Saturday, June 9, 2012

At the Royal Enfield pub

I spent one day in Redditch in my last trip to England and of course I had to visit the Royal Enfield pub. More precisely, perhaps due to the current crisis, it appeared among the best current culinary offers of the town. Apart from a couple of pubs, there are a few Indian restaurants, but the one that served alcohol has closed, and I like to have a glass of wine with dinner.

The place occupies a large venue that used to be a Hard Rock Cafe and previously a cinema, and is managed by a British chain of restaurants called Wetherspoon. There is a bar in the middle of the space. One has to order things there and give the table number one sits in and they bring stuff to you, which appears fashionable in some pubs in the UK these days.

Next to it is a dance floor with strobe lights, an adjacent DJ booth, etc, that was used as restaurant space at the time I visited (at the left of that square half-column in the above picture. In front of it is a large mural with Enfield related themes, pictures of the modern UCE in the background and listing various Enfield models. How could they forget the Bullet, though!

The walls are decorated with pictures of old Redditch, for instance this one of the legendary Danilo theater, which I believe operated in the building (or at least the location) where the pub is now (the exterior of the building looks modern, but maybe it is a renovation).

Some of the motorcycle themed pictures are not obviously Enfield related. 

Some are, there was a nice picture of the massive K model V-Twin engine of the 1930's, and some collage pictures with various Enfield related items. 

There is a motorcycle perched up on a wall, dimly lit at the wheels, to the point I couldn't tell exactly the model it was, it appeared to be a Bullet, but the cylinder head looked funny. Here it is illuminated by the flash of my camera,

To give the Indian readers of this blog a laugh, I ordered chicken tikka with naan and papadum for dinner. It was... what you would expect from Indian food in a British chain pub... At 3.99 pounds, it was a bargain (for Britain), though!

Overall, I was expecting a bit more. There is so much interesting Enfield related stuff they could have shown! But I guess one has to recognize that Enfield has been out of Redditch for more than 40 years now. In the meantime Redditch was designated a "new town" by the UK government and its population deliberately doubled via internal migration. There is a lot of migration from other places too, you see a lot of people from India, from the Middle East, from Poland (there is even a Polish grocery store in the main street). So I imagine your average Redditchian today probably knows or cares little about Royal Enfield and perhaps it was a sound marketing strategy to yield the ambience of the pub towards "Redditch history" more than to Royal Enfield itself.
All in all it is great that the pub brings back a bit of Enfield history to the people in Redditch. The same chain owns another bar in the main street that has an Enfield themed booth.

At the train station, 

1 comment:

  1. The motorbike on the wall looks like a Clipper to me, though whether it's a 250 or 350, I have no idea. Quite a looker, too.



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