Normal (Table) Service is Resumed

The month of May finally brought some relief to our beleaguered pubs across much of Britain, the proviso being table service only. Most people don’t seem too bothered about this. It is, after all, common practice across Europe, and they are just pleased to be inside a pub again.

Talbot, Alton, Staffs

And as privations go it’s hardly akin to rationing, but table service can have disadvantages. Sometimes you can’t see what beers are on and sometimes the staff don’t know. In a couple of pubs I have been told, after pressing the point, that “it’s Blonde”. On one of these occasions I saw the unbadged handpump but no one knew who had brewed it. And there is a reduced likelihood of those random conversations that you get in pubs.

Black Lion, Cheddleton, Staffs

Relief too then, for dedicated pub tickers whose activities have been severely curtailed. My own return to action was more steady than spectacular, notching 39 new Good Beer Guide ticks plus eight others in May. You can’t be too careful after a long lay-off, overdoing it can damage the ligaments in your drinking arm.

Those numbers exclude revisits, the highlights of which were returns to Huddersfield’s King’s Head and Sportsman. The latter is a former Bass house that keeps the old sign – depicting the local rugby league strip – in the covered outdoor area.

The King’s Head is one of two pubs on Huddersfield station. You could have a magnificent night out here without leaving the station as the other pub is a Head of Steam. The King’s Head also has Conor, who served up some super fresh pints of Chinook from Goose Eye brewery and was everything you would want a good barman to be.

Conor celebrating Barman of the Day Award

Flat top of the month was the Flatt Top at Thornhill Edge. A strong trading cash-only boozer sitting on the edge of a spectacular drop to the valley below that could be enjoyed from the outside seating.

May also saw a visit to the superb Bird in Hand in Cheadle from which there had been no recent social media posts, causing a nagging concern it may not have reopened. On arrival it appeared dark and you would have to say the signage is unobtrusive.

But, joy, a side door leads you into the inner sanctum where Dave and Lyn run a proper local pub, opening from 4 on a Friday. Dave is from Cornwall and has succeeded in converting the locals to the extent of having three regular ciders and a perry but cask beer fans are also well catered for. My Burton Bridge Damson Porter slipped down a treat.

They even recommended another pub in town, so a quick half at the Baker’s Arms followed. It’s a lovely wood-panelled town centre pub with four cask beers on at the moment, including a tasty, fresh Citra.

A final highlight of the month was the immaculate Three Horseshoes in Clay Cross, an old Derbyshire mining town that has also embraced European ways.

Table service and hygge. We’ll be rejoining the EU next.

8 thoughts on “Normal (Table) Service is Resumed

  1. Brilliant pics, they really are.

    I somehow missed the Hygge despite trips to Clay Cross and the Tupton Tap up the road.

    Finding you managed 39 GBG ticks last month (and Simon 55) leaves me feeling a bit like I did last Saturday night. A bit flat, but somehow it was all about the journey this last month or so.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You did plenty of pubs just not all GBG. Anyway it’s not a race, only a bit of fun and balancing family and other commitments comes first. Plus you are soon to do some extreme ticking worth a lot more than mere numbers. We go again.

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  2. “and they are just pleased to be inside a pub again.”

    Wait… inside? I thought that didn’t happen until June 21st?

    “And there is a reduced likelihood of those random conversations that you get in pubs.”

    Too right mate!

    “You can’t be too careful after a long lay-off, overdoing it can damage the ligaments in your drinking arm.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “The latter is a former Bass house that keeps the old sign – depicting the local rugby league strip – in the covered outdoor area.”

    Surely that’s just to annoy Martin if, in fact, they don’t serve Bass? 😉

    “The King’s Head also has Conor, who served up some super fresh pints of Chinook from Goose Eye brewery and was everything you would want a good barman to be.”

    I think I’m currently wearing the same bloody shirt as him!

    “A strong trading cash-only boozer sitting on the edge of a spectacular drop to the valley below that could be enjoyed from the outside seating.”

    Hopefully one does not enjoy the spectacular drop literally. 🙂

    “On arrival it appeared dark and you would have to say the signage is unobtrusive.”

    Agreed. Plus, I don’t see either a bird or a hand.

    “My Burton Bridge Damson Porter slipped down a treat.”

    Obviously sitting inside is allowed. I fear I’ve been away too long.

    “including a tasty, fresh Citra.”

    He does seem to get around. 😉

    “Table service and hygge. We’ll be rejoining the EU next.”

    Steady on!

    Cheers

    PS – And, as I noted at Martin’s blog, I’ll be fairly infrequent until the fall alas. Work and family obligations – plus work whilst not in camp! – will take up a big chunk of my time. But, come the fall, I’ll be luxuriating in being able to post whenever I bloody feel like it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Russ. Sounds like heavy duty work. Allowed inside as long as it’s table service. Supposedly that will be relaxed after 21 June so that people can go to the bar, but think that timescale is unlikely, especially as the bar staff tend to be in age group of people still awaiting vaccines. Notice Canada is out in front on the vaccinated league table!

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      1. Thanks Duncan, forgot about table service.

        And yes, works going to be intense but, at least up in camp anyway, that’s all you have to do, besides sleep, shower and do your own laundry. They do all the cooking and cleaning and changing of sheets etc. Plus, there’s no commute and no shopping. 🙂

        Hopefully the goalposts won’t move (again) due to the 2nd does wait.

        And yup, we ain’t too bad over here. Both my darling wife and my sister (both in their 50’s) have had their 2nd dose. I’ve been too busy to check on mine!

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

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