Saturday, 27 June 2015

Wadsley Wonderland

Now then,

              the weekend before my birthday Mumrah and Martin went away on holiday. One of their cats,  was ill and needed looking after - feed on sight was the answer we were told, because he "normally doesn't eat anything". This turned out, as we arrived Friday night and left Sunday, to be the most inaccurate assessment of a cat ever. It would have been worse, however,if we hadn't spent some time wandering round the local area sampling a beer or two.

Here is my assessment of a few pubs near Wadsley Bridge.

Having arrived after work we set about feeding the cats and enjoying the garden whilst planning where we might want to go later. In the end we opted to leave late and wander down Foxhill Road to the Railway at Wadsley Bridge. The Railway, as I reported only 4 years ago is, or maybe was, run by the inimitable Jean. At the end of this post is a link to that original assessment, which includes reviews of other local pubs.

The Railway then, and likely now, has reduced opening hours, is only open Friday to Sunday as far as I know, and has an older clientele, who enjoy the covers bands that perform in the back room. The pub still has its original layout, or at least, its 4 years old layout, of a room on the left, an area on the right, the bar, an opened out room on the left and then an extended back room further on where the music is played.

There were two handpumps both serving Bradfield beers - we both had pints of their Blonde (the other was Yorkshire Farmer) and it was in tip top condition,and excellent value at £2.60 a pint. We didn't see Jean to be honest but she always looked after her beers well so she may well still be involved. The beer was fantastic.

As it was warm and dryish we sat out in the back garden, listening to the band, supping 2 or 3 pints of delicious real ale and chatting to some locals. The Railway is a pub I think I should visit more often.

Next we diverted to a large supermarket and came back with supplies, dropping in on the Fox on Foxhill Road, formerly the Fox and Hounds. I never went in the Fox and Hounds and his was my first visit to the Fox. It was quite late when we arrived but we got served quickly - the only real ale from two pumps is Doom Bar. I can't pretend I like Doom Bar but at least its real ale. So me and Tash had a pint each, and then a further half before we went home.

We initially sat outside on snazzy reflective tables in light rain, and before long the precipitation forced us inside. There is loud music and telly on in the pub, which has a long bar area, with a pool table set back on the left and what I understand is the dining area on the right towards the back.

Regular readers may already be sensing my distaste at the design and beer choice, but actually, its an estate pub, doing what its customers want. It was reasonably busy, sells real ale, and I understand the Sunday lunches are lovely and great value. Estate pubs are becoming a rarity in Sheffield and this survival, selling real ale as it does, is to be celebrated.

The next day we woke early and sent a long time pottering around inside since it was throwing it down. After a short walk in the late afternoon in muggy sunshine, myself and Tash walked to the local Asda to get some cash, and then past another estate pub. The Basset*, sadly, appears to be closed. Tash used to go in and drink one of the two different real ales that the landlord used to put on regularly. That is, before he was dragged out onto parkland nearby by thugs one night and nearly beaten to death. Its a shame that nobody publicised the beers at the pub because I understand they were good in variety and well priced and kept. Such a shame to see another closed estate pub.

We headed on up tp Grenoside and up Skew Hill Lane to the Cow and Calf. I have been drinking in here since I was a child, and the interior of the pub itself seems unchanged. Granted, much adjoining land has been swallowed up by large new build houses, which is a shame, but it is stilll a beautiful old pub, selling very inexpensive real ale.

As it was dry again, and muggy, we opted to have two pints of Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter and to sit outside. We talked about pubs and previous visits and drank more beer before eventually managing to secure a seat, at a tiny table, inside. Two more pints followed although these were near the end of the barrel - something that I find very easy to tell with Sam Smiths - so we moved onto bottles of their Oatmeal stout. The large (I think 550 or 560ml) bottles are slightly more expensive at £3.80 a go but the beer is delicious.

We attracted some attention form the locals drinking bottles, most of whom had never tried them, and another bottle and two more pints came. The landlord told me he was struggling to sell them, and wanted to get some Yorkshire Stingo - if you are reading this, please post on here when you get some!

We stayed late before we wandered back down the hill to my Mum's to have some wine and liver bacon and onions for a late tea.

This visit was admittedly only brief but showed the area has plenty to offer in terms of pub stock. Here is a link to my previous post about pubs in the area from 4 years ago for comparison.


Wee Beefy

*apologies - I mis-remembered this as the Beagle - now updated correctly.

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