Harrogate cost me about £9 to get to, and it wasn’t worth it.
In fact the “pubs” were so dull I nearly skipped them completely, except for 3 reasons;
- US “Dave” Southworth will ask me about Harrogate in about 4 months time, and I’ll want to refer him back here,
- Something odd happened involving bar etiquette,
- And it gives me a chance to highlight BRAPA’s wonderful post from January, which contains this all-time classic shot of the Prosecco Express
You’ll understand I was keen on getting back to meet BRAPA in York, as stuff was bound to happen wherever he graced with his presence.
So I gave myself 44 minutes to leave Harrogate Station, pop my head in the Tap and use their superior loos, get two ticks AND some snacks including the word “artisan”.
Even with the slouchiest teenagers in Yorkshire slowing my exit, all that walking only took 12 minutes.
It’s a remarkably compact town. And while some cities have seen the centres become virtual GBG-free zones (Nottingham, Cambridge for two), there’s a good dozen current or recent Guide pubs within 10 minutes walk of Bettys, the spiritual heart of town.
Simon is probably paid by York CAMRA to disparage Harrogate, and he certainly earns his money.
Dick and Dave may be surprised to hear that I’ve given FIVE (5) of the town pubs my coveted Gold star, and four of them were the newer bars. Beer quality has been high here over many Guides.
Things took a turn for the worse in North Bar.
Two more glass fronted shop conversions with big beer boards.
It can work.
And I love North Bar Leeds, even if it’s unfashionable to say that.
It was very welcoming, even to smaller people.
Sadly, the beer looked rubbish.
Not vinegar, just what I politely called “end of the barrel” when I finally decided to take the Atom back, and wished I’d had the session beer;
Well, the response was perfect. Apology, replacement without quibble, and a minute later the barman brought me over the pricedifference between the Atom and the house Pale. It was quite a few shillings, too.
Mudgie saw this in the Alexandra in Rugby last month, but it’s still worthy of note.
Suddenly, my spirits lifted, the bar filled up, the Pale scored a sherberty 3.5, I started to wish I took dull beer back more often (I won’t. Plants need watering).
Two minutes later I was in the Starling Independent Bar Café Kitchen, which has an outside chance of being recognised as the GBG entry with the longest name in the Guide if the Five Miles from Anywhere (No Hurry) drops out.
BRAPA was right about this one. Beardy pizza eaters.
Yes, Beardy Pizza Eaters were just one of the weird Indy bands being played; if I’d come for a flat black I’d have enjoyed it.
Indecisive youngsters cluttered the bar, bemused by the process of buying a beer at the pizza. I’ve seen James achieve this in Sheffield, so University has some purpose.
The Gents was out of order, the Brass Castle was a shadow of its true self (NBSS 2.5/3), but I nobly drank it.
Not BAD, but I’ll not be going back. Not with Harrogate’s competition. But I’ll certainly be back in 2020, unless they get me first.