The Great British Pub Crawl’s Holly and Dale Harvey hit Stamford
Visiting 11 pubs in one day is a dream come true for some – and a hangover waiting to happen for others.
For Dale and Holly Harvey, it’s a hobby they hope could start to pay dividends.
They are on a nationwide pub crawl, and on Saturday it was Stamford’s turn.
Having already sampled more than 2,000 pubs since they began the ‘crawl’ in spring last year, the recently married pair are well-qualified to say which bars have the best assets, and Stamford has come up trumps.
On their Facebook page, called The Great British Pub Crawl, Dale starts the entry for ‘day 561’ with the tantalising words: “Is Stamford the best place we have found on this crawl so far?”
The couple, who live in Nottingham, drank in The London Inn, The Millstone, The Golden Fleece, The Stamford Post, Twelve All Saints, Paten and Co, The Crown Hotel, The King’s Head, The Tobie Norris, The Lord Burghley and Mama Liz’s. Phew.
And, having weighed up ‘the beauty of The Tobie Norris’, the ‘love and the passion from the staff’ at The King’s Head, and the fact Paten and Co was ‘one of the most amazing places we've ever been in’ – as well as the notion that the toilets in The Stamford Post ‘are in a different postal district from the bar’, Dale and Holly decided Stamford is the best place they have visited so far.
In their summary, Dale added: “old pubs, friendly people and cobbled streets, mixed in with great architecture and the chance of a 10/10 kebab to top it all off” means Stamford is a town they urge other pub-lovers to visit – and he and Holly can’t wait to visit those they haven’t yet toasted.
Speaking after their trip, Dale, who runs his own sports shirts and memorabilia framing business, said: “We couldn’t find anything to say about Stamford that wasn’t positive.
“We really liked the Knead pubs - Paten and Co, The Tobie Norris and The Crown – and we also liked The Prince Rupert in Newark, which was previously in the Knead group. You can see the influence of the owner in their style. They’re all really lovely looking places.”
While he’s hugely upbeat and exudes positive vibes, Dale doesn’t shy away from saying if places miss the mark.
“We give honest reviews and, while the last thing we want to do is destroy a place, I am prepared to say if somewhere isn’t a great place for a drink,” he said.
“I did refer to a place in Sutton-in-Ashfield as being like a crack den at 4am, and a pub in Ripley in Derbyshire as having a nightmare landlord because of the way he handled the Friday night karaoke. But I doubt we’re the only ones to be thinking and saying these things. The pub in Sutton-in-Ashfield has since closed and is being turned into flats.”
The couple rely on lifts and public transport to get them back from their drinking expeditions, sometimes staying the night if they can.
And while 11 pubs might seem a heavy session, they pace themselves by usually drinking half pints or single shots of a spirit.
“I’m a big guy and I’ve been drinking for years, so I don’t tend to suffer hangovers,” said Dale, who said the 11 drinks they consumed in Stamford was ‘subdued’ for them.
But he acknowledged their hobby might not be the healthiest. “I’ve not been to see my GP for many years,” he said. “But I’m sure they’d be horrified.”
As well as their Facebook page with its 12,500 followers, Dale and Holly have a YouTube channel called The Great British Pub Crawl for videos they shoot while in and around the places they visit. This also offers people some help to decide where they might go for a night out, and they have created a short video just about their time in Stamford.
“On review websites people tend to give either a five-star rating or a one-star rating,” said Dale. “There is never any middle ground and the reviews always start with “I never leave reviews but...”.
“We hope to encourage people to go out and enjoy pubs in different places.”
The couple also hope, by attracting lots of views, to eventually receive payments from YouTube to help at least subsidise their pricey past-time.
Having had a top-notch experience in Stamford, Dale and Holly are planning to return soon, and have their sights set on visiting Bourne and Oakham too.
• Which pub should Dale and Holly visit and why? Email your name, address, a pubs they should visit and your reason why to email@example.com