Charles had never been to Halifax before. I’m not saying that to embarrass him; I’ve never been to Bathgate.
He’d been through Halifax, on the way to Hebden Bridge. Apart from the three new GBG ticks, I was keen to show which Yorkshire town starting with “H” is the best. (Hull is a city, of course).
The Wool Merchant got us off to a flyer. £40 for clean rooms, working WiFi and a properly cooked buffet breakfast.
And a free beer from the shiny underground bar. I was going to assume it was Tets, but the enthusiastic bloke who checked us in was tortured by Charles’ jokes till he admitted it came from a small brewery in Yorkshire.
“You should go to the Three Pigeons” said our host. We should have, but didn’t.
Halifax has plentiful cheap hotels these days, loads of Premier Inns, Travelodges and Crown Hotels to accommodate the coachloads folk visiting the craft beer emporia flooding the town.
Not sure where Square Chapel fits into the trad/craft division. Alongside the other GBG theatre bars in Newcastle, Washington, North Shields and Ealing, I guess.
Dusk was falling, so we explored the Piece Hall first.
One of the treasures of the North, if you ask me, particularly when they have events on in the square. We were stopped by the Piece Hall Admin lady as we explored the three levels, full of ambitiously niche shops. Folk travel here from rundown places like Harrogate, apparently.
“It’s gorgeous, isn’t it !” Yes, it is. Space for loads of micro pubs.
We seemed to stumble into the back entrance of the Chapel, which was just about to show a matinee performance of The Favourite to two dozen Pashmina Paulines and ponytailed Peters.
No, it’s not the Big 6, but it was cosier than you’d fear. I bet Simon hated it.
Charles was taken by the Life & Death, an ideal strength beer to start an evening.
In Cambridge the arts cinemas has two beers from local breweries and Punk IPA; the range in Halifax would impress in Ancoats.
We refused the tasters, politely, and I’m sure our beers were therefore improved. NBSS 3.5 for the Eagle’s Crag, a 4 for the Life & Death. Both perfectly matched the apricot crumble which kept us going till we got to some proper pub food.