A night in Kingston-upon-Hull on a Wednesday in March is among the best things that life can offer.
A budget-busting £40 buys you a night in this ornate little pub by the Marina, with views onto the Kingston retail park.
Last year’s £28 pub room in North Hull was cheery and beery; the Whittington (& Cat) is classy and beery, though very keg. A shame, as I was keen to tell BRAPA I’d found a pre-emptive tick he’d missed.
A wonderful evening to remind yourself why this is one of the great cities (and not just for pubs).
Hull looked absolutely gorgeous.
I’d hoped this place below was the new Magic Rock bar, loosely modelled on the Sydney Opera House, but it turned out to be the Bonus Arena, tonight staging the Humberside Police Rock Challenge.
One of the most beautiful civic squares anywhere was strangely quiet, possibly because everyone was still in Primark.
Last time here was late 2016, just before their year as City of Culture (edging out Stoke and Nuneaton). The all-important cultural legacy is clear from venues such as Heaven & Hell (No Real Ale).
I wondered aimlessly through the alleys of the Old Town, confident I’d bump into the new Head of Steam soon enough.
I nearly succumbed to an inadvisable pint of Jennings in the Kingston.
But you need to take it easy on Hull trips, as no doubt Simon will tell you.
Ah, there it is.
The busiest place in town that night, the HoS was full of groups and Guys and Gals sitting in opposite parts of the pub.
Like a pubby Brew Dog or respectable Brewhouse & Kitchen, HoS have managed to become the place for small groups of all ages, just like All Bar One years ago.
I’ve liked their new Guide entries in Leeds and Cardiff and Sheffield, because they’re busy and unpretentious as much as because they’re full of decent beer.
A weird cover of “Come On Elillen” accompanied a crying baby that could have been carried rather than stuck in a pushchair, and I almost perused the menu.
But the Atom, normally reliable, was suffering from a distinct lack of turnover as all those crafty choices pushed the cask to the back of the queue.
But you’re getting fed up of me telling you that, aren’t you ? So the next one will restore your faith in the real stuff. For a bit.