Before I get to the next open pub, here’s a kinda closed one;
Only open Friday and Sunday evenings these days, and since Thursday even those hours are curtailed. If anyone has been this century, let me know.
I’d found a great place to park the campervan in Rothbury, but probably best not to tell you where it was or it’ll be overrun by those middle-class motorhome owners next year.
No new ticks in, I was only there a year ago for the first time this decade, and the excellent Narrow Nick has decided to stay shut. No surprise given how narrow it is.
Which left not a lot in the darkness of the undulating High Street, illuminated only by the glow from the chippy I made a mental note to return too a couple of pints later.
Obviously you’d have wanted me to search out the best place in town for Doom Bar, possibly the Co-op. But I couldn’t walk past the Turk’s Head, what’s left of my brain telling me I might have been here once.
Now the problem with Covid* is that you can’t amble (not that Amble) round pubs looking for charity boxes and pashminas to photograph.
You can’t even look at the handpumps anymore. Deal with it, beer tickers.
No, you’re shown to a table separated from the bar by perspex, and there you stay, hoping your “server” knows what beers they have on.
Many people have a problem with all this; I’m just grateful I can still visit pubs I expected to be closed well into 2021. Perhaps they won’t last till then.
I hope they survive. The Turk’s Head, like nearly all pubs I go in, was friendly, apologetic about the rules, and eager to please.
I was pleased to be in the dining area, there were still folk in there, AND they were still serving at 5 to 8 on a Thursday night in what some pubs seem to see as “Winter”.
My enduring memory from the night was a running battle between two members of staff to take control of a jukebox set at 6 (out of 11). Metallica alternated with Adele, followed by Metallica, follows by Kenny Loggins.
THAT’s why you go to pubs, isn’t it. That and two very well-spoken gents reliving their trip to Lubeck and Hamburg’s furniture museum to the accompaniment of “Poker Face“.
It was so much fun I asked for the menu.
Six people eating, must be good ? were entering their scores on the National Pie Scoring System.
Well, it was wonderful. Steak and Guiness pie, short crust pastry, chunky chips, a week’s worth of veg, homemade gravy. As good as haute cuisine gets.
I asked for mayo, when I should have asked for mustard. The “server” was uncomplaining as he made his 386th journey of the night, bringing back a pre-emptive salt sachet.
Shame about the beers from Tyne Bank, Castle Gold and Silver Dollar I think. Cool and well-presented but suffering from serious underuse. “Fruity but worn” I wrote, alarmingly pretentious by this point.
I’m not sure I actually saw another pint pulled on my mini-Northumberland jaunt, and the pubs were busier than you might think.
Use pubs or lose them, drink the cask or you’ll be left with Peroni and Pinot Grigio.
*Other more pressing problems with Covid may be available.