Sunday, 13 January 2013

Hull Times

We had a good trip over to Hull.  The much-heralded snow did not arrive so we didn't have to battle the roads.  Actually the motorways over that side of the country were amazingly clear and we had an easy run.

We found our hotel without pain and discovered it was just over the road from The Deep.  But, we hadn't planned on going there so didn't have time.  A shame, maybe next time?

Hull is one of those cities which gets a bad rep but is a lot better than you expect it to be.  A fairly grotty approach true (but loads of cities look terrible on the way in) but, once you get past that to the revamped Marina, there was much to admire. 

We didn't have a lot of time to look around so it was more about getting a flavour of the place really.  We walked from the hotel which was sited in the edge of centre in the old dock quarter.  Then through The Old Town and into the main shopping area.  Quite handsome civic buildings and, crucially to my mind, the smart new shopping and leisure developments are all IN the city centre.  So, instead of driving all the traffic and money to some soulless out of town shopping centre like Meadowhall, The Metro Centre, The Trafford Centre and Thurrock etc etc etc, you actually bring them IN to spend their money.  Genius....

Our pre-match quest was not shopping, however, but a pub which had been recommended to us.  A real ale place called the Wellington Inn.  It was unpromisingly sited but a cracking pub.  Low ceilings, LOTS of beer and cider choices all from small independent breweries.  A nice atmosphere with friendly locals and a bit of pre-match banter (although no other Sheffield Wednesday fans in which was a shame).

The only trouble with a lot of chocie all from small, independent breweries is that you don't know what to drink!  We chose 4 different beers between us in our 3 rounds and, althought they were interesting and well kept, only actually LIKED 1 of them!  Next time we should have 2 different halves instead of pints so increase our chances of hitting on a beer we enjoyed.

Still, you've got to support these places and they're better than a picking a lager-barn or a Wetherspoons!

Then, off to the ground.  A 20 minute walk to the stadium which looked really close to the town centre but wasn't really!  A dodgy burger from a van and in.

A nice stadium considering it's a purpose-built bowl (which I don't usually like) but we were very close to the home fans and the atmosphere was a bit combative.  the police and stewards didn't help being very picky and quick to chuck Wednesday fans out for very little indeed.  I saw one guy (admittedly a rude, ignorant little prat) being hauled out bodily for putting his feet up on the back of the chair in front at half time when it was totally empty all around him!!  It's not necessary and creates an unnecessarily fractious atmosphere.

That said, there was a fair but of humour and we applauded warmly when their keeper had to be carried off with concussion so not a bad game by any means.

We played well!!  Really well.  What a shocker.  Third from bottom (us) against second from top (them) and we beat them 3-1.  It should have been 4-1 but we had a perfectly good goal disallowed for a wrong reason (it was clearly a goal on the telly).

They equalised right near the end to take it to 1 all and their crowd were singing "We'll score when we like!" (fair enough but I wouldn't have picked 82 minutes!).  We then scored a couple of minutes later to take it to 2-1 and sang it right back to them!  So sweet.  And our third was even sweeter.  Bliss bliss bliss.

So, a night out in Hull to celebrate.  We had intended to go back to the hotel to change but no - out in town wearing woolly jumper, fleece, waterproof jacket, jeans and trainers.  It makes you feel very old and mumsy though as you see girls in TINY dresses tottering past.

Hey ho - we had a good night out and finished off with an Italian meal in a deserted restaurant.  2 couples in when we arrived who both finished shortly afterwards leaving us alone sipping our wine as the staff bustled around cleaning up for the night.  Tee hee

We found GREAT pub in the Old Town on the way back to the hotel and very nearly got sucked into a lock-in at midnight but, after a day of eating and drinking, it's probably best that we didn't!!

So, as you will have guessed, food and drink was not particularly restrained.  We were on our feet a lot and it could have been worse but not restrained.  Who cares, we had a lovely trip away and saw Wednesday win away for only the 3rd time this season and play well - Yaaaayy!!!


Peridot said...

I am not keen on town pubs - preferring either a country pub or a wine bar - but I do agree that these sort of pubs need support unless we're to end up with just bland chains.


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c macd said...

It does sound like a day off-piste but then sometimes its about more than just the diet isn't it?

I agree the city centre is nice (I remember a nice square with ornate fountains) but the hospital is dire and looks like a prison externally. The Deep is good and well worth a visit.