Sunday, 4 January 2015

BRAPA - Grandma Tribute Day

Buoyed by last Sunday's first East Yorkshie trip in ages, I thought I'd start 2015 in the same vein. This also gave me chance to pay a special BRAPA tribute to Grandma, who died in November and when she'd visited me a month before, our last proper conversation had been about pubs in East Yorkshire villages.  She knew them all, and had a story to go with each one!

Grandma enjoying my ale at her 92nd Birthday do 
So on a rather chilly Saturday morning, I arrived in Brid, having whiled away a 40 minute wait at Seamer chatting to a nice chap called Chris who was about to have an internet date with a local Brid girl so hope it went well for him.

546 - SHIP INN, Sewerby - I had a bracing walk along the seafront from Brid to Sewerby but was pleased to see it open slightly before the designated 11:30am opening time.  It was a Marston's pub which I'm getting used to in this part of the world (strangely) and although it only had two on, both were interesting and I did enjoy my Cinder's Doppleganger, with a real fire on one side and a parrot called Charlie Green (I asked the landlord of few words) on the other.  It was a two roomed pub with an extra dining area in the back of the lounge.  The friendly dark haired barmaid could probably get a bit grating if you had to listen to her all day but all in all, a good, solid start to 2015 pub ticking.

Green parrot and real fire fun at the Ship, Sewerby
A more direct route back into Brid was interspersed by a quick half (Jennings bitter) in the SEABIRDS, a pub we have a family in-joke about "lined glasses" every time we've arrived for a Grandma visit.  I guess you have to be there!  Pub was okay, two Marston's ales on (again) but the quality less good, one local was an annoying man who seemed to have all the answers to life, and I didn't get the lined glass I'd been hoping for.....  I can't see this as a "pre-emptive" tick! 

547 - TELEGRAPH INN, Bridlington - I've said it before, I'll probably say it again, but "expectations" play a massive role in my enjoyment of BRAPA pubs and this was an occasion of when I've built up a pub in my mind only to be disappointed.  Having heard it was local pub of the year 2013 and that they brew on-site, I expected a lot but all I found was a rather characterless building, some strange and edgy locals, and even my guest Great Newsome ale (a fine brewery) was a let down.  Although a friendly chap sat next to me and told me where the loos were, I didn't feel comfortable here and was glad to leave.  And no sign either of this fabled micro-brewery, only 2 or 3 guests I could see.  Not Marston's owned, maybe this is why it stands out!  My taxi driver later told me he didn't like the landlord of this place, and these things usually follow.  Bridlington Town play nearby and may have been at home as a bit of activity around.

Telegraph - a bit of a lead balloon syndrome
548 - BOARD INN, Skipsea - I had a long wait for the bus so a bit of time to sober up, explore Brid's Promennade shopping centre, buy some wet wipes and toothpaste from Bodycare (a BRAPA first) and ring Dad with the exciting news of where I'd got to! I was falling asleep by the time the little white bus trundled into tourism backwater of Skipsea and I suddenly realised how remote it all was.   I found the pub with a little effort and was glad to have chosen the left hand side, a cosy low ceilinged bar with a wood burner which I hogged for my entire stay.  The pub dated from 1642 and it really felt like it, top marks for comfort.  Unsurprisingly, this was a Marston's pub (getting beyond the joke now!) with only two on due to the time of year but my Wychwood 'January'S ale was solid if not spectacular.  Just when I thought it was going to be a low key session with me, mine genial host and one local man, three lively middle-agers from Leicester arrived who used to live local and got to work on seeing what and who had changed whilst they'd been away.  The gobby woman, all leopardskin and bleached hair quizzed me on BRAPA in a psychoanalytical way ("don't you get lonely?" "don't you want a wife and kids?")  In my early days, I might have caved in and ran off crying but not any more - this is how I live my life!  With no bus and no phone signal, I enlisted the help of the landlord in ordering me one.  He found an area in the hallway where he could get a signal on his Orange network, thankfully it just held up.  Just as gobby woman started quizzing me on banking issues, taxi arrived to get me out of jail.  I shook the landlord's hand and bid them farewell.

I wasn't "board" on my characterful outing in Skipsea!
The taxi driver was a nice chat, the fare not too bad, he was a proper Janner, and a Plymouth Argyle fan to boot who were away to York so he got to listen to a rare commentary, despite me wittering over the top of it!  After a quick mosey round Tesco, I made the train to Driffield with the light now starting to fade.

549 - MARINERS ARMS, Driffield - I arrived in the decent little town of Driff ("one street, you've only got one street") to find that this pub actually wasn't on the street which isn't great when you have a full bladder.  It was bustling with a Saturday evening crowd of 20 something's, locals with their girlfriends, some playing pool, some watching FA Cup highlights, it was a proper old local pub this but very lively and obviously a real hub of the community.  Again the pub was two roomed, again it was bloody Marston's but this time I had an excellent Banks' Sunbeam which I'd had before near Manchester Piccadilly so knew it was good.  The slightly chavvy locals (am I snob?) were actually friendly as I sat down to watch the cup highlights, well away from the pool table where things were getting raucous.  This was another ancient feeling pub, yes I was quite impressed.

More night-vision "light shining on pub sign" problems in Drffield.
BUTCHERS DOG, Driffield - A pre-emptive tick next, after Christine, Chris D and Mark were raving about this new micro-pub when we were in the Whalebone on New Year's Day.  It took a bit of finding on the main drag, but I got there and found this lovely tiny former butchers (and many other businesses) and really, was just relieved to find a seat.  They had a couple of local breweries on show including Ellerton's Half Moon, but I opted for a lovely porter called Bruce, just as robust and characterful as the manager of the same name.  This place had an older set of clientele, most probably in their 40's so a bit more of a calming atmos than the Mariners.  And as per usual the micro-pubs, one unisex toilet.  This place got even busier after I arrived and with them getting top reviews already on pub websites, they may need to expand 'Friends of Ham' style sooner rather than later.

550 - CORNERHOUSE, Beverley - Although I'd agonised over the decision of whether to go to the Great Kelk pub all day (I'd got the timing right for this 17:30 opener), I'd been told in Skipsea it had recently changed hands and I'd already done one taxi so decided to instead focus my attentions on completing Beverley which is also more alphabetically pleasing as you know I like to do them in some kind of order.  Opposite to my experience at the Telegraph, I had no expectations for this pub just outside the centre and was pleasantly surprised to see a huge range of beers, loads of enthusiastic staff, and Saturday night in full swing with every seat taken and this really was a huge pub!  I didn't mind about the seat shortage and leant on a back wall and chatted to a local chap who told me he wasn't concerned about it's reputation as a gastro pub as the food was good and enough people come here just to drink.  Judging by the Abbeydale Deception, an immaculate beer kept as well as it should be, I could see why and this is a regular beer.  A refreshing change from all the Marston's.  

With time before the train, I popped back to Chequers for a half feeling I hadn't really done it justice last Sunday and my half of "Blend 1 - Camomile" from the local Atom brewery was as calming as you'd expect!  Is this is best pub in Bev?  Probably, but Cornerhouse on a quiet afternoon might run it very close.  

The Cornerhouse - a pub worth crossing a busy road for! 
So a productive day out, the pubs got better as time went on, speaking of which time had really raced on and by the time I got to Hull, I realised I'd have to change at Leeds to get me back to York so it was a very late do by the time I was home - plus Burger King ran out of burgers in Leeds station nearly causing a riot!  


p.s. Hull City have just gone out of the FA Cup so BRAPA on Sat 24th Jan is now all systems go.  Not that I have a clue where I'm going yet!

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