If you folks only knew the effort that goes into these blog titles. I bet you think I just buy BRAPA cast-offs or something.
I notice that I’ve just got a Twitter follower from Maidenhead. In the event they can read, I’d like to welcome them to the blog and draw their attention to the Special Conditions.
I met someone from Harborne at the Julia Jacklin gig. Lovely bloke, so I’m going to be kinder about his bit of “Brum for Poshos” than I normally am.
If you listed the things in proximity that gives a suburb “posho” status, Harborne would tick all your boxes.
- “PFI” Hospital
- County Cricket Ground
- Golf Club
- Pointless lake
- A Waitrose
- More than a dozen “bistros”
- Ember Inn where locals are talking about badminton
I think the badminton fetish is the clincher.
This is my first time blogging about the place, despite the Hop Garden being my eighth (8th !) GBG entry here. Perhaps Duncan, Si and I should commission an undergraduate to research “Harborne’s Weird GBG History and Social Decline“.
A decade ago the High Street seemed to get all their old roadhouses converted into modern chain dining places with just enough cask to get in the GBG, for a year at least. A joy for fans of pizza, flatbreads and Purity.
The well-dressed, well-groomed locals and pashminas say “posho“, but it’s a scruffy, too busy High Street (bar the wonderful Boston Tea Party), and the Tourist Information Board hasn’t prepared for my visit.
So I headed into the side streets before the Hop Garden opened at the inevitable 4pm.
These days you always have to physically visit a new GBG pub before believing what it says in the GBG/WhatPub/FaceBook/on the phone about opening times.
Luckily, I can see the pub gardener tending to the actual pub garden.
He seems perturbed by a rogue bike abandoned outside; I’m more intrigued by the man who has disappeared, leaving only his climbing boots(top).
Inside it looks exactly like you’d expect a Harborne beer bar to look like.
In Birmingham, it’s always 1996, with the Euros in town and Sum 41 and “Supersonic” playing in the pub. BeerMat knows.
I try to hide my disappointment at having to choose between 5 varieties of homebrew with 1996 styled pump clips.
Oh. Should have shown you the beer board. You love beer boards.
The beer is cool and well conditioned (NBSS 3.5) if a bit plain. The pub suddenly becomes a bit special when the “Nearly Old” Boys come in at 4.15.
“Two pints of anything !” That’s the spirit.
Two mates are here for beer and pork pies. Brian only carries cash for the pork pies, apparently. His mate then pops out to M&S Foods to buy some more mustard, which seems the civilised thing to do. English I presume.
I start to wish I was allowed to drink keg when visiting a GBG pub for the first time, but that apart the place works.
I even get inspiration for my next avatar.
But there is one mystery yet unsolved. On the very day I wrote about the effects of Jakemans on beer, the Hop Garden is encouraging you to mix the two !
How weird is that ?