Packed a light bag and headed to Hull hoping to see Dad but planning lots of other things as well. Caught a Hull Train from Kings Cross, no changes, direct to Hull Paragon.
The ‘Larkin in Hull’ trail is not yet published, it starts and ends at this stauue, but without it I felt unable to go. Instead I got a copy of the ‘Fish Trail’ and followed that from ‘The queen of watering places’ (Victoria in stone proudly above public conveniences outside the City Hall).
Now this bit will please those with a geological bent. The shrimp in High Street is said to be set in polished slate, but any fool can see its crinoidal limestone – Ha!
At one point my way was blocked by building works – due to have been completed last year, a new swing foot bridge over the River Hull – so I stopped and watched. During this time a drunk couple, both carrying cans of Special Brew, walked slowly past, deep in conversation. He said, “D’you know what? last night, when she was sat on that bench, I put my hand down the back of her trousers and I was playing with her arse. I was so scared ‘cos he was sitting beside her.” Worth reporting, I thought.
Soon abandoned a fishy trail for a beery one. Opposite Pop’s (grand-dad) offices in Scale Lane there is a new bar called Walters, where I sampled two Saltaire beers (see summer Leeds trip, earlier), Cascade Pale and Dublin Stout, as well as the excellent Kelham Island Pale Rider and Easy Rider (a slightly lower gravity version of Pale Rider). On a subsequent visit tried a rum from Havana Club (supporting Cuba whenever possible), Barrel Strength.
Checked into the Pearson Park Hotel and out for dinner at a bistro on the trendy Princes Avenue. I picked a place from the many on offer by seeking an older clientele and less music. The Boar’s Nest proved to be smart and excellent. Crab cakes followed by rack of lamb. The waiter told me he’d been a butler to rayalty but gone to the US to work for a banking family for better pay. Now waiting in Hull to meet family commitments.
Had a look at the ‘fountain’ in the middle of Westbourne Avenue on way back to hotel. For a few years my bedroom looked out onto it.