The in-laws safely headed back to their hotel , Mrs RM forced me to make a final, inadvisable pub stop on that fateful Saturday (the 5th, I’m that far behind).

Having already re-visited three of the classic Sheffield GBG pubs, it was time for a fourth.

Yes, the pub that gave its name to a Victorian spa still awaiting conversion to an annual craft beer festival venue, the pub that once wowed us with Tetley Bitter, but now a Thornbridge flagship in the city.


Open for pleasure” ? I’ll be the judge of that.

A heritage pub, but we know that means very little, don’t we ?

It looks gorgeous, but there appear to be more beers than customers at 16:38 on a Saturday.

Still, we all like choice, don’t we ?*

Mrs RM (the only woman inside), who will regret this session the next morning, identifies the Tony Hart theme amongst the polite jazz soundtrack; I’m struck by the air of calm. It’s a place you come to read your book on Neil Young, or the Sheffield Star, not to play the fruit machines.

Perhaps a bit too quiet for me, with Mrs RM’s ripping open of the Vanguard nuts disturbing the tranquillity.

As in the University Arms, we went through a range called “Best”, “Mild” and “Special” “Brother Rabbit”, “Lord Marples” and “I love you will you marry me”.

Judge for yourselves. You can read the paper on the next table through that crystal clear glass.

Good, but far from perfect though (NBSS 3); perhaps the beer was a degree up on ideal so I felt compelled to test the range.

One of the lovely staff (superb phone manner) misunderstood an order and produced a Rabbit the customer didn’t want. I strolled to the bar (mask on) and said “I’ll buy that unwanted pint !”.

That’s when you know it’s time to call it quits.

What else ?

Oh yeah, unisex loos.

I‘ll pop back when, you know, we get “freedom” and all that.


14 thoughts on “AN EARLY BATH

  1. You need to have another session with Roger Prozt. He isn’t getting the message: “The trend was set by MolsonCoors that bought Sharp’s in Cornwall and set about turning cask Doom Bar into a mockery of its former self.” Interesting article today though.


    1. I plough a lone path when I say “It’s the pub, not the beer, stupid”.

      If you had a great pint of Doom Bar in Padstow on holiday in 2004, right about when it was winning awards, then had a very sweet, under conditioned pint in Wetherspoons etc since it became ubiquitous, you almost certainly would think the brewery was to blame. Unless you’d had it in Winchester’s Eclipse or Sawbridgeworth’s Bull or a few more.

      What does surprise me is that the same people MUST have had a dull pint of Harvey’s or Landlord or London Pride and wondered what was to blame ?


      1. Yes, “It’s the pub, not the beer, stupid”.
        Sharps Doom Bar was never as distinctive as beers from Skinners or St Austell and at its best, which is rare nowadays, it’s as good as it ever was.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. its a good question but I know Landord can be finicky and suffers at the hands of pubs that arent clued up, so Im prepared for it and just occasionally like a broken clock is right sometimes, even the bad pubs get it spot on, sometimes. Pride or Harveys though well neither youd think were that hard to look after, but Id struggle to recall a decent pint of Harveys Best, and Ive drunk it in a pub of the year no less, and whilst pride sometimes its good sometimes it isnt, even next door to the brewery I wasnt rushing back for a repeat helping. The problem is the bad pints of Harveys & Pride put you off retrying when given the choice of something else on the bar, whilst I kind of just accept Landlord for what it is.

        But then I was in Cornwall on holiday in 2004 and Im convinced Tribute is not remotely the same beer I was drinking back then either, I dont recall if I had a Doom Bar in Padstow, I think I was so shocked at the price of the tv chefs takeaway fish and chips, I quickly left.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. All good points.

        I famously know NOTHING about beer, I can just tell a well kept pint, but I assume 3 main factors in the quality of that pint;

        1) How long it’s conditioned properly before serving.
        2) Cleanliness of the pipes, pulling through the first pints, clean glass.
        3) Turnover.

        The Southworth twins could tell you more about quality of Landlord (or Harvey’s) than anyone, I bet.

        You’re spot on about once bitten. My youngest lad is at that stage where he’ll try a real ale instead of a stock lager or craft keg in Manchester. He had 3 pints in Stockport with me last month; only one of them (Unicorn in the Arden) would lead you to a life of cask. Summer temperatures will make it even harder to serve cool cask.


    2. I love the maltier beers too. Remember the publican who said “there are no bad beers. There’s them that keeps it.” Something like that. Love that comment.


    1. I didn’t find the Bath Hotel “pristine” when I was there a couple of years ago, just a lovely Proper Pub.
      I ended up discussing with a couple of university types what to do with those free sheets piled up in railway stations.


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