Wednesday, 24 June 2015

BRAPA - Great Kelk and Kirkstall

Just the two pubs ticked off in the last week, with the emphasis on the letter "K" and 'guest' BRAPA people accompanying me......

674 - Chestnut Horse, Great Kelk 
After a leisurely four mile walk around the thankfully flat East Yorkshire countryside (I was suffering a bit with Poppleton Beer Fest hangover!), me, Mum and Dad took our 'Father's Day' adventure into BRAPA territory in the remote Great Kelk.  Incidentally, the parents had nearly bought a holiday cottage near here before I was even a seedling.
Smiley diners and friendly staff made for a very nice welcome as we arrived, there was nothing "League of Gentlemen" here and throughout, you felt that the newish owners (if my January Skipsea pub informants were correct) were keen, almost anxious to impress with their service.  The couple both seemed very nice, sadly the same couldn't be said for our Slater's Top Totty, a great beer I know from Shropshire but this was bottom of the barrel stuff and 'on the turn' as we got to the bottom half.  Having said that, the replacement Anglers Reward was amazing.
The building itself felt sturdy, old and lived in but maintained a clean, almost dining feel where we sat in the far room.  The "Speical's" board (their spelling, not mine!) and a good menu meant this was a rare foody BRAPA event.  Everything was freshly made, great care was taken, especially for Mum's Mushroom Stroganoff brandy!  Strangely, all our food had a strange woody smoky taste from my sausages to Mum's mushrooms, not sure about Dad's pie topping though, he typically wanted shortcrust rather than puff pastry and never really forgave the pub for that slip up!  I enjoyed mine very much though, great mash n gravy.
A strange tall young man kept wandering about, presumably to see if he could hit his head on every roof beam in the place.  Mum spent most of the time fretting over Canadian bears.
So overall, quite impressed but I think give the owners a few years to 'bed in' and you could be looking at a well established gem.  I hope that doesn't sound too patronising!

Mum makes a rare forray into BRAPA territory at the Chestnut Horse.
675 - Kirkstall Bridge Inn, Kirkstall - Fast forward to Tuesday, and after a 5pm work finish, work friend and honorary student Christina Anderson (soon to be Sidery) took me to a pub fairly local to her, very much in the heart of studentsville.  That might explain our first conundrum, as the pub sign appeared to have gone missing!  I've heard of traffic cones being pinched, but this takes it to a new level.  We entered a harsh looking pub shaped building with caution but a vast range of Kirkstall beers told me we were in the right place.  The pub has won awards recently and I could see why, a lovely homely place, very much a traditional drinkers pub but quite large with other downstairs bar.  The staff seemed nice and helpful as I tried to push Christina in a real ale-wards direction - she liked the Three Swords but Dissolution IPA and Black Band Porter (both amazing to me, always loved this brewery's output) was a step too far and it was time for their lovely Framboise instead, a stunning example of a fruit beer.  There was a very nice relaxed atmosphere, although it was mainly young people, it felt more 'local' than 'student' as we sat in the one pocket of sun in the front bar.  After a trip to the loo, I heard some jangling and before I knew it, a group of thirsty Morris Dancers had appeared.  It was time to drink up and (struggle to) get the train back from Headingley (I'm always unlucky waiting here), change at L**ds, back in York 9pm, a good evening. 

Christina enjoys a Three Swords in the wonderful Kirkstall Bridge Inn
Coming Soon/Latest News

Well, we finally look set to do the 'Heavy Woolen Day' on Saturday.  Ossett, Thornhill and Horbury.  And if all goes according to plan, the 'West Yorkshire outlook' will look rosier than my cheeks at the end of a day drinking with Garrett, Milnes and Ellis.  

Also on the West Yorkshire front, I was going to do Linthwaite next Tuesday but I may now do Hebden Bridge and Mirfield instead.  There is Sowerby Bridge potential too, but with Southowram also needed, I may combine these two later in the summer (4 in an evening is pushing it). 

I had a nice catch up/BRAPA meeting with Sal Hop at Costa Coffee today.  I'll really have to try and combine Wetherby with Sicklinghall despite their cross-county nature, though as for Colton, I may have to do this as a 'quick win' tick from York on a bus in a rare spontaneous moment!  We also debated a day trip to Sunderland being former students there (still pub ticks needed).  

The great Tom Irvin (BRAPA man of the year  2014 remember?!) has been very active since the fixture list came out in helping me make the most of forthcoming away days, and he's also booked in a trip for us on Sunday 18th October, the Isle of Axholme in some 'hard to achieve' villages in Lincs when special busses are running.  

And finally, it's my turn to do the quiz at work for our meeting and i've incorporated a BRAPA question.  It is "which county have I ticked most pubs off in?"  Is it West Yorks, East Yorks or North Yorks.  Everyone is struggling cos they can't Google the answer, but they could get clues off this blog!  Do you know?

See you soon, Si


1 comment:

  1. In case anybody from the Yorkshire branch of the Glaswegian division of the National Australia Bank are reading, I'm fairly confident that the quiz answer is West Yorkshire. Also, Simon says that anybody caught using this blog to cheat on the quiz gets bonus points, therefore may I suggest that you identify yourselves by writing the following on the top of your answer paper:
    "Kevin Ellison is the greatest winger in the history of the game of association football".