November's SketchCrawl day in Sheffield was a pub-crawl: a pub-SketchCrawl.
Just after 10am, about a dozen members of SketchCrawl North met at The Sheffield Tap, a very old and recently refurbished pub on Sheffield Railway Station (to make life easier for people coming in from outside the city).
The Tap has a massive, high-ceilinged room at the back, lined with decorative Victorian ceramic tiles and hung with chandeliers (yes, really!). On one side of the room, all the highly-polished, brewing equipment is on show:
...on the other are windows, which look out at the platforms and trains:
The pub is very popular so often too busy to appreciate, but so early in the morning, the room was empty, except for us sketchers, hard at work:
We walked across town to The Bath Hotel next. Unfortunately it wasn't quite yet open, so we had 15 minutes drawing from the pavement outside, until the landlord arrived and kindly opened up early to let us into the warm.
I sketched the other Lynne in the group, who coincidentally also has spiky hair and specs:
Quite a few new sketchers arrived at this point and we about doubled our numbers, so at least 20 of us heading up the road for our third stop, The Red Deer. They've done it up a bit since I was last in there, but not enough to spoil it, thank goodness. I found a place near an open fire.
I'd been on tea and coffee up to this point, but spotted that they were serving hot, spiced apple juice with a shot of rum: irresistible and as delicious as it sounds.
We finished off drawings and meals, then moved on to pub no 4: a little, very traditional Irish pub. Fagan's is low on fancy decor but big on friendliness. In the evening, it's a favourite for off-the-cuff jamming sessions between folk musicians, but it was quiet in the afternoon.
Which was why several of us did surreptitious sketches of this poor stranger, first eating his lunch, then reading a book. He didn't complain and, if he realised, he didn't let on.
We then focused on Stefan, one of our number, who made the mistake of sitting in the centre:
For the last stop of the day, we looped back to revisit The Sheffield Tap. It was busier now, but we still managed to get into the beautiful back room.
We began attracting attention from the other drinkers who offered critique, mostly positive (!).
When the last stragglers went for their train at 5pm, I walked back up into town and caught a bus home: the end of a lovely day. We'd had 3 first-timers too, which is always nice. Our group tends to get at least one new person turn up for each of our monthly meetings. Since my remit is to get as many new people using sketchbooks as possible, that's especially heartwarming.
As it turned out, a pub-crawl was the perfect way for new people to begin sketchcrawling, since we were able to chat more than usual, over our beers or coffee. While we sketched of course!