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Secret Drinker reviews The Crown pub, Ramsgate, and finds it's cheaper than Wetherspoon

It might be one of the town’s oldest pubs, in one of its oldest streets, but what sets this one apart is the price of the beer.

As cheap as chips and proud of it, The Crown in Ramsgate has seen its popularity grow steadily since joining the Craft Union family.

The pub opens at 10am every day
The pub opens at 10am every day

The pub was already bustling and busy by 8pm on a Wednesday evening but the barman and landlady, despite having their hands full, still found plenty of time to welcome newcomers.

And, having started chatting, it wasn’t long before they were proudly sharing the pub’s USP: “We’re incredibly cheap and pride ourselves on it, being cheaper than Wetherspoon is really important to us.”

I assume this is a policy decision from the parent company rather than just a knee-jerk reaction to the nearby monster Wetherspoon pub the Royal Victoria Pavilion.

With a pint of very reasonably-priced lager in hand I took a good look around.

There was a serious league match against the Oddfellows in full flow so the pool table was out of the question and although the garden area looked lovely the changing weather ruled that out too.

The garden is well maintained and colourful
The garden is well maintained and colourful

Back in the warm and, like the rest of the pub, having no interest in the cricket match showing on all four screens, I found myself drawn to 36-year-old Jasper. I was warned this particular local mightbe very keen to talk and if provoked can be vicious. Sadly though Jasper was silent and non-aggressive.

Apparently he was rescued after plucking himself bald and has lived in the pub for eight years but even though his feathers have now grown back he can’t fly. Beware though, the sign is accurate and apparently this African Grey parrot has got a nasty side.

That said, he does seem to appreciate bright colours and whilst I’m used to seeing hi-vis jackets in pubs this one attracts the all-over luminous look as it’s frequented by Southern Water workers dressed head-to-toe in orange.

Jasper the parrot is right at home here, but I’d advise everyone to heed the warning notice on his cage
Jasper the parrot is right at home here, but I’d advise everyone to heed the warning notice on his cage

Though even they looked dressed down next to the pool players in their black and gold team shirts. The Captain was ably supported by Spock, Wednesday Night’s Dream lost aka. Richard and, of course, the Captain’s Bitch.

The Crown might be a very cheap pub but they don’t skimp when it comes to looking after the place and taking care of their regulars.

The gents is very compact, particularly given the size of the pub and the quantity of lager being flogged, but it is well maintained, clean and fresh.

As well as pool, this is also a pub keen on darts and they’re seeking new players for both teams.

All four screens were showing cricket so perhaps it wasn’t surprising no-one was interested
All four screens were showing cricket so perhaps it wasn’t surprising no-one was interested

At this point the landlady popped out to grab a takeaway dinner and Vic and Laura did a shout-out on behalf of a visiting taxi driver.

This is a bustling boozer which, thanks to the low ceilings, appears even busier, but the folk in here are big-hearted souls and the pub gives off all the right vibes.

Some pubs offering cheap booze are best avoided - I could supply you with a list - but The Crown is certainly not one of them.

Somehow this one has got the balance right, sure, it’s down-to-earth and doesn’t have any airs or graces but it’s also welcoming and full of real life.

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The pub first appears in the rate book dated 1717. It was owned by Cobb of Margate as early as 1818, when it had a reputation as a disorderly house. In that year Ramsgate magistrates urged Francis Cobb to control the outrageous conduct of his tenant at the 'Old Crown'. The pub changed its name to Jacksons Wharf for about 10 years but after becoming part the Craft Union pub chain reverted to its original name.
The pub first appears in the rate book dated 1717. It was owned by Cobb of Margate as early as 1818, when it had a reputation as a disorderly house. In that year Ramsgate magistrates urged Francis Cobb to control the outrageous conduct of his tenant at the 'Old Crown'. The pub changed its name to Jacksons Wharf for about 10 years but after becoming part the Craft Union pub chain reverted to its original name.
The Crown is in York Street, Ramsgate
The Crown is in York Street, Ramsgate
With the pool match in full swing, Team Crown was concentrating hard
With the pool match in full swing, Team Crown was concentrating hard
The toilets are not exactly roomy but they are cleaned well and kept fresh
The toilets are not exactly roomy but they are cleaned well and kept fresh

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