The search for reasonably priced, good-value pubs can be a long and arduous one - but someone has to do it.

A recent example, that offers some inspiration is the Waterworks in Rye, East Sussex. 

Originally a pump house, then a soup kitchen, the Waterworks micro pub is situated on a crossroads on Rye High Street in Sussex.

A micropub the size of a large sitting room, the Waterworks opened in May 2018.

It's a homely welcoming place.

We were coming up to Covid lockdown, which no one had experienced before - it was a strange time, even stranger looking back.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Paul Donovan visited a micropubPaul Donovan visited a micropub

Despite being relatively new at that time the Waterworks survived Covid and seems to have gone from strength to strength.

It is a no-frills establishment.

It gives customers the choice of eight locally produced ales, two keg beers, 12 ciders, wine, prosecco, vodka and gin.

Food is limited to Scotch eggs, pork pies and pickled eggs but everything is locally produced - within a 28-mile radius of the pub.

The Waterworks always seems busy, with people inside and chairs on the pavement outside.

It has won numerous awards, including from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Waterworks is now brewing its own beer as well - with a brewery and tap room in another part of Rye.

Whilst a number of the more traditional pubs in the area having bitten the dust, the micropub model seems to be going from strength to strength.

The prices may not be down at Wetherspoons level, but neither are they up at the Belgravia end of the spectrum.

The example of the Waterworks pub certainly offers food for thought for those living in this area looking for reasonably priced drinks and food plus good company. 

There is certainly the demand, as evidenced by the success of our Wanstead Beer Festival last year.

Could it happen here - watch this space?

  • Paul Donovan is Labour councillor for Wanstead Village ward, Redbridge Council and a blogger (