Gorran Haven is an interesting place — proper seaside, where many Cornish coves are more Sea Salt. It has cones of chips, ice cream, sandcastles, and families nesting behind windbreaks on the beach, just like the holidays we remember from when we were kids.
What we discovered as we waited an hour and a half for our bus yesterday, however, is that the little pint mug on the Ordnance Survey map is somewhat misleading: Gorran Haven doesn’t have a single pub. Several churches, yes, but no pubs.
When we said this to a local, he disagreed and pointed. ‘Up the hill there,’ he said, before conceding, ‘Well, hotel bar, really.’ There is indeed a ‘bar bistro’ but it didn’t look like the kind of place we could tramp into in walking boots, dusted with yellow pollen, thirsting for pints and pork scratchings.
‘Well, the cafes are licensed, too,’ said our local expert. This is also true, but drinking bottles of Betty Stogs or San Miguel at a picnic table wasn’t really what we had in mind on this occasion.
We’re not complaining, just surprised. We’ve been to similarly-sized villages with more than one pub, and it’s unusual to find a corner of the Duchy that doesn’t at least have a St Austell house.
In the end, we were perfectly happy with two mugs of strong tea which we drank on the beach as the tide came in.