Also, there was the small matter of the lovely sunset-thing that I saw and think I even managed to capture on my new phone camera. There's a function that messes with the brightness that allows me to take some shots I would simply have been unable to capture in the past.
Now that I have thoroughly bored all five of my readers, would you like to know more about the important parts of my trip: the beers?
Of course you would.
First and foremost, then, I headed to my local and fought my way in. I sized up the bar and decided on the Pale Elder at 4% ABV. Looked decent.
Anyway, the ale was fine but there was nothing else tickling my fancy and I had sweet sweet time to spend drinking so I left my local and headed out into the wide world of Ilson, hoping to find a different hostelry. I recalled that on the mild trail that had been a thing a while back (and in which I had totally failed to go anywhere other than the Burnt Pig) there was an entry for the Spanish Bar. I also believe that it is the pub of choice for my next door neighbours. So it was there I went next.
Nice place with rather modern decor and a thriving ladies darts team from what I could tell. I plumbed for their Hartington IPA at 4.5% ABV from Whim Ales.
From here I turned down to the south and wandered over to the Three Horseshoes, which was a place I tried at the end of the summer last year with a colleague of mine and found them to have their very own brew on sale. It turns out that this is not a standard thing, they only brew small batches, and that was a bit of a shame. However, and this was the best bit, they did have a brew on tap that I have been missing at the Burnt Pig - something they've had at least three times on nights I wasn't going out - and coupled with quite the largest beer garden I think I've ever seen, this made for a good stop.
I am speaking, in veiled terms, of the rather lovely Titanic Plum Porter at 6% ABV and the sort of colour that is to die for.
By now I had an appetite for exploring further and had spotted a street down by the side of the pub that looked of interest, and I knew I could cut across to the main road and loop back to the General Havelock, which I had determined would be a good next and potentially final stop. So it was off again and into the wilds of the place, where I discovered a still working lace mill and some rather lovely old mill houses for workers, now probably very small and pokey but still having a sort of quaintness about them that makes me all nostalgic for a place and a time that I have never been. Also, that sunset-thing was still going on and I rather liked how it looked and how the light was touching the buildings.
Thus I came to my final stop of the evening at the General Havelock and chose a Milestone Lock Keeper because the amber looked a little red in the small tester to one side. At 4.4% ABV it seemed nicely mid-range too.
Then it was off again and a chance stop into the Manor Chippy for some chips and gravy, which went down rather well, as I walked home and thence to bed. I had stayed out and had a good time, checking out some bars I had not before and visiting two again that I really need to make part of my repertoire rather than once-a-year stop-offs. The winner of the evening for ambiance was definitely the General Havelock but the best actual pub of the evening, and this was somewhat surprising as they were playing sport on the TV, was the Three Horseshoes. Best ale was, by far, the Plum Porter because it was just what I had been looking for without realising that it was what I was looking for.