You’ve got to love Lichfield. Michael Fabricant, he of the flowing Heseltine style locks, has long been an advocate of making it the entertainment capital of Staffordshire.
Despite strong competition from the likes of Leek, Cheadle, Tamworth and Burslem, the city of Lichfield and its Cathedral certainly offers a decent night out.
And of course, even though Tamworth Mark will beg to differ, Lich Vegas is regarded as rather pukka. Definitely more highbrow than Burton and Tamworth (with the exception of Glascote) but probably not quite as highbrow as the Royal Borough of Sutton Coldfield.
However, Lichfield is a city and any city definitely has its underbelly of estates, which aren’t quite as salubrious as the estate agents would have us believe.
Paul WME is the man for estate style boozers these days and once he had given his seal of approval to the 627 – Dr Johnson WS13 6TS pub in the Netherstowe region of Lichfield I knew I had struck gold.
I’d forgotten quite how Brummie/Black Country Lichfield actually is and it is ostensibly a Birmingham overspill like Redditch, Tamworth and Chelsmley Wood (in no particular order).
A quick visit to Tesco Express next door just beforehand confirmed its credentials as a bloke behind me said “F*****g d**k head kid” rather loudly as a lad argued over the meal deal and went to fetch a bacon and chicken wrap and left the queue hanging.
The pub itself is everything you would want from an estate boozer and the Lichfield social club over the road looked even more like an Alan Winfieldesque style place than Dr Johnson.
Built in the 1960’s this place celebrates one of Lichfield’s most famous sons and is a great two roomer with a beer patio out the front to look at the passing traffic.
The lounge was full but I managed to get a seat one of the bench seats in the bar and listened to the Brummie accents flowing from the barmaid “do you need serving bab?” to the lads necking their Carling and Guinness.
Conversation was centred around an upcoming white collar boxing match featuring one of the locals and bets were roughly 50/50 on his success rate. Conversation was on the merits of various Brum suburbs and this felt like a Coleshill/Olton/Sheldon style boozer rather than a pub in Staffordshire.
Another one of the lads had been on the lash in Brum last night and was on a ‘hair of the dog’ mission at just after 1pm whilst love’s young dream was sitting the corner quietly on their phones.
There were pictures of a Dr Johnson football team and Sky Sports was on the bar so I reckon this is the place where most of the Netherstowe estate come for pint or some ‘no nonsense grub.’
The Pedigree (Marston’s) was absolute nectar even though I appeared to be the only geezer drinking it and this was definitely a boozer in the category of ‘not for the faint hearted.’ I reckon it was warming up for a lively Sunday in the sun as the lads in the bar were settling in for a proper session.
Estate pubs, even got a bit of Bass livery – what’s not to like?