The best pub in Britain?

A cou­ple of weeks back, we heard that the Kel­ham Island Tav­ern had been named CAM­RA’s pub of the year for the sec­ond year run­ning and, at a loose end on a win­try Sun­day after­noon, we popped up to Sheffield to give it a go.

There were friend­ly staff and a mixed crowd. The pub is def­i­nite­ly char­ac­ter­ful – not ster­ile, but not grot­ty either.

We had­n’t tried any of the beers on offer, and weren’t over­ly famil­iar with any of the brew­eries, so chose more-0r-less at ran­dom. Mid­night Stout from (we think) ‘the Brew Com­pa­ny’) was had those vanil­la and choco­late flavours of which we’re so fond; white rose Buck­ing Blonde (eugh – what an awful pump clip!) was a deli­cious pale and hop­py beer with a pleas­ing­ly sul­phurous aro­ma.

Final­ly, the best of the bunch. We’d had heard of Pic­tish Brew­ing, of course, because Tan­dle­man men­tions them in glow­ing terms from time to time. Brew­ers Gold was tru­ly excel­lent, hard not to down in one, it was so crisp. One of those beers which both cre­ates and quench­es thirst. It had zing up the wazoo.

We liked this pub a lot and it’s cer­tain­ly con­vinced us that we need to check out the run­ners up for pub of the year.

Our views on the near­by Fat Cat and some thoughts on Thorn­bridge to fol­low in lat­er posts.

I should be on that train

The Sheffield Tap, the newish Thorn­bridge-affil­i­at­ed pub on plat­form 1 at Sheffield­’s cen­tral sta­tion, is a very, very dan­ger­ous devel­op­ment.

It’s very easy to find your­self stand­ing at the bar with a half-emp­ty glass of deli­cious, crisp Thorn­bridge White Wild Swan watch­ing your train leave with­out you. And the worst thing is, you don’t even care. Trains are ten a pen­ny, but beer this good is hard to come by.

Seri­ous­ly, this pub is excel­lent. It has a beau­ti­ful inte­ri­or, incred­i­ble cask beer and (although we did­n’t count) what might be the best range of bot­tled beer in the coun­try, all avail­able to take away.

Now let’s have one of these at every sta­tion in Lon­don, please.

With thanks to Pete Brown for the tip off. Pret­ty much all the oth­er blog­gers went togeth­er a few weeks back and seem to have enjoyed it too.