Sunday, 31 July 2016

BRAPA - West Bridgford

Elsie Mo goes all 21st Century on us.
The annual "Welly Summer Day Out" (organised for us Hull City fans who used to frequent Hull's brilliant but now defunct Wellington pub) was down to three attendeees, the usual BRAPA trio of me, Dad and Tom, as we set out for West Bridgford on a sunny Saturday morning.

Like some bloody woman, I was 'wearing in' new red shoes in readiness for the Blackpool Punk Festival, so with blisters aplenty, I ditched the 'wearing in' long walk in favour of  a short bus ride to West Bridgford, a bustling little republic, totally separate from evil Nottingham scum (am sure that's what the locals would say) and we found our 9:30am opener doing good early trade.....

984.  Poppy & Pint, West Bridgford

A former British legion club that actually let me in, that was a novelty, eff off Penistone!  Sadly, it felt more like a ski chalet than a rugged men's club, all bare boarded and modern, keen eager young staff unable to comprehend someone might want to order a 10:30am pint without a breakfast.  It was all very Castle Rock (even if I did have a Wadworth beer first, then a brilliant Harvest Pale - a beer that  tastes awful in York these days) but I noticed Dad scowling, he could hear screaming kids dominating the pub!  But rather than walk to the furthest point away from them, he chose to sat in a strange 'no smoking' half uncovered outdoors area overlooking a bowling green.  The Twilds in question (twin twats), were playing hide & seek with a trendy beardie Dad who insisted on emphasising things like "oooh, where have those naughty little rascals gone?" and generally making a prat of himself.  As hiding on the main road wasn't an option, they ended up in our seating area.  Pub kids has been a recent common theme, like Pub Curmudgeon's excellent blog  has unwittingly unleashed a vortex of child shit-baggery on the universe.  Their eventual departure coincided with Tom's arrival (as though Tom was Richard III and they were the Princes in the Tower) and we concluded that whilst this place suffered from not being particularly pubby, there are worse places to enjoy a (now kid-free) pint.

First pint of the day (a "bitter", not a "pale")

Inside shot gives a slight clue to the shortcomings

Nice pint overlooking the bowling green.

Poppy & Pint admits it has a child problem.

985.  Stratford Haven, West Bridgford

After a short walk, we were at another Castle Rock pub, where I ordered a pint of Andy Turner, which sounded wrong, but he's some Olympian blah blah zzzzz, which somehow led me to encourage Dad to unleash his fake Olympic past, a task he took to a bit too eagerly but the young barman looked impressed anyway.  Andy Turner sounds like the centre back Hull City never had, and led us to a nice little quiz (Dad wanted to sit outside due to man-flu) where the conclusion was that Jozy Altidore is perhaps the worst striker the world has ever seen.  This was a much more proper pub, despite the obvious signs of a sympathetic Castle Rock makeover, and all the men were old smokers called Harold.  An over excitable dog (due to being owned by an over excitable female) took exception to one old man in the smoking area, it absolutely hated him - and don't you love it when dogs react like this and you see the other customers looking at the subject of the dog's wrath with suspicion as if thinking "this guy is probably a paedo"?  In another politically incorrect twist, I asked Dad what pint he wanted.  His reply "I think I'll have a go at the darkie next", reverberating around the pub garden, sounded bad, but really he just wanted to try the superb Titanic Cherry Dark.  And that really summed up the whole pub, and yes, I'd recommend it fully.

Approaching the Stratford Haven

Asking "Can I have a pint of Andy Turner?" just felt wrong
It was football time, sadly the safety certificate issue had been sorted out, and we were allowed in, at the extortionate price of £15 having had to get a ticket and then go to the turnstiles in one of the least common sense football moves ever.  It was a good game (for 45 mins), nice Allam Out chants, and our beleaguered players did what we always do and won at the City Ground.

Post match celebration at a Nottingham favourite of mine, the VAT & Fiddle.  Arguably not quite as good a pub since the cat died, Dad accidentally ordered 3 bowls of Carry On Soup (Carrot and Coriander was what he meant to say) and pints of Brian Clough and Red Riding Hood finished me off nicely.

Love this pub!

Cloughie is a Bootboy!

The end of a happy day in Notts
I might be back on Tuesday for some South Yorkshire fun, it depends how organised I am for Blackpool, but I'll be back tomorrow night anyway for the month end review.  Stay tuned folks.



  1. A beautifully judged dismissal of that Olympics nonsense, which will also play well with your Soviet fanbase.

    This is one of your very best (and shorter) posts. I particularly like the revelation that football administrators have no common sense, and that a £15 friendly can be a "Good game".

    My Dad made a similar unintended error of speech on the train through Vauxhall once Simon, don't fret too long.

    Glad you found a good pint of Harvest Pale.

    1. I never thought of the whole Soviet thing, but I hope they know I stand with them on the "cannot get excited" Olympic viewpoint. So many page views recently, love those guys.

      Shorter posts? Is this the future? Probably not!

  2. Rereading the sign, I note that playing hide and seek with a child, in addition to breaking just about every piece of pub etiquette going, is against the rules as carers of children are required to be with their brat at all times. However, even accounting for that I think you were very harsh in not helping the child to hide in, say, the nearby canal as from what you say they were clearly incompetent.

    I have to say that, having read the "pub" website beforehand as a navigational aid (don't do buses), I was pleasantly surprised as I had half expected a complete foody toss house. The apparent absence of the advertised cheesecake festival probably helped their cause.

    She doesn't get a mention, but Cassie the German shepherd was the polar opposite of the blue shirted woman's lunatic dog, exemplary behaviour for a dog visiting a pub and since the court ruling on Brian the Ossett dog in Horbury must surely be a contender for pub pet of the year.

    I thought that the Hull City attacking mindset for the first hour or so was super, it would never have happened under Bruce. Yes the players probably will struggle to compete in the top division, but they will likely go down fighting. It is just a shame they faded late on and ending up clinging on to the game. £15 at the daft ticket office beyond the turnstiles should have been £10 at the turnstiles. We're going down you know.

    1. It was the most terrible game of "hide and seek" ever! The boys gave themselves away within seconds usually. Inept tactical display.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again, "pub websites always paint the pub in a worse light than is actually the case".

      The fact that Cassie the German Shepherd has gone so quickly out of my mind puts pay to any hopes of her winning the award.

    2. I object to your statement about pub websites. The website for the Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak left me expecting a proper local pub with no ponciness. This expectation was not fulfilled.

      The fact the Cassie the German Shepherd has left your mind is possibly my point. She was receptive to human contact, but not insistent on it. She could either be easily forgettable or hugely memorable. Model behaviour.

    3. If you think the Southampton Arms is poncey then there's nothing for you in London Tom, certainly north of the stream.