On Saturday, in celebration of my lovely brother-in-law’s birthday, four of us set out to complete the Transpennine Real Ale Trail, which is essentially a pub crawl of real-ale selling pubs, by train. Each pub along the way is either close to or actually inside each train station along the Trail. My Twitter question about clothing choices gave me the unanimous verdict of flat footwear for running to the train in – which, considering that I was planning to drink beer, did not fill me with joy!
I decided on these old favourites:
Therefore teaching me a lesson about always making sure that I get boots heeled and soled, and give them a good conditioning treatment before putting them away in storage, as they are a bit battered, poor old boots!
Anyway, setting off for Stalybridge, we found ourselves amongst a giant throng of people (99% of whom were male) who, attired in varying degrees of fancy dress, were in a cheerful mood for an all-day train-and-beer session.
I’m not going to give you a complete run down of the whole day, but here are a few highlights:
- The first beer of the day, ‘Lemon Blossom’, served in the pub on Stalybridge station, which was crammed full of Ale Trail people, all in good cheer.
- Lunch at The Riverhead Brewery Tap in Marsden – where we left the crowds and went upstairs to the dining room for really lovely food, which I’m pretty convinced helped me stave off a hangover
- Running for the train at Slaithewaite (yes, running and beer…) only to find out that it had been delayed at the previous stop due to the sheer number of Ale Trail-ers. Actually, I’m not sure this is a highlight, but it was memorable.
- Coming out of the station in Huddersfield to be faced with a black tarpaulin, a thumping bass line and a bunch of people hanging from a crane, as part of the city’s Festival of Light
- My beers of choice for the day: Lemon Blossom, Blonde Witch, Fiery Liz, and Brewster’s Blonde.
Although it was a long day, I had lots of fun. To have a whole day free with no parental responsibilities (thanks to my lovely in-laws) was a rare treat and I made the most of it. Even better, I was in my pj’s by 9pm, sitting in front of the TV with takeaway noodles. So I didn’t even have a hangover when I was awoken, as usual, in the early hours of the next day by my lovely son and his tractors…