CHARM, company, and warmth were in abundance at Colchester’s first-ever micropub - even on a Wednesday night in the middle of November.

While the rest of town centre was heaving with young families, children in a state of glee after the Christmas lights were switched on, North Station Road, only a very short distance away, was quiet.

Standing across the road, the Magnet micropub appeared very smart, with an unusual but slick magnet logo being visible on various signages: simple, effective and the opposite of fussy.

A micropub is defined as being a "very small, modern, one room pub". 

One of the main reasons why I really enjoyed my two hours there – around 7pm to 9pm – was because of the sense of relaxation which came from the very intelligent choice of décor.

Light wooden floors and bright white, or perhaps cream, walls freshened up the small venue, of course making the warm room appear bigger and more inviting.

Gazette: Reasonable - Inside a pint of draught 'Punk' IPA costs £5.50Reasonable - Inside a pint of draught 'Punk' IPA costs £5.50 (Image: Newsquest)
This modern approach continued with the very comfortable booth seating and the sandy-feeling colour scheme, livened up by pops of colour courtesy of tastefully familiar pictures of Marylin, Audrey, and Bob Marley.

My first drink – a luxurious draught Punk IPA which I devoured – is clearly the initial tipple of choice for most who visit the pub.

At the time of drinking, I noticed the one other customer in the bar was also sipping on the same beverage, before another, very sharply dressed customer who arrived from work a few minutes later ordered the same.

On a week-day night, the social element was great and facilitated by Bob, one of the two owners who takes turns in the mostly neighbourhood-friendly shifts.

I had extremely enjoyable conversations, partly due to the venue’s small size and an hour in, when two friendly couples arrived for a booth-and-beer social, the micropub felt like a better version of home.

Gazette: Options - Inside was a well-stocked bar with bar snacks - the only food in the micropub Options - Inside was a well-stocked bar with bar snacks - the only food in the micropub (Image: Newsquest)

Bob recommended fancy vanilla vodka, splitting opinion as I could only taste something aniseed-like, but the refined chilli and chocolate vodka, with my sweet-tooth, was easily the nicest drink I have ever had.

Served on the rocks, I progressed from being an uncouth student chained to diet coke mixers, to savouring a quality drink, served best of all, with welcoming Colchester company.  

In addition to whatever was in that revelatory chocolate vodka, the Magnet micropub has many ‘secret’ ingredients.

Perhaps my final recommendation is that once winter is over, there’s room for more with this micropub's outdoor seating.

Rating: 5 stars

To find out more about the Magnet Micropub visit