The last time I wrote about the Chantry Inn at Handsworth someone was more intrigued by the Edward VII post box than my fascinating piece on a community local on consecrated ground.
Will had wanted to visit since the Chantry “landed” (ugh) in the Guide, and I was delighted to accompany him; it’s always best to be with someone who doesn’t need help tying their shoelaces up.
We almost did the neighbouring Old Crown first, but couldn’t confirm the availability of Doom Bar.
I do like a pub that opens when it says it will (1pm) and has a big sign outside directing you in.
Inside to a collection of shiny handpumps (can wood shine ?) that looks too many but they’re all being used.
I go for the Stout again, another marvellously rich pint hovering between 3.5 and 4, a great place to hover.
Will tells the Chantry’s landlord how good the beer was in the Marston’s estate pub, he shakes his head, we don’t push it and just enjoy a rare Monday lunchtime session.
OK, mainly blokes this time, but one young lad had two bottles of Heineken 0.0 which suggests it’s not just a beery pub.
“Aah, Creedence” says Will as we sit down, the first of a classic rock soundtrack running through “Stairway to Heaven“, The Hollies, The Kinks and ending at “Highway Star“.
Some great pub banter (“Since I come here I’ve put on weight”. “Tell me about it dear“), including something I noted down as “Let It Be v. Trans Wig” which it’s possibly wise I’ve forgotten.
I consider asking for Matilda Mann to stem the flow of classic rock, but hold my tongue. Instead I ask for a pint of Special Reserve, a 6.3% session beer if ever I saw one.
It was the best of decisions, it was the worst of decisions.