Wednesday, 12 October 2016

BRAPA - Returning to the South of Sheffield

What felt like my five billionth trip to Sheffield on a Tuesday night in 2016 proved a classic, but didn't start out too comfortably.

Convinced I was coming down with a lurgie on the eve of my trip to Melbourne, I drank this horrific Green Tea & Peach restorative pink thing on the train in one gulp, only to feel like my insides were about to take leave of themselves before we'd even passed Meadow-hell.  The train conductor then charged me a £2.10 excess, though probably not for this reason, so I hid in Sheffield Tap to recover for 5 minutes, ditching the bottle in the process.

I could have walked to Heeley at less than two miles away but I'd bought a PlusBus ticket and didn't want to waste any more money, besides walking past Bramall Lane always makes me come out in a rash.  After traffic jam mayhem, I jumped off the number 25.

Green tiled exterior indicated 'my type of pub'.
922.  White Lion, Heeley, Sheffield

Me and Tom tried to come here in Aug 2015 only to find it closed 1:30pm on a Sunday (we'd already gone in the RED Lion by mistake which seemed awful and we even both thought "is this really a GBG pub?")  So I felt like the White Lion owed me.  Well, walking in through a narrow corridor was a good start, it was like the best of 'Liverpool Heritage' from Saturday had been carried into Tuesday.  I ordered a strange strong white stout called "Roobarb and Custard" which seemed to earn me some respect from barmaid and the two locals "good choice!", but in particular, a dog which started jumping up and clawing me.  "He's nosey, don't mind 'im" I was told, as it edged my bag to one side and bit my arse.  I sat in the front bar and listened to rumours that the dog had been pacified with gin in the water bowl.  Was this true?  Well, it might have explained why, by the time I left, it was slumped disconsolately on the floor sobbing "why doesn't anyone love me?"  Sort of.  It was one of those pubs where you could just feel occupied gazing wide-eyed at the interior, and it's many nooks and crannies (I think a band came in with their equipment to set up a gig but no idea where they actually disappeared to).  But I couldn't help feel the pub lacked a bit of warmth and wholesome charm, something along the Hoyland/Hoylandswaine lines of interaction/pub banter.  Instead, the best I heard was "oooh I've just had a bowl of sweet potato and coconut soup".  "Oooh, that is unusual.  Soup must be hot"  "Not when it's gespatcho" "Haha, so true haha".  Utterly appalling.  It was time to leave.

Forcing down a very alcoholic Roobarb & Custard.

View into the corridor

The front bar
923.  Brothers Arms, Heeley, Sheffield

Initially confused by the huge Olde Shakespeare signs, I realised the pub must've had a recent name change when i saw a few 'flappy' (not a technical term) signs hanging off the pub (some tenuous link to the local ukelele band being called the Everly Pregnant Brothers from what the GBG says).  It had the homeliness, warmth and good atmosphere I'd been craving earlier.  Two young bar chaps were genuinely friendly, happy to let me take my time and NOT look at the blackboard (I'd rather look at the pumps).  Ok, so the one who served me had a weird curly back hair bit which I'd love to have taken a pair of scissors to, but you can't have it all.  I was probably lucky to find a recently vacated table in the lounge, complete with much needed wood burner as the rest of the pub was a bit sporty and/or sparse.  But this was where the action was, and three friendly young metaller dudes nodded at me, a sinister Sheffield version of Jack the Ripper appeared (he was disappointingly normal looking beneath hat and leather bag.  Obvious serial killer).  A silent man next to me plying his Thai bride with Scotch whisky suddenly burst into life and asked the bewildered barmen what the gossip was.  "It is a Tuesday, you should know by now the gossip happens on a Sunday!" was the reply.  Though they then contradicted themselves with a confused tale of a man crashing his car into the pub earlier on.  "He went unconscious for about a minute which is serious, so they say".  In unison, the room then slagged off the forthcoming Oktoberfest.  "We've got no German bands on, no umpapa music, I'm certainly not dressing in Lederhosen, I don't see the point of it!" With my superb pint under the gaze of the strange man now asking about my portable charger, and some nice old posters of British holiday resorts like Bridlington and Filey, I almost stayed for another!

Ye Olde Shakespeare Inn - whattttt? 

Sketchy evidence it is the Brothers Arms

Woodburning fun in the lounge area.

Friendly barstaff preside over great ales and fancy pub snacks

The Sheffield Ripper (don't call me Ched) pops in for a pint.
I just got to the bus stop in time to extend a weary arm and had enough time to pop back into Sheffield Tap for a swift half, though I had to stand dangerously close to the ladies toilets and in the gents in the intervening 2 or 3 hours, my empty drink bottle from earlier was still on the sink,  Someone needs a Wetherpsoons style cleaning wallchart, I think!

They probably thought it was a fancy soap in truth.

Corridor drinking, sorry ladies, piss away, don't mind me.
I got back to York direct which was a nice boost with no further drama, after last week's farce, and wasn't too late home.

And there you have it, my last BRAPA ticks pre-Australia.  I'm off to research some real ale bars in Melbourne and I'd like to say I'll be back on Tue 25th for another trip to the outskirts of Sheffield, though jet-lag may play a part so we'll see.

Bon voyage ya flamin' galahs,  Soi






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