First stop, The Brunswick Inn, Derby. I've been drinking in this pub for more years than I care to remember. I love the building. I always drink the beers brewed here. Sadly, the beer quality recently has been hit and miss. The last time I was here I ditched a sour pint of Father Mike's for Budvar. Today the Triple Hop was better. It wasn't outstanding, but it wasn't off. The pub sells up to 16 cask ales at once, and I wonder if that's too many if the quality is going to suffer.
We jumped on the Ilkeston Flyer bus and were outside The General Havelock in about 20 minutes.
First impressions on entering the place are jaw-dropping. A fair bit of cash has been spent on doing the place up, and it shows.
Lots of the original Art Deco features have been uncovered in the restoration. The floor alone looks amazing.
The Gents urinals are in posh black marble, I noticed if I stood in one spot that it was almost like a mirror. I made sure I stood in a different spot when I went to spend another penny.
The beer then, loads of it. I didn't count how many cask ales were on but there were at least 12 by names such as Marble, Oakham, Blue Monkey, Abbeydale and Marston's. I've heard this pub can have up to 30 beers on at a weekend. If they can shift that many pints before the beer goes off then that's some going. There must be a lot of thirsty people in Ilkeston.
If I'm honest I have to say a couple of the beers I had were under conditioned; we went on a Tuesday so maybe they'd been on since the weekend. The Marble Little Jim was excellent though, but at 6.9 % abv I was only going to have the one. I will definitely be returning, preferably at a weekend to drink in the cellar bar where you can choose 3 3rd pints with cheese for £4.99.
Back in Derby we just had time for a short visit to the Exeter Arms, the Dancing Duck brewery tap. Another interesting pub interior, we sat in a room that looked like it hadn't been altered for at least fifty years.
A swift pint before we made a move for the train home. Out of time again. Too many beers.