A quick pint on the way into town. It is possible, sort of.
The walk down through Ruskin Park from the Blind Monkey to the Blake Hotel ought to be immortalised in song by Van Morrison but he’s too busy wittering on about lockdown these days.
ALL THE PUBS IN SHEFFIELD ON FOOT No. 15 – The Blake Hotel, Upperthorpe
When we visited the Blake in Summer on our house-hunting expedition it looked idyllic; an independent street corner boozer with children playing across the street and a scary view down the steep hill (handrail use optional) into town.
The Blake is what in most towns we’d call “The CAMRA pub” to signify it’s where the casketeers go every week, but in Sheffield half the pubs round here seem like “The CAMRA pub”, with the other half serving John Smiths Smooth.
Mrs RM wasn’t as convinced by The Blake as I was; perhaps the Covid restrictions in place robbed it of its spontaneity or perhaps Mrs RM just wanted pizza.
But last week there was no long (but necessary) lecture on restrictions inside the pub, it was straight into the beer garden via a furtive glance at the pumps.
The garden, 10 tables well spaced, is huge. Dunno where they find these outdoor spaces from.
The sun shone, birds chirruped, the wisteria wound up the wall behind me, I wondered what to do about ordering.
A sheet with the keg, a fading memory of the pumps (something “Aruba”?), no ordering app. It’s so confusing when you can’t just order at the bar, he whined.
But the young man came and he knew what real ale was and actually recommended the Azeban (see, I was close) and although it took a while to come I didn’t much care.
Suddenly, sitting in a pub beer garden made perfect sense. Two dozen drinkers from 19 to 79, in couples, groups and solo, and not a chance of “carnage”.
“If the whole country had Bitcoin you wouldn’t need to tax us” said someone, probably an IT type. It’s the sort of thing my eldest lad, who lives 2 minutes walk away, would say.
If he said that I’d just look bewildered and finish my pint (cool, crisp, foamy, 3.5).