THE HED’ON INN will prove to be a popular addition to the Hedon pub scene. Licensee Shirley Bamforth described the scene in a typical pub; there is usually one spot in the bar where the regulars gather together to talk, enjoy a drink, and take part in the social banter if they wish – well, the concept of the Micropub is to concentrate on just that aspect.
The size of The Hed’on Inn is bigger than you think (the place at 7 Watmough’s Arcade has a bit of a TARDIS effect; it seems bigger on the inside than the outside!), but it is perfectly convivial to be just ‘that place in a bar’ that Shirley talked about. There was a steady stream of curious visitors popping in yesterday to have a look and sample one of the six cask ales on offer and four ciders – and everyone was keen to talk about their drinks and compare flavours. It’s a place where talking to the staff and other customers – the art of conversation, particularly about the beer – just seems so natural.
And customers seem to like it! The first new customers through the doors after it opened to the public at 12 noon yesterday were Keith and Doreen Gosling from Thorngumbald. “It’s a fantastic, cosy and comfortable place,” said Doreen who added with a twinkle in her eye, “I think this will be our first of many visits!”
CAMRA’s man in Holderness Pete Mason popped in for a visit and was generally pleased with what he saw, but was disappointed that the place had opted to serve lager (and Guiness), which he said prevented the Inn from being a true micropub. Whilst having lots of respect for Pete and his love and knowledge of good beer, I probably agree with the philosophy that not everyone who visits will be an aficionado of real ales, so catering for friends and partners who prefer lager (or Guiness) would seem to be a good idea.
“It’s like having our own rolling beer festival on the doorstep!”
The beer, however, is the real talking point; the Inn will aim to always offer a choice of dark, bitter and blonde beers and a variety of ciders and it will regularly change those on offer and can respond to customer requests. One visitor relished this thought and said “It’s like having our own rolling beer festival on the doorstep!” Another asked if the Inn would be stocking craft bottled beers, which is something that could be done if customer demand merits it.
On offer at the moment – and sampled by this Blogger, is a beautiful chocolate and chilli flavoured stout – it assails your nose with the sweet smell of the confectionery, followed after a few mouthfuls by a warming effect in the throat! Mrs Bloggy sampled the toffee apple cider – which actually smells of toffee apple!
Shirley and her business partner Paul Bamforth are also tasked with running the increasingly popular Royal Mail pub in Thorngumbald. But their tenure there is insecure. After moving to the pub in October 2013, the self-employed licensees, were informed only two days later that the pub had in actual fact been sold to a property development company NewRiver Retail, but they were told that any plans for development were unlikely to take place for another 4 to 5 years. However, after only a year in the pub the couple were informed that planning permission was being sought to knock the pub down and build a convenience store and that process would take about six months. That six month’s period ended in March this year and the planning wrangling is still going on. But the whole situation prompted the couple to think about what they were going to do next if the pub closed – and also what it was they actually enjoyed about the pub business. The concept of the Micropub became very appealing!
The result of their deliberations – and their obvious concentration on everything they enjoy about the pub business – opened yesterday in the form of The Hed’On Inn.
In the humble opinion of the Hedon Blogger – and would-be beer blogger! – The Hed’On Inn will be a hit!
Do pop into the place and have a look – I’m sure you will be delighted.
Personal review by Ray Duffill
The Hed’On Inn, 7 Watmough’s Arcade (next to Iveson Close car park), Hedon, HU12 8EZ.
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