From Masham, via Northallerton, to Darlington, retiredmartin on tour. Unlike BRAPA, no T-Shirts or Official Soundtracks on sale. Even Mrs RM wouldn’t buy a shirt.
Darlo is my accommodation choice. A lovely town, great train services, two new GBG pubs. And cobbled streets like these where it’s completely safe to park my car for free.
The Dalesman is a proper basic sports pub (Magnet on keg) but the rooms are fantastic and bargain and I’m not asked difficult questions on check-in. Actually, I am asked why I’m here, and reply “I AM HERE AS A TOURIST TO YOUR LOVELY TOWN“.
Twenty minutes later I’m on a train whizzing past this obscure town,
thinking I should really stop on the way back as those lovely people at the Station House have a beer festival on.
And ten minutes later I’m back on the Toon, barely a month after watching City blow their title hopes at St James Park.
As I mentioned back then, I knew I’d be returning as the two new brewery taps have both decided that Newcastle folk don’t start their drinking until Thursday. Oddly, the two new micropubs had no such misconceptions.
Bing Maps told me it was 34 minutes to the Tyne Bank Tap along the Quayside into Byker.
Reader, I did it in 27.
Even stopped to take photos of the Castle keep, the Posada and the view down to the Free Trade (top). Newcastle never disappoints.
But it gets a bit messy as you get into Walker, whose most famous daughter was sadly not at home.
I’m certain Cheryl would have enjoyed the atmosphere at Tyne Bank,
and she’s have beaten me at table football.
“Oh no, another vast industrial estate tap filled with hipsters at weekends” you cry.
And so what if it is ?
Mr Barman was cheery and chatty and decisive when I wasn’t.
“Oooh. Recommend me a beer. DON’T ask me what I like“.
“I’d have the Norther Porter, I love that“.
If only all beer choices were as easy as that.
I stood at the bar “oohing” and “ahhing” over the beer, cool, thick and chewy, making a mental note to rate it NBSS 4.5 when I eventually get to score up six months of pubs on WhatPub. Then I relaxed into chatting about Newcastle, folk over-indulging on strong beer,
and keeping up with the changing local pub scene.
The only thing that could have improved my mood was an unexpected encounter with a famous pub blogger. But you can’t have everything.