Weekly round-up

A week in pubs: w/c 5 April 2010

Pub visits this week: 6

Get to the pub.com’s weekly round-up is dedicated today to Kevin McDonald of Burnley Football Club. Substituted at half time recently with his team losing 5-0, after a quick shower Kevin left the stadium to get to the pub. For simply responding to his situation as any reasonable person would, poor Kevin has since been fined and forced to apologise. To whom, and exactly why, we can only speculate, but next time you raise a glass think of Kevin McDonald ‒ denied the freedoms that you and I take for granted every week.

The Brown Bear, Norfolk Street, Sheffield. Today Cara and I are off to watch Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world, play a home game against Glapwell. There’s half an hour before the bus so we duck into the Brown Bear for an appetiser.

The Brown Bear is a Sam Smith’s pub. It’s great going to Sam Smith’s pubs in London because they feel like proper pubs and charge very reasonable prices. Outside the capital Sam Smith’s pubs have a different meaning, and the very reasonable prices mean they are often populated by folk who might euphemistically be described as ‘earthy’. Another fitting word for the clientele here is ‘bibulous’: every table is taken and it’s only 1pm. But it’s also worth restating the point that, however you look and sound, you’re far less likely to run into trouble at the Brown Bear than at any of the vertical drinking establishments in Sheffield’s townie quarter around the corner on West Street.

Coach and Horses, Sheffield Road, Dronfield, Derbys. For reasons you won’t want to know if you have any kind of life at all, Sheffield’s ground isn’t in Sheffield: it’s in Dronfield, about five miles away. The Coach and Horses is the pub at the ground. We have a couple of drinks before the game, one at half time, and another after it’s finished while we wait for the bus back into town. It’s just as well that the walk between the bar and our spot on the terraces takes around 25 seconds.

Rutland Arms, Brown Street, Sheffield (featured here). For reasons that elude me now, but which may not be unconnected with the several pints of Thornbridge’s irresistible Martius premium bitter (abv 5.2%) I’ve taken on board, we end the afternoon in the Rutland. For reasons etc etc, I can’t remember that much about it now. Sorry. The photograph above has been officially valued at 1,000 semantic currency units.

University Arms, Brook Hill, Sheffield. The first beer garden day of the year! It’s easily the warmest day of 2010 so far ‒ it feels like a mild summer day rather than a bright spring one ‒ and the Uni Arms is blessed with a well-sized and decidedly pretty green space out the back. Dan and I are unwinding in late afternoon after the strenuous and dehydrating job of putting up gig posters in town. I get talking to a quietly radiant musician called Rachel who gives me a card so I can listen to her stuff online. Unfortunately the Myspace player doesn’t work on either of my two computers, so I can’t, but here’s a link to her band and here’s one for her solo stuff, so you can if you like. Tell her I said hi.

The first beer garden day of the year. First reader to identify the beer wins a pint

Princess Royal, Slinn Street, Crookes, Sheffield. Dan and I, again, are discovering that as well as being one of the most elegant and sociable pubs in our area, the Princess Royal has a tremendous jukebox. This is an increasingly rare feature in pubs, don’t you find? Younger readers may be less impressed than Get to the pub.com with this, but when you’re old enough to remember the agony of game loading failures on the ZX Spectrum, a jukebox that downloads songs on request can only fill you with awe. There’s some golf on the telly and a man on the next table, of around 75 years of age, is making ribald cracks about Tiger Woods. The place has taken on that mysterious glow that pubs acquire once midnight is past, and we push that jukebox to the limit with a joyous pop medley of Big Star, the Pipettes, Shampoo and ELO. What?

Rutland Arms, Brown Street, Sheffield (featured here). A fine end to the week with my girlfriend and half a dozen friends. The Rutland’s chocolate brownie cake must be as much pleasure as you can have for one pound anywhere in Britain today.


About Pete Green

Poet and musician. Sheffield. Maps, coastlines, walking, whisky, and potentially dangerous levels of wist. Grimbarian. Pedestrian. King of the impossible. Big girl's blouse.


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