I could have lumped my walk round Penkhull in with the post on Newcastle-under-Lyme, but it’s quite parochial round here. And while I wouldn’t call N-u-L posh, it positively flaunts its wealth at the townships down the A52. Even their Travelodge feels like The Carlyle when you’ve spent a night at Stoke’s top railway hotel. Rarely will you see a better loo though.
The areas round a football ground are nearly always the roughest in a town, and walks to the Victoria ground from Stoke station were always a test of will. Nowadays you’d only walk round here to visit some charmingly basic pubs and Chinese takeaways (dozens of them down London Road).
But Penkhull has hills, from the top of which you could no doubt have watched Stoke City’s famed back four of the 70s boot the ball over the Butler Street Stand. Honeywall is the best approach up the hill; winding and full of pubs, including a Joules place offering Pedigree as a guest. Actually it wasn’t, it was closed till 5.
I’m not saying Mrs RM wouldn’t have made it to the top, but she might have needed something more startling than the Marquis of Granby to encourage her. Something with £10.45 G&Ts.
For a lady, Mrs RM has surprisingly little appreciation of great pub tiling. The reception area at the Marquis is the highlight (there’s a theme emerging in Stoke), though the regulars clearly didn’t get my enthusiasm for this gem;
That apart, it’s just a very pleasant suburban local with proper seating and a popular smoking area. Some proper professional drinkers too, based on the chap on his second Pedi ten minutes into the late afternoon session. I bet it opened at 12, rather than 4, a decade ago.
Music pairing – “Give me just a little more time” Brrrrrr
Quick turnover should mean good beer, and my Pedi was good enough (NBSS 3). I really wanted a Bass to follow it, but the curse of Advance train tickets to Manchester meant I wasn’t going to get one. Perhaps I’ll come back and revisit the Jolly Potter soon.
Potteries CAMRA have a good track record in identifying ordinary pubs with proper beer ranges. How long they’ll survive in the Beer Guide given the micropub and craft beer revolution sweeping the six towns is an interesting question (see: Wigan).
Even our US readers will know the main musical export from Stoke. They might not know where Robbie got the inspiration for the follow-up to “Angels”, a few yards from Yum Yum, my Chinese takeaway of choice.