My morning post was a bit rushed due to “events”, so I failed to do justice to Darlington beyond its pubs.
To remedy that, here’s the highlights from my breakfast stroll, aided by a brand new tourist guide produced by the Borough Council.
I’ve commended them on producing a colourful little leaflet to put in hotels and B&Bs; much better than relying on an internet site. Almost as good as Darlo CAMRA’s pub guide.
Being a conventional tourist, I dutifully visited all the main sights, nodding in appreciation at the redbrick civic buildings and Smiths street art.
On Friday morning the pleasantly pedestrianised centre was busier than Cambridge would have been; mostly gentlefolk shopping for “smalls” and pots and pans and Harry Secombe LPs.
But not entirely gentlefolk; plenty of office workers nipping out for elevenses, something not legally permitted below Newark.
20 years ago, Binns was the only department store in the Good Beer Guide, fact fans.
Now it’s selling Urban Decay, appropriately.
Anyway, you want to see what the Spoons are like, and I wanted to test the new “Miners Benedict“, having already got “First person to taste the Mushroom Benedict” on my CV.
Despite those prices, and a Burton Porter that would have cost me just £1.49 with two scruffy vouchers in my wallet, there wasn’t much alcohol being sunk at 9.56 am in the William Stead.
But it was heaving, so is hopefully safe from the Spoons cull of second outlets in small towns.
I hope so. The black pudding in the Miners Benedict was the best I’ve ever had for breakfast.
I would have asked Tim Martin, sitting opposite me with his rugby shirt and morning Abbot.
But he was deep in thought dreaming up new ideas for breakfast Benedicts, so I chickened out.