Rare is the occasion when getting a drink takes longer than getting food.
If you really like nuts and Guinness, I guess it happens, but how about a diet cola drink (not for me) and a chicken and bacon melt?
That’s what happened when I visited The Clipper in Dartford High Street.
The fizzy syrup had run out (these things happen) but the lady behind the bar struggled for quite a while to work out the problem.
So we took a seat and waited, and were surprised when out came a man bearing a plate and not a pint.
Both the bloke and the girl behind the bar were very nice but there was a tension between them that was uncomfortable to watch.
The Clipper was a weird pub. From the outside (much like my chicken and bacon melt) it was fairly unappealing, but was entirely palatable within (again, like the melt).
Unlike the melt, it was also huge. The place was not very wide but was so long that light could not even travel to the end.
Despite being a little dim, the decor is a little generic but pleasant enough.
The small dancefloor, mirrorball and a sign saying they’re open until 2am at the weekend all implied The Clipper was probably more of a nightspot than a place for a lunchtime bite.
Similarly, the slightly depressing rear garden – more a carpark with benches – was undoubtedly better suited as a nightclub-style smoking area.
This was not a place for fine dining or niche, limited edition, microbrewed ales but neither did it cost £5 a pint. The lager was mass produced but that’s OK if it’s what you’re after and only costs £3.20 a pint for a Coors.
The Clipper, High Street, Dartford
How it rated:
Decor ** Dim but bearable
Staff ** I liked them more than they seemed to like each other
Food ** Passable melt (just)
Drink ** Standard
Price **** Pretty reasonable