I was relieved to hop on the 51 bus (considering I somehow got lost between the station and Arundel Gate) and although the whole Broomhill/Broomhall thing is too confusing for words, I found my first pub dotted amongst the takeaways and pop up supermarkets.
|It's a mucky evening in the steel city.|
The first question of course was obvious - "do people from York get their ale for free here?" Sadly, I wasn't brave enough to ask the stern business-like student girl worker, who did at least soften when she realised she should have charged me £2.50 and not £3.10. The pub was a bit of Roy Hodgson's England, it didn't really know what it was or have a distinct character. On the one hand, there were some irritating dining areas (the smell of food, especially fish, told you they take this seriously), but the main bar area was pleasingly pubby enough, but with random quirky decor including stuffed peacocks, an anvil, and hopbines hanging from the bar - something you have to be skeptical of in any pub situation. And the peacock feathers were in a jar above two people eating - appetising. The clientele was 50/50 split between locals (mainly moaning about Gareth Southgate), and students (moaning about whether England is going to cease to exist as a country). Bring a local from Atherton or Leigh to this pub, and they would most probably dissolve Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz style. I'd been conscious I was taking up a large table, so when a girl asked "can I sit here, I've got some people joining?", I told her I was finishing anyway and swigged off my last mouthful, to which she responded "was it something I said?" Well yes actually, it was. Good bye!
|Locals discuss Gareth Southgate under the hopbines.|
|A pint of Welbeck Abbey Henrietta and background peacocks|
|Random Anvil - because we are such a quirky bunch(!)|
|Roadworks and grey leaden sky - very Sheffield.|
Entering this place felt like a cross between entering a working man's club, and the veterinary surgery in Fulford, York. Whatever, it is owned by the Uni and it's a cracker. Any pub with green tiling around the bar always goes down well with me. Two smiling blonde barmaids jumped on me (not literally sadly) and I was drinking something with a stupid name by Raw Brewery, easily pint of the night. £3.40 seemed a bit steep though. A group of students followed me in, one (a large and more annoying Marcus Brigstocke) made a spectacle of himself by announcing in a flouncy way "OOOOH, Thornbridge on Keg? Controversial! I think I will start with a .... Diet Coke!" The barmaids looked like they hated him, so did his own friends, so did I, so did the trio in the corner seemingly trying to recreate a dull British version of the Big Bang Theory, their half baked political chat meant they had to be put in their place by a hairy squat American girl. Amusing clientele. Unless you stay here for too long. It was fairly busy, but then, there weren't a great deal of what I would call 'proper' seats. I hid around a corner in the main bar, think I made the right decision as the volume of the shit munchers was getting louder & more excitable as we approached 7:30pm. Great pub but you can have too much of a good thing.
|Entrance gives you an idea of the clubby/vetty nature of this place.|
|My Raw ale and a view of the bar. Nice tiling.|
|Third and final pub of the night|
In that trendy West Street/Devonshire Street area, the GBG claims this place provides a more homely atmosphere than the other bars in the area. Gadzooks! I'd hate to see how unhomely the others are then. Having forced my way through some huge glass doors, it took me ages to get served as the trendy staff were twatting around shaking cocktails for their mates. When I did get a pint, it was the warmest beer I've had since Tap on the Line in Kew. I think "liquefied human organ" is the phrase I used. I was probably the first person to have a cask ale all day judging by the posers and drunk middle aged females who made up the clientele. Still £2.50 a pint was nice surprise. And the beers had those "tasting notes" chalked in front of the pumpclip. These were the laziest tasting notes I have ever witnessed with such gems as "it does what it says on the tin" and "sessionable and pale" (the latter on a beer called something like pale session ale). The non serving staff, in their defence, were smiley, friendly and helpful, and when I got lost coming back from the loos, a nice young chap told me an old man once was convinced he'd come out of the loo and gone back into a different pub! Chance would be a fine thing. Talking of the loos, the kitchens might be down there, as there was an amazing smell, a heady concoction of garlic and hipster piss.
|Lazy tasting notes .... always wondered what Raven's taste like ... oh, you mean Milk Stout!|
|Picturesque back bar. Warm beer.|
|"Poser" tables abound, as do cocktail drinkers, but I want beer!|
1. Stagger into pub.
2. Get gin
3. Drink gin
4. Get pissed
5. Go to work but try and avoid Jack the Ripper
Sounds simple enough to me.
The journey back seemed easier than last week even though I had to change at Leeds this time. I will be back next week for my final Kelham Island tick, combined with something North of centre.