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BITE user comments - CitizenWolfie

Comments by CitizenWolfie

The Vine, Harborne

Horrible. Just Horrible. Went on a Saturday night and the place was really busy but populated exclusively by chavs and hooligans.

Drinks were limited to pretty much lager and cider with only one real ale. Prices were very good though considering many places have upped their prices. Only the thug of a bartender short changed me by 5 and by the time I managed to get his attention to tell him he got aggressive and said I should have said at the time and walked off.

Also during the couple of hours I was there I witnessed 2 fights break out - one of which involved a knife. By the "family entrance" no less!


20 Feb 2011 10:29

Bluu, Birmingham

Great bar.

Had the pleasure of spending a lazy Sunday afternoon in here and my girlfriend and I treated ourselves to a roast dinner off the set menu. The food was excellent, one of the best I've ever had anywhere and the waiter/bartender was thoroughly helpful and couldn't do enough for us. The meal was reasonably priced as well for three courses.

The bar itself was quiet, but was very plush inside and they had a wide panoramic view through the open windows of the canalside which was a nice bonus. Unfortunately I didn't get to see much of what was on offer at the bar but it seemed very much a trendy cocktail-style bar. No real ale, but the cold Heineken was a nice compliment to the sunny day of our visit.

4 Feb 2011 16:08

Bacchus, Birmingham

Bacchus is a strange pub. But in a good way.

Upon first entering you might be mistaken for thinking it's actually four different bars. If you go in with somebody, one of you could be sitting in a Medieval banquet room, while three feet away your friend is in a Rennaissance Library. It's beautifully decorated whichever room you sit in.

Unfortunately it's let down by expensive drinks and food. Don't get me wrong, the meals my girlfriend and I had were very nice (standard Nicholsons' menu) but the beer was pretty poor and not worth the 3 and upwards I paid for it (and this was 2 years ago). The staff in there seemed a bit standoffish as well and don't seem to make an effort to get anybody served quickly. Understandable if they were busy but this was on a quiet Wednesday night.

4 Feb 2011 16:00

The Zetland Arms Hotel, Warwick

I visited this pub on the recommendation of a friend and very much enjoyed my time there.

It was outside of the tourist season and early afternoon so the pub wasn't exactly busy, but it was very pleasant inside and the (I assume) regulars were quite welcoming. We sat outside in the large, well maintained beer garden which offered a spectacular view of the nearby church. We didn't have food but the drinks were inexpensive and I had a pretty good pint of Adnams (I forget which now).

Altogether a nice, cosy boozer and well worth a visit. I'd like to see it on a Friday or Saturday night to see what the place is like when it's buzzing.

4 Feb 2011 15:42

The Wellington, Birmingham

Bookworm - I understand that not every beer can be perfect every time it's pulled, and I'm certainly not casting aspersions on the staff that pull it, but the times I've been in there I have not had very good pints. Maybe I'm just unlucky? The other pubs I drink in regularly (The Old Contemptables, Lord Clifden, Black Eagle to name a few) seem to be keeping their beers in top condition. I realise the Welly has a great range, but I think in this instance it's a case of quantity over quality. I can only be honest in my review from the experiences I've had (and I still gave the Wellington an above-average score).

As for the Welly "dumbing down," I would have nothing of the sort - I meant it more that people sould broaden their horizons instead of flocking to the Wellington all the time. The other local pubs should indeed strive for greatness but it's difficult when the Wellington is as popular as it is.

4 Feb 2011 15:32

The Wellington, Birmingham

@bookworm - Somebody has already pointed out that they serve lagers, I hadn't realised this and so retract that part of my review. Besides which, I don't drink lager very often but I meant it more as a comment on how this might seem to a non-ale drinker.

As for the number system, I do agree that with the sheer amount of beer they stock, it does make more sense. I just don't like it personally. My real problem is that I found the majority of pints I've drank in there were just of an average quality - not taste so much since of course, that is objective depending on the brewery - but I feel the drinks weren't in good condition on serving.

You make a good point about being busy in an uncertain climate for pubs, but I feel that The Wellington doesn't *quite* have the facilities to cope. The past couple of times I've been there there have been only a couple of staff working and people wait for a long time. It's great being busy but not when it's near impossible to be served. It also seems strange to me to have such a small toilet space for the amount of customers expected on a daily basis.

On the flipside of your comment, one could argue that there are loads of dead quiet pubs in the city centre. If the Wellington is pulling in all the customers, then it could be at the expense of these pubs as well, hence more closures. But this is just me playing Devil's Advocate :p

24 Jan 2011 19:28

The Wellington, Birmingham

@Backlash - Fair enough, I must have missed those. I know they sell bottled lagers but not draft though right?

23 Jan 2011 16:51

The Old House At Home, Harborne

It's a Wacky Warehouse - basically you know what you're going to get: screaming kids, huge families and not much else.

If you can get there on a quieter night you would be better off but even so, the food has always been served pretty quickly and been decent. Price wise the meals are excellent and you can see why it's popular with families.

Unfortunately it's not really a pub any more. They have a few beers on but lately the drink prices are disproportionate to the food. The bar service is particularly bad - I work in a bar myself and if I had kept people waiting as long as I had to wait, I'd probably have got a b*llocking from my boss.

If you've got a family and are looking for an affordable meal, this is up your street. For everyone else, carry on further down the Lordswood Road to Harborne High Street and there's more quality places to choose from.

21 Jan 2011 19:26

The Proverbial, Harborne

I don't understand all the negative reviews for this place.

Yes, it's a bit studenty, particularly on a Wednesday night, and yes, a bit chavvy on a Saturday. But most other nights it's a pretty welcoming place.

I've been coming here since it was The Varsity and it used to be much more student-orientated. It has changed a lot now though. The interior is nicely furnished, comfortable and very welcoming. It has booth-type areas if you want a quiet drink and big sofas for when you want to let your hair down with some mates.

It can take a while to get served at busy periods and the place seems to always not have enough staff on. But despite this, I've found the staff to be really friendly, have gone out of their way to serve us on occasions and they will even engage in conversation on quieter nights. It's not often bar staff will smile and say hello in passing while collecting glasses from your table.

The food is very good here, although the menu seems to change every few months. But it usually has the same traditional grub and the fish and chips is particularly nice. The beer is decent enough and reasonably priced but I'd like to see more Real Ale there than the standard commercial gubbins such as Pedigree and Bombadier. Good selection of lagers and spirits though.

Well worth going, but perhaps on a Thursday night when it's a bit quieter and away from the chavs. As for the students, they aren't too much of a bother, and in the summer we've had the pleasure of being there on Rag Week - it's pretty funny watching groups of students enter in fancy dress with their legs tied together.

21 Jan 2011 18:24

The Lord Clifden, Birmingham

Great little pub in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter. I've drank in here a number of times and have been satisfyed every time.

The range of Real Ales was a bit disappointing: about 3 or 4 and 2 of those were commercial (Bathams and Wye Valley HPA), but they were good quality and served well and were a reasonable price. There is however a good range of draft lagers and bottled beers should that take your fancy. The staff there were friendly and occasionally stopped to talk between serving which was a nice touch.

The lounge area has always been busy when I've been and I've not been able to sit there, but the bar room is quite traditional and features a dart board and TV if sport is your thing. The toilets are also spotless.

The whole place is marred slightly by its pretentious trendy "Urban Art Bar" decor, which sits out of place with an otherwise traditional boozer. And a word of warning to people - unless you are entering, avoid going on a Quiz Night (Thursdays I think) as you probably wont get a seat and the speaker system is on way too loud to have a conversation with anyone. It is also worth noting that it is a bit further from the Midland Metro stop than the signs would have you believe, but this isn't really the pub's fault.

21 Jan 2011 18:05

The Old Market Inn, Holsworthy

I've had the pleasure of drinking here a few times now while on fishing trips near Holsworthy and every time it's been excellent. They have a range of about ten beers, most of which were locally brewed (I love Devon and Cornish ales) and all of which were kept in a good condition and were poured to a high standard. The bartender (and manager I think) Lee was a great host and my family and friends felt thoroughly welcome the entire time. It is also the first place I've been to that not only sold Absinthe, but served it properly (thanks again to Lee!).

I've only eaten there once but the food was also excellent. It is mostly wholesome, homecooked traditional pub fare such as pies, grills etc but that's exactly what I like in a pub.

Thoroughly deserving of the awards it frequently wins. I'd like to stay there as a guest at the Inn in future. I cannot recommend the Old Market Inn enough.

21 Jan 2011 17:52

The Old Contemptibles, Birmingham

The OC's is a lovely pub brimming with character. One of my favourites in Birmingham.

They serve a wide range of ales and lagers and all are poured really well. Pints have a nice thick head that last while drinking and are very rarely cloudy or in a bad condition, although the prices are a little steep. I also found the staff there to be pleasant, helpful and some of them remember you if you visit regularly which is surprising for a City Centre pub.

Inside the decor is very plush - a mix of old and new styles and I like that the lighting is kept quite low as it feels more cosy. The WW1 murals at the back of the bar really add a lot of character as well.

As for the food, it's always been top notch although a little on the expensive side for the amount you get. It is a pretty good selection though and if nothing else, you should sample the wide range of sausages they do!

Due to its location, the clientele is very mixed - I usually go there on a weekday evening and find that early on the place is full of yuppies and bankers and it can get a bit annoying at times when you fancy a quiet drink, but they usually clear out around 7ish so I'd recommend coming after this time. It also suffers from being close to Snow Hill station as you sometimes get rowdy football fans in there.

Nevertheless, a great pub to visit if you're in the City Centre - great food and drink, nice staff and there is always an atmosphere in there, though not always for the best!

21 Jan 2011 17:44

The Wellington, Birmingham

First off - The Wellington has a well deserved reputation for being a hub for all things Real Ale and CAMRA. The staff there are very knowledgable about ales so you can rest assured you will get exactly what you want. Likewise, the range of beers they have is second-to-none.

But unfortunately I fail to see why this has won B'ham CAMRA Pub of the Year so many times. The beers, while numerous, were flat and a bit too warm. The atmosphere was pretty much non-existent whenever I've been in (with the exception of Quiz Night) and generally I find the "number system" of ordering drinks a bit impersonal - like I'm in a factory line or something. Considering it's a pub that likes to promote beer, it seems a step backwards to effectively remove the names of the drinks. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact I was sitting at the bar and drinking the nearest beer to hand, I doubt I'd have remembered which beers I liked or not. And I'd also advise against going on a Saturday or any time while the Frankfurt Market is on as you will be waiting a long time to be served and be forced to stand uncomfortably close (almost nose to nose at one point) to people while you wait. They also refuse to stock lager of any sort as well and despite being a real ale drinker, I couldn't really bring many of my friends here to be honest. I realise what they are trying to do in terms of promoting ale, but for a "pub" to not sell lager is a bit shocking.

All in all, The Wellington is great if you are all about the real ale. A good place to find beers you wouldn't normally find anywhere else and well trained staff but if you like a relaxed pub atmosphere or somewhere to grab a traditional pub meal you'd be better off going elsewhere. I wouldn't say it was a pub so much as a headquarters for CAMRA members. And if that's what you're after then bring a clipboard and you'll be right at home.

21 Jan 2011 17:30

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