After leaving Hartlepool, I spent two days cycling along the stunningly beautiful Northumberland coastline to Berwick-upon-Tweed, the last town before the Scottish border, arriving at The Curfew micropub in time for Sunday lunchtime opening. The entrance to The Curfew is quite low key, a narrow iron gate between two shops, with a small sign above. To me, it conjures up the impression that across that threshold will be found some kind of private members club, or perhaps an illicit drinking den! Or maybe I have an over-fertile imagination(!)
The narrow passageway then opens out into a lovely enclosed courtyard with tables and chairs with lots of potential for outside drinking, especially in the summer. The courtyard had been put to good use a few weeks previously when the pub had its first beer festival.
The micropub proper is off the right hand side of the courtyard, a long narrow single room with a bright but cosy feel. The floors are polished wooden floorboards, a mixture of seating includes some old church pews, and the bar, at the far end, appears to be made from old reclaimed oak panelled doors. Excellent! Knowledgeable barman, Dave, talked me through the 4 beers on offer and I plumped for a pint of Black Saison, a rich dark beer from Cornish brewery firebrand. There’s also an interesting collection of beers in the fridge. Wines are also on offer.
Owners, Gemma and David, arrived soon afterwards. They have been very supportive of my ride and it was great to have a chat with them about their experiences with The Curfew. They opened The Curfew in June 2014 after converting the building from a former bedsit.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Simon and Debbie Rutherford who are in the throes of opening Scotland’s first ever micropub “Rutherford’s”, just over the border in Kelso! They hope to open late May / early June, so I may have to plan a visit North of the border later in the year (although I might not cycle there!) With such good company all round it became difficult to just up and leave after a pint, plus which I knew that I would not reach my next micropub for several days as it was 160 miles away in Carnforth. A hailstorm outside and the discovery that The Curfew do 3 x 1/3 pint tasting paddles clinched it, and also gave me the chance to try all 4 beers on offer!