Happy Staffordshire Day.
Home to our top PubMan, and still the UK’s most underrated pub county.
My highlights for Cannock may not be the same as Paul Mudge’s own list.
But I’m sure we can agree that Miss Penny (US Readers – Ms Nickel) is the sign of a Proper Pub, at least in the Creative County.
Because it’s a legal requirement to compare everywhere to someone you haven’t been, I declare Cannock the Harlow of the North.
20 minutes from the big cities, motorways on the doorstep, surrounded by light industry and country parks, a dearth of great pubs.
Not sure why, but I’m particularly taken with this clock.
See how hard I’m trying to big up Cannock for you, when I could just tell you to press on to Penkridge for some proper pubs.
Oh look, is this a micropub ?
Actually, the most interesting thing about Cannock is this place,
the only record shop in England not taking part in the lunacy that is Record Store Day (Matthew managed to spend a month’s allowance on blue vinyl and Julian Baker singles).
I resited, somehow, the cheesey chips in favour of Subway’s Spicy Italian, an all time bargain lunch.
The clock ticked towards midday (it didn’t really, it’s broken) and I looked for the tell-tale signs of a great pub.
I had a couple, well three, flat whites in the rumbustious Spoons before heading over the road for the Victorian Well, I did after I’d held the door open for two wheelchairs, three gentlefolk and fifteen teenagers.
This sort of Proper Pub, just a bit smaller, seems to be taking over from the “High Tables and Owner’s Mates” model, and TFFT as that you kids say.
So here you get a cosy room with actual seats,”Your Song” on the radio, and proper staff who seem pleased to see you, rather than a feeling you’re interrupting their game of cards.
Some competent regional brewers like Castle Rock and Thornbridge, whose Lumford was able to taste of straw and sherbert at the same time. You can tell I went on that BRAPA Beer Sommellier course. Still, a pleasant NBSS 3.
I waited to see if “sensible couple” would be joined by a hispter. Sure enough, he arrived just before I left.
Unless it was Benny from Crossroads.