Back to the football/pub/art mash-up highlights packages for you after that brief Lockdown Walk interlude.
What can I tempt you with in Carlisle ?
A cheap B & B
Even cheaper hair cuts
An ancient post box ?
This is a fun city, perhaps even more so than Newcastle now the Bigg Market crowd have moved on to craft. Pleasingly, Australian bars seem to have arrived in town near the Bingo hall.
Walking up Botchergate towards the Woodrow Wilson I heard more singing than incomprehensible gabble at 8 o’clock, particularly approaching the House of Vodka.
Sadly my pictures of Fun were erased from my phone as I left Cumbria.
A decent Cathedral and Castle that will fail to thrill anyone who’s been to Rochester, let alone Lincoln, but there’s just enough character in the centre.
And some lovely leafy streets out to Brunton Park.
Which brings us to;
Always a great away game with Cambridge, and now with a GBG pub opposite the ground. Last time there I had a pint in an Oakwell pub before the match.
Not QUITE a relegation battle to stay in the League, but I remember United’s scrappy 1-0 win being greeted euphorically by the Yellow Army singing “Oooh Marvin” to the tune of “Hey Baby“. The early 2000s were more innocent times.
The fourth division (aka Div 3 aka League 2) table makes exciting reading for fans of Rushden, Bournemouth, Hull and Swansea. Three of those would later have the joys of VAR and Sunday kick-offs, while Rushden & Diamonds would come to regret their overambition.
The Carlisle pub scene looked a bit different back in 2003, but within a decade and a half it was craft. craft, craft.
The Woodrow Wilson was 5 years old and one of the very best Spoons I reckon, and seems to be fighting off the competition with the BrewDog next doors by sticking to Magners and giving you the best lacings in Cumbria.
The BrewDog has AC/DC and proper bench seating to tempt you.
Completing my mini-craft feast, the Fat Gadgie served a pint of Moor Stout I rated NBSS 4.5 AND wasn’t called the Last Zebra, which the Last Zebra was.
“Waddabout Proper Pubs” says Dave.
20 years ago I’d have said “Pint of Theakston in the Howard Arms, Dave“.
And I still would. It’s immaculate, leaving the wood to shine but making the pub a welcoming place for women, who outnumbered me early evening. The women weren’t obviously there for the State Managed pub cartoons.
Theakston Bitter there, and also in the Joiners, a plain pub just west of town.
Not that there’s anything plain about a Proper Pub, with bench seats round the walls, lunchtime opening and beer mats.
A couple of Old Boys get to choose the music, a mix of Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Cher (not at the same time, that would be daft). The banter seems to be entirely about folk who have been banned.
They love their lacings here.
I’d finish the night over the river in the Crown & Thistle, which had a Sam Smiths feel, except they were singing “Human” by The Killers and Humphrey wouldn’t like that.
I had to get back to Yummy, my Chinese takeaway of choice. I’m missing a good Crispy Beef & Singapore Rice more than I’m missing the Bass.
Are you sold on it, then ?