Back to something like chronology, and last week’s trip to North Yorkshire, a county finished by BRAPA with a burst of arrogance recently.
I’ve still got a couple of dozen to go in Yorkshire, including a couple alarmingly close to Si’s baronial home.
Luckily he was out, on a train to somewhere exotic, probably.
Speaking of exotica, you’ll know a side aim of this blog is to encourage folk to visit the lesser-known England, the places Fodors don’t tell you about.
That’s clearly a tough sell in York.
In the absence of any obvious attractions, the city relies on it’s toilets. Stoke has the toilet museum, Hull (City of Culture) has listed public facilities, and York has a rejuvenated Jorvik (“smell”).
I balked at the £10.25 for the latter “re-imagined” attraction, and went in search of the two new pubs.
Resisting the station Tap for a change, I wandered through some surprisingly pleasant streets housing Primark and Costa, a little shocked to see that even York has artisan produce these days.
The sound of strumming increased as I approached the big church and my first tick, outside which a vast crowd had gathered for Tuesday’s busker (sponsored by Carling no doubt).
This chap was clearly talented, but spoilt that talent with a dodgy repertoire aimed at the Japanese tourists. As his set slipped from Radiohead into Floyd, I took cover in the Duke of York, my sole central new GBG tick. There was old indie music here too, but at least it wasn’t from 1973.
The Duke of York was ticking over on a Tuesday afternoon, with a pleasing mix of old blokes, mums and babies, tourist gentlefolk and Prosecco ladies. I like that variety.
It’s a fairly typical central York pub, attractive old rooms slightly spoiled by posing tables and menus.
Best of all, Leeds (i.e. Camerons) run a pub with just the four beers, all from their own brewery, with classic simple pump clips.
Resisting the suspiciously cheap Best, I stuck with a Pale that was pleasantly cool and distinctive, if a little thin (NBSS 3).
Plenty of mixed seating, though it’s no Sam Smiths.
A decade ago York Brewery seemed to be dominating the local Beer Guide scene, alongside the Heritage Tetley and John Smiths pubs and classic free houses. Now there’s Ossett (whither the Fox ?) and Leeds muscling in, and it makes a pleasing mix.
Not enough basic pubs though; I passed this cracker on the way to Pub 2 in Micklegate.
The Falcon Tap fits the modern GBG beer bar model, right down to 3pm opening (an hour earlier than the GBG says, hoorah !).
A bit quiet, not helped by Micklegate being dug up and a front bar that looks a bit temporary and uninviting,
The beers, and a bit of banter, are at the back, past the lone guitar;
The beautiful sounds of Sam Cooke led me to the bar, and almost inevitably, a Tap Takeover from Bad Seed.
“Which one has been pulled through ?”
“I pull them all through before I serve them”
What a fine man, and consequently a fine half of Pale (NBSS 3), picked at random.
Dark, quirky, and a great place to hide on a sunny afternoon, I enjoyed some rambling chat with a robust Yorkshireman who would have made Richard Coldwell seem cheery.
Their football team may have gone to pot, but York is a fine little city, despite the dodgy locals.