I'll be off to Nottingham tomorrow for my latest Saturday, the last example of a day I booked in a fit of pique, probably drunk after our Bank Holiday Nottingham outing in April. Still, despite the Test Match being on at the same time, I'm looking forward to it, looks like I'm going alone, just how I like it. Is that healthy?
Nottingham's a strange town for me. Despite going to many gigs, football matches and days out over the years, I've barely scratched the surface pubwise and am aiming to stay central in a bid to rectify that tomorrow. Those North, West and South will have to wait for some 'outer' Nottingham day in the future - the Trent Bridge ones may be heaving. It will be nice for a change not to feel tied to the Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Bell, VAT & Fiddle (despite it's brilliance) and that flippin' Canal House. After all, the Malt Cross in particular showed me on Bank Hol that Notts has plenty more on offer.
Anyway, 3 days off work have allowed me to get a few extra BRAPA ticks under my belt.
464 - Ship, Strensall - One silver-lining to the cloud of having a crown fitted was that Dad was up for a new pub challenge post-dentist, happy to drive out to Strensall in the hope of food, great beer and a nice atmosphere. What we actually found was a poor beer range, a town full of surly locals and roadworks just outside with that baking smell of tarmac. On the credit side, the garden was nice (allowed us to eat some butchers bought pork pies) and excellent quality Landlord (but £3.40 a pint was way too much). Overall, glad to get the 'tick' and delighted Dad had saved me a painful bus ride for an experience like that.
465 - Slubbers Arms, Hillhouse - On the outskirts of Huddersfield pre-Bronx gig, I dragged Jig a mile North of town to an interesting little suburb full of typically dark West Yorkshire bricked terraced houses and the friendliest pub experience you could hope, to a point! The landlady was great, locals were lovely, interesting local ale range well kept (I had a Founders), and we were kind of 'locked' in their outdoor courtyard without really having a say! Still, we weren't complaining (well, apart from Jig's burning bald patch!)
466 - Sportsman, Huddersfield - On the way back into town and this former CAMRA pub of the year lived up to it's billing with a superb ale range, more 'try before you buy' for Jig served by a polite young chap. I had a good Mallinsons session ale, Jig's was even better. The pub was a bit spartan (you could almost have hosted ballroom dancing in the main area!) but as it filled up with people knocking off work, you could picture it being quite a heaving loud venue on a Saturday evening.
467 - Vulcan, Huddersfield - A very locally pub in the town serving all real ales for £2.40 (take note Strensall's Ship!), it was full of characters and a friendly barmaid who looked like she'd been there a few centuries(!). Ale range was a bit more limited here but nowt wrong with my McMullen's Tour De France themed 'Slip Stream'. We sat in and Lu joined us, hope she realised she was part of my BRAPA side project!
So, I'll still need to return to Huddersfield for the much anticipated Grove, the Star (which didn't open til 5pm) and one out of town in Bradley which might need a bus or taxi. That's for a midweek night in the coming months I reckon.
I received the 1982 and 1989 beer guides and what interesting reading they make (for a pub geek like me). Could I possibly do a 'Bradshaw' of pubs when I (if I) finish this challenge and look for everything in the 1982 guide? Best not think about such plans at this stage! See you after Nottingham,