The Smallest Pub in Britain

The claim to be Britain’s smallest pub was long claimed by the Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds, with the Smith’s Arms in Dorset a closely contested runner up. 

Whilst the tsunami of micropubs has created many newer, rival candidates, the title is now indisputably held by Platform 3 in Claygate, Surrey. It recently featured as such in a BBC Radio 4 piece. 

Platform 3 is owned by Alex and Sue  of the Brightwater Brewery, whose beers can also be found in around 30 pubs.  All the stations on the line were said to have identical offices in which the pub is housed.

It was originally used as an office to take orders for coal which arrived  by train and was delivered on a donkey around the village, in this case Claygate. The premises were subsequently used by a variety of small businesses. 

The pub is only 8 square metres and the only seating (indeed customer space) is outside, which is why the pub opens ‘weather permitting’- surely unique. Three barrels of their own beer are installed. I had Little Nipper – only 3.3% but flavoursome, described as a “chestnut session bitter with chocolate aftertaste”.  They also had Daisy Gold and a dark beer I think was called Coal Porter (if not it should have been). 

Alex is a great beer man and we discussed malt and hops. He uses magnum and northdown plus citra for another beer (the cost of which reflects its current popularity).  Breweries tend to order hops like citra years in advance to ensure continuous supply.  

The pub is active on social media and posts its opening times which are sometimes additional to those published in the Good Beer Guide. It is wise to check twitter and the weather forecast before visiting.

An absolute gem. 

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