I’d been waiting a long time for a reason to return to Cleethorpes, a town I’d never been to when the sun came out. In sympathy to local sensibilities, I’m going to try to refrain from mentioning G*****y in this post; it’s bad enough to have your town marketed under a “Greater Grimsby” banner by North East Lincs Council.
The highlight of a trip to Cleethorpes was always Pleasure Island (R.I.P.), though there was always the feeling that the locals were getting the better deal with their 90% off vouchers from the Grimsby Target.
Just down the coast at Donna Nook, the baby seals are the only other thing to drag us up the A15.
Of course, there’ve been a few trips to Blundell Park over the years, though rarely with a sky as blue as this one last Friday. A proper football experience (i.e. old fashioned and slightly unnerving for the away fan), as long as you buy your pie and chips outside the ground at Gr8 White Fish.
The town has rarely looked as attractive as it did in the morning. I’m not a natural fan of beach resorts, they’re too flat, but the seafront looked gorgeous in the sun.
Oddly, Mrs RM wasn’t sharing in this beauty, being otherwise engaged in some demonstration or other in a small southern city of no consequence. So I got to stay in a proper seaside B&B on my own (Mallow View, very clean and cosy for £30).
As usual, the new Beer Guide offered just the one new tick, the first newbie for a while. Since it wasn’t a micro, it had to be a new Spoons.
That suited me fine; if you want to see life in all it’s glory, visit a Wetherspoons.
The only problem was, the Coliseum was just a bit too lively at 7pm; I couldn’t hear a thing. That may have been a blessing.
Even without complex coffee orders, staff were really struggling, and a group of us decided to “adopt a barman“, making sure we got served in order. Goodness knows what would have happened if I’d ordered via the app while standing by the statue, probably ended up with a prosecco.
The best I can say about the beer is that it was cheap, £1.55 for the Robinsons Red’n’Black 5.8% version of Trooper (NBSS 2). There were detailed tasting notes, but all I was getting was headache. I left over a third of it, but there’s no point buying halves when there’s Spoons voucher deadlines looming, is there ?
Cleethorpes was bouncing. I’ve no idea how a Spring Friday night in Grimsby compares, perhaps Tom Irvin, its most famous resident, can tell me (if Alan can’t).
If I hadn’t paid that £30 to stay, I’d have headed straight for a Chinese takeaway and a night watching Russia Today. But having invested so much I felt obliged to revisit the other GBG pubs in town, walking past a keg bar called “Bobbin” and the “Swashbuckle Pub” on the way.
Uniquely, two of them are at the railway station (NOT the train station). Here’s the 7.32 bringing Patricia Hodge back home for the weekend.
No.2 is a gem, though possibly not for the reasons that won it local Pub of the Year or 3 stars in my unique beer scoring system a decade ago.
The beer (Otley Boss and Springhead) was good enough for the Guide, but a bit Spoons-like (foamy and frothy) for my exacting standards. You can tell from the photos this isn’t a cutting edge free house, but that suits me. Most folk were going for Sharps Two Tides, perhaps grumbling about the lack of the new, revitalised Doom Bar.
If you look closely, you’ll see the bloke behind red-jacket man with a yellow Post-It on his head. I think it said “Pint of Carling”. Not even a “Please”.
Actually, most folk were on the Carling, which is quite exotic round here. A group of lads on the next table took it in turns to go to the bar, return empty-handed because they were a few pence short for a round, then spill progressively more beer over the floor as their functions were impaired. Carling really is all you need for a great night.
That and a soundtrack of “Xanadu”, “Sound and Vision” and “Elenore”. One of those is a classic, of course.
My notes say “very Liverpool”, which is a great compliment. The Globe springs to mind. It’s rare to get such a mix of old and young in a pub.
A shame the No. 2 only provided the one urinal, necessitating a trip to the ladies that ended in tears. What’s wrong with unisex toilets, northerners.
Part 2, including a Top 100 pub, tomorrow.