Congratulations to Michael, seemingly a permanent resident of Crewe’s excellent Hops, for working out it was Peterlee. I think he has some local knowledge.
I wouldn’t have guessed Peterlee from those photos, though obviously the Welcom(ing) Homes was a giveaway. I used to have a prurient interest in the town, second only to Jaywick on the list of most deprived wards which determines NHS funding allocations. For some reason I used to receive property details for commercial estate agents which listed poperties at prices that made Toxteth look expensive.
I’ve been a few times now, enjoying the exceptional rocky beaches at Blackhall, Castle Eden Dene and the bargain beer at the Five Quarter (£11.50 a pint last year).
Acknowledgement – Michael Harris
As a post-war New Town, Peterlee occasionally looks a little impermanent, but it’s neat and tidy, and more attractive than, say, Stevenage or Letchworth (I lived there for a while).
The new Beer Guide entry, the Royal George in Old Shotton, is walking distance from the Five Quarter, but a rather quieter world away.
I was tempted to call this post “Prosecco Peterlee”, but even with the sparking wine offers and smart dining rooms, this felt like a proper pub, and a good contrast with the Sizzling Pub over the road.
Being a nosey old bloke, I took the offered opportunity to see the upstairs function rooms developed by owners Leamside, whose Porter was superbly rich (NBSS 3.5). The staff were very chatty, which I like in a pub. Piped Billy Joel was a different matter.
Castle Eden Dene is also within walking distance, and as good a way to burn off the pies as anywhere in the North. Best approached from the coast rather than town though.
The cave in the picture is, of course, where Castle Eden ale was made by artisans before it’s ruination by Whitbread in the ’90s. I still recall their wondrous Christmas Ale from 1995, one of the few seasonal ales worthy of the name.
The Eden Ale in the picture at the top was much enjoyed in the Olde Elm Tree in Durham, one of the few places you’ll still find the Camerons version, which ain’t bad.