A COUPLE IN NOTTS

(Two points if you can guess the reference to a classic No.56 album)

Two excellent pubs on the A60 heading towards the “New Beer City” of Mansfield for you today, but more importantly evidence that going out for a midweek pint with your mate(s) is alive and well.

It’s a rewarding walk from the station to Carrington’s micro-pub, particularly for fans of the Bisto men and 1980s rock vinyl.  Two points for naming the Bisto men, a point each for the LPs (I’ve no idea what the one top right is).

Actually no-one walks up the A60, particularly in the rain, just to save a £1.50 bus fare. Except me. More breweries than Beer Guide pubs round here, which is a growing feature in some big city suburbs. Doctor’s Orders, handily placed next to a string of dreary business hotels, looked particularly inviting.

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Full marks for cheery table service and the feel of being in someone’s front room.  The nice lady even brought me the pumpclip for a decent Golden Hels to photograph, which was beyond the call of duty.

When I arrived there were three other loners avoiding the England match on telly, and a group engaged in earnest political debate.  They were the sort of intellectual types that keep Cambridge’s Mill Road pubs going and I salute them now. It was far more fun than Question Time.

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Our genial host probably didn’t need the high-volume combination of politics, religion and sex*, of Brexit efficacy and boyfriends, on a Tuesday night.  But she happily tolerated a level of animation rarely seen in micro-pubs. “Someone say neo-liberalism. Go on, I dare you“.  And they did.

*Here’s some real porn from the Doctor’s Orders for you;

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Calm down Simon

While I was in there the partners of each of our loners turned up, presumably returned from clearing the shelves in Lidl of supplies of Marmite. It was very touching to see couples out for a drink mid-week; it’s not something you see much of nowadays, unless accompanied by a huge plate of food or a pub quiz.

A mile back into town I couldn’t resist the call of the first Nottingham pub I ever visited, with that inviting window full of GBG stickers (top). The Lincolnshire Poacher looks pretty unchangeable, though whether it had a dozen pumps 20 years ago I couldn’t guess.

What it did have still was plenty of drinkers, so the Harvest Pale and a Titanic (not the Plum Porter amazingly) were both pretty good, if not stellar. I’d have been hard pressed to choose between a range of beers often similar in style and strength so I asked the barman for a recommendation he was happy to give.

I often complain about big pubs without anywhere to feel comfortable; here there’s at least four rooms you’d want to spend the evening in. I chose the right one.

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What you lose in earnest political debate you gain in earnest discussion about tomorrow’s supper, which of course is just as vital. One chap reading the local Gig Guide got “Slaves” mixed up with “Slade”, possibly with disastrous consequences later.

With customers literally from 18-80-odd the Poacher is still a wonderful example of the joys of the English pub, as long as you leave before the bell-ringers tip up at 10pm.

25 thoughts on “A COUPLE IN NOTTS

    1. Haven’t done them all py, the one in Woodthorpe having limited hours. The one I enjoyed particularly was Mansfield Beer Shack, good LP selection as much as beer.

      Micros seem to suit the East Mids as much as they do Kent.

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  1. The Bisto kids seem to be nameless. However the name Bisto is interesting. It was named “Bisto” because it “Browns, Seasons and Thickens in One”.

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  2. Nice post Martin,
    The Doctors Orders was one of the first micro pubs in did and probably the one i disliked out of all visited,i do not like table service,so this put me off it,the same goes for Duffields new micro pub no bar and table service,i agree with the Beer Shack in Mansfield a top micro pub.

    The Old Grey Nags Head was a Shipstones tied house when i first did it and there was a good choice of real ales on in the Lincolnshire Poacher 20 years ago.

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      1. So not Woodthorpe,
        If you had carried on walking up Mansfield Road you would have come across the Abdication on the left hand side of the road,it is almost opposite the old Home Ales brewery,nice cobs on the bar at a £1 and a also a very nice micro pub.

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  3. Why dont you check What Pub for opening times Martin,
    If i am planning to visit any micro pubs i always check the opening times before going there,What Pub sometimes get it wrong but more than often right.

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      1. Speaking as both a bell ringer and a Landlord I’m confident in saying that the ringers aren’t normally the ones to go home before it’s necessary! Hopefully I don’t have to find a different blog to follow… 😉

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