Jane Stuart – Writer

Writer on beer, football culture and Blackpool FC.

Far East Tour: Day Three – Bridlington & Cleethorpes

If you missed Days One and Two, you can find them via these links.

Our AirBNB hostess had advised that there was no rush to check out today, which fitted in nicely with my plan to revisit Bridbrewer & Taproom, which didn’t open til noon. We said our reluctant goodbyes to our lovely home for the last two days.

We were met on the doorstep by a man wanting to take our keys off us so he could go in and clean the apartment we’d just vacated. I didn’t know who he was and knew our host was a woman so I politely declined for this reason. I spent so long trying to find the code to the key safe that I was still there five minutes later when he returned with his wife and armfuls of cleaning equipment. I gave in and handed him the keys at this point, breathing a sigh of relief when our hostess quickly replied to my message saying that was fine.

I tapped our destination into Waze and Mike (our voice of choice) directed us to a shop frontage I didn’t recognise. Or rather I did recognise the frontage but it was on a different street to where we’d seen it on Tuesday night. Confused, Lee was about to restart the engine when I indicated that it would do and hopped out of the car regardless.

Bridbrewer and Taproom

As I entered the building, all became clear: it had two entrances – one at the front (on another street) and one at the back (this one).

I skipped through the long room, past some barrels (I think) and a seating area (where at least one man was seated). Before I even got to the bar (ahead on the right), I was greeted by the friendly gaffer.

I was presented with a list of beers that were available today and I rubbed my hands together in glee. I explained how I’d found this place on Tuesday and had extended my time in Brid just to get my hands on some of these irresistible beers.

While I was conducting my business, another man appeared beside me at the bar and we got to chatting. When I explained I would be taking the beers back to Blackpool, he admitted his folks were from round there (Manchester, which I suppose is near-ish) but they’d moved to the East coast because they believed the air was better over that side of the country. I said it wasn’t very good for that whale that had washed up on South Beach yesterday. This led to the seated guy chipping in that whale vomit (ambergris) is one of the world’s most valuable substances and is used in the manufacture of perfume. We wondered whether this had to be vomited up or whether this could be extracted from the stomach of our freshly beached whale. As we dredged up images of people hacking away at the whale and it slowly decomposing on the beach, I was suddenly grateful I hadn’t had any breakfast.

Anyway, back to beer. Here’s what I bought.

I also bought Jan’s Lemon Jaffa Cake and Smoke Me A Cherry (not pictured because I’ve quaffed these already).

Back in the car, we instructed Mike to direct us to the best chippy in the world – the reason I’ve been back to Cleethorpes every year without fail since discovering it on an awayday with Chase in 2018.

Steels Cornerhouse Restaurant

Sadly gaffer Ian wasn’t about today for red hot Grimsby Town chat but nonetheless we were welcomed warmly (as usual) and shown to our table upstairs. As we considered the menu, we were entertained by a rowing couple at the opposite table (‘shut up’ ‘no you shut up’).

I knew what I was having: Small Haddock and Chips with Gravy. And to drink? They had sold out of Docks Beers (more of them in Day Four), so I had a pot of tea because that goes with a chippy tea, right?

Look at this delicious loveliness.

I decided to try a new angle today. The meal came with a plate of bread and butter so I made chip butties with my gravy-drizzled chips. This was magnificent, although could have been improved with extra gravy for dipping. I must ask for this next time. No pics because I’d have got gravy all over my phone.

Writing this, I’ve just recalled something disturbing from my childhood. Having for years believed (and, indeed written) that ‘beans ruin chips’ I used to have beans on a chip butty and it was good. I’m now confused and will have to try this again to make sure.

Having had no breakfast and being faced with an irresistible dessert menu, I couldn’t resist pudding.

Jelly and ice cream! Yummy.

Cloves Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Now it was time to check into our B&B. Reviews reported it was warm here, which we were grateful for after the chilliness of our previous abode (granted it was a more comfortable temperature after we’d chased away the initial chill).

Here we were back to the traditional hotel-type format of a bedroom and bathroom, which was a bit of a shock after the spacious apartment we’d just left. We had to be creative with the space, using all the storage areas provided (remember we had a week’s worth of stuff with us, plus food).

It was a lovely B&B with a friendly hostess, who provided us with a breakfast menu (more of that in the morning) and advised that, if we wanted fish, we should order this the day before.

We chilled for a bit – zonked after two full-on days – before venturing out for the evening. We didn’t really have anything planned, although I suspected pubs may be involved…

As we headed southbound northbound (it’s very confusing being on the other coast, with the sea on the wrong side), I stopped outside Willys to take photos, hoping Lee would take the hint and step inside but, no, he carried on walking. Grr. I pointed out Smugglers (which had been on my list for food – not that we were hungry after that chippy) but we walked past that, too. And the Nottingham. Bloody hell – where were we even going? Eventually we turned back and went into a pub – huzzah!

The Nottingham House

I’d visited here once before, on a busy Saturday night. This evening (Thursday) it was much quieter. As we explored each of the multiple rooms to decide where we wanted to park ourselves, we spotted just one other party of a couple of old chaps.

Here are the beers.

I had a pint of Plum Porter, of course.

Our hostess offered to put the lights on in the back room for us so this is where we settled.

Spotting the condiments on the bar, I enquired if the pub was serving food and the answer was in the negative. They’d lost their chef.

I had heard that the pub had closed relatively recently and apparently it was currently being run by the same people who had The Swashbuckle (I think) until someone else came in for it.

Given the alleged lack of food, I was confused by the range of cup a soups and condiments on the bar.

Our hostesses (another had now appeared) kept popping their heads over the bar into our room to check we were ok so we felt compelled to stay and have another drink. We discovered on exit that we had been the sole remaining customers. That’s really sad because this is a lovely traditional pub with a good range of beers. But I guess we were between bank holidays and people don’t have deep pockets these days.

I conducted a loo review on my way out – comprising both the ladies AND gents. This came about because I’d remarked to Lee how such modern toilets seemed quite out of fitting with the rest of the pub. He muttered that the gents weren’t modern at all and a quick recce confirmed this.

Willys Pub/Brewery

Immediately on entering, my nose was delighted by the aroma of curry. Oh yes!

Oh no! Curry Club finished 45 minutes ago…

I sighed as I approached the bar, lamenting missing out on that curry I could have had, if only we hadn’t walked past earlier. This was the low point of the week for me and that’s bearing in mind there’s football involved later. Observing my distress, our kind host rushed into the kitchen to see if he could find me anything but, alas, there was not a grain of rice to be found. I thanked him for trying and ordered beer to console me.

How could I not have the beer brewed here?

Lee and I have recently been distraught at the discontinuation of our favourite pop, Tango Berry Peachy, which we have been drinking much of for the past year. As a special edition, we knew there was a risk of this, but it still came as a shock when it finally disappeared off the shelves. However we did find something here that actually topped it.

So tasty.

Lee loved it here and was keen to return tomorrow. Perhaps we could eat here, although they were only serving food at lunchtime tomorrow.

Back at the B&B, rendered ravenous by that curry that never was, I raided the HUGE shortbread biscuits provided by our hostess and washed them down, once again, with a brew in bed. It’s not a bad way to end the day, really – although I could feel Paddington’s hard stare from across the room.

Tomorrow brings the funniest day of the week and a great beer day as we head to Grimsby to check out an exciting new music venue.

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Next Up: Far East Tour: Day Four – Cleethorpes & Grimsby.