23 January 2011 (Sunday) - Herne Bay

We’d planned an early start, so ‘er indoors TM set her alarm. When it went off (making noises and flashing lights) I watched her snore through the thing’s efforts, and left her snoring for a few more minutes before kicking her awake.
Next doors dogs were staging a riot (as usual), and as I shaved I could hear what I could only describe as “World War III” as the dogs all chased each other round the garden. Mind you, it did strike me as odd that the people next door waited until all the snarling and barking had finished before they went into the garden to shout at the dogs. But I suppose excessive noise early on a Sunday morning is never a bad thing.

The birthday boy arrived on time, and having collected the Chip, we set off for McBreakfast. In the past I’ve been a great fan of McBreakfast, but I’ve not had it for ages. Since I’ve been away they’ve stopped doing McFruit Toast, which is a shame (if you like McFruit Toast), but a sausage and egg McMuffin slipped down nicely.
With brekkie scoffed, we set off for a walk. Whitstable has always been a popular place to wander along the prom. We were there two weeks ago and noticed something in the distance out at sea, so today we went to Herne Bay to investigate this nautical oddity. What we could see a fortnight ago was the remains of Herne Bay pier: all that remains these days is the old landing stage where steamers used to moor. This thing is over a kilometre from the shore – you can just make it out in today’s piccie – it’s on the horizon behind us. The actual pier connecting the landing stage to the sea front collapsed during storms thirty years ago. It was (in it’s time) one of the longest piers in the country.

And then we had a mooch along the prom, which was far better than the one at Whitstable. The prom at Whitstable is a good place to walk, but there is very little there – endless beach huts and a little café after a mile or so. The town doesn’t actually have a sea front: the town is inland. Herne Bay does have one – there are amusements and cafes and pubs and ice cream shops all the way along the sea front. I can imagine over the summer the place being rather busy, but today being cold kept the tourists away. Four of us wandered from the remains of the pier almost as far as Tankerton and then came back again along the top of the hill. Herne Bay is a good place to go for a walk – even if it is somewhat overloaded with dog turds.
And once back to Herne Bay we popped into the local Wetherspoons for a spot of lunch. It is fashionable for those who think they know about pubs to look down their noses at Wetherspoons pubs. But I’m not complaining. They were doing a full roast dinner with a pint of ale (and it was an excellent ale selection) for six quid. So good that having scoffed dinner I had another pint of the Red Castle Cream for dessert.
And then onwards – there was more to investigate. Specifically an ice cream parlour near where we’d parked. I was told it was too cold for ice cream. I disagreed, and whilst everyone else had coffee and hot chocolate, I had a toffee ice cream sundae. The ice cream parlour is another place that is crying out to be re-visited: they do cod and chips for seven quid, and if there are three of you in your party, they give you a free bottle of plonk.

Once it warms up a bit we shall go back. There are several plans afoot: parking at Whitstable and walking to Herne Bay for cod & chips, and then walking back again. Parking at Herne Bay and walking up to Reculver to the pub and back again.
And roller-blading along the prom is another idea that’s been suggested. I shall watch that one from the pub window…

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