A broken down train on the York-Leeds line meant it was an achievement to be in Dewsbury's magnificent West Riding Refreshment Rooms before the 12 noon starting point, a pint of lavender flavoured beer was not the best opening choice, far too flowery. A short taxi ride followed and we were soon at our first 'tick' of the day.
676 - Savile Arms, Thornhill - And what a little cracker it was. It had that fantastic old pub smell that you can't replicate in any other surroundings, a lovely low beamed ceiling and traditional decor. It may have been Marston's tied as Boondoggle and Hobgoblin were about the only ales on, but we could really picture drinking in here in front of the fire on a dark, windswept November night. As it was, a potentially summer's day (we've been starved of them this year) meant we sat outside despite an ominous dark cloud on benches at the front of the pub. A local woman was asking the landlord if he could keep the beer a bit less well to stop her husband drinking so much, he told her in no uncertain terms that beer quality was everything. It was a bit like being in a CAMRA advert! The landlord further increased his stock by bringing us all out a piece of warm pork pie. Delicious. A man with a ladder was then seen running down the street in the direction of the pub - but he claimed he was the window cleaner and not a burglar. Our taxi had arrived, it was time to move on.
|Rich & Jason arriving at the lovely Savile Arms|
677 - Boons Horbury - Horbury seemed a nice little place, a market town feel but probably not big enough to be classed a town. The name 'Boons' made me realise this was a 'Clark's of Wakefield' pub, but I was pleased to see quite a strong range of other ales - not that I hate Clark's, just not my favourite. Being the 'real ale aficionado', Richard made me choose for all of us - I joked about the burden this put on me, and whilst the young ginger barmaid threatened to be friendly, she never quite was engaging enough. The bar was circular and the toilets and garden were very well hidden - we sat by the big front windows whilst Jason's first smoking session of the day (he's NOT an angry man, just exasperated by Richard!) wafted in through the window. Although this felt like a more modern pub, it did at least feel like a 'pub' and there was a good mix of people, young n old, men and women.
|Me about to sample the delights of Boons|
|Richard looks excitable as we approach the Cricketers.|
|Video of Jason's socks outside the Old Vic - as Richard was on the wrong setting|
|Me and Rich celebrating some great pub action in Ossett|
681 - Reindeer, Overton - This was our most rural pub of the day as you can probably imagine, but only a slight hint of 'American Werewolf in London' as us three entered and deliberated over plenty of ales from the Cap House brewery, a new one on me but good quality West Yorks fayre nontheless. It was like the day had come full circle, as grey clouds were circling as we took our pints outside through a conservatory, and hey presto, a proper beer garden with grass, overlooking beautiful scenery and errm, the coal mining museum. I was a bit worse for wear by this stage so my memories are a bit hazy but if I hadn't had company, I'd probably have been falling asleep in this peaceful setting. Can't see why this pub had been so criticised in the last place, though I may not have been at my most discerning, I'd still recommend it to anyone reading.
|Can you tell we were quite a few pints in by this stage?|
After a final (unwise) drink back at the WRRR, I (finally) got my train - delays and standing on the wrong platform didn't help, got a MaccyD's in Leeds and was back in York for a bit of food shopping and a nap before the England Women's World Cup win (congrats ladies!), 3am when I finally got to bed having caught up on my Twitter, Instgram and Untappd check-ins being a social media whore.
Coming Soon .....
There's nothing like striking while the iron is hot, so Tuesday sees our final trip of June, a train ride to Hebden Bridge for my final 'tick' there with Mirfield/Sowerby Bridge potential but I'll probably not do both. However, 20 pubs for the month so far was less than I was hoping for June so I'll have to see if this influences me.
And then we move in to July .... a great month in prospect with more social BRAPA outings - more on this when I review Tuesday's West Yorks night.
Happy pubbing, Si