Since I had a little time on my hands I thought I would take a trip across to Sheffield and visit the newly crowned CAMRA pub of the year, the Kelham Island Tavern. The pub is in the centre of the Kelham Island industrial estate, and was refurbished a few years ago with an extension to the rear, offering more space and seating. The main bar faces the front door and features seating in an L shape.
Opening times are from 12 every day and the pub offers food and several real ales at competitive prices. At the time of my visit there were the 3 regular beers on the bar (Pictish Brewers Gold, Acorn Barnsley Bitter, and Bradfield Farmers Blonde) along with a selection of guests from around the country including Cottage, Nottingham, and even a Mallinsons. The ones I tried were in fine fettle.
Although a pleasant pub, and judging by the amount of custom when I visited, a successful one, I could not see exactly why it has been crowned in preference to other equally worthy establishments. I have visited plenty of pubs that would fit the bill, though I have no criticism of the quality or range of beers on offer here. Incidentally there is no connection between the Tavern and the Kelham Island Brewery whose tap, The Fat Cat, is just around the corner.
If you have never visited this part of Sheffield, now may be the time. There are several good pubs within easy walking distance in addition to the Tavern and the aforementioned Fat Cat, including the Harlequin, (which I think is the premier pub in the area), The Wellington (formerly the Cask & Cutler) and the Hillsborough Hotel. All provide fine ales and some do very reasonably priced good food too.
To reach the Tavern, the easiest way is to take the train to Sheffield, tram from the station to Shalesmoor, then cross the road by the traffic lights and follow the signs for the Kelham Island Museum. The pub stands on the right after about quarter of a mile.
(pics courtesy of the pubs' websites)