Hey Mabel - no label!

Pub 8. Mabel's Tavern (also known as Mabels Tavern). 1st December, 2011.

A warm looking welcome on a damp evening.

Ahh a pub with a made-up name! But I suppose they're all made up in a way. Anyways, apostrophe usage is either wrong or right, even though here they offer a choice. But never mind. Let's go to Mabel's Tavern - I'm going for the +apostrophe option. Very nice and warm and cosy it is. Lots of post-work drinking going on, and I assume what are early Christmas dos. Nowt wrong with that - not a locals' pub though from what I can initially ascertain, but nothing wrong with that either. To the bar. I'm not particularly overly familiar with Shepherd Neame, I think the only place of theirs I go in with anything approaching regularity is the Betsy Trotwood. I do like their pump clips, they are how pump clips should be. Big, and solid and shiny and ceramic looking and GOLD! But they also seem to have 3 different names on them... confusing to the casual drinker, like myself.

"They're all Kentish Ales", durr.

So opting for the lowest abv I go for ummmm Master Brew/Kentish Ale/Local Hero at 3.6%. Now Master Brew doesn't sound like a beer to me, it sounds like a 70s-keg era name for a beer, but Kentish Ale sounds like a proper name for a standard session beer from Kent. Although I should have deduced from the other pumps that the big letters in the middle are the name of beer, but also none of the others say 'Kentish Ale' on them either so I ask for "a pint of Kentish Ale, please." "Which one? They're all Kentish Ales" says uniformed barmaid, with a hint of strop which might only have been my perception. "The one that says 'Kentish Ale' on it" I say pointing humourlessly to pump 2. When barstaff where uniforms it makes the whole place seem like a shop, rather than a pub. Anyways, I got my beer after handing over a hefty £3.80. The barmaid was perfectly pleasant though, well at least as pleasant as you'd expect.

Mable's apostrophe
Pump action

Other than that there's not a lot to say about this place. Very nice. Warm and busy, full of chat. The jukebox/music player device playing generic pop turned right down - always nice. But there again why bother? A choice of 3 tellies provide BBC and Sky News, just in case that's what you want to go in a pub for. A brief chat with another punter about people putting cola-pop-beverages in scotch - even poor old Bell's, on which we both agreed whole heartedly. The barmaid didn't proffer any opinion.
A quick look round at the rather nice olde-railway pictures on the walls, and a read of the history of the pub. Tourists love a ghost story, and how many pubs can claim to be haunted by a mechanical device?? This one can, and by Mabel too of course.

The most interesting thing about here though is that it is where the RAF Escaping Society Museum was founded in the1960s, and was full of WWII POW escape memorabilia. It was even called The Escape, up until the late 1970s when it closed due to lack of interest from the local student population and all the items were shipped down to Devon.

Read all about it
Christmas spirit via two tellies.
A very nice pub, nothing wrong it but I won't be rushing back. It just seems to lacking that certain j'en c'est quoi. (or jen cest Quo if youd rather).

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