There are far too many brackets in that title but I am struggling for inspiration here because Pub Bloggers Rule #37 decrees you must post on pubs you’ve had an alcoholic drink in.
However, the only slight drawback with that is when not a fat lot happens in a boozer that is fairly non-descript. The sort of place that even Alistair Campbell would struggle to spin a line out of.
But, Catherine de Barnes has made it onto the coveted ‘Midlands villages that sound like people’ list alongside the likes of Clifford Chambers, Kirk Hallam and Kirk Ireton, as officially declared by this blog here
It’s a small village between Solihull and Hampton In Arden with houses a newsagents, pub and, bizarrely, a restaurant. It is also home to Catney Cricket Club of the Cotswold Hills League, whose ground is accessed next to the only boozer in the village.
337 – The Boat Inn B91 2TJ is on the busy Hampton Road into Solihull and has been there as long as I care to remember.
(marked just by Elmdon Heath on the map)
As well as being a pub that must have been visited by Pete due to its proximity to the Grand Union canal it was traditionally used by navvies who helped build the canal in the 1800s.
It is now part of the Chef & Brewer chain, which is mostly food led but can still have some decent pubs in its stable…
…I was there at around 5.30 on a Monday with a couple of grumpy kids (my own, I hasten to add) so, in The Boat’s defence, I was always up against it.
There is a tiny bar area, which had some comedy value as three lads were there comparing notes about how off their heads they were on booze on New Year’s Eve…
…whilst there were another party of three also drinking.
Other people were dotted around the food area using the Wi-Fi and drinking/eating and it was a middle of the road boozer that was far less ‘pubby’ than I ever remember.
However, any open pub should be applauded these days and this village doesn’t have a huge population so relies on plenty of passing trade from the NEC and Solihull, therefore leading on food is a must.
(a forlorn looking Xmas tree)
I initially asked for the IPA (Greene King) but that had just gone so I had a very respectable half of Gold Star (Silhill).
I won’t be rushing back here but it does what it says on the tin and I reckon a trip beforehand to Catney CC in the summer followed by a visit to The Boat would be far more appealing…one for Duncan to combine!