Brighouse Things to Do
Christmas comes early here!
In early September 2015 I was visiting West Yorkshire in order to attend the wonderful VT Canal Boat Meet organised so brilliantly by VT member Gillybob aka Gillian. On our second day of cruising (Saturdaay) we had arrived in the pleasant town of Brighouse and whilst my three intrepid companions were off exploring the cultural delights of the town I decided to stick to what I am best at namely investigating pubs.
Time was tight and I had already visited the George hotel and even fitted in a small bit of shopping (see separate tips on this page) but I had to get back to the boat so I got myself fairly close to where we were moored up beside the large Sainsbury's supermarket and came upon the Calder pub. A glance at the exterior suggested that it had not always ben a pub and a few steps into the absolutely vast interior confirmed this view, it really is a big bar.
My initial impression was that this place was following the Wetherspoon business model although I knew it was not one of them. For readers not familiar with Wetherspoon, they are a huge chain of pubs (with a few hotel premises as well) in the UK who specialise in buying large old commercial premises rather than pubs and refurbishing them. They then work very much on the economies of scale and offer food and drink at extremely competitive prices. Opinion is much divided in the UK about them with some people saying they are driving traditional pubs out of business and others thanking them for providing at a reasonable price in these cash-strapped times.
As I say, the Calder is not Wetherspoons but when I went out the back for a smoke I noted that it is directly across the road from the Wetherspoon outlet so they must be in direct competition for the same market. They are owned by the Stonegate pub company which is another large outfit with well over 600 outlets as well as being owned by the same people who run the Slug and Lettuce chain which I really do not like.
The thing about these places is that, to use a pretty hackneyed phrase, they are what they are. They are not hugely atmospheric and charming "olde worlde" English country taverns but I was in a perfectly clean, welcoming and comfortable environment, I was served by friendly and courteous staff and had a couple of pints of obviously well-kept and served pints of cider. All this at an extremely competitive price even by the local standards which are so much cheaper than my home city of London anyway. Although I did not dine there my natural curiosity forced me to have a look at the menu which seemed to offer the usual suspects for pub grub and at very reasonable prices. The fact that I got to watch a bit of cricket on one of the many large screens was a bonus as I do like my sport!
As for the slightly odd title on this tip, it refers to the fact that on the first weekend in September they were advertising for Christmas menus and functions (see image). I do not blame the Calder or Stonegate for this as it seems to be a disease that has afflicted my entire country of late. I have seen Christmas decorations in shops and supermarkets before the Hallowe'en kiddies costumes are even on the shelves and it grates on me. I suppose we shall have Easter eggs on sale before Christmas this year.
The Calder offers a quiz night on Thursday, DJ's on Friday and Saturday nights and a funk and soul club on the first Sunday of the month. It is open 9am-11 Mon-Wed; 9am-Midnight Thu; 9am-1am Fri & Sat; 10-11 Sun and there is free wifi. Although I did not specifically check on toilet facilities, the bar appears to be easily accesssible from the street for the mobility impaired.
Aside from the arguments about large chains of pubs and early marketing, if you are in Brighouse and not wishing to spend a whole lot of money in a flash place then this may well be the place for you. I recommend it.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
- Wine Tasting
A decent locals pub.
In early September 2015 I was visiting West Yorkshire in order to attend the wonderful VT Canal Boat Meet organised so brilliantly by VT member Gillybob aka Gillian. On our second day of cruising (Saturday) we arrived into Brighouse early in the afternoon and whilst the othe three went toexplore the cultural delights of the town I did what I am much more likely to do and went in search of pubs. The first one I came upon was the pleasant looking sandstone building you see pictured which sits at the juction of Commercial Street and Bradford Road.
The premises in question is called The George and it bills itself as a "traditional town centre inn" which is indeed a pretty apt description. Whilst it is called an inn it is also known as the George Hotel but I am unsure of the differentiation. Apparently in days past it was a coaching inn although I saw no evidence of acommodation on offer when I visited. It does, however, retain travelling links by being a very short distance from both bus and train stations. It also has a musical slant with discos on Friday and Sunday and live rock bnds on Saturday. The main draw here, however, seems to be the sport which is shown on a number of large screens around the place and they have satellite which increases the range available. On the day I was there I watched a bit of cricket with my pint of cider which is my idea of a decent afternoon really.
There is nothing remarkable about the George, it is just a clean and tidy town centre pub (although the gents "facilities" could do with a bit of a refurb) and I was quite happy to have a drink in there. It is open 10-11 Mon-Thu; 10-Midnight Fri & Sat; 10-11 Sun.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
4 Hotels in Brighouse
Clifton Village, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, HD6 4HW, United Kingdom
Good for: Families
198 Towngate, Brighouse, HD6 4HJ, gb
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
Clough Lane, Rastrick, Brighouse, HD6 3QH, United Kingdom
Good for: Business
Eastbound M62, Clifton, Leeds, Brighouse, HD6 4JX,
THE RICHARD OASTLER: WETHERSPOONS IN BRIGHOUSE
A Wetherspoons pub in Brighouse. The Richard Oastler was originally a Methodist church. The ambience inside is amazing. The top layer of this very light and airy building has a beautiful organ and wooden pews.
Favorite Dish: MIXED GRILL AND A PINT OF LAGER £8.49
In an old converted, stone building is the Prego Restaurant on the ground floor. It looks out over the Aire & Calder Canal, and with the Brighouse Basin just a few metres away, it's a convenient restaurant for boaters expecting a little more than pub grub.
Prego is extremely classy and so it is also extremely popular, and booking ahead may be necessary.
If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.
Trains in the UK
I'm from Kuwait and I came to the UK to improve my English language and in my first time in the UK I travelled to Brighton by train and it was the first time I travelled by train. It was very easy, maybe I had some problems or questions , but they have an information corner and I went to them and they helped me and answered my questions there were very kind people , and I think the train is the best transport in UK.Related to:
- Study Abroad
S.& L. Custance Family Butchers: A great local find.
The advent of supermarkets, mostly "out of town", in the UK has led to the very regrettble demise of proper butchers, bakers, fishmongers, greengrocers and all the rest. I find this lamentable and it is always with great delight that I find proper old-fashioned tradesmen plying their craft. Such was the case when I stumbled upon S.& L. Custance Family Butchers on my very short visit to Brighouse.
I had a notion to get something for an afternoon snack whilst we were on the excellent VT Canal Boat Meet organised so brilliantly by VT member Gillybob aka Gillian, and when I saw the sign declaring "home-made pies and sausages" it seemed ideal. I wasn't too bothered about the sausages but some proper Yorkshire artisan pies with a few chutnies, pickles or whatever sounded ideal.
As the image shows, the place is not exactly huge but it did boast an excellent selection of meats and the savouries I was looking for. Admittedly, in mid afternoon on a Saturday, some lines were sold out which probably attests to the popularity of the place but I managd to find some lovely looking meat pies which were served to me by a lady who was as friendly as you like and even explained some of the items which I had never even heard of before. I should add that the entire premises was completely spotless.
Regrettably, I was taken ill that afternoon (before I had sampled the pies, I hasten to add) and so did not get to try them myself but I am told they were very good.
Even if I did not get to sample my purchases, I just loved the whole experience of shopping here and the warmth of the Yorkshire welcome and I would have no hesitation in recommending this establishment.
What to buy: All the meats and savouries looked excellent.
What to pay: I am no epert onlocal prices but everything appeared to be reasonably priced.Related to:
- Food and Dining