The 18:13 from Gargrave to Leeds was delayed by a minute, so I only had a minute to run from Platform 15 to Platform 6 to catch the fast service to Sheffield, which if young people moved quicker I’d have jumped on before the doors slid closed 30 seconds early.

So, an hour to kill in Leeds (or else take the slow train via Donny, and you wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy/rival ticker).

I’d been wanting to pop back to Friends of Ham for years.

One of many classy new foody bars opened near the stations in the roaring 2010s (see also : Bundobust), it was standing room only in 2013 when I popped by for a rushed half, but now Google tells me it’s “less busy than usual“.

The slow return of the office trade means there’s space in Friends of Ham for old codgers and middle-aged couples, as well as the groups of mates drawn in by 10 and 11% Imperial Stouts and “Custom Boards”, who seem to be requesting (and getting) tasters of Lilley’s ciders.

I am one of only two people not wearing a cap or checked shirt; it’s normally pashminas and beards I’m lacking in Leeds.

The house Kirkstall Pale is pretty good, a cool and foamy 3+,

and the Serrano Gran Reserva and Old WInchester are well matched if I say it myself.

Sorry Jane, I have NO idea what’s in the chutney. And apparently BRAPA does like this place, oddly.

I clearly rushed it a bit, as I still had 20 minutes before my train, too much time to resist the De La Senne, which in the absence of provenance information I’ll assume is brewed in Wolverhampton.

Being a beer sommelier I know that the only way to drink the Linnebir is to decant it into the dregs of the pint mug, and as usual I’m proven right If you mix cask dregs with keg you actually score it you know (NB(cdwk)SS 3.5). The sooner CAMRA sets up a specialist beer group to pronounce on things like this, and the best Doom Bar pubs, the better.

There you go, I can be nice to L***s, and Mrs RM would love Friends of Ham, but I’d try and avoid the high stools next time as she does love her feet to touch the floor.

5 thoughts on “FRIENDS OF HAM

  1. It’s Zinnebir. Probably. Was when I last drank it.

    But nice to see how far De La Senne have come since the early days of The Magic Number and Me, Myself and I et al.


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