A bit of a confessional tonight (don’t worry, not in a Patrice Evra way).
After finishing Lancashire near Clitheroe I toyed with the idea of stopping for the night at the Red Pump.
But it was a) £65 a night, b) about to close its bar at 8pm.
I’m greeted by numerous signs telling me central Preston is closed due to Covid, but no-one but a fool pays to park anyway, I’ve a free secret spot near the river.
The Premier Inn smells of detergent, the TV remote is broken and the WiFi doesn’t work. Annoyingly, that form you fill in giving you a Good Night Guarantee or a pint of Doom Bar is nowhere to be seen in the spartan room.
So I need to get my thrills in Pre-emptive Preston.
It seems a toss-up between award winning Plau and intriguing Winckley Street Ale House, and Winckley wins out because the name will appeal to Russ. And I sensed it might close before 10.
WInckley Street, one of the smart streets running from the shops down to the park, looked lovely.
Ale House seems to be about the 6th incarnation in 3 years, and I’m immediately aware it’s not going to be the Old Vic.
Exemplary table service, but I’m allowed to survey the handpumps, raising the R rate by 0.0375 in the process.
One smart looking chap seemingly on expenses finishing a second pint, one young chap impressing his girlfriend by losing on the fruits, and me admiring a stunning (NBSS 3.5+) Buxton Moor Top as the lacings formed a vision of David Moyes’s head.
The jukebox moved from
Queens of the Stone Age Electric Six’s High Voltage to Anarchy in the UK. Expenses man joined in, as did the girlfriend on the “I…wanna be, ah” bit. I NEVER sing along.
On beer quality, a GBG cert anywhere in the country, but who knows ?
What next. Oh yes, an aimless ramble and the lure of the Orchard’s bright lights in the deserted market place. Last time here it was just me; there were a good dozen beer people here on a Thursday night.
WHY on earth I went to a microbar when the jewels of Preston lay ahead (let alone two Spoons) I have no idea, but beer does that to you, as Simon is learning.
Even more bizarrely, I ordered a half of cask (NBSS 3) and a pint of De Halve Maan Zot (unrateable, but sensational). At the same time. But WHY ?
The music, I noted, was “great”. Probably Dire Straits.
Could I really have been that p****d by this stage. I think all that work helping Matt move had caught up with me.
And it was at that precise moment I wondered if I was making a giant mistake moving to Sheffield rather than Preston.