just time to tell you about another couple of nights out in the suburban slake-holes of Sheffield. A return to two pubs not visited for a good while, and a couple of bright new things on London Road.
As promised, myself and Tash decided to visit the Palm in Walkley. As we were meeting in town first, and I was early (or rather, Tash was late), we met in the Red Deer. I had two halves initially - Flack Manor Hedge Hop and Salopian Darwin's Origin. Unfortunately, although similar, the Darwin was in fact much better - something I discovered when I bought myself and Tash two pints of the Flack Manor....
A further pint and a half of the Salopian followed before we headed across the road to catch the 95. Soon enough we were walking down Palm Street to the Palm Inn. There were two real ales on the bar - Tetley and Farmers Blonde. We both went for a pint of the latter. We settled down on chairs on the left hand side of the small front room and got chatting to a singer and cat whisperer and his companion who were visiting for the first time. The Cat, incidentally, was called Mr or Mrs P - Mr P they said, had cared for the cat when he lived across the road and when he died, the cat came to the pub, and stayed. He, or she, certainly loved the cat whisperer.
Two more pints followed of the Blonde and Tash went outside to find someone from her road waiting for a taxi - helping to confirm Sheffield, once again, as the biggest village in the world. I understand that the current tenants are to leave very soon, and the new lady behind the team taking over was chatting across from us. I get the feeling very little will change, and with real ale at £2.60 a pint that is welcome news.
Up the hill next we went to the Walkley Cottage. I haven't been in for a few years but found apart from a lack of lighting at the side entrance, that very little has changed. There are still 5 or more real ales on and I suspect they still do food. The lass behind the bar was friendly and gave us a couple of tasters of the beers and we plumped for Landlord for me and something Blonde for Tash. We then sat down in the corner and chatted and soaked up the atmosphere.
It was admittedly quiet, although it was a midweek night so maybe that's not surprising. The pub is built in 1930's roadhouse style and used to be divided into two with an entrance on each side and no way through at the front - alas its now been opened out, well, many years ago, but retains separate areas for drinking.
Last night I found myself at Heeley Green collecting something for Tash, and nipped into the Brothers Arms. Disappointingly, there was nothing hoppy on the bar at all, as the barman admitted, although a Liverpool Organic beer was coming on in 20 minutes time. Instead, I opted for a half of Nethergate Suffolk County bitter and Farmers Decade. According to their website, this is a celebration of their ten year anniversary. I have to say, it drinks very easy at 5.5% but is quite underwhelming as a celebration of ten years brewing! The Suffolk County was a traditional lower ABV brown bitter which was a nice change - alas, a meeting on London Road and an influx of horrendously loud screaming children prompted my swift exit.
I met Tash in town and we walked slowly to the Beer Engine. No Mr V this time but as usual a good range of beers on the bar. Tash had a pint of Celt Experience Silures, and I a pint of the Raw Grey Ghost at 5.9%. We sat out in the beer garden trying to pretend it wasn't cold, and thoroughly enjoyed our beers.
Eventually, hypothermia was setting in so we headed inside to have another Grey Ghost for me and two halves, one of Marble Lagonda and one of Bad Seed India Lager on keg for Tash. We supped these slowly in what was a fairly busy pub, warmed considerably after the chill outside.
Our final stop of the night was the Albion. Its safe to say that on non football days, this is a quiet pub. We got in at 21.30 or so and were more or less the only customers until our friends joined us later. There were two Clarks real ales and Brimstone and Deception from Abbeydale, at £3.00 a pint, so we went for a pint each of Deception, and a pile of Bombay mix for a pound. We chatted with the Irish guy behind the bar for a while before Paul came in for his friend's birthday with a few others, but they only stayed for one.
Later we were joined by Clare, Gav, Rico and Gaz for last drinks. We sat at the table slightly lower down on the left and chatted about food and booze and much more. More pints of Deception and Brimstone were supped, a fantastic way to end the night.
Another example of excellent real ale venues in sunny Sheffield!
By the way, I am becoming aware that with reduced funds, my trips to the pub are not only becoming fewer, but also seem to concentrate on specific areas. West Street from the Bath to Shakespeares seems to be a favourite. Luckily the Heeley Triangle. Of Ale, has seen a slight change, as has the continued excellence of Crookes and as above, Walkley. However, if anyone could nominate an area more or less in Sheffield where I could find 3 or 4 real ale pubs close together I would be more than willing to try them out - either leave a comment on here or put one on Facefriend.