Next up should have been the micropub in Brough which I know you’re desperate to read about, but on “Freedom Day” I have to bring you a report on my first trip to the bar in what seems like years.

I was going to have a day off the beer as I mentally prepared for a trip to Merseyside tomorrow, but then I saw this;

Regular readers will know that I actually live in the Blind Monkey (for mapping purposes), and it was a powerful combination of pizza and pints here that sold the S6 postcode to us as a retirement destination a year ago.

But apart from a pint in the rain in May I’d been holding off revisiting “my local“, put off by the entrance via the back door (I know that’s daft) and the table service (I know that’s not daft).

But at 15:59 I was standing outside the Monkey, as excited as a small dog on polling day.

A young chap was in front of me.

Minute to go, mate” I told him, irritated not to be first in.

Oh, I work here” he said, worryingly.

But at 16:01 I was at the bar, allowed to the front by a rascal who could see my desperation to be first (see also : a rush to the barriers of Doncaster Rotters to see New Order in 1985).

Now, where do I start in listing the joys of service at the bar. Well, being able to see the beers on offer is low down the list.

You get to say “Hello, nice weather” to the Landlord and their lovely team. It might be the only social contact you have if Mrs RM is working that day.

You get to stare around aimlessly, taking in the pub tat.

You get to share a remark about the Euros with the bloke behind you, something about a £1k TV getting smashed during the final.

And you get to carry your pint back to a table of your choosing,

without the fear that you might walk off without paying if you end up pissed. May I never ever hear “Would you like me to set up a tab ?” ever again.

I could now enjoy Pint 1, and 2 and 3, without any interference from “servers” asking if I was OK, but still free to chip in with conversation at the bar from the next table.

In truth, the Cwtch was struggling a bit in the Sheffield heat, so I switched to some gorgeous Magic Rock and Tiny Rebel keg BECAUSE I CAN and had sunk 3 pints before leaving to collect my kebab at 16:50.

It was life-affirming, and an experience that could only be improved with a Charley’s Special kebab and some Beer 52 cans rescued out of the garage.

And, yes, I did wear my mask up to the bar.

9 thoughts on “BACK TO THE BAR

  1. It must have been a grand feeling, being able to stroll up to the bar as in days of old. An occasion well worthy of a third pint!

    And wow, that pub is lovely inside and out. You can’t go wrong with dark wood and stained glass, and it looks like they’ve got plenty of both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s got a definite “speakeasy” feel to it, but this was the first time I’ve been allowed to have a good look after table service (boo !) before. Without food trade on a rare Monday opening, it felt very pubby.

      That third pint seems less of a good idea now (I thought the same at New York’s Blind Tiger 2 years ago !).


  2. Oh, I don’t know.

    With this hot sunny weather, the umbrellas, and the pleasant pub gardens, I think that Mrs. E and I will miss table service when it goes – we still have it here in the ‘Diff for now though.

    It’s been very well done at our regular pubs by utterly charming staff, and if you fancy a few words then there’s no rush, nor the next bloke at the bar rattling his glass. We’ve been well cared for as to re-orders, and there’s nothing not to like about it, especially being able to stay in your shady comfy seat to be served.

    It’s all very civilised – not like Britain at all, really, these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mrs RM can have table service when she’s with me, she likes those beer menus and asking for tasters and saying “What’s hoppy today, barkeep ?” and running a tab and paying by card….

      The Welsh are welcome to civilisation, they probably invented it.


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