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Showing posts from July, 2018

Last Train to Coalville....

A rare visit to the East Midlands, taking in some great pubs, a bit of history, and some football....

I had been interested in going to Leicester ever since the skeleton of Richard III was found in a car park there a few years ago and a museum subsequently established, even though, particularly in this part of the world, there is an overwhelming view that as the last king from the House of York, his remains should have ended up here in Yorkshire rather than there. I had checked the Beer Guide and discovered that Leicester has a large number of pubs, and then I saw that Halifax Town had arranged a friendly with nearby Coalville Town as part of the deal that saw long time club stalwart Scott McManus leave the club after 8 years for a club near to where he lives, and so everything fell into place.

So last Friday, I headed off down the M1 to the East Midlands. It was drizzling, and the journey was a typical Friday afternoon stop-start affair. After around 2 hours 40, l arrived in Leiceste…

From The Borders to The Sea....

Part 2 of my latest trip to the North East. This time it's a foray into the Scottish Borders, plus some delights back in Northumberland....

I never get tired of the view of Bamburgh Castle. Whichever angle you see it from, it is a stunning sight, a constant whatever is changing in the world around it. For the second year in succession, I was staying in the village, at the Victoria Hotel. Beer choice in the village is a bit restricted, although I enjoyed Anarchy Blonde Star at the Lord Crewe, Foxy Blonde from Born in the Borders at the Castle, and tolerated a pint of Alnwick Village Bike at the Victoria itself. Bamburgh, though, is a pleasant village, and only a few minutes walk from the sprawling strand where there is always plenty of space for a wander, a paddle, or simply to look out across the sea to the Farne Islands.

It makes for a good base, and I decided to head north towards the Scottish borders. My original plan was to check out the visitor centre for the afore-mentioned …

The Delaval is in The Detail....

Big skies, open roads, and some cracking pubs; a few days roaming from the Tyne to the Scottish Borders. First up, Newcastle and then the Northumbrian Coastal Route to Bamburgh....

The sun was shining as I headed north. No change there, then, as it has been doing just that for virtually all the past few weeks. First port of call was a stop off for a lovely catch-up with my daughter and her fella and youngest grand-daughter in Washington, then it was on to Newcastle for an overnight stop.

I got checked in to the hotel, then the priority was to find a pub which was likely to be showing the World Cup Final, hopefully with some decent beer on. I decided to chance the GBG-listed New Bridge in Manors, which looked about a 10 minute walk from the Premier Inn. I found it easily enough, and despite the fact that there were 3 screens showing the game, it was pretty quiet, with only a few groups and individuals dotted about. On the bar were 4 hand pumps, from which I selected the Anarchy Citra S…

Travelling Home...

Whilst it won't now be coming home for a minimum 4 years, the World Cup has had a massive impact on the country over the past few weeks. And its pubs. Here are my thoughts, plus a spotlight on the pub where I have watched most of the England games....

I have to admit I have not enjoyed watching the England football team in recent years. Too much hype, too many disappointments, the odd dodgy manager in charge not helping the cause as I wrote here back in 2016. But credit to the FA, who I criticised heavily in that piece, they managed to come up with what is now proving to be an inspired decision when they appointed the Under 21 manager, Gareth Southgate, to the job following Sam Allardyce's short and ill-fated reign less than 2 years ago.

With relatively low expectations, a kinder-than-usual press, and a fresh approach with an exciting brand of attacking football, the waistcoat-wearing Southgate has managed to galvanise the national team, bringing in many of his former charges …

A Lurk in the Irk Valley....

It has been Manchester Beer Week this week, and my visit last weekend took in a couple of breweries in a hitherto rundown part of the city....
Manchester Beer Week for me started after I had left work on Friday night. The annual Beer Festival was taking place at the Stalybridge Buffet Bar, handily situated a mile and a half from work. I enjoyed a half of Beach House from Rivington, followed by Pale from current favourites Pomona Island. I couldn't try more due to my mode of transport, but Phil, the amiable bar-cellarman,  kindly gave me his copy of the beer list, which featured some marvels, mainly from Greater Manchester, on both cask and keg that were due on over the weekend. An excellent start for me, and I am sure a good time was had by all who visited the Buffet Bar over the weekend.
Saturday came, sunny once again, and I was back in Manchester for the second week in succession, having caught up with some old friends the first time for a tour around some of the city's fin…