Here, as promised last night, is the delayed report from Lye, former Balti capital of the West Midlands.
And here’s Susan Tully, beautifully rendered in the town’s only noticeable street art.
I can find no connection between Susan and the Black Country from a cursory look at the Grange Hill Annual for 1978, no doubt one of you can oblige. Unless it isn’t Susan Tully.
The Sadlers Tap Room was my last West Midlands tick in the is year’s GBG. As Duncan and Simon will know, there are few things more irritating than having one pub left in a county, staring at you week after week with it’s irritating opening hours. I made a special journey just for Lye.
Anyway, a chance to re-assess Lye itself, a place only previously visited at 9pm on a Friday for a Balti Dupiaza in Bengal Fusion, when “cultural melting pot” was a fair description.
This was the scene at noon last Saturday.
Rarely have I been in a quieter High Street. It made Brierley Hill seem like Merry Hill in comparison. No lunch curry, just lots of tempters;
Yes, come here tomorrow for five courses and four pints for less than £16. Can’t be bad. Is it the cheapest beer in England, though. No.
Brew Taps are a funny beast. Supposedly the place to test a brewer’s work at it’s best, but rarely open, which must mean lying (no pun intended) about in pipes. Prime examples – Cross Hills and Sixpenny Hadley, though even Robinsons was shut on my last two visits.
Having not seen a soul in town, it was inevitable the Tap would be heaving. Thirty odd smartly dressed folk who would have looked more at home at Brindley Place.
And then, ten minutes later, they were all gone.
All but a solitary couple and myself on a tour of the dark arts of making “Craft” beer, on the basis all beer is craft, of course. Brewery tours really are the new Paintballiing.
The setting above was not the best to enjoy a tasty but thin half of JPA (NBSS 3 and £1.90), if I’m honest.
Lye has a classic Black Country local in the Shovel, and Sadler’s own Windsor Castle is a smart dining pub if you’re not into Balti.
I didn’t stay in town for the One Direction tribute. Sorry.