(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.
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.
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;
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.
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.