I love it when England actually win at sport and it is arguably a bigger boost for the pub industry than anything else. Having watched Jack Leach and Moeen Ali rip through Sri Lanka like Emburey and Edmonds in their pomp I managed to factor in a visit to a boozer to watch the UEFA Nations ‘winner takes all clash’ against Croatia.
It’s easy to knock UEFA as most, if not all of their ideas are driven purely by finance. However, the Nations League has proved to be a winner, as it has put paid to streams of meaningless friendlies.
And the pub industry will be delighted to see that for at least one weekend in June next summer, as well as The Ashes, they will get a chance to show England in the inaugural Nations League semi-final in Portugal.
That’s after Harry Kane bagged a winner which would have delighted the clientele in 309 – Kingsway Hotel DE22 4AF on the Mackworth estate in Derby.
It’s a big sprawl of housing on the outskirts of the city centre and has a modern shopping precinct…
…but this is a boozer that would have met with approval from the king of estate booze blogging – the late great Alan Winfield.
I even had a pint of John Smith’s Smooth which I really enjoyed but I reckon Alan would have lamented for not being cask and described it as an as an ‘OK pint!’
(Branded craft/keg pint glasses)
Mackworth was built up during the fifties and is, ostensibly, a big housing estate, which has had a few tweaks over the years.
Pubs on housing estates are arguably the most ‘at risk’ in the modern world but there are still some good pub companies out there giving it a go and one of them, Pub People, is running this place.
Colston Crawford, the man who has forgotten more about pubs in Derby than most people know… here is his recent article on a shut Sam Smith’s boozer in Derby…
…and he said this was a company that appeared to care about ‘proper’ boozers.
It was as you’d imagine inside with lots of bench seating a dartboard, pool table and two screens showing Sky Sports.
I liked it because it wasn’t just full of old blokes and there were women and younger lads there too including a couple of blokes who were absolutely buzzing and manic.
However, they left just before kick-off and three blokes came and sat about two yards away from me and looked at the screen behind me whilst I looked at the screen opposite!
(three blokes appeared here!)
Who needs Micropubs when you’ve got an atmosphere like that and conversation ranged from Croatia taking umbrage at “Football’s Coming Home” to Mason Mount being the next England central midfielder and Derby beating Blues but losing against Villa!
The gaffer looked like a man who wouldn’t stand for any nonsense and there was a really good vibe in the place and plenty of laughter/stories flying about. I love pubs like this and The Kingsway is a classic of its type…
Kids’ party commitments meant I could only make the first half in the pub but, anyone who says sports aren’t welcome in pubs, doesn’t really know what they are all about.
Oh yes, I should mention of course to satisfy my one rugby reader, England also beat Japan this weekend to make it a hat-trick of successes.
England actually look like they can beat top ranked nations at football now so hopefully The Kingsway will enjoy a few more cricket/football nights where the locals have a pint and keep this boozer buzzing.