Tips for Travellers: The King William IV Pub, Sneinton, Nottingham.

A (beer) case of mistaken identities.

The King William IV Public House  -also known as King Billy’s – also known as the Sneinton Snug – also known as Robin Hood’s ‘hood – is a charming atmospheric English pub with a myriad of identities as well as a fine selection of independent micro-ales and nano-beers.

Not only does the discerning drinker need to negotiate previously unheard of types of mead, he or she has to decipher the unattributed poetry in the toilets. Are we reading Becket? Einstein? Blyton? We cannot be too sure given the ambivalence of the atmosphere. Or it may be given the strength of the Jaipur IPA which clocks in at a deceptive 7.4% ABV. And very tasty it is too. Or was that the pork pie?

The pub banter only serves to add to the ambiguity:

“What happens when you mix black rat with white rat?”

You might think that given the hostelry’s proximity to a local biomedical research centre that you are over hearing an after works chat about state of the art genetic engineering practice.

“You get grey rat?”

“No, you get more black rat.  The taste of the black rat over powers the taste of the white rat so all you taste is black rat.”

Genetic engineering? Ale blending? Who knows. No-one seems to worry too much either given the soporific effect of the mixed race rat.

Given the parallel universe that is King Billy’s, it is only when wending our way up the hill back home when we realise that uphill is in fact downhill. At that point we know we have come across a fine local pub, albeit with identity problems.

Author: drnicko

Awarded an MBE for services to arts-based businesses, I am passionate about generating inspiring, socially engaging, creative practice within educational contexts both nationally and internationally.

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