BeerVisits - UK - Europe - USA/Canada - World

Pub Visit - England

Bouncing Barrel 1Thursday 6th June 2013

Bob Thompson

This is yet another of the rapidly increasing cluster of micro pubs opening in East Kent. It is well located, being just off the High Street at its east end. It is actually on Bank Street, which leads down to the sea. It opened on Saturday 4th May, just over a month before our visit, and is the creation of Penny and Trevor Wicks. She was formerly a doctor's receptionist and he still works for BT.

This is yet another inspired by Martyn's Butcher's Arms at nearby Herne which Trevor only visited once before declared he was going to open one also. The rest is history, as they say. The building was formerly the offices for a care agency and before that was a baby shop. What is a bit different about this pub is that is fully compliant with the law on disability access.

Like nearly all of its siblings it is small. Inside the walls are purple and cream. There is some bench type seating along the front window and there are four high tables, with seating along the walls. At the rear of this room on the left and centre the cool room can be seen through a window.

On the right there is a corridor and the door to the cool room with more windows. On the right of the corridor there is a bit more drinking space with two upright barrels. This leads to the service area and the facilities.

Bouncing Barrel 2There are a number of original paintings by local artists on the walls and near the front there is a large illustration of the bouncing barrel in action. It looks rather similar in concept to the World War 2 bouncing bomb, which was tested off the beach at Herne Bay. I wonder, could there be a connection? On second thoughts no, as it would just hit its target, then probably burst and sink to the bottom! No good to anybody and complete waste of good beer! Why invent something as stupid as that!

Bouncing Barrel 3Well, there was no good beer wasted when I visited and I was actually spoilt for choice with the following on offer: Skinner's (Truro, Cornwall) Betty Stoggs (4.0%); Canterbury Brewers (Foundry Brew Pub, Canterbury) Foundryman's Gold (4.0%); Dark Star (Partridge Green, West Sussex) American Pale Ale (4.7%); Ascot Ales (Camberley, Surrey) Alley Cat (3.8%); Goody's (Herne, Kent) Good Friday (4.5%) and Old Dairy (Rolvenden, Kent) Silver Top (4.5%).

They usually sell at least one Kentish Cider, but there were none on the blackboard menu that day so I assume they'd run out. Red and White wine is available. Food consists of cheese platters with local cheeses and pork pies from Surman's of Whitstable. Both are served with generous portions of various pickles and chutneys. Of course, there the usual nuts, scratchings and Kent crisps. They also have pickled eggs and onions.

Important Information:

The Bouncing Barrel, 20 Bank Street, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 5EA. Tel: 07777 630685

Open: Daily 11.00-14.30, 17.00-23.00.
Please these are the times displayed on their website at the time of writing. The hours of opening were much more restrictive when I visited. It opened later, closed earlier and didn't open at all on Sunday night, nor at any time on Monday.

The pub is around three quarters of a mile (one km) from the railway station.
This has trains to and from London Victoria that run via the Medway towns and the North Kent coast. They start / finish at Ramsgate. The frequency is twice hourly Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sunday.

There are several buses but easily the best are the 4 and 6, branded as the "Triangle". They start and finish in Canterbury and operate via Whitstable, Tankerton and Herne, passing no less than four other micro pubs en route. They operate a 10 minute frequency through most of the day Monday to Saturday and every 15 minutes on Sundays.