Jane Stuart – Writer

Writing about real life Up North: football, ale, food and mental health – with a good dash of humour.

Blackpool v Peterborough United (& Leeds) – Peterborough Pubs

Dear reader, it’s all go here at LCTV Towers. About time I took a break from writing my book and studying to take you on a pub crawl of Peterborough. Because the pubs of Peterborough are, quite frankly, ace. No way was I going to let COVID deny me another Posh pub crawl, having already robbed me of last season’s fixture. Ok, so the match was behind closed doors and the pubs shut…but there’s no stopping my virtual pub crawls, so let’s go…

I’m on the 0721 from Blackpool North to Leeds, which is handy, because I’ve forgotten to tell you about the Papa Johns Trophy match against them a week last Wednesday.

Blackpool v Leeds United

I’ve had some great adventures on my travels in the Trophy in its various guises over the years – and of course we won it twice. But, if I’m being honest, over the course of the competition, I’ve probably spent more minutes wanting matches to be over than wanting to actually win them. With this season already being jam-packed with fixtures owing to its late start, I think the last thing we need is more matches. The FA Cup is different, of course, as there is good revenue to be generated. In summary, I couldn’t really give a hoot if we won this match or not. To the extent that I didn’t even wear my lucky bra, which is the reason Blackpool’s form has picked up in recent weeks (it has a 100% record).

But, what do you know, this actually turned out to be the most enjoyable match of the season so far. Why? Well, it was a great game of high tempo, end-to-end football – but Blackpool looked comfortable throughout. Bez Lubala was a wonder – and Dan Kemp continues to impress. We won 3-0, with goals from Kemp (9), OG (20) and Ethan Robson (a screamer in the 82nd minute). The only blip was the dismissal of Cameron Antwi. We’re in danger of getting a reputation with all these red cards (that was our fifth of the season).

For all of our frustrations at not being allowed into matches, I think in a way this could actually be helping Critch and his players, giving them time to settle down and build quietly without fans hurling abuse at them when they become frustrated. If they choose to live and work in their own little bubble – and not read social media – they can shut out negative voices. That could help them build their confidence when this might not have been possible in front of crowds. This team is certainly looking more assured and confident week on week and I’m enjoying watching their growth and development.

Here’s a link to our live watchalong of the match:

Now it’s time to take the 0945 from Leeds to Peterborough, where I land at 1107. I was pleased with the advance fare of £37.60 – although I’m sure it was much cheaper when I booked for last season’s fixture. Have train fares gone up exponentially? Anyway, I’m delighted that the train is on time because I have a lot of pubs to get through before the match.

The Brewery Tap

This is the home of Oakham Ales – and also a VERY exciting Thai menu. I haven’t eaten anything at all today, as I was running late for my train, there was no buffet car and I had a short connection at Leeds. I order my food before I even look at the pump clips. I am salivating as I read.

I’m having this with Coconut Rice.
DEEP FRIED ICE CREAM!!!

Ok, now to the beers. The Oakham range is as follows:

  • JHB
  • Inferno
  • Citra
  • Bishops Farewell

They have a range of guest ales as well, which I’ll be diving into, as Oakham Ales are too hoppy for my tastebuds. Still, this remains a must-visit on any pub crawl of Peterborough. It’s right handy for the station, too.

Mile Tree Brewery

I confess I wasn’t familiar with this brewery, which was founded in 2012, so was hoping I’d spot some of their ales to sample on my travels today:

  • Citra Blonde
  • Larksong (American amber)
  • Old Redwood (best bitter)
  • Rolling Mile (English bitter)

As we’re heading into winter ale territory, I was especially hoping to find their seasonal Winter Ale: ‘dark ruby brown in colour with an intense rich mixed fruit flavour and a warming bitter sweet finish.’

Now it’s time to sniff out some micropubs…

The Bumble Inn

You know I can never resist a micro, so here I am. The Bumble Inn has ‘5 handpumps of ever changing cask ale, 2 craft keg taps, St. Austell Korev lager, and home made pies and bar snacks’. Ooh home made pies!

They have been open for four years and their top five featured breweries, according to their blog, are:

  1. Bumbling 54
  2. Rudgate 40
  3. North Riding 37
  4. Digfield 25
  5. Green Duck 24

But who are Bumbling, I have to ask? Well, it’s the pub brewery! Of course I had to try one of theirs – for who knew where else I’d see them? I was all over this collab with Xtreme Ales

I make sure I am completely present, closing my eyes and savouring every drop of this incredible beer. What’s not to love? I want to stay here all afternoon but I must press on. Indeed, who are Xtreme Ales? Next on my hitlist, is who they are…

Xtreme Ales

This brewery was born in 2013 and new recipes have been recently added following its takeover in May of this year. Their regulars include:

  • Triple Hop Xtra IPA
  • Pigeon 2020
  • SmoXey Mild
  • BeXt Bitter
  • Milk Stout
  • PiXie APA

I’m ordering a half of each of the Mild and the Milk Stout before I’ve even looked at the seasonal ales.

Yum yum! This is ‘an unfined rich creamy stout with a delightful Black Cherry and Vanilla sweet flavour. It has a moorish tendency just like the dessert itself’. I love this brewery so much already! I can’t even bring myself to look at the additional collabs because I have barely scratched the surface of the pubs I want to visit today.

Wonky Donkey

I’m never NOT going into a pub with a name like this – especially given it’s another micropub (yippee!). They brew their own beer – and their toilets appear to have won some sort of award. I honestly can’t figure out from their Facebook page if this place is going to be brilliant or terrible – but it certainly has a lot of character, which means I’m going to love it either way.

Whilst I wasn’t remotely interested in seeing the spectacular marble urinals in the Phil in Liverpool, I confess I am intrigued as to why the gents toilets here are such a talking point. But I suppose I ought to buy a drink first…

Obvs I didn’t make it into the gents, so you’ll have to check them out for yourselves…

Frothblowers

Another micropub! This one won Cambridgeshire CAMRA Pub of the Year 2019, so I know this is going to be a good’un!

I take a moment to peruse their latest offerings…

Of course it’s the Boss Black for me: ‘Seductive dark chocolate ganache, toasted nuts and black treacle flavours.’ How could I possibly resist? I wasn’t familiar with Boss and wondered if they were another local brewery I could hunt down. Nope – they’re in Swansea. Well, there’s always the FA Cup…

Palmerston Arms

This Batemans pub is a traditional favourite on trips to Peterborough, offering up to 14 real ales and handy for the ground. The beers most recently checked in here on Untappd are:

  • Salem Porter
  • Batemans XXXB
  • Salem Dark Fruits Porter
  • Oakham Green Devil IPA
  • St Austell Tribute
  • Timothy Taylors Boltmaker
  • St Austell Proper Job
  • Westmalle Trappist Tripel
  • Oakham Alpha Inception
  • Brasserie Cantillon Nath

Again, this is a place where I could happily while away hours, but no can do today. Onwards!

Charters

Of course this is THE place for away fans to drink in Peterborough. Everyone knows the barge. It’s another Oakham Ales outlet, so see Brewery Tap above for beer range. They have Thai food here, too – but also a burger menu.

We’ve had some very happy times at the barge over the years – not least the epic trip from 2010 en route to the Premier League. Just look how happy we all are.

Peterborough United v Blackpool

Which reminds me, we’re here for the football, aren’t we?

We were a bit scared of Peterborough today. They were top of the league and, whilst we had been winning games for fun of late, we hadn’t played anyone particularly good. This was a real test to see how far we had come.

Dear reader, we needn’t have worried. We started brightly and Jerry Yates opened the scoring after 19 minutes with a beautifully-taken goal. We seemed to have a lot of space on the ball, allowing us to play football, and it suited us.

Thereafter, our hosts took control – but without really threatening our goal. I can’t say I enjoyed watching the rest of the match. I sensed our slender one-goal lead was not going to be enough. After all, we were playing top of the league. When Posh equalised in the 84th minute, I wasn’t surprised – but was suitably deflated. Bloody hell Blackpool! Still, a draw was a good result, wasn’t it? Nah! Why take one point when you can nick all three?

Cue Gary Madine. They don’t call him The Goal Machine for nothing, you know. Bang! 90th minute winner. Take that Peterborough!

Here’s how we reacted to the match as it happened. It’s worth a watch to see Lee’s reaction to the winner at the end (ff to 2h21).

Phew! What a day! Of course I’m sleeping on the train home. I’ve a set an alarm five minutes before we’re due to land back in Leeds to make sure I don’t miss my connection. It will be midnight by the time I’m home – but the journey will fly by with three points in the bag (and me in the land of nod).

See you at Donny in the week. Another epic pub crawl incoming…

UTMP.


NB Pics above are taken from the websites referenced.


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