I woke up on Saturday to a sprinkling of snow. Not quite the 3 foot deep efforts that we used to get in the 1970’s but still enough to raise a tut or two. Now don’t get me wrong, white is my favourite colour but not when it’s all over the pavement and reducing my usual power walk to an awkward trudge.
It was the last Saturday of the month and that meant one thing. AJ’s Ales was open for business, so snow or not it was going to be done.
First up though was a visit to my favourite cafe Jack & Ada’s. This was my first visit since they installed one of the displays from the long lost and sadly missed Walsall Illuminations. It is in full working order and looks amazing. You can read more about it here https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/walsall/2021/11/05/cafe-owner-installs-giant-walsall-illumination-in-restaurant/
Time to order came, and I’m not really one for dabbling with the 7 Deadly Sins but I must confess to being very envious of the lady in front who ordered a caramel latte. I was too scared to ask for it myself so opted for a mug of tea. Standard.
Whilst waiting for the food I casually perused the menu and noticed that they now do what they call “The Walsall Omelette” which boasts an additional egg and more ingredients that’s standard counterpart. These people clearly know the residents of this great town like their food, and it’s something for me to consider next time.
With the exceptional breakfast demolished, the tea downed in one, and the urge to sneak back up to the counter for a caramel latte suppressed it was time to head to AJ’s.
AJ’s Ales is a microbrewery opened in 2014 and it does excellent beer. It only opens once a month for drinking so it’s always good to head there. On arrival there were a few people I know already present including friend of the blog Ernie. I went straight for a Beertrice, a 4.8 pale hoppy beer named after the Walsall CAMRA logo. The beer was in excellent nick.
My mate Dave arrived, we had another couple of excellent pints, and I also had a ham cob despite having breakfast. The cobs are just a quid at AJ’s and they are good. Bargain price too without the need for any Black Friday nonsense.
I’m never likely to be able to afford to turn left on a plane, and I never turn left when leaving AJ’s but today we did. I wanted to go somewhere I hardly go, and the New Inn fitted that bill.
The wind chill cut us in half en route and I was praying the fire would be roaring but it wasn’t. Closed off with a solid metal guard. Rubbish. I loitered by the radiator but it had little effect so I sat down and enjoyed a bit of classic Chicago action on the Now 80’s tv channel. Unfortunately this was soon replaced by “Mickey” by Toni Basil, a song that was the absolute bane of my life at primary school and the main reason I still despise being called Mickey 40 years later.
We moved on and hit The Oak Inn, again I sought out the radiator, I was stood by it so long Dave thought I was hiding in the toilet. I joined him at the table but we were in the half of the pub with television showing horse racing, which attracted my attention only briefly when I saw a jockey wearing a top like the Walsall FC home kit of 97/98. My interest didn’t last long enough to see how he got on.
From there we went to The Red Lion. They sadly don’t allow people upstairs anymore so I sat at the back of the pub on a table behind the curtain where the artists appear from of a weekend. I considered pulling the curtain closed, then bursting through it to put on a turn but the potential audience wasn’t big and I only perform for paying audiences these day.
We went in the now renamed Bar Sports (complete with bonus letter s at the end unlike the old days), the highlight in here was finding out that the cheap beer offers in the week are also valid until 9pm of a weekend.
We went in The Watering Trough as I will still cold. This place had to have the fire on. They had it going one day in Summer so surely it would be tonight. We walked in. No fire. Rubbish. I’ve heard good things about Inch’s Cider and they have it on sale here so I tried it and it was good. The DJ set start and it was loud. Seriously loud, so we ventured outside. Just as we were leaving someone came out and turned on the massive heater and upon getting inside the fire was now roaring. The Heat God’s clearly were not on my side today.
A quick one for the road in Flans followed but I don’t think alcohol and icy pavements are a good mix so I called it a night. Cracking day. And I finally felt warm after about an hour in bed.