A NICE SURPRISE

I sense you folk are a bit down at the moment; what you need is a nice post about an unexpectedly good pub to warm your little hearts.

Dave asked me about places that surprised me, and this one in the Derbyshire Dales sprung to mind.

It’s in Wirksworth, a quiet town just allocated to (checks notes) Tier 3.

What !!! Sorry, you can’t visit the pubs. Blame it on Belper. Or Eyam, I guess, they’re the plague capital of the Dales, aren’t they ?

Wirksworth is a little gem, an old lead mining town that’s turned to unpretentious tourism without losing its grit.

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But how would a micropub fit amongst the Bass and Pedi and Abbot ?

It was an inauspicious start for Charles and I last year. Due to “unforeseen circumstances“, the Feather Star couldn’t open at noon. “Come back in half an hour“. Grumble grumble.

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We walked the bounds, grumbled a bit more when the best cafe was also closed, ate a Co-op sandwich and tried again.

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And, a domestic crisis averted, a door opened at 12:32. As is the way, two Old Boys were already in. I think they lived there.

The landlady was astonishing, and BRAPA can’t get here soon enough. Cheery, irreverent, fastidious about her beer, in fact everything you want in a pub.

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Anyone seen Trevor?”

Think he had to go to hospital urgent

Oh dear

At that moment, in walks Trevor and orders his pint.

That was a miracle recovery, Trevor

It was clearly going to take more than a trip to A&E to keep him from his lunchtime session and his pork pie.

We wished we waited for our lunch here. The Shiny beer was astonishing.

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Upstairs, the Fonz said “Heyyyy“,

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and despite being a bit kitsch it sort of worked.

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I want to go back.

If you don’t believe me, you’ll believe Life After Football, who beat me here by a year and found an even better mix.

Feather 29.11.17 (19)

Yes, there were old crumblies there as well but the upstairs was vastly different with a party of nine or ten teenagers/twentysomethings who appeared to be regulars and fully relaxed whilst it had a bigger mix than any other Micropub I’ve been in

And if that doesn’t appeal you probably live in Tier 1.

To seal the deal, just up the road is the famed Royal Oak, which always used to be famous for something, but for the life of me….

Wirksworth Royal Oak
SCRATCHING A BASS ITCH IN CRICH

21 thoughts on “A NICE SURPRISE

      1. There you go. 3 thumbs up.

        As you’ll know I’m not a fan of “small” pub but this was an unexpected joy. I could bane recent GBG entries of a similar size nearby that just weren’t.

        Like

      2. Sheffield Hatter,
        And that day you got in the Black’s Head, a pub I’ve used several times over the years and had good beer but that was when “two beers is plenty” was widely understood.
        Now it’s “six hand pumps on the bar …… five Greene King beers …… My half of Kimberley Bitter was past its best”.
        And it’s no surprise that cask sales are a fraction of what they were.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. TSM, yes, those towns and villages are fantastic – I have great memories of the two pubs in Bonsall for instance, where I was nearly talked into buying a chicken coop, even though I don’t keep chickens, nor ever would.

      Yes, thanks for a nice piece Martin – nothing too prolix in either that or the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “What !!! Sorry, you can’t visit the pubs. Blame it on Belper. Or Eyam, I guess, they’re the plague capital of the Dales, aren’t they ?”

    They had just better bloody hope that I don’t get bitten by some radioactive spider or whatnot. With my super powers the Powers that Be will most definitely be in for a ‘nice surprise’!

    “It was asn inauspicious start”

    Asn? 🙂

    “As is the way, two Old Boys were already in.”

    Guffaw.

    “in fact everything you want in a pub.”

    Except perhaps… too many beers? 😉

    “It was clearly going to take more than a trip to A&E to keep him from his lunchtime session and his pork pie.”

    #properpubman

    “Upstairs, the Fonz said “Heyyyy“,”

    He does that alot.

    “and despite being a bit kitsch it sort of worked.”

    I was going to argue against after seeing the photo below but….

    “To seal the deal, just up the road is the famed Royal Oak, which always used to be famous for something, but for the life of me….”

    Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. 😦

    Keep the faith Martin. 2020 will soon be over! 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sheffield Hatter,
        Yes, but how late into the evening do the buses run ? I’ve got five months to wait for my bus pass.
        Wirksworth is the only town where I’ve thought “I wouldn’t mind living here” but I wouldn’t because all that gradient on the 2½ miles from Cromford railway station would be a bit much after a Proper Day Out with you all.

        Like

      2. Martin,
        Yes, quite possibly.
        Eccleshall and Leek are the two places I have in mind for when I’ve got it, but not on the same day at my age.

        Sheffield Hatter,
        Thanks.
        Yes, I could imagine finishing a pint of Draught Bass in the Victoria at 11pm ready for the last bus.
        But is it a bumpy bus ?

        Like

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