Pub visits this week: 6
Here we are then, just about back on track after Get to the pub.com’s recent trip to the southern Peak District. Back in Sheffield, we’ve lost another good small live music venue as the Stock Room is forced to call it a day before it even really got going (hit the Love Sheffield blog for a warm tribute). Isn’t hiking up the rent so much that the place closes down the most perfect example of cutting off your nose to spite your face? Someone sort it out and open the place up again.
Red Lion, The Square, Bakewell, Derbys. Get to the pub.com’s family holiday continues with a gruellingly hot day in Bakewell. We huddle under parasols in a busy garden, careful to keep pints of IPA and young children out of the sear and glare. Staff bring out plates of lunch, glistening greasily in the sun. Still a bit delicate from the previous night’s beery exertions, I pass on the food – except for a couple of Jim’s onion rings, which taste as scrummy as they look unhealthy.
Bluebell Inn, Buxton Road, Tissington, Derbys. The pub is, of course, one of the great glories of the country walk. So I’ve consulted my copy of The Peak District Pub Guide and identified the Bluebell as the place to stop off during today’s endeavours. My girlfriend and I have taken a circuitous trek of three or four miles here, explored the village of Tissington (what little of it there is), and then discovered that the pub is another half-mile outside it, on the A515 down to Ashbourne.
I’m not very keen, to tell you the truth. The place looks like an old coaching inn and has a smidgeon of character about its beams and whitewashed walls. But the dead hand of Greene King offers only the bog standard Abbot, Old Speckled Hen and a bitter from Hardy’s and Hanson’s which I end up picking. You could be drinking any of the three and you’d barely notice any difference, so depthless is the taste and keggy the texture. The woman who serves us is kind and agreeable – and not visibly perturbed by our scruffy walking attire, which is more than can be said for some of the £10-for-a-main-course pubstaurants around these parts. But if Tissington had a pub like the Sycamore, you suspect this place might struggle.
Sycamore Inn, Parwich, Derbys. It’s our last night here so we bid a fond ta-ta to the very model of an English village pub. For those eagerly awaiting Get to the pub.com’s forthcoming feature on the Sycamore, I shall try and get it finished this week!
Rutland Arms, Brown Street, Sheffield (featured here). Oh for a drink and a seat and a little peace to talk. But even the best pubs don’t always yield the best pub experiences. A biggish group of us are here tonight after an exhibition by photography graduands at Sheffield Hallam University. And I don’t know if dozens of the excited little mites have followed us here, or there’s a hen do from Leeds descended on the Rutland, but it’s three deep at the bar, too crammed, frenetic and shouty to chat, and getting too chilly to sit outside. “Wherever we go on to, I want it to be somewhere quiet where I can sit down,” says one of our group. Together we decide there’s nowhere more fitting of that description than…
Henry’s, Cambridge Street, Sheffield. And quiet it still is, for a Friday night in a city centre. But since that first time Get to the pub.com came here, people seem to be drifting steadily through the doors, enjoying charming service and good, cheap beer. And watching the side streets through the wide windows.
HUBS, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield. Wedding reception. Three quid a pint. No ale. Rancid Guinness. Great night.