With Birmingham’s nine point deduction still fresh in the memory I decided to take myself away from Sky Sports on a Saturday afternoon and check in to a new boozer with no distractions.
370 – The Creaky Floorboard DE22 1FT is a recent addition to the Derby pub scene as it’s only been open for three months and is next door to the long standing Jonty Farmer in the West End area of the city near to the University.
However, for all London readers of this blog, don’t mistake Derby’s West End for the bright lights of the capital city as, whilst it has Markeaton Park, it’s pretty much chalk and cheese.
This new boozer though is fairly understated, as it’s ostensibly someone’s house (it used to be Guest House) and the bloke who lives next door was washing his car and looked delighted that he now has a second boozer within thirty yards of his Victorian property.
However, it does mean he’s got more opportunities to have a pint and the Kedleston Road has some impressive architecture and this boozer fits in with that vibe perfectly.
Its two front rooms (living room and lounge) have been converted and one was full with standing room only at around 2.30 on Saturday so I headed off to the second room.
Whilst I enjoy an estate boozer on this blog never let it be said I don’t try and raise the bar occasionally (purely for Russ’ benefit) and I walked into the ‘Paradox Sketches Tour.’
I had no idea this was on, of course, but a bloke (I have subsequently discovered is Andy Smithyman) was holding court and describing his book and its Dickensian elements to a chilled out group.
I’m sure this is fairly mainstream in London but it’s a rarity in Derby and I have to say it was a fantastic half an hour as he read the opening chapter and gave a bit of background about the book.
According to the blurb on his website “This Fiction Social Thriller is a re-imagination of ‘A Christmas Carol’ set between the present day and Victorian Britain. Drawing upon how Dickens blended social commentary with fictional creativity, Paradox refocuses attention onto an inspiring movement of redemptive change happening all around us. But with a twist”
I was welcomed in to listen and you could have heard a pin drop, which was also amusing as a bloke and his partner came in and his phone kept going off, she was tutting at him, so they moved back into the other room!
The other bar was far more raucous with good beer and pork pies on display. My pint of Ignite (Hartshorns) was excellent and this place is a real hidden gem.
The Paradox Sketches got a round of applause, I left and the contrast between the two rooms was stark but sums up pub life in a nutshell.
Expect the unexpected. Go with the flow. Enjoy life. Well worth a visit.