You left me watching mobility scooters, Colin West basketball vests and contemplating plant feeding in an edge of town local on the Derby Road in Long Eaton.
However, I was due to meet my mate – big John – in Birmingham on Friday as we attempted a version of the No 11 Ale Trail.
All of which meant a bit of train and bus travel to get to the starting point of Acocks Green in Brum and I landed around 11am in the Mecca.
What struck me was that it seemed like a Ghost Town. Jerry, Terry, Nev and the boys could have been singing about Grand Central and the city at large as it didn’t seem to be anywhere near the levels of footfall I’d except in Brum on a sunny Friday morning.
If people don’t start returning to cities then it won’t be long before others follow John Lewis in leaving the Second City.
It did mean I could get some uninterrupted pictures of the gleaming new New Street and the classic old school Moor Street Station.
Selfridges looked as iconic as ever but will we think it’s Madin Brutalist in years to come…?
Just in case you think this has turned into the Alan Whicker travel blog then rest assured I had my sights on Brum’s fifth best known Wetherspoons.
(spot the pubs…an ever more difficult game)
Everyone knows The Square Peg and The Figure of Eight on Broad Street whilst renowned Brummie troublemaker Pete Allen (not true but makes a good story) has made The Soloman Cutler famous after his bar room brawl there last week – read it here!
That leaves us with number four – The Briar Rose, which is in a clutch of pubs at the bottom of Bennetts Hill, and the last one is the lesser known 575 – The Dragon Inn B5 4TD
It’s opposite The Hippodrome
in the increasingly less grand Arcadian complex, and often looks dark and dingy from the outside compared to The Green Room (now shut – a casualty of covid) and the historic Sly Old Fox as pre/post drinks at the theatre, but was gleaming today.
Nonetheless, this place was clean and full of Hi viz jackets having breakfast, couple drinking and lads tucking into a few…usual Wetherspoons fare and great to see.
There was definite signs of life here and even though it had a downstairs toilet (unheard of in spoons) and John Smiths, Carling and Thatchers appeared to be the best sellers at about 11.15.
I plumped for a half of Abbott Ale (Greene King) and nearly fell over when I thought she said £4!
However, it must have been lost in translation as she confirmed it was actually £1 for a half of what I have to say was top notch beer.
“£4! That’s London prices,” she confirmed and I was warming to this place. Having watched a bloke struggle on the Fruit machine I decided to take in some rays and sat in the beer garden and listened to some chilled early morning conversations.
Pub number 20 since I’ve returned to blogging and here is the list covering Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.
From The Milking Parlour to this little gem, the quality of beer (99% of the time), banter and cleanliness has been terrific.
I reckon the Green Room’s untimely demise could mean a lot more trade for the Spoons and it looks poised to lift its status in the ‘best known spoons in Brum.’
The day was young and a good start…