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BITE user comments - pccmp17

Comments by pccmp17

Village Inn, Gatwick Airport

The VI has had a make-over quite recently, now pretty well unrecognisabe from the old boozer. Now a different layout and far more modern interior - all high, square wooden tables, blocks of bold colours on the wall, etc. Looks pleasant and welcoming enough, if slightly too bright.

In any Airport pub you will probably never escape the sense that you are only one step away from the Departure Lounge, it's unavoidable with the transient nature of the clientele. However, I think that this is still probably the best option in this part of Gatwick. Everyone knows the Wetherspoons formula, and the VI sticks to it. I found the service very friendly and attentative, they seem to cope remarkably well (and keep good humour) with the huge turnover of customers, most of whom were in seriously bad moods over their delayed flights.....

There were six real Ales on, and my pint of Courage Directors was very fresh. All in all a decent enough place to while away and hour or twenty as you wait for your flight or missing baggage.

1 Jun 2008 11:04

The Lion Inn, Combe Martin

A sad loss...had so many great mornings / afternoons evenings / middle-of-nights here...if Tree, Earl Grey, Little Lance, Cobbler, Dave Smallridge, or any others are was a pleasure.

12 May 2008 00:57

The Bank, Plymouth

As far as City Centre Pubs go, this is a cracker. Good draught Bass is very difficult to find anywhere in the UK anymore, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find it here. And it was very good.

The interior of the pub is a joy, with two and a half floors (there is a mezzanine level), two bars, and a smart, traditional decor that hints at it's previous life as a Bank. There are lots of little nooks and cosy seats to be had.

It's also handsome from the outside with it's striking, rounded design.

The pub is not cheap, particularly regarding the beer - but then again, no central Plymouth pub is these days. However, The Bank is quite unique in being a good, traditional, Plymouth City Centre boozer, and it's beer is excellent. So if you happen to be waiting for a bus in Royal Parade, and you hanker after more than the Hogs Head and Yates' can provide, I strongly suggest that you give it a go.

5 May 2008 02:01

The Notte Inn, Plymouth

Must agree with Jay28 - I returned to The Notte after a fairly long abscence, and overcame initial disappointment to become pleasantly surprised. I had a cracking pint of Summerskills on gravity from the barrel behind the bar. The girl serving me was very pretty and very pleasant.

There always seems to be a character or two at the bar who will regale you with seafaring tales of the Plymouth of old (whether you want them to or not).

I empathise with 'anonymous' from Aug 2006 - I recall a bearded chap from some time ago - I believe he was the Manager - and he was, to put it mildly, abrasive...basically if you didn't agree with his point of view, right or wrong, he'd publicly shoot you down in flames.

He's gone, and the pub is good, give it a go.

5 May 2008 00:59

The Thistle Park Tavern, Plymouth

Popped in recently on a trip back to Plymouth. I'm a local boy who moved away, and had never visited the pub, so I gave it a go on the back of the BITE reviews.

Admittedly I was there on a mid-week day, but I was the only person in the place, and I got the feeling that I wasn't at all welcome. The girl on the bar seemed to consider me a rude interruption to her telephone call. Another chap, who I took to be the Landlord / Manager, skulked around in the rear area looking miserable.

The South Hams beer that I had wasn't particularly spectacular, got the impression that it had been sitting in the pipes for far too long.

I love the decor and undoubted atmosphere of the place when it is busy - the Country needs to support this sort of Boozer and make sure it survives - but I got the impression on my visit that the staff just don't really seem to care.

5 May 2008 00:36

Panniers, Barnstaple

As a Barnstaple boy who has moved away and occasionally comes back, I have to say that this one rates fairly highly on the Wetherspoons-standards scale. You don't have to wipe your feet on the way out, and the inevitable gaggle of start-from-9-am all day drinkers in the front window are friendlier than in most other outlets.

The rear garden is an absolute gem - a suntrap when it's hot, with heaters for the cooler nights...

I think by by now that most people who set foot inside a Wetherspoons establishment will know what will ensue, and this one conforms to all of that - including cheap, acceptable (microwaved) food, lots of space for diners, unfeasibly nice toilets, and a selection of real ales which purports to be varied & interesting but is, essentially, very safe (Courage Best, Spitfire, Exmoor Gold, Etc).

Sadly the Wetherspoons principle of understaffing applies here as much as anywhere - there never seem to be enough on the bar to keep things running smoothly.

Friday & Saturday nights are best avoided purely on the basis of the door staff alone - it seems that if your face doesn’t fit (or should I say your face in conjunction with your bum and boobs) - then you're not getting in.....

Ultimately JDW is a formula, and a phenomenally successful formula, that attracts people who might otherwise never come in to a pub, and Mr Martin has made an absolute fortune. I wish I'd come up with it.

26 Feb 2008 02:28

The Union Rooms, Plymouth

I think by now that most people who walk through the doors of a Wetherspoons establishment can safely predict what will ensue. I admit that I like many aspects of their formula, despite it being the absolute antithesis of genuine, individual pubs of character and atmosphere.

On previous returns to my home city, I always found a trip here to be enjoyable - the service quick (and notably friendly), the place itself capacious and remarkably clean. Sadly my visit last Thursday dispelled all previous experiences. From the moment I entered, that patented Wetherspoons 'stale vomit' air freshner was apparant throughout the pub. Most tables were strewn with empty glasses or plates. And this was midday.

Upon reaching the bar I was ignored for several minutes, despite it being quite obvious that I was next in turn. As is the apparent Wetherspoons principle, there were far too few staff. I was only served by virtue of another customer telling the young lady on the bar that I had been there before her.

Having eventually been served, I repaired to a stool on the second level to enjoy my beer which was, in fairness, a very good pint of Directors. I was then glowered at by an obviously upset local, who seemed intent on inflicting Bodily Harm on me. We stared each other out for a while, and then he threw up on his stool and left. Nice. I made haste towards The Bank, a few minutes walk away, which was a far more enjoyable experience.

17 Feb 2007 15:27

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