Tuesday was my fifth successive trip to Newcastle in sub-zero temperatures, which says something about the cruelty of the Premier League fixture calendar.
But you can never tire of the Tyne,
or this month’s exhibition by Heather Phillipson in BALTIC,
but can you get bored of Tyneside micros ?, I wonder.
My usual confused stroll over the Millennium Bridge and down the Quayside takes me south of the castle, entirely the wrong way for the railway arch pubs, but I do at least get to see something gorgeous.
The walk up Castle Stairs would defeat a younger man, and means I earnt the stottie cake or whatever it is I’d enjoy at SJP (keep reading).
Four new entries in the Toon this GBG year; two micros, two brewery taps. Breaking all the rules, it was Tyne Bank and Wylam who were shut till Thursday.
Box Social seemed to be open forever, which will upset the Herne hierarchy who insist that micros are shut when you least expect it.
Pubmeister beat me here, he always does. I’m sure he told me Split Chimp used to be here before moving to a glamorous new location, which raises all sorts of ethical ticking issues, but luckily I know I Chimped (verb) at their new home.
Box Social is one of those small modern beer bars that would be Pub of the Year in any small Hertfordshire or Buckinghamshire town, and coincidentally they sell Mad Squirrel. But I’m a gentleman, so I go for their own Gentleman’s Nectar (NBSS 3/3.5). Actually, I just pointed to the first thing I saw as they didn’t have Federation Bitter on.
Looking now I see To 0l, Wylam and Summer Wine, which I suspect is still crafty by Cambridge standards.
Only three other drinkers, two upstairs and one down, but I suppose some people have to be working at 4.30pm on a Tuesday. Thank goodness for Paul Mudge, Duncan and myself. Decent banter about Bruce Willis films, if that’s your thing.
One thing I forgot to mention about Station East was the rattle you get when a train passes overhead. It’s possible some folk would pay good money for the experience. Box Social had that rumbling noise too. It may even have improved the lacings.