Beer Blog

Rupert Brooke, Rugby

When in a new place, where do you go for something to eat after eight pubs? An easy one this, you head to the nearest Wetherspoons, especially if you’re interested in the whole concept of Wetherspoons, the carpets and stuff.

In the end, we went in the Rugby branch twice. Once after we left the assembled bloggers and letter writers of the Beer and Pubs Forum Proper Day Out, returning in the morning for a breakfast. I mean, who can resist a Wetherspoons brekky, at those prices.

I gathered, obviously, that Rupert Brookes was some sort of ex Rugbeian. I didn’t realise he was a noted poet who died in the Great War. There’s a statue of him near to the Rugby branch of Wetherspoons that bears his name.

It was busy on our first visit and we struggled to find a table. Mind you if you’re not busy at 6.45pm on a Friday night in a place like this, it’s time to give up, although the crowd rapidly tailed off towards 7.30. The pub stays open till 1.00am so I’m guessing there’s some Night Time Economy trade.

The clientele roughly cleaved into drinkers around the bar and diners sat at the lower tables; families, couples, groups, young people, old folk, single men – mostly in the drinking sector.

Even though it was Friday I got the full Thursday night Curry Club at cut price, courtesy of the Managers Special Deal. I’m not sure the area manager would think there was anything special about over ordering though? I forgot how much it was, cheap, very cheap, much cheaper than the day before; better than a supermarket ready meal, not as good as a decent curry house, better than a lot though.

The natives were friendly but inquisitive. The lad posing in the picture told me he’d paid £100 for his trainers and £24 for the matching gloves, which looked very similar to those the guys on the hand car wash lots wear? As we walked back to the digs an hour or so later, I heard before saw him again. I wouldn’t have wanted to meet him in another hour.

The other two weren’t quite sure whether they wanted their photo took or not? I think blurry man was concerned about his civil rights. If you look carefully at the images though you’ll notice there isn’t much cask ale being supped. This probably explained why my Grainstore Ten Fifty was dire, about NBSS 1.5 dire, I should have tried before I buyed, I know that now. 

I would normally have taken it back but I couldn’t be arsed engaging with the punters at the bar again, so I left it. I’d achieved what I came for, cheap and cheerful sustenance. Apart from the ‘usual unholy three’ there were only two Grainstore Brewery cask ales and the sixth hand pump had a proper cider on, which was nice to see.

The next morning at 10pm I counted over fifty customers; beer, breakfast and betting slips. I examined the carpet, something which seemed unwise the evening before. Nothing special really, in fact downright disappointing and only covering an area of seating opposite the bar; the rest of the pub had wooden flooring.

I’m not sure what the premises had been before. Carpet shop? Garage? Something like that I’m guessing from the front of it. The question I always ask with a Wetherspoons is, would I go back?

Answer, definitely not. On relieving myself of two cups of refillable black coffee, I found  the toilets were rank. Not unclean, in fact very tidy, just possessed of an agricultural smell, like livestock had been housed in the gents, the smell you get when public toilets are created in a building that was never meant to have industrial capacity public toilets. Absolutely gopping!

7 replies »

  1. “If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England.”
    From “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke

    I’m not sure that having a Wetherspoon’s named after you is the greatest of accolades…but I’d take it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Rugby started as an early iron age settlement so it’s not really “a new place” but I know what you mean !!
    “returning in the morning for a breakfast. I mean, who can resist a Wetherspoons brekky, at those prices” – but hadn’t you stayed at a Premier Inn where the breakfasts are so much better, though dearer, than Tim’s ?
    I’ve only stayed at two Premier Inns, Dundee twice and Bangor, and Mrs TSM likes them as she says the rooms are well insulated so she can get a good nights sleep. I find that a few pints sees to that.
    “Managers Special” is a bit disingenuous for ‘ready meals’ that would soon have to be thrown away.
    I’ve never used a curry house that does a worse curry than Tim’s.
    I was in there on the Friday morning, and on my way back from Northampton last year, and was no more impressed with it than you about 12 and 24 hours later.
    Is the carpet meant to be poppies that Tim didn’t quite get right ?
    My first address in Stafford, from 1973 to ’74, was 45 Brooke Court named after Rupert. it was demolished a few years ago.
    “Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea?” is a world away from a Wetherspoons venue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Premier Inn, and their associated pub chains, are quite expensive for breakfast and you don’t get the same entertainment as you do in Wetherspoons.

      Good point about the poppies and they could have made more of the connection. I didn’t suss it until I looked it up.

      Like

    • But they did have similar moustaches.
      And there’s Tim’s The Edwin Waugh in Heywood named after the dialect poet described as the ‘Burns of Lancashire’. His “A clock may stop at any time,
      But time will travel on” is very true.

      Liked by 2 people

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