You left me in arguably Tamworth’s ‘least well known hamlet containing a pub’ – potential for a TV series perhaps…but it’s time to head up the M42 and clear some of my inbox.
(proper Nottingham grub – it’s a cob Martin, not a bap)
Reading Pete Allen’s mammoth Booze Cruise in the East Midlands, reminded me I did have one day out over the summer holidays when I headed towards Nottingham.
Considering I am based in Derbyshire, I haven’t actually visited that many Nottingham boozers (34 out of 665 to be precise) so this clearly needed redressing as I am about 1,478 behind the late great Alan Winfield (that’s the optimistic total – I reckon it’s probably closer to 10,000).
Alan was always more of an estate/backstreet hostelry kind of guy but he was never one to avoid any pub so the centre of Nottingham was my destination with plenty of rich pickings.
My last visit into the centre was for a civilised head wetting session at Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem and I am pleased to report that a Thursday in late July saw the city centre vibrant and buzzing.
I’ve been to Derby since lockdown and have to say the city centre hasn’t quite recovered in terms of footfall as of yet but Nottingham was heaving…but what of the pubs I hear you cry as only Mrs BB reads this (sporadically) for the city centre shopping news.
666 – Fellows Morton & Clayton Ltd NG1 7EH is in fine form as I think it closed for a while (ask Mudgie, he’ll know) but it’s pretty close to the train station on Canal Street and is such a top notch building that it’s hard to miss.
Live sport is on and whilst the place was fairly quiet at just after midday the Ghost Ship (Adnams) was in decent order and they were happy for me to plug my phone in whilst watching the sport and reading a paper.
Lots of options in this part of the city but I’ve always liked FM&C and I hope that city centre buzz reaches this place once again.
A short stroll took me towards the first Castle Rock pub of the day and the 667 – Kean’s Head NG1 1QA, which is in the shadow of the glorious St. Mary’s Church and named after the 19th century actor Edmund Kean
I’ve been here before in the post 5pm slot and it is often rammed with office workers, locals and pretty much all and sundry.
It has a humongous selection of beers, whiskies and gins on as well as a barman who likes Jefferson Airplane.
I strolled in and heard some long guitar solo and he paused for a minute to discuss the playlist on Spotify before pouring me a pint from a brewery that never disappoints.
Black Iris (Let The Devil In) was excellent and I pretty much had the run of the place – still no CAMRA mags to read as of yet – although there were a couple who looked like they had been there since opening.
(Evidence of punters!)
They were in a fairly intense conversation, peppered with an abundance of F****, only stopping to neck their lager occasionally.
It’s a proper pub with tiling, bench seating and a good ‘feel’ to it that you can’t out your finger on.
The barman continued with his Spotify trawl through seventies rock and it was time to move on and take in the sights of a pub that I expected Bill Kenwright to leap out of at any moment and shout “Theatre impresario.”
668 -The Lord Roberts NG1 3AN is theatre themed and with music from the shows on the playlist and its Art Deco cinema style appearance, this place stands proud in the Lace Market area of town.
Like every pub in Nottingham centre it had cask on the agenda. My first pint of Farmers Blonde (Bradfield) didn’t taste quite right…
and the Gaffer came out and pulled through a couple more and then served up a top class pint, and that’s the sort of service you’ve got to like.
No quibbling, sorted out the problem and served up a very good pint of Farmers Blonde, which the gaffer reckoned was selling well.
A tidy, proper pub with lots of theatre style artefacts
and it knows its market, although there were only another couple of punters in there aside from me.
So…three very decent pubs in Nottingham city centre early on a Thursday afternoon, but probably only around 10 punters aside from me.
I can see why pubs don’t open at midday at present but, hopefully, the daytime/evening drinkers market will return and these places will once again be packed with punters.
Nonetheless, the day was just warming up and there were a few more boozers to tick off and time to move on…