BROCCOLI STEMS, LOVE & LIQUOR IN CODSALL

I didn’t expect to be heading back to Codsall so soon.

In late 2019 this small Staffs village on the edge of Wolverhampton was the unlikely starting point for a memorable Old Codgers trip to Shifnal.

One thing Old Codgers don’t do is search out artisan places for late lunch, but that was my priority in Codsall, the Great Shelford of the Midlands.

Never seen the Meat House before.

The website promised pancetta, brioche and ‘Nduja, but since it was unexpectedly closed my research was for naught.

I thought about lunch in the Crown Joule’s, but the lunchtime menu was a bit plain and I fancied something that would look good on my Instagram, being a baby boomer and all.

The coffee shops were doing noticeably better business than the pubs, a common theme in the smarter towns and villages since Freedom Day.

Ooh, cronuts !

Actually, I’m not sure that Medicine Kitchen actually had cronuts, but it did have high calorie items and a sense of occasion I expected I wouldn’t have got in the Bull across the road.

I had the Buddha Bowl with side of buttermilk chicken, and received stares of jealously from a packed dining room.

An attempt to walk it off before Love & Liquor opened at 15:00 met with threatening skies.

So I was glad that some micros still open on time, just to be contrary.

Now, you’ve seen these new Midlands micropubs/beer houses a hundred times,

so you’ll know exactly what to expect.

But what Love & Liquor has, as well as a friendly welcome and a superbly rich Bristol Stout (NBSS 4), is a proper mix of seating.

I take the low road, and enjoy Under 19 cricket on the telly and a discussion about melted leather jacket and the Lumineers played at a decent volume. It’s everything those early Kent micros with high tables round the wall and mates of the publican putting beer scores on Untppd aren’t.

A joy.

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