LOOK, THERE’S THE CARLISLE

Used that one in New York in 2019, so can use it in Cumbria under the 3 year (re-use of blog titles) rule.

The last day of Cumbrian ticking started, as all things must, with a loo stop in lovely Penrith Spoons.

Despite a scarcity of accommodation in Penrith, both the Dog Beck and the town centre were notable quiet on Saturday morning, which at least allowed a peaceful appreciation of the plant display by Elliott.

Carlisle was busier, so I wanted to make the Thin White Duke at the precise opening hour of 11:45, as What Pub threatened  “PLEASE NOTE IT MAY BE NECESSARY TO HAVE A TABLE RESERVATION TO GAIN ENTRY TO THIS PUB“. Me ? A reservation !

We had an hour to reassess a city I thought we may have done to death, but it seems I’d missed the magical transformation of the Market Hall into a home for Wilko and TK Maxx.

It’s an underrated place, which I chose to explore while Mrs RM went shopping.

A walk along the western walls gives you the best views,

and 20 minutes reveals the Cathedral as a bit of a mini Gloucester on the cathedral league table.

I know many of you come here for my cutting-edge music, so press play now to hear some ambient organ trance;


Oops, it’s 11:32. A dash via heritage pubs and art for opening time at the TWD, where Mrs RM promises she’ll be in 13 minutes.

Yes ! First in the queue.

(Two weeks later I’d have caught Ralph Lennon, 3rd grand-cousin of the legendary Scouse beat musician)

One of the smart “young-people” focused bars with a lone handpump to have sprung up in Carlisle. I really thought we’d picked the pre-emptive with the Last Zebra. Epic fail.

Do you have a reservation ?” Those are surely the five worst words in the English language.

Table for two please. And a half of Loweswater Gold while I wait for Mrs RM“.

Mrs RM doesn’t materialise. There is much mumbling and murmuring at the bar, at it appears that I’m drinking without eating.

Eventually, Mrs RM does turn up, but by now it’s too late to eat and time to go. But via the loos, where there’s a great picture of Duncan “Pubmeister” Mackay celebrating his completion of the GBG in 2018 (subject to audit).

One day, that could be me.

12 thoughts on “LOOK, THERE’S THE CARLISLE

  1. Clearly the aim of the Carlisle entries is to lower your expectations as you enter Scotland – this awful place where I also felt an irritant to the staff for not eating and the one next door that I believe was never even open in this guide and before that the dodgy Moo bar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An establishment that discourages drinking, unless with a meal, surely has no place in any beer guide, let alone the Good Beer Guide. I also remember that Moo Bar you mentioned, although I can’t remember what the issue was!

      It does make me wonder about the selection process. Glad to be out of it, and the accompanying branch politics. 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you COULD just drink, but being expected to book a table, shown to a table, enforced table rather than bar service, and being presented with a menu as soon as you enter tends to be a deterrent to just drinking. There’s a lot of places like this.

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      2. The owner of the “dodgy” Moo Bar was [apparently/allegedly/as far as I can recall after all this time/my lawyer has advised me not to say/I could be wrong but] charging full whack for the beers and then carelessly forgetting to pass any of the takings on to the breweries. I can’t remember the full details, but it’s entirely likely that the staff weren’t paid either. I definitely don’t remember which way he went when he left Carlisle – but it was probably thataway.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Glad to be out of it, and the accompanying branch politics”.
        Me too, fifteen years now ( but I did do 33 years )

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, excellent! Probably 25 years since I was last there and I noticed a distinct biscuity smell, which pleased me somewhat. Guildford used to smell of coffee back in the day, especially around the top of the High Street.

        I wonder what Maidenhead smells of?

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