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BITE user comments - FotWBF

Comments by FotWBF

Stanley Arms, Holyhead

A pleasant pub, with a slightly separate dining area with a good selection of food displayed on a large blackboard.
As stated in a previous post, there is, regrettably, no cask ale served: the very pleasant and enthusiastic barmaid confessed that there was "little demand for it in Holyhead", and that there was only one pub that she was aware of in Holyhead itself that served real ale, and that didn't serve food. She said that, for those who wanted real ale and food, the Valley Hotel at Valley, on the other side of the 'cob', was the best place (can't find it on BITE).
As with all pubs in Holyhead, ignore the distances shown on BITE to Valley railway station: BITE obviously has the wrong postcode for it and thinks it is adjacent to Holyhead station, when in fact it is about 5 km away!

16 Oct 2016 12:47

The Barking Smack, Great Yarmouth

On a fine sunny day in late September, I was looking for a sea-front pub where I could get a good pint and a nice fish-and-chip lunch. The Barking Smack seemed the perfect place. Entering past the pleasant front terrace, I found a large room, with a bar with several hand-pumps, and a blackboard with details of the beers and ciders on offer, mostly from the Grain brewery, and also Lacons. My pint was good, but it turned out that the kitchen wasn't operating that day, due to staff issues.

4 Oct 2016 23:59

The Eagle and Tun, Birmingham

I heard that the Eagle and Tun had re-opened, so popped my head in when walking past the other day. I didn't have time to stop for a drink at that time.
Good traditional pub. There were only a few customers early Saturday evening. The only cask ale that appeared to be on was Wye Valley HPA, certainly an acceptable choice.
Staff seemed friendly, and are obviously keen to increase customers after such a long period of closure. Hopefully when trade increases they may be able to offer additional ales (though unlikely to rival the range at the adjacent Woodman!). Could be a useful alternative to the Woodman when the latter gets crowded or has a noisy quiz going on.

11 Jan 2016 13:59

The Greyhound, Kensington

This nice traditional London pub is only a couple of hundred yards off busy Kensington High Street. The front bar is nicely laid out with cosy red banquettes inside the window and down the left side opposite the bar. This area suffers from unattractive music videos being played (rap music at 2 p.m.). At the back is a large room set out more as a dining area (but with hatch to the bar), with large-screen TV, but with no windows or natural light. There are a few tables outside on the pavement for fine summer days.
There were about three real ales on offer. I chose the St. Austell Tribute, which was fine.
There was a full food menu, as well as a simple lunch-time sandwich and baked-potato card.
It was very quiet for a late lunch on a bank-holiday monday: service was quick and friendly, both for food and drink.

26 May 2015 00:18

Cherry Reds, Birmingham

This is a nice continental-style café-bar, serving draft and bottled beers, as well as coffee, tea, cakes, lunch-food, etc.
There are usually a couple of cask ales, plus some interesting continental beers, and a good selection of bottled beers.
Furniture in this small corner building is mainly second-hand domestic tables and chairs, with a couple of sofas. There are also some tables outside.
Up the precipitous stairs (which also lead to the loos) are both an additional seating area and two separate rooms (one decorated with an assortment of maps pasted to the walls) that can be booked, but are otherwise available to general patrons.

17 Dec 2014 02:09

The Trocadero, Birmingham

Met up with a group of friends there on a Friday lunchtime in December, so inevitably very crowded with office groups, and, a bit later in the afternoon, with pre-Christmas-party gatherings.
Quite a good selection (4 or 5) of cask ales, and the lager-drinkers also seemed happy.
A bit chilly where we were sitting, as a freezing blast blew in every time the door opened (weather not their fault, but heating could have been more effective!).
We didn't sample the pub food, as we paid an occasional visit to the adjacent German Christmas Market for sausages and similar, while enjoying the more sensible beer prices inside.

17 Dec 2014 01:19

The Allsop Arms, Marylebone

Convenient GK pub near Marylebone and Baker Street stations.
Usually has good selection of GK and guest beers, and quite attractive food menu (which includes 'meal-and-drink' offers).
Even at weekday lunchtimes there usually seem to be tables available.
But the really notable feature is that there are always lots of attentive staff (if only Weatherspoons could achieve this), both behind the bar and monitoring those eating food.
It's a perfect place to have a pub lunch after arriving on the excellent Chiltern Railways 'Silver Train' arrival from Birmingham at 12.30, before hitting town for the afternoon!

17 Dec 2014 01:06

The Horse and Groom, Linby

Having found a nearby pub very busy with Christmas lunch parties, we stopped at the 'Horse and Groom' in this attractive village north of Nottingham. Good-sized car park.
In a traditional manner, there are at least two separate bars, which can only be accessed externally.Nice open fires on a winter day. A good choice of ales, listed on a blackboard, as some pumps are located in one bar, and others in the other. Probably about six in total. I was offered the opportunity to try a taster before selecting.
Certainly no sign of the surly barmaid mentioned by others - very friendly and efficient service.
The food menu was fairly standard pub-type fare, but with a few interesting options.

16 Dec 2014 22:00

The Griffins Head, Papplewick

We'd identified this pub as a possible one for lunch. The car park was well-filled, and there were 'Cask-Mark' symbols on the doors. We were warmly welcomed, and told that, although there were tables available, Christmas party bookings meant there was quite a delay in serving food (not unexpected at this time of the year). As we were somewhat time-limited, we decided to try alternative hostelries. But there seemed to be a nice atmosphere, and the beers visible on the bar suggested a reasonable choice.
As stated below by steve2905, this would be an ideal place for refreshment in conjunction with a visit to the Papplewick Pumping Station.

16 Dec 2014 21:45

The Cock Hotel, Stony Stratford

Visited for Sunday lunch: we were seated in the 'dining area', described by Blackthorn below, to the right of the front entrance. Good varied menu, and resulting meal was reasonable.
Limited choice of ale: only Greene King IPA was available (waitress apologised for small choice), but it was a good pint.
My companion, who is an impatient eater (treating mealtimes as a re-fuelling exercise) got frustrated by occasional slow service when the solitary waitress was dealing with adjacent large dining groups and rather ignored us.

1 Nov 2014 02:23

Regal Moon, Rochdale

Nicely converted cinema building, very close to the MetroLink tram terminus.
Usual good Weatherspoons choice of real ales, with marginally quicker service (late lunchtime on a weekday) than one usually gets at such establishments!

1 Nov 2014 01:35

The Durham Ox, Orston

A nice traditional village pub.
It can be a bit difficult to find, depending on which direction you approach the village from - although it's right by the church, the latter does not have a tall tower, so does not provide much of a landmark.
When we visited for lunch, in the middle of October, it was offering a couple of cask ales. There was a good food menu, and service was friendly, although the staff were somewhat overwhelmed when a large number of people came in after attending a funeral at the adjacent parish church!

1 Nov 2014 01:22

The Weighbridge, Alvechurch

Called in late September while walking along the canal towpath. We'd been warned by locals at the 'Crown', a bit further along the canal, that the 'Weighbridge' closed at 3 p.m., so we'd altered our itinerary slightly to get there in time. Plenty of choice of real ale at the small bar. Although they don't really serve food (or at least not on certain days), they did have some pre-packed sandwiches available.

11 Oct 2014 20:08

The Crown Inn, Alvechurch

Pleasant pub close to the Worcester & Birmingham canal. Several hand pulls. They coped reasonably well with a largish group of walkers. Locals sitting outside enjoying the sun at the tables in the front were helpful in advising us of other nearby pubs, which resulted in our changing our route slightly, in order to get to the 'Weighbridge', further down the canal, before it closed at 3 p.m.!

11 Oct 2014 20:04

Queen Victoria, Barnt Green

Now calls itself simply 'The Victoria', and is a smart pub, claims to be part of a small chain (although decor looks exactly like the standard 'Vintage Inns' style). A visit in late September showed several cask ales on. Service (at a quiet time) was friendly and efficient.

11 Oct 2014 19:55

The Keg and Grill, Birmingham

The 'Gough Arms' has indeed been closed for a couple of years, at least. It re-opened during the summer of 2014 as 'The Keg and Grill', and states that it serves real ale and food all day. I looked in briefly while passing, and it did indeed have a couple of hand pumps on the bar. I intend to pay a proper visit when I'm next going to the 'Craven Arms' across the road.

11 Oct 2014 19:39

The Cranmer Arms, Aslockton

It's a pity that this pub doesn't serve food. I'd have expected such a vilage pub to do so.
We called in there while passing, hoping to get some lunch.
There was a sign outside saying "Pub for rent".
The small car parking area in front was full, but it was easy to park on the other side of the road.
When we saw no sign of food, we asked, before ordering any drinks. Both the staff and other customers were helpfull in suggesting nearby alternatives where we might get food (we ended up at the 'Durham Ox' at Orston, an excellent suggestion).

28 Aug 2011 23:35

The Garden House, Edgbaston

Tried this pub on a fine weekday (lunchtime), as an alternative to the rather corporate atmosphere at the adjacent, but now unrecognisable, Duck.

Extensive garden seating area was well-used on such a fine sunny day, though all diners were plagued by wasps!

There were a couple of decent ales available.

Food menu was fairly varied, but mostly standard chain pub items. Worth noting that a credit tab is not offered for the outside tables - cash at bar only.

28 Aug 2011 22:56

Duck Inn, Edgbaston

The old Duck Inn used to be a godsend for those of us visiting Birmingham and being accommodated at the nearby 'temperence' hotels in the Hagley Road which our employers thought would keep us out of temptation. Masses of real ales available!

The rebuilt establishment, attached to a budget hotel, is unrecognisable.

There is plenty of dining space (I've never seen more than about 10% of it occupied during a weekday lunchtime). Menu is standard Beefeater fare - quite good value - and menu changes slightly every few weeks.

There is usually one cask ale available (Wadworth 6X the last couple of times I've visited). The first time, in late 2010, it was fine. The next time, in early 2011, it was not in good condition: when I complained, I was immediately offered a replacement, although the lack of alternative ales meant I had to settle for Staropramen lager.

3 Aug 2011 01:46

Kings Head Hotel, Hoveton

Large pub, with accommodation.

As well as extensive bar areas, there is a large garden outside, right on the riverside, so one can sit under a sun umbrella and watch people messing about in boats, a bit away from the summer crowds thronging Wroxham bridge and its immediate vicinity

A good selection of cask ales were available, and I'd have happily sampled a few more if my train had not been due from Wroxham station (about 500 yards).

3 Aug 2011 00:58

Take 5, Norwich

This is probably more of an informal reataurant than a pub, in an oldish building opposite the cathedral. Busy on a friday night, but they still managed to fit a party of nine of us in.

Waiting staff were attentive, and happily brought blackboard with the day's specials over so that we could read it from our table, and explained which items were sold-out or nearly so.

Half our party were drinking wine, the other half were abstainers, so I cannot comment on the beers on this occasion.

There are artworks on display on the walls and in alcoves, which are for sale. There are also board games (Scrabble, etc.) available.

3 Aug 2011 00:38

The George, Cley-next-the-Sea

NIce 'coaching-inn' style pub, right on a sharp, narrow, corner on the main coast road. Attractive architectural features in terracotta on exterior.

Bar area is divided up into a small area next to the corner entrance and a larger area through a doorway.

There is a large garden area with picnic tables and umbrellas on the other side of the main road, so customers and staff have to dodge the traffic to get between the pub and the garden, but, even on busy summer days, there are plenty of gaps in the traffic (as it negotiates the narrow corners through this attractive seaside village). The sea view that would once have been available from the garden is now blocked by higher sea defences.

Several good ales were on offer on my recent visit, and the pint of Adnam's Broadside that I chose was in excellent condition.

Food menu is extensive and varied, and includes items featuring locally-caught produce, such as crab.

Bar staff were attentive and very friendly and welcoming.

3 Aug 2011 00:19

The Fox Inn, Catworth

This is a lovely pub right by the A14 (easily spotted in time to turn off at the junction when travelling eastbound, more difficult to spot westbound).

There are two sections to the main room, one to the left and one to the right of the front entrance. Both areas have cosy fires in winter months. There is a garden area outside, with picnic tables, and (as would be expected for a pub right next to a main trunk road), plenty of car parking.

The bar has recently been altered, making the two seating areas more open to each other.

Service is always friendly and efficient from what I assume is a family team. Customers are a mixture of locals who appreciate a good pint and passing motorists on the A14 who have discovered the best place to stop for a good meal between the midlands and East Anglia.

There are usually three or four different ales available, always well-kept in my experience.

Food is a wide selection, between sandwiches (served with salad garnish and crisps) to full meals, depending partly on time of day. As well as the standard menu cards, there is a blackboard of 'specials', including an extensive curry selection.

Once or twice a year they seem to host a beer festival, with a marquee set up in the garden.

This pub is what makes travelling between Birmingham and Cambridge bearable!

3 Aug 2011 00:03

The Prince of Wales, Moseley

On one of the few good summer days in 2011, the large outside area behind was absolutely crammed. Building is a traditional pub, with good original internal fittings such as ceramic tiles in corridor leading to garden.

Lots of real ales, well-kept (one that we ordered turned out to be 'off', but when we tasted the part-pint that had been poured before the message had reached the barman, it was much better than some of the beers that we'd paid good money for earlier in the afternoon at the 'Elzabeth of York'!).

A landlord that seems to pride himself in looking after his ales well. I believe he also specialises in having a good selection of rum as well - these contributing to the 'south seas' themed cocktail bar open in the garden in the summer.

24 Jul 2011 23:40

Goose At The Fighting Cocks, Moseley

Seems to be back to being called simply 'The Fighting Cocks' - no Goose.

Wonderful building, externally and internally - large clock on the corner of the bar actually shows the right time, and plaster ceiling is splendid.

Something of a 'gastro-pub', with areas devoted mainly to food service, but good selection of ales, as well as some specialist continental beers.

Music is unnecessarily intrusive, but volume was turned down slightly when asked.

24 Jul 2011 23:25

The Bulls Head, Moseley

Interesting building externally, right in the middle of Moseley.

Seems to only open in the evening: certainly looked closed at lunchtime on a sunday (though cleaning staff were visible through the windows). Posters advertising musical performances suggests this is more of a music club than a pub in the conventional sense, but, given proximity of decent pubs in the immediate vicinity (Elizabeth of York, Fighting Cocks, Prince of Wales), nobody need feel deprived.

24 Jul 2011 23:13

Elizabeth Of York, Moseley

Visited on a sunday lunchtime: plenty of room in this spacious pub, with (surprising for a Weatherspoons), more than enough bar staff to ensure quick and efficient service.

We were offered the chance to taste before ordering our ale. As there was a special cider festival on, several of the pumps were devoted to cider. Two beer pumps were offering ales from Slater's, Stafford, but, regrettably, neither was in good condition, although other beers sampled were fine.

24 Jul 2011 23:02

The Ivy House, Great Wyrley

The pub is divided into several sections, on different levels, making for some quite cosy areas, with a central bar between them. There is a beer garden outside.
There were two guest ales on, both very acceptable.
Very friendly and helpful service.
Food was standard pub fare, with some local specialities such as faggots with mushy peas (with the option of garden peas for those of us who don't like the mushy variety!).

21 Jul 2011 17:15

The Old Mitre, Essington

Pleasant pub with friendly service. Served a nice pint of St. Austell Tribute. Some of my companions, feeling it was almost time for lunch, sampled the bar snacks (there is a restaurant area serving full meals), including some excellent slabs of bread pudding!

21 Jul 2011 12:58

The Beacon Hotel, Dudley

I have to agree almost entirely with the comments from 'Carlumston' below. We arrived there on a summer weekday evening after walking up to the top of Sedgley Beacon (a couple of hundred yard away), and enjoyed an excellent pint to refresh ourselves after the exertion. But it was very full, so we had to spread ourselves around, which gave the opportunity to engage in conversation with other patrons (confirming the friendliness of the locals). An easy bus journey took us to Coseley station for our return journeys.

21 Jun 2011 23:46

Crown Hotel, Pwllheli

This is currently the only pub in Pwllheli that is listed on BITE (others with Pwllheli postcodes are miles from the town itself). We passed a couple of other pubs while walking from the station to the Crown, but neither tempted us at all. When we eventually found the Crown, it looked all right from the outside. However, its interior has been rather knocked around, so that all trace of its pleasant layout has disappeared. There is a main bar area, a 'snug' (occupying what must have been the original entrance hallway), a side bar (with 'rustic' stone walls), and a separate dining room that was laid-up, but in darkness on a summer saturday lunch-time.
We picked-up a bar menu from a table in the main bar, but were forced to retreat, first of all to the snug and then to the side bar, because of the most extraordinary cacophany coming from some electronic equipment - I first of all thought they were setting-up the disco equipment or kareoke for the evening, but my companion eventually worked out that somebody was using the wide-screen television screen to conduct an internet video-telephone call with her mother at full (and I mean full) volume. As the bar is open in the middle between all the separate rooms, it was impossible to escape the dreadful noise, which went on for about 15 minutes.
The staff were, despite the other problems, attentive and friendly. Food was fairly standard pub fare (fish and chips, steak & ale pie, scampi and chips, poached salmon and new potatoes, etc.), and arrived quickly and in generous quantities, though prices were fairly high, between �8 and �11. Some cask ale available, though the IPA (I didn't spot the brand, as the pumps faced the noisy side of the bar) was not in the best of condition - probably not enough throughput.
If this is the best that Pwllheli (that fancies itself as a holiday resort) can offer the visitor, I'm disappointed.

21 Jun 2011 23:27

The Wetmore Whistle, Burton-Upon-Trent

Made a detour to this place on the way from the brewing museum to the Burton Bridge. Although fairly empty in weekday mid-afternoon, there was agood selection of ales available. Efficient friendly service.

23 May 2011 00:54

The Coopers Tavern, Burton-Upon-Trent

We were disappointed to discover that the Coopers' Tavern wasn't open at lunchtime, so were 'forced' to move to the Devonshire Arms (which stepped into the breech excellently...)

23 May 2011 00:46

The Brewery Tap, Burton-Upon-Trent

Great that the Brewing Museum is open again. "Bass" has been quietly dropped from the museum name (inevitable since museum site is provided by Coors, but Bass brand is owned by their competitors, Interbrew - oh, aren't we grateful for the government's "Beer Orders" that dealt with the 'problem' of tied houses selling brewery's own products at affordable prices!
Bar area is indeed a bit clinical, but adjacent eating area is very spacious, with chunky wooden furniture and historical posters etc. displayed on double-height walls. Food menu offers good range.
Apart from the standard Worthington's White Shield, other products from the micro-brewery within the museum were available, including 'Spring Shield'.
Museum admission includes vouchers for beer tasting: four quarter-pint tokens, that can be all spent on one pint.

23 May 2011 00:37

The Court Oak, Harborne

Oddball's description is absolutely correct.
My regular visits are on wednesday evenings, when, to our annoyance, there is always a quiz night that interrupts our conversation (though, as the place is very crowded on those nights, it's obviously popular with the locals!).
Fairly standard ales: M&B Brew 11, Old Speckled Hen, plus occasional guest beer (Wadworth's 6X last week). A bad pint from the bottom of a barrel of OSH was replaced without question.

23 May 2011 00:06

The Lost and Found, Birmingham

Fine former bank premises, with several different seating areas, some of which allow a little bit of privacy (it's popular with young couples from the asian communities). Mainly suits at lunchtime and just after work. Standard Marstons selection of ales: Pedigree, Hobgoblin, Cock-a-Hoop, plus Brakespear's Bitter, and sometimes a guest beer. Food menu looks good, and some days of the week there are wine offers.
As others have said, it suffers from the proximity of excellent local competition (Old Joint Stock - with even better bank premises, Wellington - with long list of beers, Briar Rose - Wetherspoons' prices), and struggles commercially. This shows in occasional shortage of bar staff, and lack of maintenance. The latter is particularly noticeable in the poor state of the gents' loos (I can't speak for the state of the ladies') - the two usable urinals and one unusable one were out-of-order for several weeks in December 2010, forcing one to discover the horrors of the WC cubicles... And the piece of white sheeting that hung from the back wall of the main bar for 12 months after some function because "elf-an-safety" meant nobody was allowed to climb a step-ladder and pull the drawing-pin out!

22 May 2011 23:40

The Selly Park Tavern, Selly Oak

Noticeably better than some of the other "Ember Inns" chain pubs nearby, so presumably a better manager. Particularly appreciated is willingness to keep music volume down to level where conversation can be held! Bar staff are usually friendly, and, on my visits, sufficient to deal with demand. Standard Ember Inns selection of beers, plus one or two guest ales . I've only sampled food once, but it was reasonable for such standard chain pub. Luckily I've never been there on "quiz night".

1 Mar 2011 23:40

Star & Garter, Droitwich

Modest local boozer. Friendly service. One real ale on when we visited on a weekday, mid-afternoon.

1 Mar 2011 23:25

The Railway Inn, Droitwich

Intresting selection of railway pictures on walls, and good view of restored canal from outside verandah. Reasonable beer selection.

1 Mar 2011 23:21

The Hop Pole Inn, Droitwich

Excellent selection of Wye Valley beers. Good food menu, with almost all items from a fairly extensive menu listed at a standard price (�3.75?), which must make life easier for both bar staff and customers! Food service was efficient, even despite a large-ish group of us turning up without much notice.

1 Mar 2011 23:14

The Sherlock Holmes, Charing Cross

Visited mid-afternoon on a winter weekday, for a late lunch. Pub not crowded. Very friendly and efficient bar staff, served me almost immediately on two visits to the bar. Sampled two of their beers, one of which was their own "Sherlock Holmes" ale, both quite acceptable. Steak and ale pie had, in the proper way, been removed from pie dish, and contained vast amounts of steak (though purists might object to flaky pastry, rather than short-crust pastry). Interesting SH memorabilia around walls (signs said there was a "museum" upstairs - not investigated).

1 Mar 2011 23:04

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