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BITE user comments - tarkatherotter

Comments by tarkatherotter

The Black Horse Inn, Shipston on Stour

This is the oldest pub in Shipston and the only building in the town with a thatched roof. It looks superb on the outside and the inside is full of character. Three real ales on tap. A lovely historical building and a proper pub. Slightly out of the main town centre streets but well sign posted off the main road to Stratford'.

6 Jul 2018 10:38

Pelican In Her Piety, Ogmore By Sea

The Peli is now re-opened. Very little change to its architectural features but some changes to paintwork, ornaments etc and it has maybe lost a little bit of character as a result. Some extra brassware and pottery etc would make a big difference. The restaurant tables /chairs have been replaced with ones that are a bit more rustic and IMHO an improvement. Now serving of up to 6 pints of draught ales that constantly change (with Doom Bar and Wye valley HPA as the consistent regular ales.

8 Sep 2017 18:29

Royal Oak Hotel, Adamsdown

The Royal Oak has been recently refurbished. First impressions are that the refurbishment has been a great job , carried out very carefully with the ambience, character, history and architecture being greatly respected. A fabulous, unspoiled but cared for traditional Cardiff pub.

27 May 2017 02:14

The Butchers Arms, Llandaff

Very pleasantly surprised by this pub after walking to it from the city centre. An unspoiled, traditional Cardiff pub. Wide selection of real ales, albeit the generally most popular ones. That said, my pints of HB were lovely. It was quite busy mid/late Friday afternoon and appeared to have many regulars but, I felt perfectly at home and welcome as a "stranger". One of those pubs I wish was my local. Took to it straight away.

20 May 2017 11:33

The Globe Inn, Chagford

As per the previous review, a lovely pint of Otter was just what I needed after walking on Dartmoor. So much so that I diverted back here for another pint on my way home at the end of my short Devon break followed by a short but steep walk up to the local common for some great views. I liked the interior of the bar of this pub. Very traditional, with plenty of wood and a lovely, massive old fireplace. I had a quick look in the lounge and restaurant areas and they looked pleasant and traditional as well. One of those pubs you could instantly imagine as being your local. Otter bitter and Dartmoor IPA noticed on hand pumps, can't remember what else. Always nice to see local real ales for sale.

12 May 2017 18:27

Northmore Arms, Throwleigh

I am amazed this pub survives as it is in the middle of (beautiful) nowhere and the village looks tiny with just a few residents. But, thank goodness it is surviving. An incredible frozen in time establishment, completely unspoiled. A lovely bonus on my edge of Dartmoor walk from Chagford. Local ales straight from the barrel. If you love and appreciate real pubs then make sure you visit this one. I can relate to the "if only my local" type comments below. My only regret was I couldn't stay longer and sample the food (and a few more beers).

11 Oct 2016 20:43

The Crown Inn, Penzance

I envy the locals who have this as their regular pub. It is a proper, old fashioned, locals type pub (but equally welcoming to the visitor). An unpretentious, delightful almost "frozen in time" interior. A beer tap to boot as well and I enjoyed my pint of "Causeway". Long may this pub survive as an example of the best of the British way of life.

18 Sep 2016 10:26

The Admiral Benbow, Penzance

I walked to this pub from the station via the promenade and the nearby, delightful, Morrab gardens. It has one of the most bizarre and intensely decorated interiors I have ever seen in a pub. You almost need a guided tour to make the most of it , which I undoubtedly didn't with my one pint visit. But, a fabulous, intriguing venue and a national and regional treasure. I was delighted to find the wonderfully bitter, Dartmoor Best on sale. Which I was able to relax and enjoy as, in spite of all its historic features this is also a proper pub, where I felt instantly at home.

18 Sep 2016 10:07

The Fleece Inn, Bretforton

If you love historic, traditional, real pubs this is a must visit venue. Absolutely stunning. A national treasure. Nice selection of ales as well. After a look around I was delighted to sit outside and enjoy the last (I think) musician of their weekend blues festival.

6 Sep 2016 22:32

The Railway Hotel, Evesham

My first visit to Evesham and walking through the town so many of the pubs appeared a bit characterless from the outside, albeit well patronised. Popped into the Railway Hotel and immediately impressed /at home with its warm ,dark lighting, wooden bar, tiled floor, brick fireplace and a nice selection of real ales. Plenty of character. Live music on later that night but ,would have to pay to listen to it:-no problem with that but it looked like the pub would be out of bounds once the music started unless you had a ticket (music not in a separate bar). But definitely somewhere I would return if in town again (and probably enjoy the gig as well ).

6 Sep 2016 22:18

The Dartmouth Inn, Totnes

For all the years I have been visiting Totnes I have not frequented the Dartmouth;-my loss. It serves one of my favourite bitters ;- Otter , amongst others. And in need of some quick and wholesome food I succumbed to the all day carvery. Which was fab and just £5.95!! The interior is pleasant with the unusual stone walls and the area where I ate, just off to the side of the bar, was nice and clean with pleasant background music at just the right volume. Nice food, great prices, fab real ales, friendly and helpful bar staff.

9 Oct 2015 21:55

The Spotted Dog, Digbeth

My Digbeth crawl was orientated stongly toward the heritage pubs listed by CAMRA such as the Anchor. When discussing such a night out with the landlady of my B&B she mentioned the Spotted Dog. So, when I stumbled upon it I dropped in and was so glad that I did. The interior was full of character and dimly/warmly lit although its ornaments and artefacts seemed random and without any particular theme (not that they have to be, just telling it as I saw it ! ). Friendly, efficent bar staff and I was gobsmacked at £2.10 charge for my (very nice) pint of mild. Heritage price at least!!
A lovely, warm, welcoming,atmospheric pub. A must visit on any Digbeth crawl.

4 Oct 2015 20:55

The Anchor Inn, Digbeth

A revisit since the first time 5 years ago. Very pleased to see it has not changed and it was certainly thriving on my Friday night visit. If you like heritage pub interiors or just charactersome pubs or a variety of real ales then this is a must visit venue.
Along with the White Swan , this is a rare inner city survivor heritage pub.

4 Oct 2015 20:40

The Kings Arms, Oxford

The large main lounge area seems geared for the mainly pub grub role of this establishment. The smaller bar around the back is quite charactersome with some interesting features and other small snugs leading off. Several real ales on tap.
A nice enough pub.

4 Oct 2015 20:28

Fountain Hotel, Okehampton

Just a one pint visit. Nothing special(architecturally) about the interior but nothing bad either and nice to see wood floorboards in the bar area. Sort of place I would be more than happy to have as my local. Nice selection of real ales with Dartmoor featuring strongly. I had a refreshing pint of IPA. I am not a beer garden type. But on a fabulously hot and sunny day I couldn't resist venturing outside. The beer garden was lovely and a pleasant surprise. Plenty of tables, plenty of shady cover and adjoined by some lovely old stone buildings adjacent. A lovely place to sup a Devonshire beer after a walk on the moors on a beautiful summers day. Nice job.

9 Aug 2015 18:20

The Bay Horse Inn, Ashburton

This pub has re-opened under new tenants in May. Nice to see as it was closed during my visit in April. Renovation work has been ongoing with carpets removed and new stone floors amongst other things. The landlady was very friendly and enthusiastic. Looks like it has the potential to become a great local, with live music already on the agenda. Just 2 real ales on tap;-Doom bar and Skinners Betty Stoggs, both from the westcountry at least and I sampled a nice pint of the Betty' at their offer price of just £3. I wish them well and hope it becomes a great addition to the Devon pub scene.

9 Aug 2015 13:43

The Fingle Bridge Inn, Drewsteignton

A welcome break in a circular walk from Moretonhampstead via Mardon down. The pub is very food orientated and geared towards the tourist hotspot that is Fingle bridge. Nice enough inside with the oak beams and fireplaces but nothing special in terms of architecture and ambience (although I think it could be with a bit more attention to clutter/memorabillia /lighting etc. And lose the carpets!!).
Several local ales on offer. I opted for my first ever Dartmoor best bitter. This surprised as, even though a full 1% or more less gravity than the famed Jail Ale, it was still full of flavour. The nicest pint I had in my short stay in Devon, not that any are ever bad!!

9 Aug 2015 13:35

The Church House Inn, Marldon

This pub provided a welcome break on the Totnes to Torquay walking trail. I couldn't tell if the interior features were original or new built ,"fake olde worlde" . It was very clean and almost a bit clinical with a distinct lack of clutter and memorabillia. But, a pleasant interior nonetheless and a fabulous pint of Teignworthy (gun dog if I remember correctly) made me stay for a second. It looks as though it is geared up for food but, highly commendably (and increasingly rare these days) it had masses of bar stools for the drinkers who enjoy supping and socialising at the bar. Overall a very nice pub that has won a number of awards. So, definitely worth a visit.

2 May 2015 21:16

The New Inn, Legges Way

A pub relocated, rebuilt and incorporated into the rather excellent Blists Hill Victorian museum. I was delighted to discover that it wasn't just "for show" but that it still very much functions as a pub within the site. More of a victorian "workmans" pub interior, with bare wood floors , wood panelling and devoid of the extensive tiling and glasswork that you see in some of the lavishly ornate city pubs.
However ,compared to those Victorian/Edwardian pubs that still exist in our towns and cities it was a unique experience to supp a nice pint of Banks's mild , with the smell of coal smoke from nearby steam engines in the air, a sing song at the piano being conducted in the adjacent bar (tap room?) and a carriage drawn by two shire horses visible in the street through the open doors.
Made me feel a bit better about the future of Cardiff's Vulcan pub which is currently being similarly rebuilt in the St. Fagans musuem, especially if , like the new Inn , it will still function as a real pub.

27 Apr 2015 21:12

The Plymouth Inn, Okehampton

A one pint flying visit so, only time for "first impressions". But I would concur with all the positive comments below. Instantly impressed as a proper boozer with a lively (presumably regulars) but not intimidating scene in the front bar. With some nice weather I took advantage of the beer garden. Very ,very attractive beer prices and an interesting selection of ales. A pub I would be happy to have as a local.

27 Apr 2015 20:45

The Down Inn, The Down

This place describes itself as a "traditional carvery country pub" and it really is all about the food. Nearly all of the tables are laid out for diners and there is little provision around the bar for those who just want a drink. I visited in the capacity of using its accommodation facilities. And I must say that the hotel style double room was very comfortable, luxuriously large and very good value. Not at all what I am used to when seeking single bed accommodation on my travels! Absolute luxury. And a massive car park , which was a relief as parking at many UK B&B's can be limited. Excellent breakfast cooked to order with a very friendly and attentive waitress. And, needing an evening meal, I couldn't resist the carvery, which lived up to all its claims and , again, was good value. On my Friday night visit the restaurant was clearly very popular with the locals. At the bar it was nice to see three local real ales on offer. I tried Shropshire Gold and Hobson's Twisted Spire, both of which were well kept.
So, not really a boozer of a pub, but as a place to stop over or to go for a meal , with fine local ales thrown in, I can recommend it.

21 Sep 2014 11:46

The Dublin Castle, Camden

Given its history of stars who have played/worked here ,this pub might be tempted to cash in on that legacy. But, apart from a few posters and other memorabilia related to Madness, it appears to be a level headed Camden boozer and certainly not "up itself" about its past. On a busy Friday night there was quite a nice atmosphere in the bar area with a mostly young crowd. The "music venue" at the back is quite small and intimate, very dark and a bit characterless, apart from the gig listings posters on the back wall. It reminded me a bit of the worst of 70's night clubs. But , it is all about the music and it was quite exciting to listen to a number of young bands playing original numbers.

15 Sep 2014 11:55

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

Every now and then a pub seduces me on a first visit and changes the plans for the afternoon. So it was with the Cross Keys. I love the primarily Victorian ambience, enhanced by the dim, red, lights ;-almost imitation gas lighting.
All kinds of memorabilia. Some of it from days gone by. Others more recent such as that pertaining to the Beatles.The seduction was completed by a very flavoursome pint or two of Brodies "Bethnal Green".
A beautiful and welcoming little gem of a pub.

15 Sep 2014 11:24

The Haunch of Venison, Salisbury

Probably a must visit pub of the UK , not just Salisbury, if you like to seek out historic pubs and with heritage interiors. Not having done my research thoroughly before my visit I was surprised to discover the mummified hand in the former bread oven next to the fireplace! Talk about a pub having soul !

15 Sep 2014 11:04

The Brown's Hotel, Laugharne

On my first visit to Laugharne, Browns' seem to exemplify the spirit of the town:-whilst recognising and honouring its literary heritage, it doesn't over do it or feel like it is cashing in heavily on that. It does a good job of just trying to be itself.;-a very quaint town in a beautiful part of the country. I only visited the (main) front bar which I believe has been sympathetically restored and it had a very pleasant "proper pub" atmosphere. The bar staff were friendly and attentive as were the locals. Ok, I will admit to going a bit touristy and wanting to visit here because of the Dylan Thomas connection. But , I was pleasantly surprised to find a proper pub with a lively set of locals but, welcoming to visitors as well. The Free House sign was also an attraction and , indeed, didn't disappoint. 3 real ales on sale. I tried Felinfoel and Browns ale, both nicely kept and very quaffable.

16 Jun 2014 20:18

Plough, Worcester

Another 1 pint visit but I instantly liked this place. An honest to goodness old fashioned city pub with a timeless interior. What decade is it from:- gawd knows but who cares. A proper pub with soul that time has passed by almost. A survivor. Long may it survive as it is. And a nice pint of Hobsons bitter for £2.70 a pint!!! It doesn't get much better.

18 May 2014 09:47

The Cardinals Hat, Worcester

Only a flying visit unfortunately but one of those pubs I could easily have settled into for an afternoon sesh. I was concerned it might be a disappointment after reading all the blurb about "Worcesters oldest pub" etc. But it really is fabulous with its wood panelling and cosy bar areas. Wide selection of ales;-I chose Shropshire lad which was moreish. The fireplace in the bar and the general ambience suggest it would come into its own as a winter pub. But, on a fabulously sunny day its cool shadows were a welcome temporary retreat from the scorching rays. I think there was an outside seating area as well.

18 May 2014 09:39

Cafe Jazz, Cardiff

Cafe Jazz is not a pub or a must visit venue for real ale drinkers;- that said there is nothing wrong with the ales on offer, usually Doom Bar and Theakstons Bitter. As its name implies, it is primarily a cafe or restaurant and I believe it is attached to the adjacent Sandringham Hotel. But, in the evenings it transforms into a live music venue. It specialises in Jazz but Friday night is Blues night and that is when it has provided me with some of the most memorable nights out I have had in Cardiff in recent times ( Grainne Duffy, Mark Pontin Group, JP3 ). At first an unusual but cosy venue that comes alive with some great live music and the atmosphere builds as the crowds are drawn in.

14 May 2014 21:02

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

My guide to London's best Pubs describes this as a "good honest London pub in the heart of Soho". I think that sums it up as, during my visit it was busy but not rammed full and it just seemed to have a good atmosphere. It just struck me as everything a good pub should be :-a place for adults to socialise and not a gastro creche as so many pubs outside city centres have had to become to survive.
A nice pint of "Hercules", moreish enough to have a second. But a bit sobering in that it was my first to hit the £4 per pint line. There is a nice seating area alongside the bar front, with partition screens.
For my snapshot of a visit anyway a good, proper pub with a great name.

11 May 2014 16:59

The Cock, Oxford Circus

Sam Smith's seem to be champions of preserving Victorian pubs and good on them for doing so. The Cock is not the most opulent example in their inventory but still worth a look if you like this sort of thing. Many original features are in place including, most noticeably perhaps, the snob screens. A decent pint of Old Brewery Bitter at £2.90 a pint !! Staggeringly acceptable price for any UK city , let alone London.

11 May 2014 16:46

The Miners Arms, Whitecroft

Only a brief 1 pint visit whilst the DFR got its timetable back on track (which it did, commendably ).But, a nice looking unpretentious pub, cosy bar areas, friendly and efficient young ladies at the bar and a nice selection of 5 hand pulled ales. First impressions;-somewhere you would want as your local. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the forest.

19 Apr 2014 20:14

The Goat Major, Cardiff

There is a nice Victorianesque feel to the place with the wood panelling and tiled floor around the bar. Spoiled a bit by carpet and leather arm chairs which make it feel a bit chainish:-church pew seats and wood floorboards please!! Lacking a bit of atmosphere on my Monday evening visit. Probably better on a match day or weekend and with the fire lit. An excellent pint of Brain's dark. One of the best I've tasted in a long while. No doubt I will return (for the dark alone) but on a busier night. With the demise of the Vulcan this is about as good as it gets for a Cardiff centre Brains pub. Some tasteful and sympathetic changes to the decor etc could make it excellent.

6 Nov 2013 13:05

The Coal Hole, Strand

One of the more accessible and easy to find of London's pubs with heritage interiors. Defintely worth a look and a very wide selection of real ales on offer.
In spite of its location on the Strand there seemed to be quite a mix of customers, mostly Londoners having an after work drink, so a good atmosphere inside. I hadn't marked my street map guide with "must visit" pubs so it was a happy accident to bump into this one after an evening at the theatre!!

4 Oct 2013 12:53

Augustiner Keller, Munich

I only popped in here to find a massive beer hall full of tables and equally full of those imbibing on Augustiner beers. By all means check it out but just down the road and an even shorter walk from Hackebrucke station is Augustiner Braustuben. This is a more intimate beer hall attached to the brewery itself and is wonderfully rustic and charactersome. It is much less of a commercial tourist trap than some of the beerhouses in the centre. And very popular with the locals. Some of the beers are served straight from the wood. It gets hectic and noisy in the evenings but I imagine it to be a true Munich/Bavarian beer house experience. Landsberger Strasse 19 across the Hackerbrucke bridge.
I should have given it a separate new entry but I am still awaiting a pub to appear that I entered 10 months ago!!
You can easily combine Augustiner Braustuben and Keller into a crawl. I can't rate ' keller but would easily give 'Braustuben an 8.

28 May 2013 18:11

The Kings Head, Islington

An unusual pub that forms "front of house" for a theatre. Some lovely old features which are accentuated by the many pictures of theatrical nature on the walls. Definitely worth a visit if you like "proper" pubs with character.

27 May 2013 23:13

The Y Llong (The Ship), Porthmadog

On the outside this is a charactersome and inviting looking pub. The inside has perhaps less character or charm but is neat and well presented and it was a very warm and cosy refuge on a night when the wind was very keen. 4 real ales were available and there was a good menu of pub fayre food on offer, if just a tad pricey:- the chicken and leek pie saved my life after a long day of travelling and touring. Good enough that I went back the next night for food but it was rammed with those partaking of the "curry and a pint night" special offer. For me it was somewhere to start the night with a pie and a pint rather than a place to get established for a session.

20 Apr 2013 21:56

The Golden Fleece, Tremadog

Regardless of its pubs, Tremadog is worth visiting for its fabulous square of stone buildings. The pub has a slightly quirky interior but, there are welcoming fires and it manages to create a nice atmosphere with various adornments and hop vines hanging everywhere. I only spotted two real ales at the bar:-Doom Bar and one from Purple Moose. Just a 20 minute walk from the centre of Porthmadog and a nice
pub that is definitely worth a visit.

20 Apr 2013 21:37

The Spooner's Bar, Porthmadog

A wide selection of well kept ales on offer including the locally brewed Purple Moose. I also ate there and the "special" I chose was not at all bad at the price.
I found the atmosphere there a bit strange with quite bright lighting and the cafe/snack bar area immediately adjacent. But, I guess it is primarily a cafe/dining facility for the heritage railway rather than a pub. Definitely worth a visit for a decent pint and a bite to eat.

20 Apr 2013 21:27

The White Lion Hotel, Machynlleth

In my previous visits to the town, the White Lion has generally been the place to head to for a decent pint and food. However, the pub has recently come under new ownership/management and has a reinvigorated feel about it. I had a fabulous roast dinner there , piping hot, fresh and excellent value for money. There was a welcoming fire in the fireplace but, best of all, a greater selection of real ales than I recall in the past, with at least 2 guest ales. These changed over the 2 nights I visited and included the very moreish "Dark Side of the Moose", from Purple Moose brewery. Very busy on a Friday night with both locals and visitors packing out both the bar and dining areas.

20 Apr 2013 21:06

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street

There are a number of historic pubs on Fleet Street but this is probably the best. I didn't explore all its labyrinths:-the chop bar looked interesting but was only open lunchtimes. I stuck to the cosy main bar, dark and wood panelled but inviting with its real fire. Perfectly acceptable pint of Sam Smiths at less than £3/pint .!!! I am more fond of Victorian and Edwardian pubs with their gin palace opulence and fantastic craftsmanship. But it would be difficult to miss this pub on any serious exploration of London's historic and charactersome pubs. In spite of its tourist magnet attributes ,it still manages to have the unpretentious feel of a traditional pub.

2 Dec 2012 12:13

The Pride of Spitalfields, Shoreditch

A stones throw from Brick Lane and Old Sptiafields market. And a welcome refuge on a freezing cold day. The entrance is unusual, with the pub tucked away slightly with a cottage like frontage and door . It gives the appearance of being closed. Inside is an unpretentious boozer, mostly patronised with locals on my visit. The walls were covered with many pictures and other items which relate to the history of the local area. I was served a good pint of 'Pride.

2 Dec 2012 11:55

The Churchill Arms, Kensington

Made a flying visit on the way to the Albert Hall. Very charactersome and interesting pub with , unusually, a huge collection of chamber pots hanging off the ceiling and memorobillia associated with the man himself and others. Very busy on a Friday evening, with a nice atmosphere and varied crowd. If you like "proper pubs" then ,for its combination of character, good beer and overall atmosphere, I think it is a London "must visit".

2 Dec 2012 11:40

The Churchill Arms, Kensington

Made a flying visit on the way to the Albert Hall. Very charactersome and interesting pub with , unusually, a huge collection of chamber pots hanging off the ceiling and memorobillia associated with the man himself and others. Very busy on a Friday evening, with a nice atmosphere and varied crowd. If you like "proper pubs" then ,for its combination of character, good beer and overall atmosphere, I think it is a London "must visit".

2 Dec 2012 11:40

The Exeter Inn, Ashburton

Popped in during a short visit to Ashburton. I didn't visit every pub in the town but this one did appear to have the most character:-cosy bar area with low ceilings, wood beams, church pew type seats and a fireplace. Nothing to dislike but needed a few more bodies to make some atmosphere. That said , everywhere in the town seemed quiet for a Saturday night:-maybe the affect of the penultimate night of the Olympics. Dartmoor IPA and Dartmoor Legend as a guest.
If you like pubs with some character and ambience then my guess is that this is the must visit pub in the town.

12 Aug 2012 16:36

The Dartmoor Lodge Hotel, Ashburton

Came across this place in that I booked it for B&B in proximity to Dartmoor for a walking break. It has been under new ownership for about 4 years, with a steady programme of refurbishment . All I was looking for was a clean and functional room for a kip and a decent breakfast. But this place pleasantly surprised ,with very good food for evening meals and a nice enough bar area with no less than four west country ales, including the formidable jail ale. All were very well kept and at a pleasant cellar cool temperature. (Dartmoor jail ale, Bay's gold, Teignworthy gun dog and Butcombe best).In addition, all the staff were pleasant , attentive and polite. Ok room. Good food. Good beer, good service. Also seems to be popular with locals for evening meals and drinks.A slightly quirky venue which, nevertheless, appears to be working hard to tick all the right boxes.

12 Aug 2012 16:27

The Royal Shepherd Inn, Skipton

One of just five pubs I have visited in Skipton. This has a prime location on the canal and has recently reopened. The new publicans were friendly, down to earth, honest folks and appeared to be "having a go" to make this place a success. I wish them well.This was the only pub where I found the locally brewed Copper Dragon. I sampled the Golden Pippin and the Bitter. Both very well kept and below 3 /pint.

21 Jun 2012 22:14

The Golden Slipper, York

Nice enough pub with a good selection of ales. Nice pint of Caledonian "Flying Scotsman.

21 Jun 2012 22:05

The Castle Inn, Skipton

Theakston's dominates in this pub which seems popular with locals, who give it a good atmosphere. Bit of an unremarkable interior. Nothing to dislike but nothing to rave about. Would be miles better without carpets and soft furnishings. Good service. All pints tried were in good condition although not really to my taste other than the OP
Basically an ok boozer and somewhere i'd probably frequent if a local.

21 Jun 2012 21:51

The Vulcan Hotel, Cardiff

The Vulcan is now closed and boarded up. Apparently to be moved brick by brick to St Fagans folk museum. Cardiff gains a few precious real estate and loses some more of its soul. Very sad.

21 Jun 2012 21:35

The Prince of Wales, Aberdeen

Interesting interior with very long wood bar, wood floorboards, decorated mirrors and (something I have never seen before in a pub) a spitoon trough!!. The atmosphere was spoiled slightly by the fleet of one arm bandits. However, there is an extensive range of cask ales and definitely worth a visit.

26 May 2012 18:48

The Grill, Aberdeen

Another Scottish pub that not only has a gorgeous heritage interior but still survives as an unpretentious boozer. Fabulous place. The long wooden bar serves several cask ales and an extensive array of whiskeys.

26 May 2012 18:41

The Kenilworth, Edinburgh

Another of the city's must see heritage pubs. Wooden island bar, tiled walls, high ceiling with ornate decoration and "chapel like" high level leaded windows. According to the verbage it was all carefully restored around 1981. Very clean and beautifully presented . An excellent looking pub. Several cask ales on offer.

26 May 2012 18:35

The Oxford Bar, Edinburgh

Another fabulous Edinburgh heritage pub. Nothing extravagant about the interior but it is definitely "of its day". I enjoyed sitting in one of the unique window seats.
"Time Warp" is maybe an overused term used to describe pubs like this. Bit I can't think of a better one. A small gang of locals filled the tiny front bar area and added to the atmosphere. A charactersome drinking den and meeting place to put the world to rights. If you love real pubs, as they used to be, go there. As "must visit" as the Cafe Royal, in its own way. Several hand pumps of cask ales but I opted for a fine pint of Deuchars.

26 May 2012 18:27

Mathers, Edinburgh

Of all the Edinburgh pubs I visited this was the one I had the greatest affection for. Still a great interior but lacking the opulence of the Cafe Royal or Bennets bar. But, above all, a real functioning pub with no pretensions to being a tourist honey trap or "gastro creche". An honest to goodness boozer. Notably clean and well presented. A lovely pint of "Flying Scotsman". Long may this place survive as it is. Some day all pubs will be this way (I wish!!!). A snapshot judgement based on a one pint visit I know. But a beautiful pub IMHO. Not just for the way it looks. But for the way it is.

26 May 2012 18:17

Bennet's Bar, Edinburgh

Another fantastic Edinburgh pub with a "must see" interior, well described elsewhere. The mirrors on the back wall, surrounded by "tiled murals" were of note compared to the other pubs I visited on my short tour of Edinburgh. Moorish pint of Caledonian 80. My visit was mid week and this was by far the busiest of the pubs I went to.

26 May 2012 18:08

Cafe Royal, Edinburgh

I've never seen a pub interior quite like this. Fabulous Victorian opulence, with island bar, mirrors, ornate ceiling and fantastic tiled murals on the walls, many of them celebrating famous engineers and scientists. One of Edinburghs must see pubs. Incredible living heritage.

26 May 2012 18:02

The Raven, Bath

Modern, made over interior but tastefully done with quite a nice rustic feel and "real pub" atmosphere to it. Also, that most cherished of features for the solo drinker:-bar stools!!.6 real ales on offer. A large range of pies on the chalkboard menu which I will have to revisit to try one day. An unpretentious honest to goodness pub.

23 Jul 2011 09:52

The Volunteer Riflemans Arms, Bath

It must be well over 20 years since I last visited this pub. I had recollections of it being small, quaint and Olde Worlde. So it was a bit of a disappointment to find the large , plain window frontage and a rather bright, modern (but still cosy)interior. But, if I put aside my pre conceptions (or poor memory more like ) then it is a nice little pub. A proper boozer with a locals feel and visitors also very welcome. Many people were eating and I overheared favourable comments about the food. Some interesting framed posters on the walls, split between miltary themes and rugby. Look carefully for the doctored Brains/Welsh rugby advert:- totally unacceptable, if true !!!!

23 Jul 2011 09:41

The Star Inn, Bath

Wonderful time warp pub. A must visit destination for lovers of real ales, real pubs and historic interiors. Bass served straight from the barrel via a jug. But also the home of "Abbey Ales". I tried Bellringer and can recommend this as a tasty , moreish session beer. Some day all pubs will be like this. I wish !!!

23 Jul 2011 09:26

Pelican In Her Piety, Ogmore By Sea

The comments below don't sound like the same Peli I have patronised for a number of years. This is a pub that thrives on its food sales and the food is consistently good and prepared by a dedicated team in the kitchen. The Sunday Roasts in particular have very generous portions, and beautifully cooked veggies. The number of people eating out here says more than any comments on this website. Look at the photo I posted above a few years ago. The car park is still that full every weekend.
Pubs have to try to be all things to all people these days. The Peli welcomes regulars and visitors alike. It is child, dog , walking boot and riding boot friendly. If you want to eat posh there is a dedicated restaurant area. Some great artists play on Friday and Saturday nights and give it a unique atmosphere. There is some lovely walking (or riding ) country on its doorstep. Give it a go.

16 Jul 2011 13:06

The Red Fox Inn, Penllyn

A very friendly and welcomng pub. Well kept Thomas Watkins bitter and Evan Evans has also appeared recently. Nice country atmosphere given by the bare stone walls and fireplace. As with many Vale pubs (pubs everywhere!!) it follows the formula of having a small "locals drinking area" in front of the bar. Off to one side by the fire ,is a drinking or eating area. Off to the other side is the more formal restaurant. There's a nice menu which is competitively priced:- the French onion soup starters is like a meal in itself. And I like the local touches such a lava bread and bacon. The landlady will give you a great welcome and is basically as mad as a box of cats!!!

29 Jun 2011 19:56

The Steam Packet Inn, Totnes

I've been coming here for 7-8 years and its had some times better then others, with obvious changes of ownership or management. But it is reasonably consistent and in the past 3 years the food especially has been consistent:-its my first port of call for eating out. in Totnes. Nothing too fancy but well cooked , well presented food of consistent quality and decent portion sizes. Most of the itnerior looks as though it was modernised/refurbished at some point. But the wood floor, stone walls and fireplace give a nice feel to the bar area, which also has bar stools (beloved of the solo drinker). At least four ales with, I think, Dartmoor Jale Ale the house ale and the others rotated. I tried said Jale Ale and White Horse brewery Giant. Both were clean and well kept and full of flavour.

31 May 2011 08:58

The Waterman's Arms, Ashprington

Nice looking pub in tourist magnet waterside location. Nice enough interior with fireplace, beams etc but not particuarly exceptional, especially once you enter the rambling rear bar areas. I liked the leaded glass over the bar but have no dea if this is an original feature.A welcome destination after walkng from Totnes. I tried Palmers copper which was clean and well kept and flavoursome.
Bit pricey though at 3.30/pint.

31 May 2011 08:48

The Blue Posts, Piccadilly

Basic, unpretentious, local boozer. I wanted to like it but it seemed fairly unremarkable.

10 Apr 2011 09:00

The Camden Head, Islington

Worth visiting for its architectural niceties but , as seems to be the case with so many London pubs of this type, the ambience and greeting were lack lustre. I popped in for a look but didn't feel like sticking around. Agree with comments below. A lot of wasted potential. Maybe the mid day mid week timing of my visit makes the comments a bit unfair. Only one of the real ales was on tap:-the now ubiquitous Doom Bar.

8 Apr 2011 19:33

The Packet, Cardiff

Similar comments as per City Arms really. A surviving unpretentious Brains city boozer. I am fairly certain it has been reconstructed internally, possibly several times. I am also led to believe that some parts of the decor were transposed from a famous Barry pub ? The stained glass/leaded windows are a nice feature and very much trad Cardiff Brains pub.
Anyway, good traditional feel and well kept SA.

16 Feb 2011 19:33

The City Arms, Cardiff

Reconstructed Brains pub but still retaining a traditional boozer feel. Unusual (in my experience) for Brains in that it has a number of guest beers available, some of them straight from the barrel.These are welcome as I have usually been drinking Brains elsewhere all night and this is a last stop before getting the train.
Quite lively , with a good atmosphere, on the Friday nights that I have visited.
Pleasantly surprised.

16 Feb 2011 19:23

The Punch Tavern, Fleet Street

Came in, walked about, didn't like it, walked out. Allegedly a great victorian interior but the bright lighting and one hand pulled ale didn't inspire. So I went elsewhere.

28 Nov 2010 10:09

The Old Bell, Fleet Street

This pub features a lovely stained glass and leaded window frontage. Inside, there are some charactersome features and a good selection of hand pulled ales but, in spite of that it felt unexceptional and lacking in atmosphere. Service was cheerless and blunt as is often my experience of the pubs in the centre of London. On one of the coldest days of the year so far, not one of the three fireplaces had a fire in them (presuming they still function as such) and that would have brought some cheer and atmosphere to the place. Maybe I caught it at a bad time but it's a potentially good pub that just felt as though it couldn't be bothered.

28 Nov 2010 10:02

The Queens Arms, South Kensington

This pub was bustling on my Friday night visit and with quite a young crowd.
Nice atmosphere, proper pub feel, service was reasonably prompt and quite a selection of hand pulled ales. Couldn't see anything of historical or architectural note ( then again, what do I know about such things unless i've read about them elsewhere first !!!). But seemed to be a nice pub and popular.

28 Nov 2010 09:41

The Kings Head, Buxton

A fairly large, rambling ,chain type pub . Good friendly service, ok food served quite quickly and 4 hand pulled ales on offer:- I tried the Jennings bitter which was good. A port in a storm which revitalised me in the middle of a long day out. But not really a charactersome pub for the pub officianado. It does what it says on the tin, but no more.

24 Oct 2010 20:59

The White Swan, Digbeth

I would agree with most of the recent comments below. But pubs like this are becoming so rare it is heart warming to find such survivors. A charactersome, proper ,city centre boozer. A pub as pubs were meant to be.Beer was fine and service prompt,friendly and attentive. Some features not particularly sympathetic to the architecture. Now standing isolated as all around it has been demolished, which seems to be the fate of a number of Digbeth pubs whether still trading or , sadly, closed and boarded up.
Along with its neighbour, the Anchor, it must be one of Birminghams must visit pubs.

24 Oct 2010 20:01

, Digbeth

A rare find:- a real pub full of people drinking beer (or whatever) to socialise. Not a gastro creche or soulless bar as most pubs have become.
Great original architectural features extant inside and out. Full of character and a large array of real ales at good prices.
Long may this remain unchanged.
An overworked term I know, but a classic gem of a city boozer.

24 Oct 2010 19:29

The Rugglestone Inn, Widecombe in the Moor

Charactersome country pub, just down the lane from the church. All stone walls, stone floors, fireplaces and low , beamed ceilings. I was initially "alarmed "by the absence of beer engines. But all the ales are served direct from barrels behind the bar. Didn't have time for food but there was an extensive looking menu with all main meals @9.95.
Would love to sample it on a crisp autumn or winter day ,after trekking around the moors, when the fires are lit.

18 Aug 2010 15:22

The White Lion Hotel, Machynlleth

Came in here for two sucessive nights looking for food rather then a great drinking experience. Have to say that the food was very good, reasonably priced ,served very promptly and piping hot. Very nice pint of Directors to wash it down.

15 Aug 2010 09:57

The Minster Inn, York

Some original Edwardian features remain in this pub, tucked away in Marygate. And the (outside) gents loo must be unique, along the lines of Cardiff's Vulcan. The rest of the decor is a mish mash that doesn't really compliment the fireplaces and tiled walls:-it is crying out for a sympathetic re-vamp that could make it really special. Undoubtedly a real ale pub with plenty of hand pulls on , mostly Ringwoods and the formidable Jennings Sneck Lifter. Felt like a cosy locals pub, not a tourist trap. So worth a visit if, like me, the likes of the Bluebell,the Swan and the Goldenball float your boat.

15 Aug 2010 09:50

The King's Head, Huddersfield

Having visited Stalybridges station buffet and Dewsbury's "West Riding", the interior of this pub was a bit of a disappointment. It has a tiled floor which betrays what was maybe a former Victorian opulence. Apart from that it has a vast interior with a mish mash of furniture that feels empty and lacking in character. A stage and the Jimy Hendrix sign outside suggests it is probably a good live ban venue and I am guessing that band nights would be the best time to visit.
Apart from that, a vast range of real ales at relatively give away prices. As commented elsewhere this place is really about the beer. Definitely worth a visit for that reason alone.

13 Aug 2010 19:55

The Buffet Bar, Stalybridge

I first came here 27 years or so ago as a student at Manchester Uni. It was a pleasure to come back on a quiet Tuesday afternoon as I made my way along some of the real (rail) ale trail,courtesy of trans pennine express. If you like any of a) railwayana and steam railways b) real ales c) Unspoilt Victorian architecture d) real pubs, then this place should please you. If you like all of those attributes then it is maybe a case of gone to heaven and died. A rare time warp treat amongst so much of the reconstructed or chain dross that passes for a pub nowadays.
My obvious enthusiasm for this place may have blinded me to any of its bad points. But comments about its cleanliness etc seem a bit OTT. I really didn't detect a problem and the toilets were clean (which is many folks acid test of an establishment) The barmaid was friendly enough and delightfully Northern.
A long awaitied revisit that didn't disappoint. Go there.

13 Aug 2010 19:28

The West Riding Refreshment Rooms, Dewsbury

One of the station pubs on the "real ale trail "of the transpennine rail route. A proper pub , understated but still full of character and a part of a fabulous grade 11 listed station building. Nice pint of Landlord. I believe it is one of the few surviving genuine station pubs in the country, but a great pub in its own right. The sort of place I wish was my local.

13 Aug 2010 18:50

The Fountain, Parkend

Excellent pint of Butty Bach. Rev James and one guest also available.
Pleasant enough interior(if not classic architecturally) with lots of old (mining?)memorabillia hanging off the walls and ceilings. And a collection of very old cameras on the pleasant fireplace. Also beer garden to the rear. Seems to be ticking all the right boxes without trying too hard. An honest enough pub.

27 Jun 2010 20:22

The Bay Horse Inn, Totnes

Re visited one year on. Further to my comments below,the pub has been run by a new couple for about a year now. They are very friendly and welcoming and they seem to champion traditional pubs and real ales and ciders etc. They have a lot of local knowledge which they willingly share. If you like real pubs with real people and real drink then go here. Its a locals pub but one where non locals will be made very welcome. The beer quality was excellent with (on my visit) Otter served straight out of a barrel on the bar. Jail ale and others also available and totally suppable.

6 Jun 2010 20:53

The Star Inn, Watchet

Nice exterior but inside a bit nondescript and maybe lacking in character. More of a foody place than a serious watering hole it had an interesting menu and seemed popular with the lunchtime eaters. Good selection of local and west contry beers:-these were labelled as served at "cellar cooled" temperature but I found my pint a bit too cold. If you are in the area looking for some food then I'd say give it a go, but it didn't grab my imagination as a place to stop for a little real ale session. It gets my marks for being a pub (just), its selection of real ales and for retaining bar stools.

21 Mar 2010 09:14

The Black Horse Hotel, Preston

What a fantastic pub:-surely a national treasure. Everything you would expect from a Victorian pub:-mosaic floors, snugs, beautiful ceramic tiled bar and walls, fireplaces, leaded glasswork, the works. Robinsons old Stockport was one of the lower gravity beers but went down easily and had plenty of flavour. The barman was very friendly and would wax lyrical about the history of the pub (and Preston ) to anyone who asked. Terrific pub. They just don't make them like this any more.

28 Sep 2009 17:18

The Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow

Worth popping in for the unique interior. But somehow the atmopshere and ambience didn't do it for me. Only 3 real ales available and one of them was unavailable. 2.13 for a pint of whatever it was I had.

28 Sep 2009 17:08

The Ben Nevis, Glasgow

Having walked some way from the main centre to get here I thought that this would be the "hidden gem" of the 3 whisky bars I visited. But it turned out to be the most trendy and with the least real ales on offer. Bolted down a Deuchars and called it a night. Might have seen it differently if I was into whisky !!

28 Sep 2009 17:04

The Bon Accord, Glasgow

Followed on here from the Pot Still having decided to follow the whisky bar trail a while. A bit more modern and posey than the PS but still an acceptable venue. Real ales on tap and I think I tried Deuchars which was fine .

28 Sep 2009 16:54

The Pot Still, Glasgow

"Branded" as one of the whisky bars of Glasgow ( a leaflet on the bar describes 6 of them ) this is a cracking little boozer. It is unpretentious, with a cozy atmosphere and some nice architectural features in the ceiling work and pillars etc. As befits its whisky bar tag there is an impressive display of the stuff behind the bar. But real ales are also served and I tried Kelburns carte blanche and dark moor:-brewed in Glasgow I believe and very nice.
On my first visit North of the border this place made me feel I had arrived in Scotland and Glasgow. Go there.

28 Sep 2009 16:50

The Adelphi, Leeds

aarrgh, will someone please put this pub back the way it should be. An awful lot of features have survived:-wood panelling, mosaic floor, fireplaces etc. But it has been trashed by garish paint schemes and 'orrible furniture:-its not pandering to yuppies, just people with no taste regarding their surroundings. You only have to visit the Marble Arch in (not far away) Manchester to see how a pub can be popular with a mixed crowd, without trashing its architectural and historic features. ( take a lesson from the Victorioan shopping centre up the road).
Uninspiring choice of ales, but the Landlord was ok.

2 Sep 2009 14:58

Whitelocks, Leeds

Nice tiled bar, mirrors and leaded windows etc. But the white ceiling and brightish lighting detract from these features a bit and it felt a bit lacking in atmosphere:-as did the curtained off table area at one end. Felt like a pub with an identity crisis. Still, lovely clean pint of copper dragon and nice enough beef sarnies. Probably a remarkable survivor given its location right in the city centre.

2 Sep 2009 14:48

The Windjammer, Dartmouth

To be fair I have only visited on Sunday afternoons in July/August when it can be a bit of a gastro creche. I would generally echo much of the comments below and suspect it could have a good atmosphere when there is music on or there are less tourists around (err, like me I guess !! ) . Three real ales (I think) including Dartmoor IPA and Bass, nicely kept.

27 Jul 2009 19:33

The Cherub Inn, Dartmouth

Have visited Dartmouth one or two times a year for several years and have only now discovered this lovely pub. Small but perfectly formed. Olde Worlde outside and inside with plenty of character and atmosphere. 6 real ales were available, 4 from local (West Country) brewers such as Otter and 2 guests. Lovely hanging basket display outside.Probably Dartmouths "must visit" pub.

27 Jul 2009 19:26

The Vulcan Hotel, Cardiff

Nope, still very much open last night, with no definite news of its future either way. There is still hope until they padlock the doors so give it a visit. One of the last real pubs in Cardiff and one of the best landladies in the land.

30 May 2009 12:49

The Red Lion, St James

As per the Argyll arms, worth visiting for the heritage interior and cosy snugs.
But , equally, a bit impersonal and lacking that "something special". Pint of LP a tad warm and lacking a bit of sparkle. Ok pint but not special and moreish like a good pint of Pride can be.
I love these pubs with original interiors. It really is heart warming to find survivors like this and all the more better that they sell cask ales. If Fullers ultimately run this to the same standard as the Victoria in Bayswater then they will have two of the best pubs in London IMHO !! Based on one short visit it has a way to go yet, whereas the Vic has never disappointed.

24 May 2009 15:35

The Argyll Arms, Oxford Circus

Worth visiting for the "heritage" interior and layout. However, like many of the pubs near the hustle and bustle centre of London it was a bit impersonal and lacking in atmosphere. Many cask ales on offer with "try before you buy" clips on all the pumps.
So good marks for the authentic and historic interior and for selling real ales. But the service could have been a bit more cheerful. One of those pubs where a good time could depend on who you are with and who is behind the bar.

24 May 2009 15:26

The Barrels, Hereford

The Barrels will not win any prizes for historic or plush interiors or the like. But this is a proper, lived in boozer, with locals, their dogs, visitors, young an old punters. I also like the leaded windows, whether original or not. They are in the spirt of a traditional pub. And there were no kids and tables full of foodies stuffing their faces and clogging the bar for hours with extensive and complex orders.
It appears to be the flagship of Wye valley breweries and the range of beers on offer was a revelation:-in my part of the world many pubs sell Wye valley beer but it is almost universally HPA. I tried the bitter and , although low gravity,it was a great pint and for only 1.90 (2.70 is my local norm). I think the bitter has won an award and the pub was CAMRA pub of the year last year. Perhaps its only downside is that it is maybe a "blokes" pub and not so appealing to the ladies. But I could be pre-judging the tastes of the good lady folk of 'errrfod"
A proper pub, great beer and a friendly barmaid. Result. The great and endangered British pub is alive and well in Hereford!!. Must come back one day and install myself for the happy hour offers!!!

17 May 2009 12:04

The Boot, Weymouth

A lovely old pub:- all lived in woodwork and leaded windows and real ales. I didn't visit many pubs in Weymouth but I'd guess that this is one of the town's real pubs.

10 May 2009 21:13

The Prince Of Wales, Princetown

This pub doesn't have the most characterful or origianl interior but it is nicely presented. The big attraction is that it appears to be the flagship for Dartmoor brewery so well kept Jail Ale and IPA is a cert.

10 May 2009 21:05

The Bay Horse Inn, Totnes

A pub is the sum of its parts. And what the Bay Horse lacks in terms of an authentic or interesting interior, it makes up with the best beer I drank in Totnes ( jail Ale, Sharps Eden and Otter ) and plenty of atmosphere as it filled up with town folk to become the busiest pub I found in Totnes.
The landlady was friendly but I was sorry to hear that she is selling up as she is running a good little pub.

10 May 2009 20:53

The Albert Inn, Totnes

One of the best little pubs in Totnes . Very much a true local but it is very visitor friendly as well (as are the locals). I have always liked the rear "lounge bar" which has plenty of atmosphere and character and is full of clutter. Now brewing its own beer on the premises, but if not to your taste then there is always a good pint of Dartmoor "Jail Ale" to hand. They have recently introduced a stout which is very good:-full of flavour. Pie and pint night on Fridays for an excellent Steak and ale pie and similar pub food "nights" throughout the week with special prices and offers (e.g 2 pies , 2 pints for a tenner). Live music on a Saturday night. A real pub with real people and soul. Long may it remain so.

10 May 2009 20:45

Barley Mow, Craig Penllyn

Popular and welcoming country village local with the greatest percentage of floor space dedicated to food tables. The food is keenly priced but the quality of the meal really depends on what you order on the day. Whilst my friends enjoyed their meals , I was disappointed that the steak and ale pie had been hit by the recession and was a shadow of its former self ( once served in a bottomless dish with rich gray and thin pastry top ). A legend no more. Service can get painfully slow on times as well (probably more down to quantity of staff than their work rate). And gone are the polish waitresses who would turn up at your table with "sealion steaks".
The bar area is cosy and charactersome, if small compared to the dining area. Three hand pulled ales available:-the ubiquitos Hancocks HB, Spitfire and "Barley Mow" house beer. All well kept.
Its an ok place to go but with a bit of attention to consistent quality and service it could be a great place to go to.

19 Apr 2009 08:24

Vale of Glamorgan Inn, Cowbridge

After my 6 mile circular walk from Cowbridge went a bit wrong (3 mile circular of Llanblethian), what to do to recover the day !!. Well , after a spot of contemplation in the psychic garden across the way, a pint in the VOG, that's what. And very nice too. Cosy little unpretentious boozer, quite charactersome without trying too hard:-a proper pub with , I think , 4 real ales on tap:-I opted for a well kept Tim Taylor Landlord. I recall Hereford HPA,Hancocks and one other being on tap. On my bank holiday Sunday visit they were adopting a novel concept of not serving any food. So I could have a quiet pint and a read of the paper without feeling I was the one out of place in a "gastro creche" (as any half decent pub seems to have become these days). Can't see it catching on!!. Will definitely return for a bit more of a session some time soon .

12 Apr 2009 15:31

The Vulcan Hotel, Cardiff

Public meeting Thurs 27th jan 09, in the Atrium, across the road from the Vulcan re-"Saving the Vulcan".

27 Jan 2009 21:27

The Mitre, Paddington

Re-visit one year on. Yes it is now a Young's pub but , as far as I can tell, all the features are still "in tact" and there has been no reconstruction. The mosaic flooring and tiling on the entrances are particularly noteworthy.Very nice pint of Bombardier. Worth a visit for the interior features and there's nothing wrong with the beer. Lacking a little in atmosphere and maybe disappointing compared to other London pubs I visited. But maybe those comparisons are unfair. If this was my local pub (out of London) I would be well pleased. I hope it doesn't change, it is a nice character pub.

10 Sep 2008 15:40

The Victoria, Bayswater

A revisit over 1 year on from first discovering this gem. I could have caught any number of evening trains home but stopped overnight in Bayswater just to drink here to end my holiday:-its that good !!
No discernible changes and still a great pub with a fun atmosphere on Tuesday quiz night. London pride was spot on. There are other pubs in london with maybe more complete interiors. But for the all round combination of tradition, atmosphere and quality beer this is my favourite London pub.

10 Sep 2008 15:25

The Salisbury, Leicester Square

Another London pub with a great historic interior although it was spoiled slightly by the red soft furnishings and matching carpet ( carpets are for houses and hotel rooms, not pubs!!). A good range of real ales and as stated below I watched the barmaid go out of her way to explain the ales on offer to two visitors.

10 Sep 2008 15:10

The Dog and Duck, Soho

Fantastic "hole in the wall" sort of pub. It is long and narrow and with soft interior ligthing. This coupled with the victrian mirrors, tiling, wood panelling etc give it a lot of character and atmosphere. Good range of ales and I had a top pint of Sharps. Service was prompt even though the place was very busy. A great little pub.

10 Sep 2008 15:06

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Well worth a visit for the opulent interior:-all tiles, mirrors, wood panelling and intricate ceiling work. Split up into various snugs and drinking areas arranged around the central bar. Only one hand pulled ale available but at 1.86 a pint I'm not complaining!!

10 Sep 2008 14:56

The Narrow Boat, Skipton

More of a bar then a pub, but the watering hole I frequented the most in Skipton, having been uninspired by any other pubs in the town. Good range of real ales and German/Belgian beers, inluding the locally brewed "Copper Dragon". All brews and prices clearly displayed on a large chalk board. The place to head for in Skipton if you are a discerning ale drinker or a visitor looking for somewhere with a bit of atmopshere. My visits marred slightly by a strange smell, noticeable on entering the premises.

18 Aug 2008 17:24

The Railway Inn, Skipton

Interesting looking corner pub on the outside but brightly lit and lacking any atmosphere on the inside. Only Tetley bitter and, I think, Mild being sold in the cask ale department.
A local pub best left to the locals rather than a must visit pub for the Skipton visitor.

18 Aug 2008 17:06

The Cumberland Inn, Carlisle

Came in here out of slavish pursuit of anything listed on CAMRA's " historical interior inventory" but was a tad disappointed. There is mainly one large bar area but it seemed to lack atmosphere and there was only 1 cask ale being served:-Deuchars IPA.With flat screen tellies everywhere and noisy crackly juke box it felt a bit like a Wetherspoons with old wood panelling.
As it has an historic and relatively unspoilt interior it could maybe be transformed with subtle changes to fixtures and lighting and a big range of cask ales/foreign beers microbrewery on site etc.I guess it has to serve the needs of its customers and maybe there isn't a big calling for real ale pubs in this part of town.

18 Aug 2008 17:00

The Howard Arms, Carlisle

A few doors down from a pet shop advertising "tarantula starter kits" and boasting a beautiful tiled exterior, I instantly warmed to the place and wandered in hoping that the inside wouldn't disappoint:-which it didn't. Lots of little rooms and snugs with fireplaces and wood panelling:-some of it looking more original than others, but cosy and plenty of atmosphere. Nice clean pints of Theakstons bitter and Black Sheep, served up by very efficient bar girls.
I'm not a betting man but I would put money on this being the best little pub in Carlisle.

18 Aug 2008 16:34

Royal Oak Hotel, Adamsdown

A large, rambling Victorian pub with several rooms and often has live bands in the back bar. The main bar has some character with original wooden fixtures behind the bar, church pew type seating and old picutres of local boxing heroes on the walls. There used to be nice stained glass windows along the long wall and these have apparently been removed for restoration, "to be returned". Lets hope so.
Out of the city centre, this is a rare "survivor" local Brains pub, which can get lively on the weekends with a nice mix of locals, students,young and old etc. For the ale drinker a big attraction is gravity served SA:- a very flat, flavoursome brew and deadly!!!
Grab a Clarks pie from Caroline street. Stop off at the Vulcan for a few. Then take in a band and SA straight from the barrel for the real Caaardiff experience:-tidy like!!!!

6 Jun 2008 18:51

The Swan, York

I wandered in here to check out the interior (another one listed by CAMRA for historic interiors etc). Very unusual, with the serving area being in the main "hallway" as you walk into the pub. A public bar and smoke room are off to the sides and accessed by serving hatches:-the smoke room has a fireplace and is delightful. Only the seat furnishings ( and the dreaded carpet) detract a little from what is otherwise a great pub. Friendly service, appears to welcome locals, students and visitors alike. I really liked this pub.

30 May 2008 21:03

The Golden Ball, York

York is well blessed with pubs on the CAMRA national inventory of historic pub interiors. The Golden Ball isn't as grandiose as some on the inventory but its the sort of pub I wish was on my street corner!!Glazed external brickwork, interesting internal layout with tiling on the walls and bar and a good selection of hand pulled ales. Away from the city centre, set amongst a quiet block of old terraces. Seemed to be very much a locals pub(and long may it remain so).(I stayed in a B&B just up Bisopthorpe road and the area is fine.)

30 May 2008 20:48

The Birch Hall Inn, Beck Hole

On CAMRAs national inventory of historic pub interiors, which describes this pub and its history far better than I can. A quaint and interesting pub in a lovely location, with two tiny bars either side of a shop. The elevated garden terrace is popular and all manner of birdlife hopped along my table to watch me drinking my swift half ( feathered birds that is!! ). The sort of pub you wished you stumbled across in walking boots rather than by car, to fully sample all the ales on offer and to soak up the unique atmosphere.

30 May 2008 20:26

The Horseshoe Inn, Llantwit Major

This is an attractive litle village pub set amongst the glorious walking country of the Glamorgan Heritage coastline.The interior appears to be reconsructed in recent times but it has been done tastefully .It has a neat and tidy, clean appearence but not lacking in character. It feels cool and airy on a summer's day but the two aga type log fires make it cosy and welcoming in the winter.Even simple little recent touches, such as the hessian table cloths, add to the country pub character. There's a large beer garden (a field almost!!) for those who prefer pub exteriors.Usually 2 -3 real ales available and have included "Spitfire", "Tomos Watkins", "Golden Arrow" and , from time to time, Brains SA gold;- Ah well, you can take the boy out of Cardiff!!!The food menu looks nice and reasonably priced.I am promising myself to take advantage of the little EST 145 bus service to spend a few hours here one evening.This is a nice little pub.

15 May 2008 21:48

Bar Fringe, Manchester

I didn't think I would like this place, as my crawl around Manchester was seeking out traditional pubs. But my friend persuaded me otherwise and he was right!. It's good fun, has a nice atmosphere and if you like real ales there is quite a choice here (and lagers too, whatever they are!!). Definitely to be include in a crawl around the Northern quarter.

7 Apr 2008 22:15

The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Good, old fashioned city centre boozer with many original features and plenty of character in the cosy front bar. Good range of ales, nicely kept (to be honest I didn't have one bad pint on my Manchester crawl!!). A must visit pub on a crawl of the Northern quarter.

7 Apr 2008 22:07

The Marble Arch, Manchester

Incredible piece of "living Victoriana". Fantastic tiled walls and ceiling and mosaic floors, fireplace, mirror, hanging lamps etc. Manchester bitter a good session ale. Great atmosphere on a Sat night without being overcrowded. Returned on a Sunday for food:-fish and chips, good honest pub food, nicely presented, good value. A wonderful pub.

7 Apr 2008 21:58

The Peveril Of The Peak, Castlefield

I'm very fond of Victorian/Edwardian city pubs and it is heart warming to find a superb example such as this,that appears authentic inside and out. If you like real ales and real city pubs this is a "must visit". I went back on a Sunday evening but, unfortunately, it was closed. A "for sale" sign looms ominously over the wall. I hope this pub survives unscathed for a long, long time.An absolute Gem.Oh, the beer was nice too!!

7 Apr 2008 21:48

The Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester

Beautiful tiled exterior but the interior appears reconstructed:-somewhat reminiscent of 1980's theme pubs except I don't know what the theme is here with sripped back brick walls and strange curtain partitions!!. A ramshackle mass of stools and tables and 'orrible leatherette settee add to the confusion. BUT I am being very picky. The bar area is nice enough and I like the bare wood floorboards throughout. Good range of real ales and I particularly enjoyed "lass" which is presumably brewed on the premises.Steak and ale pie reasonably priced, served in a respectable time and saved my life after a long day of touring around.In spite of my reservations about the interior, this is a good real ale pub with a character of its own, and I think it would be best enjoyed for a session with a couple of mates. I think it appeals to a wide age range :no doubt popular with the students and real ale drinking UMIST alumni of a "certain age" (like me, isn't it!!).

7 Apr 2008 21:24

The Vulcan Hotel, Cardiff

A little Victorian gem,spit and (literally) sawdust and full of character. Tiled exterior and bare wood floor with many pictures and artefacts of the city's past adorning the walls.Well kept Brains beers a retro juke box and an excellent, friendly landlady. You've seen"life on mars", this is the pub on mars!!. Seemingly frozen in time, a rare and wonderful place.One of the few pubs in the city that haven't had the soul "renovated" out of them. Soon to be demolisheed in the name of:- err- progress. Enjoy it before it is too late.

28 Mar 2008 20:28

The Admiral Benbow, Shrewsbury

Nice enough boozer in a quiet side street, just off the hustle and bustle of the main square. Slightly disappointing pub interior reminiscent of an 80's makeover. Lose the carpets and past their best "soft" bench seats and replace with wood/flagstones etc and it would be transformed ( no doubt such things cost a lot of beer sales though).
However, top marks for excellent range of real ales, bottled beers, ciders,etc. I hadn't heared of any of them so plumped for Cambrian Gold, which was one of the most more-ish ales I have tasted for a long time-very nice. And served by a very lovely barmaid!!
There is also a nice little beer garden outside for those addicted to the weed:- that's tobacco you silly things, nothing more exotic!!!
Despite comments on interior (picky me) I would definitely revisit and would almost certainly have ended up being installed for the afternoon, sampling all on offer, but my short visit didn't allow.It appears to champion everything I hold dear about real pubs so do visit and support them when in Shrewsbury.

16 Sep 2007 11:32

The Yorkshire Terrier Inn, York

A secluded entrance ( a door next to a shop front) leads to a back bar. Whilst this is obviously a new or "made over" interior, it has all the best features of traditional Victorian/Edwardian pubs, at the same time having a light airy modern feel. I found Yorkshire Terrier to be a very quaffable pint, lovely and clean and tasty and "moreish".
York brewery has two other pubs in the city which are decorated and fitted out in a similar (almost chain) way whilst retaining individuality. This one was my favourite, providing a nice cool holt to escape to on a hot afternoon.It was nice to see that these pubs (and their ales) were popular with young and older alike, male and female!!!

31 Aug 2007 19:24

The Blue Bell, York

A newspaper cutting on the wall describes this as the "most accidentally perfect pub", which is a nice way of putting it. I only "explored" the tiny front bar which had wood floor, walls and ceiling, old fireplace, bench seating, lots of clutter, subdued lighting and crammed with atmosphere. Some 7 hand pulled ales available. A real Gem and by far the most original and charismatic little pub I could find in York.

31 Aug 2007 19:02

The Plough and Harrow, Monknash

Wonderfully rustic country pub in a lovely location.In spite of brown tourism road signs betraying its (off the beaten track) location, it is unspoilt and unpretentious. The bar is cosy and full of character including "church pew" type seating and one of the best fireplaces in the business. The tiny serving area has a number of hand pulled real ales with an ever changing range of others served direct from barrels.A nice clean pint of Spitfire at a respectable 2.50!!!

7 Jun 2007 22:35

Pelican In Her Piety, Ogmore By Sea

At first the decor seems andalucian restaurant rather than traditional British country pub!!!. But it works well with the solid wood tables , wooden bar, stone floor and fireplace to give a nice rustic feel to the place.
A well presented, cared for and well run country pub with a good selection of well kept ales, hard working and friendly bar staff and friendly locals. I haven't tried the food but it looks good and I have heared it is good. Quality live music on Friday nights/weekends (provided your musical tastes are eclectic.)A top drawer country pub.

19 May 2007 23:15

The Mitre, Paddington

Nice to see another example of a relatively unspoilt Victorian London pub. Although a close second, it was another pub on my Bayswater crawl that won my heart. This one had muisc and on the night I was there seemed to appeal to a younger crowd. Faultless pint of "Pride" with a fair selection of other real ales.
Would definitely vist again/recommend to those who appreciate real pubs and real ales.

14 May 2007 20:44

The Blue Anchor, East Aberthaw

The Vale of Glamorgan area is well served by traditional, country, real ale pubs, albeit most probably survive on their food/restaurant business. This is the jewell in the crown in terms of its age, character and history etc. Many people feared the worst after the roof fire but the restoration work is superb. For me it comes into its own during the colder months when the fires give a cosy atmosphere to the smaller bars and snugs. But it is also a pleasant pub to sit outside in the summer. Well kept ales:- I always go for the 6X. Sunday lunches in the restaurant are superb:-a little more expensive than average but you really get what you pay for in terms of quality, quantity and service.

14 May 2007 16:37

The Victoria, Bayswater

This pub is very much how I expected a traditional Victorian London pub to be. With the wood panelling, mirrors, fireplaces, decorative bar etc, it is an absolute delight. London pride was "spot on" and bar staff were friendly and efficient.Young and old, regular, tourist,passing visitor, roller blader or buisnessman all rub shoulders harmoniously (as commented elsewhere). Especially enjoyable on a Saturday afernoon when a little quieter. Pubs like this are fast disappearing from our cities.It is great to come across a survivor in our capital and long may it remain so.

13 May 2007 22:14

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