Last time I did a proper crawl in Leicester the city was on an all-time high.
A local CAMRA leaflet had brought in tickers in their millions,
Oh, and the Filberts were still basking in the glow of their thoroughly predictable Premier League win the year before, edging out City by a mere 15 points.
How times change.
See how far they’ve fallen in two years.
Charles and I booked into the Abbey Hotel a mile north of the central Spoons (the new Woolworths for measuring distances from town).
We were both thrilled to see it’s a Trivelles.
The nice man moved me so I was far enough away from Charles. You can never be too careful.
At 4.43pm we headed for town, my first tick due to close at 6pm. And we know what that means. ‘ISH.
Luckily Charles is a fine walker; it’s me who dawdles to admire canals and industrial estates and scary church graveyards.
Charles did stop to chat to the graffiti artist at the A6 underpass though, enquiring about Working Time Directives, invoicing and copyright clauses.
I bet the graffiti man thought Charles was an auditor. Oh, he is.
Christmas was in full swing in multicultural Leicester, which looked at its best at dusk.
It was 5pm when we reached the Two Tailed Lion, a few doors down from the wonderful Blue Boar and another craft bar that starts with “B” I can’t remember the name of.
It’s a classy craft place, with an upstairs room straight out of the Newcastle arches.
I liked the electronic display board and the tight but interesting beer range.
Pomona and Pentrich (well-known solicitors) on cask, too, can’t be bad, and they weren’t (NBSS 3.5).
Despite having a nagging feeling I ought to get the other two ticks ticked, we stayed for an astonishing Rauchbier from Boutilliers of Kent. Charles hated it, but admired the head it produced in my pint glass (top).
“Blue Monday” pumped out, the banter between bar and customers was superb, and I filled in all the gaps in my knowledge about Leicester pubs so I could impress the local CAMRA Chairman later.
More importantly, a chap called David recommended Shivali for our curry later, and he deserves an award for that. If I had a picture of David I’d stick it next to the one of Gordon Banks on the roll call of Leicester heroes.
For ten points name all 99 Leicester Lions.