Alas and alack drinking ale is no more than a hobby of mine and so, like so many of us I must labour to earn my crust. When not beerfairying I am a solicitor running his own practice and, again like so many self-employed, days off are few and far between. It was, therefore with much anticipation that me and my good mate Steve set off on our bikes along the Leeds Liverpool canal towpath for a jolly boys day in the saddle. Pausing only for a coffee and mars bar at the conveniently located Toby’s Tearoom we headed onto Saltaire and the Boathouse inn.
Nicely renovated with great views over the river and the park it serves a fin pint of Saltaire Blonde; being sensible cyclists it was just the one pint before heading home with only several impromptu toilet stops to slow us in – what goes in must come out.
Having showered and eaten it was off to the Liberty Bell, a Leeds Brewery pub for a pint of Yorkshire Gold however it being a Friday night it was a little bit too full of people talking too loudly while throwing back their heads and laughing too much. Sorry, that sounds terrible doesnt it but hey my Friday night too.
So a short walk later we found ourselves in The Grove; I always feel like an extra in Life on Mars in the pub. That is a compliment, a pub so untouched by the hand of time that it is only the lack of a fug of cigarette smoke that reminds you that it 2013.
Against our better judgment though it may have been the overall feeling of bonhomie brought about by a couple of pints of Moorhouses Pride of Pendle that we risked a quid and went into the back room for folk night. Best £1 I have ever spend; not a huge fan of folk music but something pleasant about being sat in a room lit by candles listening to people sing songs that were old when my grandparents grandparents were born has a very soothing quality possibly best summed up by Steve, not usually the most philanthropic of folk, when he said ‘ I want to hug everyone’.
And I won a harmonica on a chain in the raffle …. which was nice.
So thanks to the Grove, Moorhouses and the folk singers of olde Leeds towne.