So with a bit of last minute planning, I was on the bus to Pontefract but serious delays (Christmas plus roadworks) meant it was a gruelling 90 minute journey listening to college students jabbering on. Why didn't I get a train? Well, I would have struggled to make the last bus connection to Darrington. As it was, the delays meant it was impossible anyway, a bad start.
531 - BROKEN BRIDGE, Pontefract - Close to the bus station and by this time, desperate for a drink, this had to be my first choice. 'Pontefract' means broken bridge in Roman, hence the name of this Wetherspoons, unique perhaps for having a dartboard and proper 'oche' in the centre of the pub. The depth of the building was also staggering, I didn't realise until I went in again for a second time in the night (which we'll get to later) and had a mile long walk to the loo. I didn't order the right beer first time round, a weird Belgian affair full of lime and coriander but no disputing the quality. Staff seemed jolly and the locals, although they had that rumbustious Cas air, lacked the same warmth and humility, though later on, I got talking to a very nice chap who loved pub trips to York with his wife! I generally sat behind a christmas tree. It was obviously an above average 'Spoons.
|'Spoons with a dartboard? In Ponte Carlo? Whatever next?|
|Woooo, spooky goings on in the dark at the Spread Eagle|
533 - ROBIN HOOD, Pontefract - In a strange location by the "notorious town end traffic lights", I wondered what traffic lights have to do to gain notoriety. For whatever reason, I wasn't expecting much from this pub but was delighted to see a fine array of interesting guest ales, reminding me a bit of the Brown Cow in Keighley as I then went to sit in a raised upper area around the side of the bar. My mock amazement & indecision at choosing an ale didn't go down well with a miserable barfly, but the barmaid at least humoured me. I then learnt that Hollywood star Ben Stiller had come here for a drink, apparently because he met a girl from Harrogate, though that still doesn't explain why you'd then end up in a difficult to get to pub in Pontefract! I wish I'd spent longer here but I downed an excellent pale called Jester by the always good Abbeydale from Sheffield.
|Nice window at the Robin Hood, think traffic lights and Ben Stiller|
A nice bonus BRAPA trip in what is turning into a successful month. But with Dad trying to hijack my 29th Dec plans by buying me a match ticket for the Leciester home game when I specifically THRICE told him not to, I'm going to have to make a decision on that soon.