On his trek round the UK for “Notes From A Small Island” Bill Bryson took a break from the route to visit his family in whatever posh village near Keighley he lived in back in the early ’90s (let’s call it Sutton-in-Craven, shall we ?).
A mere 48 hours into our epic trek round The North in a campervan we had to make a detour back towards the urban wastelands of Leeds as Mrs RM had booked a gig at the Corn Exchange. Bet you can’t guess who we were seeing.
I wouldn’t drive the campervan into Leeds, let alone park it overnight. Have you seen Leeds ?
So we booked the cheapest Ibis close by with a fast train into town, and said “Hello, Shipley“.
There were other options, some just out of our budget.
And yes, that is for one night.
Ibis Shipley gave us decent WiFi and a chance to freshen up. It also gave me chance to revisit a Ships/Saltaire pub or two before Leeds.
But nothing in the GBG (bar the Spoons) was open on Tuesday afternoon. I would have provided Bradford CAMRA with a report on the promising looking (albeit keg) Wonky Donkey but it was closd.
There was one pre-emptive possibility, next to the famous Aagrah Kashmiri Restaurant.
And traditionalists will be delighted to know it’s a brand new bar/live venue called Groove Pad. Believe me, that’s better than Hop Club or Ale Society or whatever.
I guess the seating won’t reassure the Mudges,
but anything that’s not high tables is OK with Mrs RM and me.
I loved this place, and not only because it’s a certainty for GBG23 #Pre-emptiveTick
The young barman was an absolute joy, apart from his heavily metal focused playlist (which did slip from “Enter Sandman” to “Night Games” revealing his softer side).
“Welcome !” he said. How often do you hear that ?
He chatted to me about Shipley, popped outside to chat to another couple enjoying the view to Salts Mill,
then popped back to chat more. I loved that.
The beer range screamed “GBG cert“, though a bit local brewery pale heavy. I had a pint of Night Jar and a pint of Lord’s To The Moon in half an hour, both an easy 3.5 +, and admired the vinyl collection.
I noted the Song Requests on the bar, and demanded to know who’d requested Cutting Crew. There are laws about that sort of thing.
“What do you listen to, then ?” said our hero barman, reaching for the Spotify button.
An acquired taste, my choice in music, just like me.