With apologies to Eyemouth, Buntingford, Rye and Tonbridge (ah, Tonbridge), you’ll have to wait for your day in the retiredmartin sun. I can’t find your photos on OneDrive. The one from Tonbridge with Mrs RM and Paul Bailey doing karaoke in the Man of Kent is in there, somewhere.
But the evidence from Wolverhampton last Wednesday is intact. The latest episode in the “Pint and Pubs Forum Folk keep pubs afloat“, and a chance to grill Banks’s on important questions like “Are all your beers the same“.
Some took the train; “Curry Charles” and I revisited Wolves’ premier B&B, set amongst the 1930s suburbia of Goldthorn Park (or strictly Blakenhall, surely the least pubbed bit of the Black Country).
It’s not as posh as Tettenhall, but there’s a better mix of cultures and spicier food options; Dick and Dave would love it.
Barons Court Hotel seems to be an attempt to create a B&B version of the Yew Tree in Cauldon. lacking only the jar of 1990s pickled eggs in the corner and a bit more dust.
The walk from Barons Court in Blakenhall to the brewery is a guided tour of Wolves culture. Black and white houses,
weird record shops trying to get a quid for Culture Club singles.
mannequins as art,
and a fair bit of historic buildings reclaimed as cafes.
But enough of that, for now. Here’s the underpass art. Not quite Newcastle-Under-Lyme standard, yet.
First stop, the famous Combermere Arms.
Closest pub to our brewery tour, and a place I’d had top Banks’s Mild twice before, but now a Greene King house ? What goes on ?
Anyway, we were ahead of the pack, apparently engaged in a pork bap eating contest at the Great Western.
So I had first dibs at the pumps. Bet you’re wondering why I didn’t go for the Salopian ?
Because someone had said the GK Black IPA was great. And I follow advice.
We settled in the room to the left of the bar, and waited for our bap munchers.
For Newbury Tim, here’s the traditional photo of Berkshire’s top pub magazine enjoying a trip to Wolves, next to a classic pint.
Now I’ve had good times in Wolves over the years in some lively pubs, but the beer has never pulled up any trees. This pint was sensational, cool, rich, thick, yummy (NBSS 4).
Finally other PubMen turned up and order pints and halves and cheap fish and chips and onions rings. It got messy, as this photo suggests. Worryingly, they ran out of onion rings, so I’ve no idea what was substituted.
If other PubMen didn’t seem quite as in awe of the beer as I did, that may be because they were on halves, and beer always tastes best in pints.
There’s a great montage of Black Country faces on the wall. If you recognise more than the one I did, you get five points.
Oh ! Did I mention the tree in the Gents ?