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Pub Visit - England

Elbow Room 1Saturday 13th February 2016

Bob Thompson

I believe that this is the first micropub to be established in a brand new building. It is found at the town end of Station Road, not far from the Market Place.

It faces the road and is part of the new Crescent entertainment and retail centre. This also contains a new Sainsbury supermarket, a T-Maxx store and a five screen cinema operated by Cineworld. The cinema is located on the floor above the pub and is the first in Hinckley for over 22 years.

As can be assumed from the above comments, this is a modern bar but I have to say that I thought it had a good ambience. On this day I was with wife Linda along with Carol and Steve.

Elbow Room 2The pub occupies a 70 sq ft room and if judged on size alone, is very much a micropub. The entrance door is on the right of the premises and you face the bar counter as soon as you are inside.

The counter is fronted with white tiles and has a shiny wooden top. Behind it is a very large cool room with glass-fronted sliding doors. Inside, facing outwards are the casks on a big metal stillage with self-tilting equipment. The beer is tapped directly from the casks. The room also contains boxes of cider and perry. In fact every drink that needs to be cool is to be found here as the white wines are stored at the rear.

We managed to occupy the only vacant table and ran our eyes over the room. Although it has become a bit of a cliché I think the description “Industrial Chic” could well be applied to the décor here as there are some genuine items of former mechanical use on the walls. Most of the tables are of the high variety with varnished wooden tops and spindly metal legs, likewise the stools that have wood seats on top.

Elbow Room 3We also noticed that there were padded seats along the windows. Each table had a potted cactus with a couple of candles alongside.

The right side wall is almost entirely taken up with an enormous blackboard with I personally found somewhat confusing although it is very comprehensive as they sell a lot of different drinks. I eventually located the cask beer offerings located in the top right hand corner.

The pub was opened in November 2015 by Tim and Wendy Arnold. They had been looking at properties in Hinckley for over two years until they settled on this one.

Tim is a IT Consultant and has said that he will keep on with this profession for the foreseeable future but eventually intends to run the pub full time. The couple are assisted by their two sons. I guess that the lad behind the bar on our visit was one of them.

Elbow Room 4The cask beers on offer were: Saltaire (Saltaire, West Yorkshire) Stateside IPA (6.0%); Dow Bridge (Catthorpe, Leicestershire) Ratae’d (4.3%); Church End (Ridge Lane, Warwickshire) Gravediggers (3.8%); finally two from Titanic Brewery (Burslem, Staffordshire) Iceberg (4.1%) and Plum Porter (4.9%).

This pub has a very good cider selection. When we called in it was: Original Somerset Cider Co Apple Jack Kingston Black (7.5%); Cockeyed Cider Mad Jack Dry (4.7%); Mr Whitehouse (Colemore, Hampshire) Cirrus Minor (5.0%); Sandford Orchards (Crediton, Devon) Bumbleberry (4.0%); Weston’s (Much Marcle, Herefordshire) Rosie’s Pig (4.9%); Thistly Cross (South Belton, East Lothian, Scotland) Jaggy Thistle (7.4%); finally two from Gwatkin (Abbey Dore, Herefordshire) Golden Valley (6.0%) and Pyder (5.0%).

Elbow Room 5When it comes to other drinks the selection is a large as most conventional pubs. They specialise in whiskies and gins. Looking at the list of wines I think their selection is better than the usual micropub offerings.

They do a wide range of bottled beers and have some keg beers from small producers. They also have something called “craft ciders”. I presume they mean keg ciders. If the still ciders noted above are not craft ciders, I really can’t think what else is!

Food is not a big deal here. They have a selection of pies from Chadwick’s of Coventry including the ubiquitous pork pie and also a Scotch pie, amongst others. There are the usual snacks in packs such as crisps, scratchings and nuts. This is a good pub and you should call in if you are in the area.

Important Information:

The Elbow Room Ale & Cider House, 26 Station Road, Hinckley LE10 1AW
Tel: 07900 191388

Hours: Monday Closed; Tuesday-Thursday 14.00-23.00; Friday-Saturday 12.00-23.30; Sunday 12.00-19.00

The pub is on the edge of the town centre and is a few minutes walk from the Market Place. It’s easy walk of about ten minutes from the station.
Exit the station off the Leicester-bound platform. Go up the station approach road. Pass the Railway Hotel on your left and walk up Station Road. After about five minutes you will see the Elbow Room on the left.

Hinckley station is served by an hourly service of trains running between Birmingham New Street and Leicester via Nuneaton. The service is provided by London Midland and operates from Monday to Sunday.