The geography of Birmingham gets wonderfully complex around Bournville ward.
I’m sure the Ember Inn nearest Cadbury World (which is probably what visitors call the area) was marked as King’s Heath (or is it King’s Norton ?), or was it Selly Oak, which is the Parliamentary constituency ?
Anyhow, Stirchley is it’s own ward, but half a mile down Pershore Road you’ll find Cotteridge, which IS an area of Bournville ward. “Area” seems much to imprecise, doesn’t it ?
Wiki has little to add about Cotteridge, a functional place dominated by Sophie’s empire of takeaways, and whose most impressive building is called Kurry Kingdom in order to annoy folk.
It was closed, and my GBG pub was also shuttered up 20 minutes before opening time.
But I’m used to that, nerves of steel, though as this was my last West Midlands Guide tick I had a particular reason to get it done.
I settled my stomach, and nerves, with a spicy chicken wrap from Bistro Cafe, which also seemed like the place to go to overdose on Turkish coffee and baklava.
That left two minutes to discover that Cotteridge has a pub identical to the British Oak,
and a chap called Jon Doors who sell doors. Isn’t that a coincidence !
15:01. The shutters were halfway up at Redbeer’d. That suggests life, surely ?
Two minutes passed, the longest of my life, with no further shutter movement.
I pushed the door anyway, it opened, and a friendly barperson apologised that they weren’t quite open yet as it was all a bit hectic. Sometimes “not quite open yet” at a micro means “come back Saturday”, but here it was 39 seconds before I had my pale Fownes.
I reckon I’m first in these suburban micros 90% of the time (3pm openers normally), and I always wonder if anyone will turn up. At least I get a 90s soundtrack of Blur’s “Universal” and the Lightning Seeds’ “Life of Riley” which always makes me look for a screen showing the Goal of the Month contenders from Tony Yeboah.
Instead, two fellow topers had joined me by 15:10, both on the Fownes Pale.
“If you want to chuck the plug off the seat, help yourself” said our busy barperson to Bloke 1, apologising for a few tasks frantically completed before opening.
No-one ever goes upstairs in a micropub (unless the loo is there), and that’s a FACT. Which is a shame, as Redbeer’d has made an effort, even installing a palindrome in the Gents. It took me ages to work out it was a palindrome.
Nearly as long as it took me to apply the pink markers to the West Midlands section of the GBG.