More Dronfield, in fact the new CAMRA branch’s pub of the year. You can see Hundall to the east of town on yesterday’s map extract, and there’s not much more to it than the Miner’s Arms and this tree.
But it’s an impressive tree. Resilient, like the local area and its clutch of proper drinkers pubs. Three very good pubs in hilly Aperknowle and Coal Aston over the years, with the Traveller’s Rest being particularly memorable. The Miner’s Arms is the local Pub of the Year though.
Feeling slightly more remote than it actually is, the welcome is immediate and genuine. At 1.30pm it seems to lack the custom to justify its impressive opening hours, particularly without a dining trade (hoorah !).
“Are you part of that CAMRA ?” isn’t always what you want to hear, even when it precedes a discount on a pint of Dronny Bottom, tending to suggest the real ale custom isn’t core business.
But that house beer was very good (NBSS 3.5), and the pub achieved a level of cosiness that Chesterfield specialises in.
I moved between seating areas to give myself an ideal vantage point to take in Sky TV (WBA v Arsenal) and some entertaining debate over the toilet habits of cocker spaniels and merits of late-period (anything after 1991) Simply Red. All that over a soundtrack of mid-period Texas.
I was enjoying Arsenal’s capitulation so much I stayed for a Dronfield pasty, served with Henderson Relish from over the border (top). As you can see, a proper bar snack meeting all my calorific requirements.
The pub filled up quite quickly, and the beer flowed. I played Dronfield Pub Bingo;
- “Ay up love” – Tick
- Bloke with two tennis balls – Tick
- The merits of Colt 45 Lager – Tick
- “Do dogs eat bananas” – Tick
Then at 2pm the real locals came in. They gave their coats a big shake and made a dash for the water bowl by the fire, sending a few drops of water onto my precious Dronfield CAMRA Magazine No.1.
I can forgive them that. At least the water didn’t go in my beer.