The snow cleared (if it ever existed; I blame Russian mind bots), just in time. One more day in Cambridgeshire and I’d be going crazier than Jose Mourinho.
If that irritating Solihull micro ever opens I’ll finish the West Midlands this week. Why is it always Solihull that holds everything up ?
But Aldridge Village is always open for business, looking as lovely as ever on Tuesday morning.
I won’t make great claims for the “The Parade“, but it does at least have shops that people use,
and some fine examples of British brutalism (that’s a compliment, Aldridge).
No new GBG entries in mighty Walsall itself for a while, so the Turtle’s Head nips in to become the borough’s first micro, surely the first of many. The only competition in town is from the inevitable (newish) Spoons and the underrated* Crown Carvery.
For once, the WhatPub dot is in the right place, but I still walk past my target twice.
The Turtle certainly gives a boost to a dormitory “village” relying on the custom of retired gentlefolk to support a proper collection of independent shops.
I’m learning to give micros time to work their magic, if they have any.
First in at noon, the owners apart, and it feels a bit plain.
But a big smile from the landlady later, it’s growing on me. People make pubs. And a look at the walls tells you it’s not a Herne rule follower.
I’ve never seen Star Wars, but isn’t that little fella the Master ?
My eighth rule is “Never resist the cheese and onion cobs in Walsall“, so I don’t. A half of Backyard Divinity and a freshly made chunky cob for £2.65. Stick that, Ashbourne.
Within 20 minutes there’s a dozen folk in. An Old Boy is told “It’s gone up to £1.15, sorry”, and it strikes me; the Backyard was £2.30 a pint. Yes, they’re competing with and beating Spoons. The Divinity, served in a wide glass, was a divine NBSS 4.
But pubs are about more than good beer and cobs. They’re about a non-ironic soundtrack that included the following;
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”
“Never Gonna Give You Up”
“Eye Of The Tiger”
and “The Final Countdown”
And banter about the difficulty of finding wearable Peaky Blinders T-shirts “She ain’t got much bust”.
One of the pubs of the year, let alone March.
“Thank you Darling” as I left.
No, thank you.
*Underrated by those who fail to appreciate the smell of boiled cabbage and the joy of being knocked over by screaming children, of course.