Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wanders in Crookes, Walkley and the Upper Don Valley


          I wanted to tell you about two fantastic nights out I have had recently. Its important to point out that they are separate occasions, in case you should conclude that I drank 10 pints in one night. I did not. Not since 2009.....

Anyhoo, myself and Tash caught the 95 up to Commonside. We didn't fancy being in town with heaving crowds of football fans, and persons suffering from near hypothermia who assumed the sunshine at Midday represented the temperature at 20.00. We wanted somewhere homely, warm and slightly more relaxed.

The Closed Shop was quite busy as it turned out, but there were still seats and lots of lovely ale as always. I had a pint of Blue Bee Reet Pale, Tash a Crouch Vale Amarillo. We settled down in each other's arms and chatted about everything and nothing for a while before returning to the bar. This time, having decided the Amarillo was nice, but not as nice as the Reet, we both went with pints of the Blue Bee ale, which was about £2.70 a pint. We bumped into Saxbob who told us about a band on across the road, and also Jo and Neil. We had been intending to go to the Bake but having eard about the band opted instead to make the arduous trek across to the Hallamshire House.

The band were playing, and it was rammed. There was nowhere to sit apart from an odd steel here or there, and besides, we wanted to hear the music and see the band, so ended up stood up in the snooker room at the back. We had two halves of the Jaipur X which I think was about £7.00 a pint. Its worrying how many times I am paying that much for, albeit undoubtedly strong, and delicious, but ultimately expensive beer. Luckily it was on fine form. We finished our drinks, which were two more pints each of "normal" Jaipur, whilst the band who may have been called the Honeybee Blues Club based on a poster, finished their excellent set.

We also caught the 52 from town on a cold but sunny evening for a mobile celebration of crapulence. We started on Crookes top and made our way in rather odd fashion to Western Road and down Slinn Street to the Princess Royal. I haven't been for a whle so enjoyed the change of scene, as did Tash - its such a wonderful design of building, with many original features inside, and always serves real ale. As this was a short stop we had halves - we both had Welbeck Harley which, if my memory serves me right, I had last time I was in. We sat inside enjoying the music and banter.

From here we walked down to Heavygate and right and then down to join Fulton Road, down the end of which is Daniel Hill and the Blake. The view over Sheffield was superb in the bright sunshine, and this is a walk I enjoy doing immensely when the weather is clear. Inside we met Tuba John, who seems to be found in many places that we visit these days! We each had a pint of the pale ale from the brewery that is on earth somewhere and has an ABV. and sat down to chat with TJ.

Alas, that beer ran out for us and the pub so we changed to a half for Tash and pint for me of Pictish Fusion, which was on good form. Once again the atmosphere was good and the pub was a lovely place to pass some time. No pork pies though....

We walked another lengthy route, down Industry Street and up Tennyson Road onto the road where the Freedom View once stood. Down the side we joined Burnaby Street, then Burton Street en route to the New Barrack Tavern. We were only stopping for a half here, and both had halves of the Castle Rock Screech Owl, which was lovely.

Our next part of the journey involved waiting at Bamforth Street bus stop for 40 minutes to not catch 6 scheduled buses. We traipsed off along Infirmary Road cold and annoyed, and stopped in the Hillsborough Hotel. I have been disappointed by the Wood Street beers over the years and didn't think as much as I used to of the Double H. However, we were greeted warmly and offered tasters of 5 beers that were on. I had a half of Archer from Lincoln Green, and Tash a half of Lemmon from Wood Street. We sat down in the warmth to get our heads together before getting another half of Lemmon to share.

It was good to visit the Double H for the first time in a while, and hopefully we will return again soon enough - we have the Palm in Walkley to visit after all.....

Our final stop was following a walk along Infirmary Road and beyond to Shakespeares. As it was our final stop we opted for some stronger beers - Tash had a pint of the 5.1% Northern Monk Faith Pale Ale, and I had a pint of the delicious but strong tasting Mad Dog Kamikaze Hop Pooch at 7.4% - at least, that's what I can make out on my photo. With time getting on and the last bus uncatchable, we opted for another pint each of this beer, and although the Beefdozer cometh, we recovered sufficiently to catch a taxi back and fall asleep in our food. Awwww....stylish.

The above demonstrates (well, not the last bit) that Walkley and Crookes have worthy places to go drinking, as does the more renowned Upper Don Valley. Am hoping to return again soon to check out some of the other boozers in the area.


Wee Beefy

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