Mid-September 2022. Really getting into the swing of post-GBG pubbing now, with a month to go till the new Guide dropped (ugh).

After the Railway I took the tram into town.

Honestly, Sheffield looks better by the week.

No idea why. But why not. Perhaps I intended to buy Mrs RM a present for all her company and driving. Perhaps.

Anyway, ended up in the Head of Steam, which sadly I can’t label as “All the pubs in Sheffield on foot No. 399” as I didn’t walk it and as you know this blog NEVER LIES.

The HoS chain are like a Spoons with good beer, which probably undersells their appeal to lads wanting “dirty” burgers delivered to their high table while they watch football.

Possibly more about the Head of Steam another time, but who wants to read about that when there’s a Sam Smiths classic next door.

I wondered why I hadn’t made any notes on my phone when I was in the Brown Bear that night; then I remembered that phones are banned. Good job I had my classic Canon in my bag.

It’s a beaut, as they say in Tadcaster.

Luckily I’d brought along the Sheffield Museums brochure to read; who carries a newspaper these days.

Sir Humphrey instructs you to “Talk to each other” in his marvellous pubs, which is a noble aim, and there were plenty of interesting gentlefolk having a pre-theatre drink.

But that would have been harder than in the Railway with tables well-spaced and a less raucous atmosphere than in Stockport’s Sams (or its Spoons).

Still, after a very good OBB I stayed for a Stout, just because.

I must have had a good night, as I ended up opposite the Cathedral devouring the Coco kebab from German Doner Kebab.

Mrs RM’s Coco kebab, I’m afraid.

8 thoughts on “SORRY, COULDN’T RESIST IT

  1. Hello Martin, attempting to post using my desktop computer, wish me luck!

    I have almost an emotional response to seeing a Sam Smiths pint glass, it just looks so classic to me. They’re not prone to altering those beermats, are they? (Or anything else, it would seem!)

    I know Sam Smiths pubs have these rules about not using phones and so forth. Are they the only pub chain that has such rules, i.e. a set of guidelines that pub fans are aware of/ make jokes about? 🙂

    When I had the entirely undeserved pleasure of having a phone chat with Roger Protz a while back, he said his experiences dealing with Samuel Smiths were a bit surprising: as if they didn’t much want to be interviewed, or to assist anyone in spreading the word about their products. Since then I’ve had this image of Samuel Smiths as the “eccentric uncle” of British brewing,: a company hard to fathom in terms of how they go about doing things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Mark. You succeeded !

      I agree about the Sam Smiths glasses, as iconic as Bass. Their drinks range doesn’t change much either.

      Sam Smiths are the only pub chain with draconian rules on electronic devices and swearing and so forth, though some of those rules are relatively recent, introduced by their elderly leader Humphrey. Whether a next generation will have a different approach is hard to say. When pubs re-opened after the first lockdown the price of a pint went up from £2 to £3, far higher in London (where younger people are more common than in their northern pubs).

      Interesting question about other pub chains with rules we ridicule. The posh dining pub company Brunning & Price has a board at the entrance which says “This is how things work”, which rather treats customers as if they’ve never been to a pub before. Harvey’s are a bit old fashioned as well, their bottled beer priced at £3.73 and the like, and goodness knows what Donnington are like these days; I must find out !


    2. Many things have been written about Samuel Smiths, and the brewery owner Humphrey Smith. Basically, Humph and his rules and dictatorial whims were regarded as mad, but the regulars put up with it for cheap beer. Then Humph put up his prices last year and his pubs became sparsely populated. Though to be fair, the prices haven’t been raised again in over a year. With inflation the way it is, Sam Smith’s beer will become cheap again soon enough.

      If you want to see the Humph and his modus operandi, Google the following :

      “sam smiths droitwich spa”
      “sam smiths tadcaster bridge”
      “sam smiths new years eve”
      “sam smiths sheffield dessert”

      Humphrey Smith is quite the character

      Liked by 1 person

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