The second Weymouth boozer I visited was The Royal Oak on Custom House Quay. I remembered it from previous visits as the one with the sawdust on the floor. Unfortunately it’s now all gone – H & S some old boy told me – which is a pity as it looked cool and it covered up the mucky, bare floorboards. Inside it is fairly plain and functional, keep thinking spit and sawdust and you won’t go far wrong. They do food, which from what I saw, looked pretty good. Substantial portions that represented exceptional value. If we hadn’t planned to go for a Nepalese curry at Ghurka Restaurant in Noah’s Ark then I would have eaten at The Royal Oak for sure.
This quayside pub gets really busy and mid week lunch time proved the point, local drinkers stood at the bar and would be diners stalking for tables. I’d estimate that the proportion of locals to tourists was 60/40, if not better. I like that, tells you you’re in the right place. They even had a resident, elderly, tobacco smuggler, we sat at his table where he entertained us and a string of locals (by appointment only).There’s also an outside seating area in front of the pub with benches tables and chairs, the only downside being the road that runs past seems to be the most congested in Weymouth. If you can put up with the endless traffic, rumbling over the old railway lines set into the road, then it’s fine, it does quieten down after tea time, the road that is.
Beerwise things seemed weighted towards Dorset Brewing Company ; Jurassic, Tom Brown, IPA and Durdle Door. I tried the IPA, a seasonal, for August, 6.5% brew, I liked the modern hoppy grapefruity taste. When I went to the gents, which were the weakest point of the pub and needed a proper fettling, the IPA pump clip had been turned around as it had gone off. I must have got one of the last ones out of the barrel, but I couldn’t tell, it was in very good condition. When I went back to the bar they’d put another on, so all was well again. I had a try of Mrs C’s Durdle Door, again lovely beer on top form. Looking at the The Royal Oak Facebook site, they obviously ring the changes with their beers but the pub is as noteworthy for it’s range of real ciders as it is for it’s ales. They had nine different ciders in boxes from small independent cider makers, as well as the more familiar keg brands.
You can easily see why this pub is the W.Dorset CAMRA, Weymouth pub of the year and I would recommend anyone in the area to visit, unless you’re fussy about toilets.