The Square and Compass
Worth Matravers, Dorset
Anyone who found themselves inside,
outside or within singing distance of
The Square & Compass of the weekend
of 12th and 13th April 2012. There are
too many to mention here but we thank
each and every one of you for making
the mood a great one.
Episode two of our pub philosophy series took us to The Square and Compass at Worth Matravers on the Isle of Purbeck in deepest Dorset. Everyone knows this place and swears blind by it. Owner Charlie has stamped his charisma all over The Square (as the locals call it), just as his great grandfather did back in 1907. The fossil museum, pumpkin festival, stone-carving fortnight and bouncer-bantams are the latest incarnations of offbeat culture that people rave about. We’re now part of the fan club. Here are a few pages from our 24 hour scrapbook of life radiating out from The Square and Compass.
“Look at the map.The geology is astonishing. Purbeck is like a giant slice of streaky bacon with the rind running east to west in the hills. Mupe Cove is even known as Bacon Hole.”
Roughly what Malcolm said after the second pint before being carted off to a party up the lane.
Seven reasons why The Square is anything but
1. There is no mad scramble to get to the bar, everybody lines up in an orderly queue so you get served quicker and no-one gets narky.
2. The tables outside can seat a rugby team, and people are happy to share their space with the next man.
3. The menu is probably Britain’s simplest – pie or pasty (although they do a cracking spicy squash veggie version too), home-made and hot.
4. The fossil museum – this glorious collection is 60 years strong, mostly found by Charlie and his father, and includes a pliosaur (ancient meat-eating sea monster) and an ichthyosaur (Jurassic dolphin that died off at least 90 million years ago).
5. The cider has won all the gongs over the years from Camra, with charming labels and names – Sit Down Be Cider, Kiss Me Kate and Eve’s Idea.
6. All the wonderfully random micro-festivals, to honour Pumpkins, Stone-carving and Ukuleles, to name but three.
7. God knows how many people call it ‘the best pub in the world’.