Good morning on an achy Sunday post-BRAPA trip to Shrewsbury and beyond. It was one of those days where every leg of the journey seemed to be fraught with travel delays, phantom cancellations, train time changes and at one point, a bus with a broken wing mirror. Despite that, it was a very succesful day pub-wise and once again made me sorry that John hadn't seen a better quality day in Durham.
450 - New Inn, Baschurch - It seemed to take forever but just shy of 12 noon, I finally reached my first destination in a pretty little village North of Shrewsbury, despite a silly woman telling me this pub had been closed down. The morning I'd had, I wouldn't have been surprised! However, it was very much open and immediately made me feel welcome. The barmaid and locals made this stranger feel welcome, the Stonehouse Station Bitter was superb, I told them about my challenge and it captured people's imagination as you'd expect. I felt like a regular by the time I left 45 mins later. This was perfect BRAPA and a fitting place to achieve 10% of guide pubs.
451 - Salopian Bar, Shrewsbury - I ticked this one off first as it was near the bus station I'd come back in to, also the locals in Baschurch hadn't been so enthusiastic. Understandably as it was more bar than pub, but the very red walls gave it a warm feel, staff good, a nice vibe and a superb pint of Dark Star Summer Solstice - and it wasn't even a particularly young crowd, more middle aged really. I'd recommend it.
452 - Nags Head, Shrewsbury - Famous for being old and haunted like all good Shrewsbury pubs, this was a cracking place I'd once briefly visited with Dad pre-football before we really paid attention to the CAMRA guide (if you can ever believe that of me!) Cracking staff and locals, buzzing atmosphere and a nice local pint of Hobson's, the brewery had been recommended to me in Baschurch. I should really have checked out the outside area where you can see ancient features of the original building. Luckily I didn't see the legendary picture of the devil which causes insanity and suicide so has to be locked away!
453 - Prince of Wales, Shrewsbury - I nearly forgot about this one as it was out of town in the Northern suburbs of the city (which feels more like a town, silly cathedral rules!) Not initially impressed with the 'geared up for food' layout that dominated almost every table in the main room but maybe they had a function on later so will give them benefit of the doubt. Lovely Salopian beers and the quiet atmos was a culture shock after the previous three but at least I could smuggle some of my own food from my bag! Decent.
454 - Admiral Benbow, Shrewsbury - It was nice to finally get this monkey off my back as John and I didn't attempt it on my last trip to Shrewsbury due to a over 30's policy. Therefore, /I was expecting a real old working man's club style atmosphere but I couldn't have been more wrong, I probably wasn't even the youngest there! Lovely pub though, another very comfortable easy atmosphere and cracking ale.
455 - Woodman Inn, Shrewsbury - Watched first half of Brazil v Chile with an old guy and two younger ones, washed down with another lovely pint of Salopian, Oracle this time in a pub that felt very old though it had to be rebuilt when it burnt down in a 1923 fire (they say the landlady still haunts the place). It felt quite a locals pub despite being only marginally off centre and once again, I'd recommend to anyone in Shrewsbury and would be nice to do first if i ever return so I will be less drunk!
A great day and now attentions turn to Aldbrough St John and Darlington next Saturday. Whether I'll squeeze a Friday night BRAPA trip in is unlikely, especially with the Tour De France dominating much of that part of the week. Hope it doesn't affect my day! Got to be selfish haven't we?