because they've seen what we're doing here at the queens. but again, thanks for the support

  3. Matthew, thankyou so much for this. Really didn't see it coming and it was such a lovely surprise to read. I'm glad that you've enjoyed joining us as much as we've appreciated having you!

    Will bookmark your blog - like what you're doing so far :)

  4. Thank you helen :) but yeah i couldnt think of a better place to be, so the gratitude all in my corner