The Barrel is a micropub in the delightful family seaside town of Bude. Quirky, this tiny pub can accommodate around 40 customers max, which gives it an intimate feel. Locals love it.
Why? Well, there are no fruit machines, jukeboxes, Wi-Fi, or televisions, so you just have to have a good old-fashioned conversation and banter. The use of mobile phones is banned, so be warned, if you break the ban you are fined, with the money going to a local charity.
Despite its size, you can buy soft drinks, craft ales, ciders, gins, and traditional pub snacks from relatively local Cornish suppliers.
Ian and Rachel, the owners, source their ales by visiting Cornish breweries each Monday, and tasting/choosing what they want to sell the following Thursday (opening days are limited to Thursday to Sunday) so Sunday is the day to drink the Barrel dry, often accompanied by live music.
The charismatic Ian is a little Marmite. He has his own way of running things (The Barrel is home to a Morris group, too) and it is a fantastic secret find, a very popular place, and like nothing you will have experienced before.
With craft beers, and a record deck, it is like stepping back in time, in a good way. A friendly pub, conversation-rich, bear in mind it is a micro-pub with micro-hours. If the beer runs out, it closes.
Check the times, taste the ales, pontificate a bit and watch the world go by from the tiny outside courtyard on a sunny day.
Characterful, a brilliant little bar.