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BITE user comments - RealAleRobUK

Comments by RealAleRobUK

The Barley Mow, Warrington

More real ale on my last visit with family for a meal. Cheshire Cat by Weetwood, Rev James, Blonde Witch, Hobgoblin, and one by Robinsons which I think was Trooper. I had the Cheshire Cat which was OK. Staff not very accommodating when requesting substituting sides (somebody wanted beans instead of whatever the meal came with). The meal I wanted wasn''t available so had to make a second choice, a three way chicken burger which wasn''t really anything special. The ordering process felt like hard work, and the ale wasn''t outstanding. Doubt I would be back for food or drink, and would probably try one of the many other pubs in Warrington instead. It looks a nice building but that, for me, was its best feature.

8 Sep 2017 15:28

The Rising Sun, Manchester

Visited yesterday afternoon. 8 pumps at the bar, one off with an amusing pump clip boasting "The Knackered Pump Company, 0.0%, guaranteed to be clear, a little watery" which did amuse me. I went for a pint of Drop O'' The Black Stuff by Springhead Brewery, a pleasant porter at £3.90. Can''t fault the place.

8 Sep 2017 14:57

The Unicorn, Manchester

Paid another visit yesterday, to refresh my memory on this pub, which was as vague as the review I left in 2013.

6 pumps at the bar, 3 on each side. I checked both out and was glad I did, as the one "interesting" option could have been overlooked otherwise. On offer was Bass Bitter (which the older crowd seemed to be drinking), Black Sheep, Adnams Southwold, and Elderflower Ale by Purple Moose. I went for the Elderflower Ale, a nice subtle elderflower taste and very pleasant. Price was £3.20 for the pint. A traditional feeling multi room pub with friendly service from the lady behind the bar.

8 Sep 2017 14:51

Abel heywood, Manchester

Visited yesterday lunch time. 6 pumps, all of which were clipped, although one of these was labelled as "coming soon". There was Hydes Original and one from the Beer Studio (which I believe is part of Hydes) but the others appeared to be guests. I had a pint of English Summer by Black Country at £3.84 for the pint. It was bland and disappointing - true to its namesake perhaps - but I managed to work my way through the pint. A smart looking venue. Wanted to try it for a while, but no reason to rush back.

8 Sep 2017 14:45

Micro Bar, Manchester

As blue_scrumpy has noted, this used to be owned by Boggart, which no longer exists, but managed by the same chap who used to manage it under Boggart (if that makes sense).

Visited yesterday and there were 4 or 5 pumps on plus 1 keg line. I had a Zested Interest by Dans Brewery, 4.1% and a very reasonable £3 for the pint. It was served perhaps a little warm but perfectly drinkable and very pleasant.

The chap behind the bar seemed like a very stereotypical old school pub landlord, and I like it. No pretence, no nonsense, and friendly.

8 Sep 2017 14:39

The Lighthouse Inn, Wallasey

A Greene King place, so not expecting amazing things on the real ale front, but it had Summer Lightning and a Morland bitter I have not seen before. Also had a seasonal Greene King ale that I decided against trying, and went for the Summer Lightning at £3.35.

Large pub, flame grill type place, you know the score. Decent size beer garden out the front. Unfortunately the bogs stink, I can only describe them as "pissy" and in need of some improvement.

8 Sep 2017 14:32

Wonder Inn, Manchester

Visited back in March on a Saturday evening. An interesting place that is deceptive in its size and gets gradually more rustic the deeper you go into the building (including the toilets).

One cask was available at the time of my visit, an excellent pint of Pint by Marble.

DJ, crumbling walls, random Caribbean dude dancing by himself. Definitely got character!

8 Sep 2017 14:21

The Friendly Inn, Keighley

This is now "Percy Vear''s Real Ale House" and had on offer John Smiths Cask, Saltaire Blonde, Saltaire Cascade, and one further pump was off. A small pub, clean and tidy, with a polite older gent serving who I assumed to be the gaffer.

I went for the Cascade at the bargain price of £2.50 a pint, £1.25 a half.

Not sure it''s one I would rush back to, but nice to have been in and tried it.

8 Sep 2017 14:17

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

Visited in July and had a half of Ram Tam at £1.45. The barmaid thought it didn''t look good and poured me another one, explaining it was the first one through. Friendly and pleasant service. I was in at 12:20 on a weekday lunch time and there were a handful of other customers in. 6 or so Timothy Taylor ales available - I didn''t even know they made that many! There was also one blank pump and one offering Old Rosie cider. Would happily go back.

8 Sep 2017 14:13

The Three Stags, Bebington

Visited again back in May. Had a pint of Florida Black by Black Wolf at £2.45. I noted two banks of pumps - the bank of 5 had 4 on and were all reasonably unusual ones by Adnams, Siren, etc. The other bank had 2 of 3 pumps on and had the Ember Ale and Brakspear. Polite and quick service.

8 Sep 2017 14:09

Nine Arches, Earlestown

A nice modern Spoons with a nice outdoors area sporting booths and flowers in tubs on the wall. Think I spotted two banks of five pumps at the time of my visit in July. On offer were three ciders (not sure if there was a cider festival on, or if that is the standard offering), Marstons Old Empire IPA, one American ale (but nor sure if it was actually on) plus the usual Ruddles etc.

I went for the Marstons Old Empire IPA which was pleasant and £2.29 or thereabouts for the pint. I feel the ale selection was a bit lacking though in favour of the ciders.

8 Sep 2017 14:05

Real Ale Shack, Warrington

Visited a couple of times and have been pleased on both visits. Back to my first visit in June, there were 4 hand pumps and 3 of these were on. I went for the Thunderbridge Stout at 5.2% and £3.30 for the pint. Also available was Titanic Steerage, and I cannot remember the other. The Thunderbridge was absolutely delicious; a great stout in perfect condition. There is some seating at the bar area itself and four picnic tables in the market area that can be used, creating an indoors beer garden. Would recommend.

8 Sep 2017 13:59

Glyde House, Bradford

Visited in January but pub has just recently been added. At the bar were 4 hand pumps, featuring Saltaire Blonde, Dave by Great Heck, and another couple that looked interesting that I didn''t make a note of. I went for the Dave which was a good choice, and £3.65 for the pint. Service was friendly, an older chap serving who asked me how I was and directed me to the snug area where the fire was on. Would happily re-visit.

8 Sep 2017 13:55

Mulberry Tree Hotel, Stockton Heath

Never been in before but used to pass it a lot, and my visit last week makes me think it has been done up since I was last in the area.

The real ale choice was less than remarkable - I am going to assume this is a Greene King pub by the selection on offer, which consisted of Greene King IPA, Doom Bar, Dizzy Blonde, and some kind of Greene King / Radio X mash up called Amplified (or something like that). The saving grace was Summer Lightning by Hop Back - a drink I have not had for many years. A pint set me back £3.30 which I think is reasonable.

The outdoor area at the front is nice if you can get a table that isn't cast into shade by the two big square umbrellas. I never understand why places do that - there is plenty of seating inside if you don't like the sun!

Would have been interesting to see what this place was like before its refurb, I'm guessing a bit more of a traditional boozer but I could be wrong. But it's another one off the list!

19 Jul 2017 23:26

The Red Lion, Stockton Heath

Has been quite a few years since I have been in the Red Lion at Stockton Heath, so thought I would take another look while in the area recently.

Looks like it has been done up recently, smart inside with a fairly open feel but still separate rooms.

I had a half of Nutty Black by Thwaites at £1.83 which seemed a touch on the steep side assuming a pint would have been £3.65. Others by Thwaites were Wainwright, Lancaster Bomber, and Original. The guest was Yorkshire Gold by Leeds.

19 Jul 2017 23:16

The Ship Inn, Lathom

Visited at lunch time last Friday. There were 5 or 6 pumps at the bar - a chalk board listed 6 ales so it was probably 6. I had a pint of Zenith by Cross Bay, a 5% ale at £3.20 for the pint. Black Sheep and Doom Bar were spotted, but the others were all something a bit different.

Nice smart pub, looks as though it may have been a row of cottages originally as it is split into sections. I didn't see any of the food but it did smell nice.

19 Jul 2017 23:10

The Turls Green, Bradford

Visited again today and pretty much as my last review. I had a half of the Ikley Pale at £1.08 which was delicious and crisp and of course an absolute bargain.

The other guests were a Moorehouse's ale and something by Ossett.

19 Jul 2017 23:06

The Sparrow, Bradford

Paid my first visit to the Sparrow today. As others have noted, this is a beer café type place. 4 hand pumps at the bar, all of which were on. I had a half of the Robust Porter by Fell, at £1.60 - at £3.20 a pint this is not expensive. However I noticed some of the craft stuff was £6 a pint, so depends on what you are after!

The Robust was pleasant but possibly a bit on the warm side. I think one of the other cask ales was Cascade by Saltaire, and the other two were ones I had not heard of before.

Service was pleasant, and all in all a nice place; I would be happy to go back.

19 Jul 2017 23:03

Beer House, Bradford

Closed this lunch time. The inner doors were open but the outer metal gates were closed and the window shutters were down. Was hoping to pay a visit; maybe next time!

19 Jul 2017 22:57

The City Gent, Bradford

Was going to pay a visit to the Beer House but found it closed, so had a wander up North Parade and thought I would try the City Gent. I was expecting it to be one of the small beer café type places so was surprised to find it in a large building on the corner and looking more pub-like on the inside.

The chalk board outside listed a guest ale (just one) and it was not one I had heard of before so thought I would give it a go. Unfortunately as I approached the bar I realised that none of the four hand pumps appeared to be clipped despite what was being advertised on the sign outside. I did an about turn and left.

19 Jul 2017 22:55

Old Bank, Bradford

Paid another visit today. 4 pumps at the bar and all available, offering Stancill Barnsley Bitter, Sharps Atlantic, Sharps Doom Bar, and Coach House Plum Bitter.

I went for a half of the Coach House Plum at £1.60 (presumably making a pint £3.20). This was a nice drink, the plum was subtle but could definitely be tasted.

A list of forthcoming ales were on a chalk board. The staff were attentive, clearing and resetting tables between customers (even where tables had only been used for drinks rather than food). Service was pleasant and friendly.

19 Jul 2017 22:50

The Ginger Goose, Bradford

Ventured in today, of the 5 pumps at the bar only a solitary one was clipped, offering Saltaire Blonde. Decided to leave in search of something I haven't had before. A bit disappointing compared to my previous visit.

19 Jul 2017 22:46

Sir Titus Salt, Bradford

Went past today and it was closed, a notice on the door citing a small refurbishment due to "unforeseen circumstances". But looking at the two most recent reviews it would suggest it has been closed for a few months. It no longer appears on the Wetherspoons web site so guess it's safe to say it has either closed for good or has been sold.

19 Jul 2017 22:41

George and Dragon, Glazebury

Visited for an evening meal on Sunday. Was good to see they had a "proper" guest ale on - Liquid Sunshine by Hoppy Brewing Company. Never had it before, and it was very nice. Also on was Old Golden Hen and two pumps hidden at the other end of the bar clipped as Black Sheep.

Food was nice enough but service a bit slow - we waited over an hour for our meals to turn up. Other people who ordered not long before us had theirs much quicker, to the point that they were being offered the dessert menu while we were still waiting for our mains to arrive.

Plate and glass clearing could have been quicker. Overall felt like it wasn't a particularly efficient operation. Nothing major wrong, just some room for improvement on that side.

4 Jul 2017 13:58

The Axe and Cleaver, Dunham Massey

Not been here for years and managed a visit early afternoon today. At the bar, 3 of the 4 pumps were available - Summer Meadow (Dunham), Greene King IPA, and something by Moorhouse's. I went for the Summer Meadow and some nuts from a jar on a small dish, which set me back the princely sum of £5.57. I am not sure what the breakdown was there but I am going to assume a massive markup on the nuts, which did not even equate to half a normal packet.

On the upside, the Summer Meadow was delicious - light, hoppy and refreshing - and it is good to see a chain pub offering a local ale in addition to the usual big nationals that normally dominate food orientated pubs.

There were two funeral parties booked in (one already there, one due to arrive), so it was pretty busy today. Definitely handy for the crem, being just a mile or so down the road.

Very pleasant modern interior, though the doors to the gents could do with a re-paint.

Probably not somewhere to head to just for a drinking session, but nice to have the option of a decent real ale if you are going for a meal.

27 Jun 2017 17:26

Bar Mondo, Low Fell

No longer Bar Mondo, but the Tap @ Carters Well. With a name like that you would be expecting some kind of brewery tap perhaps, but no. 4 pumps at the bar, offering Tetley Cask, , Deuchars IPA, Pedigree, and Abolition by Sonnet 43. I went for the Abolition which set me back £2.50. Can't argue with the price, though it was served a little on the warm side. Nice enough but not enough to make me want to stay for another.

Felt like a bit of a locals' pub to me, but is large enough that you can hide in a corner without feeling out of place. All the staff seemed young and slightly disinterested.

27 Jun 2017 11:44

The Three Tuns, Gateshead

Paid a visit a few weeks back when staying in Gateshead. The Low Fell area seems to be suffering from a bit of a real ale drought. Only two pumps at the bar - Blonde Star by Anarchy (the one I went for at £3.10 or £3.20) and Jaipur by Thornbridge. I thought there may have been more pumps on the other side of the bar, but I don't recall seeing any when passing through to go to the gents.

This is definitely a music venue but also has a bit of an estate pub feel to it. There was an unplugged fridge randomly placed in the seating area, which intrigued me. The chap serving was fairly laid back but not unpleasant.

Wouldn't rush back but seems to be one of the few pubs in the area doing real ale.

27 Jun 2017 11:39

Little 3, Thirsk

Paid another visit recently when in Thirsk. I like this place and can never understand why it is always so empty.

5 pumps at the bar, offering Abolition by Sonnet 43, Comfortably Numb by Bad Co, Falconer (not sure of brewery), Scrambler by Rooster, and Theakston Best Bitter. I had the Scrambler which was spot on and £3 for the pint.

22 Jun 2017 17:47

The Three Tuns, Thirsk

Visited a few weeks back mid afternoon. There was a porter I had my eye on at the bar, but sadly it was unavailable so I went for Porter by the Hop Studio instead, at only £1.85. I realised I have had this at another Spoons where I was not impressed, but it was delicious here so can only assume it was past its best at the other pub.

Unfortunately, a few minutes into my pint, a few rough looking mums came in with their primary age brats. They chose to sit near me. I tolerated a few minutes and then changed tables to a different section of the pub. I was not the first person to do so. Like some kind of curse the kids ran around the entire pub so there was no real escape, but at least I could no longer hear them banging on the xylophone from where I was sat. I have no issue with kids in pubs but keep them under control, or at least feign some kind of attempt at supervising them!

22 Jun 2017 17:43

Friar Penketh, Warrington

3 banks of 5 pumps. A couple of strong ones including Wobbly Bob. However I had Aegir by Milestone (5.2%) at £2.39 for the pint. Would go again.

22 Jun 2017 17:34

The Looking Glass, Warrington

Jabberwocky is brewed by Coach House for this pub, so I decided to give it a try. I found it bland and a little sweet. Jaipur by Thornbridge and another non national was available - but the rest was all standard stuff. A bit disappointing.

22 Jun 2017 17:31

The Barley Mow, Warrington

Visited on a recent weekday lunchtime. Was a bit disappointed to find all the ales were the big nationals - Greene King IPA, Robinsons Trooper, Doom Bar, Hobgoblin, etc. I didn't stay for a drink and just left. Hopefully just bad luck at the time of my visit.

22 Jun 2017 17:29

Ralph FitzRandal, Richmond

Paid another visit a couple of weeks ago. 2 banks of 5 pumps, all were big nationals except two. I had a pint of Seraphim by Sonnet 43 at £2.05 - a lovely ale. The other interesting one was, I think, Wold by Allendale Brewery.

No issue finding a seat.

22 Jun 2017 17:27

The Castle Tavern, Richmond

Nice pub in the Market Place in Richmond. I find the issue with a lot of the pubs round here is that they don't serve anything more adventurous than Black Sheep. This place is a welcome exception. Two ales by Richmond Brewing Co - Drummer Boy and Greyfriars Stout - at £2.50 a pint. There was a 6%-ish cider, Black Sheep, and possibly something by Marstons too.

Nice pub with a traditional feel with split levels and different sections. Dark wood and furniture. Stained glass at the top of the servery. All very pleasant and the Greyfriars Stout was lovely.

One to check out when in Richmond.

22 Jun 2017 17:23

The Telegraph, Bridlington

Forgot to add - £1.35 for a half - not bad at all.

22 Jun 2017 17:17

The Telegraph, Bridlington

I was drawn in to this pub by the "proper old pub" smell that teased me as I walked past. It was a hot day and I noticed it had a beer garden, so was a no brainer really - it had to be done.

I think there were 4 ales on - 2 on each side of the bar. I had a half of Pennine Way Jubilee by Pennine Brewing Co. That was OK, but no more than OK. Have had one of their ales before and found that a bit odd too, so perhaps something I should bear in mind for the future. I stayed for a second half, this time Anglers Revenge by Wold Top. That was better.

The pub has a 2 room arrangement with island bar, plus of course the beer garden. It did feel a bit of a locals' place but I was not made to feel unwelcome at all. I would consider a re-visit.

22 Jun 2017 17:16

Station Buffet, Bridlington

At the risk of setting myself up for disappointment, I paid another visit while in Bridlington last week and there was actually some real ale on. Only one, admittedly, but that is one more than on my previous two visits.

Service was swift and the lady was pleasant and chatty. The ale available was Sleck Dust by Great Newsome, at £3.80 for a pint or £1.90 for the half I had. On the more expensive side than I was expecting, but it was a decent ale in good condition.

Pleased I have actually managed a drink in here now - I can cross it off the list!

22 Jun 2017 17:09

The Rawson Spring, Hillsborough

Paid another visit this week, still has the two banks of 5 pumps. Guest ales were all bitter or pale. I had Osprey by Cotleigh (5%) which was quite pleasant. Labelled up as £2.29 a pint but I wasn't told how much it was when I ordered a half, the woman behind the bar just held her hand out for my money which I found a little rude. Yes, I can do the maths - but it is basic manners really isn't it? She also left the glass between two pumps for me to awkwardly reach in and collect. So great service there!

Noticed it has a decent size beer garden, unfortunately only noticed that on my exit.

22 Jun 2017 17:03

Legends Sports Bar, Hillsborough

This is now the Hillsborough Tap. Really I should request it is added as a new pub and for this one to be marked as closed, but adding a new pub seems to take months and I really can't be bothered hanging on to my review for that long.

There is still a sports element to this pub, but it is nicely decorated and had a mix of people in on my weekday lunch time visit. There is an area to the right set up for dining. At the bar, 5 pumps of which 4 were on, 3 by Rudgate, the other was Shipyard Summer Ale. I had Brew No.33 Triple Hop (by Rudgate), £1.43 for a half (would have been £2.85 for a pint). On eof the other Rudgate ales was a mild, the other pale.

The ale was a little on the warm side but was still pleasant - and perhaps allowances have to be made for it being one of the warmest days of the year.

Toilets are upstairs and a small area with a single table and a couple of fruit machines. No issue with service. Would happily pay another visit.

22 Jun 2017 16:59

The Knott Bar, Deansgate

Consistently excellent. I have had a couple of ales by Dan's Brewery on my last couple of visits (including the very pleasant IPA 58). Had the roast beef here one Sunday a few months back and it was really tasty - set me up for an afternoon of shopping with the other half! Handy for the train station too.

5 May 2017 16:38

The Hare and Hounds, Manchester

Ventured here in March, not really expecting that much on the ale front but wanted to try the pub and tick it off the list. Doom Bar was on but the Joseph Holt Bitter seemed to be the popular choice so figured that would be the safest bet based on turnover. I was actually pleasantly surprised - it was better than I was expecting. It feels like a proper old pub in the middle of Manchester and I imagine it probably has a fairly regular set of clientele, but we were not made to feel unwelcome and the beer was fine, so all good in my book. Nothing to rush back for but a nice one to have done.

5 May 2017 16:31

Lower Turks Head, Manchester

Visited again in March. The ale selection seemed a little more adventurous than on my previous visit. Went for the Kinder Scout by Pennine Brewing which was supposed to be a porter but was really more like a bitter. Unusual and perhaps not in a good way. Pub was busy but managed to get a table.

5 May 2017 16:26

Bar Fringe, Manchester

Visited in March on a Saturday evening and had a pint of Black Rock Porter by Bude Brewery. Pleasant and tasty. I seem to recall there was a decent selection of ales at the bar.

5 May 2017 16:20

The Pack Horse Inn, Culcheth

I was here for a private function so didn't manage to soak up the ambience in the main bar downstairs but it seemed nice and friendly. At the bar on hand pump was Pipe Dream (George Wright Brewing Company), Proper Job (St Austell Brewery) and good old Spitfire (Shepherd Neame). I worked my way through all of these but didn't find any of them jumped out at me really, though they were all pleasant enough. At the time of my visit they had an offer on bottles - Curious IPA and Curious Brew (which I didn't realise was a lager until I had ordered it and got the bottle). The Curious IPA tasted more like a lager than an IPA as it happens. 5.6% and you could taste it. The Curious bottles were still a bit more impressive than the cask offerings however - just had a bit more taste to them.

5 May 2017 16:13

The Pied Bull, Chester

Visited in April with the family whilst on a pre-holiday shopping trip. I had the Black Bull (a porter) followed by Tangibull (pale ale) and both were great. Would recommend both the pub and its own Pied Bull ales.

5 May 2017 16:06

The Eccles Cross, Eccles

Have been a couple of times since my last visit and as you would expect for a Spoons, the ale selection keeps changing. "This Is Eccles" was my most recent tipple which is a very nice stout by Peerless. On my previous visit I had a Blackberry Porter (by Mauldons) which was superb (and unusual). Service is friendly. Some of the customers are a bit odd, for example the older gent who was hovering over my table waiting for me to finish, despite there being plenty of other vacant tables around the pub - but all part of the Spoons character!

5 May 2017 15:44

The Blue Bell, Hemsworth

This place is cheap, even for a Spoons! I had a half of Porterby the Hop Company (4.3%) and it was only 80p! Unfortunately it had an odd taste to it, perhaps not in the best of condition. There were two banks of pumps at the bar, though I did not note what else was on offer.

5 May 2017 15:36

Wheatsheaf, Armthorpe

Visited in February. 4 hand pumps at the bar, of which 3 were on, and 1 unclipped. Available was Sharp's Doom Bar, Purity Pure UBU, and Old Rosie cider. Went for the UBU at £3.10 or so for the pint. I was asked if I was a CAMRA member before paying, so presumably they offer a discount for CAMRA members (unless he thought I was an inspector). Felt a bit like a working man's club and is probably one for the locals, though I was not made to feel unwelcome.

5 May 2017 15:34

The Boat Inn, Doncaster

Visited in February. I had a Barnsley Bitter by Acorn, at £1.90 for a half, and I was pleasantly surprised by this ale - not bland at all and I would recommend it. Doom Bar was also on at the bar and another national that I can't remember. Yes it seems a bit chain pubby and food focussed but no issue with my ale.

5 May 2017 15:31

The Cadeby Inn, Cadeby

Paid another visit back in February. Acorn Blonde and Acorn Barnsley Bitter were available on hand pump, with another couple of pumps unused. I went for the blonde at £1.70 for a half. Not an outstanding ale but not unpleasant. Would be happy to go back and pay another visit.

5 May 2017 15:27

The Old Nags Head, Irlam

After a fairly long period of closure this pub re-opened a few months ago. I have been a couple of times and on the first occasion there were a few interesting real ales to choose from (I went for Black Current) and the food was good. I felt less impressed on my second visit - the bar offered Hobgoblin on hand pump and a turned round Wainwright clip. Had bottles of Seven Bro7hers in the fridge but the taste of these seemed a bit off compared to the same I have had on cask elsewhere. The food seemed less impressive than on my earlier visit too. Would probably be willing to give it another go at some point but won't be rushing back.

5 May 2017 15:24

The Rising Sun, Mossley

Visited in February 2017. Approx 8 hand pumps at the bar including at least one cider. I had a pint of McConnell's by Thornbridge which is a 5% stout and set me back £3. A crowd of workmen types were round the bar. Very traditional and old school looking inside. Bare board floors and banquette seating with some pews and mix of tables and wooden chairs. Main bar seems to be split into two sections and there is a further back room. I also noted a wood burning stove.

5 May 2017 15:20

The Livery Rooms, Keighley

Decent Spoons, 2 banks of 5 hand pumps at the bar. I went for a Kingston Ginger Stout at the bargain price of £1.89. I didn't note what else was available but all pumps seemed to be on and none were duplicated (visited in March 2017). Fairly busy on my Monday afternoon visit but plenty of seats. Open plan but with separate areas and different seating types.

5 May 2017 15:15

The Thatched Tavern, Maidencombe

Lovely thatched pub with a beautiful garden. I had been wanting to visit here on my last holiday to Dawlish Warren but didn't get the chance; that wrong was righted this year. At the bar, 5 hand pumps, 3 of which were Badger ales and 1 was Rosie's Pig Cider, with one pump not in use at the time of my visit. I went for the Hopping Hare which was good, though not something I haven't had before. Well worth a visit to this pub and the beach in Maidencombe.

5 May 2017 15:12

Prairie Schooner Taphouse, Urmston

I have been wanting to pay a visit for a while, and got my chance today. On entering there are 4 hand pumps and a few more on keg which also looked interesting. I went for a pint of Moonrakers Mild (Empire Brewing) at 3.8% which set me back £2.90 for the pint, which I think is pretty good going. I can honestly say this was the best mild I have ever had. Clearly well kept, well served, and a decent ale to begin with. Was quiet on my Friday lunchtime visit (I was the only customer there when I entered) but there were a few others in by the time I was leaving.

In terms of layout, there is a small area in front of the bar with a few tables, and a larger area behind the bar. Also tables outside at the front of the premises. I imagine this probably gets busy of an evening and rightly so.

5 May 2017 15:00

Saracens Head, Lymm

4 pumps but all unclipped and barman confirmed there was no cask on.

3 Feb 2017 15:44

Tim Bobbin, Urmston

It must be around 15 years since I was last in the Tim Bobbin, and realising that makes me feel rather old. However after a visit to the Steamhouse, I thought I would pay a revisit. 12 pumps across 3 banks, although sadly the third bank was all off (though not labelled as "coming soon") which was a bit disappointing as there was a porter on there I fancied trying. That left the choice of the Wetherspoons usuals (Doom Bar, Abbot Ale, etc), Dizzy Blonde, and a couple of others that looked a bit more promising. I went for the Pigswill by Stonehenge which was OK, neither offensive nor remarkable. Had I accepted the offer of a taster, I may have gone for something else. Anyway despite this, service was friendly, there was an initial delay where the bar was unstaffed, but the barmaid appeared and apologised for the wait and ran me through the available beers after my first choice proved to be unavailable. She advised the other beers should be on at some point over the weekend. My pint was £2.39.

The pub seemed a bit loud and lively on my Friday lunch time visit but not really that busy with plenty of space and empty tables. I would be tempted to give go again when next in Urmston.

27 Jan 2017 15:58

Steamhouse, Urmston

Paid a visit this lunch time. Was quieter than I was expecting so had no problems finding a seat. 8 pumps at the bar, all of which were on. A few by Marstons and one by Banks's, can't remember them all but I had an Attermire Session IPA by Settle Brewing Company, at £3 exactly. It was a nice IPA, perhaps served a little on the cold side, but it is fair to assume the weather at the moment would affect the ambient temperature of the cellar.

There is plenty of space in what is a fairly interesting building. The small play area is at one end of the building so fairly easy to avoid if you wish to do so. There was a family in and I could not hear them from where I was sat. One of the real coal fires was lit.

On the food side, plenty to choose from on the menu and specials board, and the Cajun chicken burger I went for was delicious with exceptionally tasty chips (and chips are something I am fussy about). That set me back £8.45 so fairly standard pub prices for food.

I had heard that this place brews some of its own beers, but I did not notice that reflected on the pumps.

I would be more than happy to return again, for beer, food, or both!

27 Jan 2017 15:50

The Thirsty Scholar, Manchester

Paid another visit recently, this time on a Saturday night. Pretty popular with the student crowd, plus a few older couples and older unaccompanied men. It made me feel quite old amongst all the youngsters.

At the bar, I had Urban Fox by Bootleg Brewing Co, but unfortunately I made the mistake or resting my half empty glass on the bar for a minute and when I turned round it had been swiped and the contents disposed of by the over zealous barman. Attempts to get his attention failed due to the volume of the music.

Toilets are a bit unpleasant, graffiti all over the doors.

27 Jan 2017 15:33

The Waldorf Hotel, Manchester

Not a bad pub, looks like it has had a refurb in the not too distant past and was not what I was expecting from the outside. A bit on the pricey side at around £9 for two pints of Moonshine by Abbeydale. Ale was pleasant but on the pricey side for a standard pub offering. Wouldn't rush back, but another pub tried and off the list. I can only assume they are trying to keep the riff-raff out at these prices, but with plenty of better pubs with more adventurous ale selections within spitting distance, I think this could be a bad move for the Waldorf.

27 Jan 2017 15:27

The City Vaults, Bradford

Visited last Thursday afternoon, after being tempted to give it a try on previous visits to Bradford. On entering you realise this is a fairly large and sprawling pub across several split levels, whereas by contrast I thought it looked fairly small from the outside.

At the bar, 5 pumps of which 3 were on. One the two unavailable, one was clipped but turned round, the other was unclipped. I went for a Saltaire Blonde and at £2.65 you can't grumble at the price. The others were Doom Bar etc so the Saltaire Blonde seemed the natural choice. It was a little underwhelming though, unfortunately. I had wanted to experience the pub having been past it many times, but nothing to rush back for on the ale front.

The pub itself is reasonably interesting, people of all walks of life in every corner on my Thursday afternoon visit, interesting effects on the wooden ceiling, wallpaper with mock bottles and books on, depending on the section of pub.

Several TVs on showing sports, but music was also playing with the TVs not muted. I found it bearable but that kind of thing can drive people mad.

27 Jan 2017 15:19

The Philharmonic, Liverpool

Visited last September on a Saturday evening. It was very busy. A bit of a delay getting served at the bar and has been previously commented, feels a bit "dog eat dog" trying to get served. If I remember rightly the various real ale pumps are spread across the horseshoe shaped bar, which makes it a bit difficult to see what is on offer when the bar is crowded. I seem to remember a reasonable selection though, and may have included some Robinsons ales unless my memory is playing tricks on me.

Great historic interior and well worth a visit just to marvel at that. The gents are interesting too, if a little fragrant.

Would happily return. You probably stand better chance of admiring and exploring the interior during quieter times. We only managed to get a seat because someone else was leaving.

27 Jan 2017 14:56

The Baltic Fleet, Liverpool

A short walk from the city centre but that didn't seem to be deterring anyone on my visit last September. The place was pretty busy early Saturday evening. Good selection of ales, and was tempted to stay for two, but had other places to try Would definitely visit again.

27 Jan 2017 14:48

Doctor Duncans, Liverpool

Visited last September and just realised I hadn't made an entry on here. Nice enough place but ale selection not very adventurous; from memory there were 2 or 3 nationals plus Shropshire Gold by Salopian. Nothing wrong with the pint.

27 Jan 2017 14:46

The Angel, Manchester

Paid another visit recently and stand by my previous review. Good selection of ales, differing in style and strength, so something for everyone. 11 pumps of which 10 were available, plus an extra 2 for cider.

Décor and general building maintenance is starting to look like it needs some attention - looks like there has been a leak or some flooding especially near the patio doors (piano area). If it gets much worse, the ceiling will be in worse nick than the Crown & Kettle. Gents toilets have also been moved to a porta cabin outside, and has been that way since my last visit which would have been around Easter time. Would be a shame if the building fell into a state of disrepair - it is otherwise an excellent boozer offering a decent selection of real ales.

1 Jan 2017 15:58

The Marble Arch, Manchester

Expensive. But this was probably not helped by the fact that a lot of the cask ales on offer on my last visit were higher strength. I had a half of the Earl Grey IPA, which I had been wanting to try for a while. We visited between Christmas and New Year so for once it wasn't heaving and we managed to get a seat. Being quieter it gives you more of a chance to admire the impressive interior without constantly shuffling to move out of someone's way. Several guests were available in addition to the Marble offerings. Staff were friendly and made suggestions while we were trying to make up our minds at the bar.

1 Jan 2017 15:53

The Dog Beck, Penrith

Decent sized Spoons offering in Penrith. Popular on my weekday lunch time visit in the run up to Christmas.

At the bar - Bah Humbug by Wychwood, Fortyniner by Ringwood, Duchess by Settle Brewery, Doom Bar, Abbot Ale and Ruddles. Two banks, duplicated.

Had a pint of the Bah Humbug which was rather enjoyable and set me back £2.15. Later went for a half of Duchess but it went off mid pour, so I settled for the Fortyniner at £1.08 for the half. Pleasant but I was sad to miss out on trying the Duchess.

Would definitely recommend if in Penrith.

1 Jan 2017 15:47

Station Buffet, Bridlington

After my previous visit proved unfruitful I had the opportunity to try again on a weekday on the run up to Christmas.

On entering this time I noticed a weird musty smell, like a mix of unwashed people and stale smoke.

4 hand pumps were almost hidden from view at the end of the bar and all were unclipped. I walked out (though there didn't seem to be anyone rushing to serve me anyway).

Looks quaint but based on my two visits, appears to be a bit of a waste of time if you are looking for real ale.

1 Jan 2017 15:42

The Bulls Head, Manchester

Visited recently on a Saturday night. Fairly busy but managed to grab a table. There were 6 or so pumps featuring usuals from Marstons plus a couple of guests, one pump being off. I had a Boondoggle by Ringwood Brewery which was perfectly pleasant. Owd Rodger was available, which is a Marstons one I have not heard of before, but at over 7% I thought it best avoided if I was to stand a chance of making my way through the rest of the pubs we had planned for the night.

Wouldn't necessarily rush back but it's another pub ticked off and the pint was fine.

12 Dec 2016 16:40

The Pack Horse Inn, Stockport

Visited the Cocked Hat on Saturday night, and was the last pub before our train back, so memories are a little sketchy. We had a pint of Cheating Rat which was enjoyable. I can't remember what else was available. Was standing room only at the time of our visit.

15 Nov 2016 17:47

The Arden Arms, Stockport

Quite a contrast to the other Robinsons pub we tried on our Stockport crawl (Bakers Vaults). This is a very traditional old school boozer and probably retains pretty much the original layout, woodwork and glass.

The hand pumps are hidden at the back of the bar, if I remember rightly there were 6 in total, 3 on each side. All were Robinsons ales I think. We went for a pint of Hopalulu, a 4.6% blonde, which was fine, though I think I was expecting more hoppiness!

I would be happy to pay another visit.

15 Nov 2016 17:44

The Bakers Vaults, Stockport

Very nice pub and as has been pointed out, has obviously had a major refurb in the not too distant past. It looks nothing like the photo that is on here - in fact the contrast is quite fascinating.

There was a fair amount of choice at the bar, a few Robinsons ales plus guests. However, when in Stockport... so a pint of the Red N Black Porter it was, at 5.8% and served in Robinsons branded dimpled glass tankards.

The pub was quite busy but we didn't wait too long to be served, and managed to find a table near the front of the pub. I would be very happy to pay a return visit.

15 Nov 2016 17:38

The Crown Inn, Stockport

Great traditional pub and a great start to our Stockport crawl. Plenty of choice of ales at the bar, with stout, porter and pales to choose from. We went for the North Star Porter which was very pleasant and slipped down nicely. We managed to get a seat in what I assume would have been the snug in years gone by.

Behind the bar there appeared to be a musician doing his thing with a guitar - not sure if this was planned entertainment or impromptu, but looked very relaxed and certainly added to the atmosphere.

Not my round but I don't recall it being particularly expensive. Would definitely recommend.

15 Nov 2016 17:28

Myrtle Grove, Bingley

Very busy on my Friday afternoon visit and I was fortunate enough to get one of the nice booth seats after a couple left - otherwise I would have been sat in the middle of the strange canteen layout area that Spoons seem so fond of. Fairly typical open plan layout.

At the bar one bank of 5 hand pumps had all unusual ales except for one which had Old Speckled Hen. There was a second bank of pumps which I didn't inspect, but assume had the Spoons old faithfuls such as Doom Bar, Ruddles, Abbot Ale, etc.

I had a half of Phantasm by Acorn, a 4.5% ale, £1.18 for the half, or would have been £2.35 for a pint. I recall there was also an ale called Voodoo available, but don't remember the others.

Service fairly quick, ale good.

15 Nov 2016 17:09

The Old Library, Bingley

This is now the Library Tap, and from the outside looks as if it would be an upmarket pub/bar, possibly even bar/bistro kind of setup. However as I approached, the scruffy middle aged chaps stood outside the door having a smoke led me to suspect all may not be quite as it seemed!

At the bar there were two ales by Moorehouses (Blond Witch and Ruby Witch) plus Hobgoblin and Hobgoblin Gold. A further two pumps were off and unclipped. I went for a half of the Ruby Witch which was an absolute bargain at £1.05 - and then the penny dropped as to the kind of clientele this attracts and it all kind of made sense.

Inside it is nice enough, though very similar to a Wetherspoons except it had music playing and sports showing on the TV at the same time, and the TV was not muted. Was getting a bit rowdy at 3pm on a Friday lunch time. In addition to the main ground floor there is a lower level and a mezzanine level with extra seating.

The ale itself was great, and certainly cheap enough, and even served in a half glass dimpled tankard which was a nice touch. Nice drink but I wasn't sad to leave. At 36 I am fairly sure I was the youngest person in the place.

It wasn't really what I was expecting, but no issues with the friendliness of service or the quality of the ale.

15 Nov 2016 17:02

The Barley Mow, Warrington

Visited back in October on a Saturday night. Have always been intrigued by this building when in Warrington and was pleased to get my chance to go in for a pint and to check out the inside too.

I can't remember how many ales were on at the bar but we had a pint of Southern Cross, a New World Pale Ale by Weetwood. I don't remember the pub being packed, but it was busy enough. The wooden ceiling fascinated me.

Definitely one to go back to, and perhaps towards the start of the crawl rather than towards the end, so I may remember more about it next time!

15 Nov 2016 16:51

9 Gallon, Warrington

Nice modern pub/bar which had a decent selection of real ale on offer at the time of our visit on a Saturday evening in October. Was fairly busy but managed to get a table round the back of the bar. We had a pint of Startled Octopus, which was a pale/blonde if I remember rightly, and is apparently by Buccaneer. Never heard of the ale or the brewery before, so took a chance. Was not disappointed.

What initially looked like a traditional copper topped table soon turned out to be a slightly wobbly wooden table with some kind of mock copper topping which didn't even stick down to the table top very well. The interior was otherwise very pleasant.

Yes - would be happy to go back and revisit.

15 Nov 2016 16:43

The Lower Angel, Warrington

This is a classic style "local" pub in the centre of Warrington, with a traditional two room layout. It was busy on our Saturday evening visit in October, but we managed to grab a table in front of the bar. A decent selection of real ale was on offer and we went for the Black Rock Porter which slipped down nicely.

A pub with character and clientele to match!

A sign on the bar offers £1 baps and 50p pork pies, but on enquiring, it seems they had no pies left.

I'd probably go again if I was out in the centre of Warrington.

15 Nov 2016 16:35

Tavern, Warrington

After the Ring o' Bells and the Bulls Head, the impressive selection of real ale here made a welcome change. Several by the 4T's Brewery, and we went for the 4T's Stout, which was very pleasant.

A bit of a strange place as despite the real ale choice, it seems to be focussed on being a sports bar, so the place did start to fill up and get a bit rowdy with excited gentlemen of a certain age crowding round one of the TV screens.

Decent beer but perhaps not the kind of place you would want to stay in for too long if you enjoy a quiet pint!

15 Nov 2016 16:27

Bulls Head, Warrington

Had two or three real ales on when we visited in October. Saturday evening and the place was quite busy, and the area in front of the bar is quite small so a bit difficult for people to get past when you are waiting to be served. Nothing too adventurous on the ale front, but had a perfectly acceptable pint of Wizard by Robinsons, despite the barmaid not filling us with confidence in saying "sorry if it's shit" as she wasn't used to operating the hand pumps. Gave us something to remember the place by anyway.

15 Nov 2016 16:23

Ring O'Bells, Warrington

Went on a Saturday evening in October. Have been wanting to tick this one off for a few years and was glad to get the opportunity to do so. It was fairly busy, but we managed to get a seat in the quieter area away from the families with young children. This is a fairly unspoilt pub, plenty of traditional dark wood and old windows.

The real ale choice at the time of our visit was a bit lacking - we went for a pint of Director's which was fine in itself. I think there was also another common national ale available, and a third pump which had the clip turned round.

A nice pub but not much to rush back for on the ale front if you're after something a bit adventurous.

15 Nov 2016 16:18

The Pump and Truncheon, Blackpool

Visited here at the start of October while in Blackpool with the family. I could have dragged them into a Spoons but saw the signs for this pub boasting real ales and being family friendly, thought I would check it out. It doesn't look much from the outside (a bit run down, even) but on entering it looks much more promising.

I went for a pint of Lytham Blonde, there was another by Lytham on plus a couple of other "unusual" ales. I could have spent a while in there but alas I was only staying for one! The pub is fairly traditional looking, plenty of wood, and police paraphernalia.

Definitely recommended.

7 Nov 2016 17:30

The Shay Wake, Shaw

Sorry, there were 8 pumps at the bar, not 9. Typo!

7 Nov 2016 17:15

The Shay Wake, Shaw

Visited a few weeks back on a Friday afternoon. It was very busy.

9 pumps at the bar, 2 by Moorehouses, First Cut and Shay Wake House Ale, apparently brewed for the pub. I went for a pint of First Cut at £2.45 - pricey for a Spoons! Service was a bit slow but not unbearable. The pint was delivered with a large head and no offer of a top up. It wasn't spectacular. Don't think there was anything wrong with the pint per se, it just seemed a bit bland.

Other ales available were by Otter (so that's travelled some distance) and Sambrooks Junction (from London).

Would possibly call in again if I am in Shaw as the other pubs in this town don't look particularly inviting and I suspect are unadventurous on the real ale front.

7 Nov 2016 17:14

Sir Henry Tate, Chorley

Visited a couple of weeks back around lunchtime mid-week.

10 pumps at the bar split across two banks of 5. All 5 on one bank were something a bit different including a couple of autumn theme bitters. The other bank had Gunpowder Mild plus others including the usual suspects Doom Bar etc.

I went for a pint of Northern Knight by Maxim, 4.2%, which set me back £2.09. Great value!

Typical Spoons experience really - not a complaint.

7 Nov 2016 17:09

The Waggon, Chapeltown

As has been mentioned, this is now the Wagon & Horses, a JD Wetherspoon pub.

I went for a pint of Bowman by Woodforde's Norfolk Ales, 5.0% and a pleasant pint.

At the bar there were two banks of five pumps. Two ales were "coming soon", one was a cider, and there were a couple by Banks's and Theakston which I avoided.

Nice, clean, modern and unusual style for a Spoons.

7 Nov 2016 16:42

The Cadeby Inn, Cadeby

Visited last week, late afternoon. Was pretty quiet at the time of my visit - there was a couple at the bar barely speaking to each other, and presumably some people dining in the front of the pub as it took a while to get served as the diners were tended to.

At the bar, 5 pumps, of which 3 were on. Stancill Blonde by Stancill Brewery (3.9%), Black Sheep, and TT Landlord. Naturally I tried the Blonde, at £1.70 for a half. The Blonde was OK, nice enough but had a bit of a strange tangy aftertaste.

This is a smart pub restaurant, modern, contemporary and stylish. Also had a real fire. As blue_scrumpy mentioned, the toilets are very impressive. A bit cold for the garden at the time of my visit so I stayed indoors.

7 Nov 2016 16:35

Glasshouse, Kirk Sandall

Sounds like you were unlucky, blue_scrumpy, at the time of your visit.

I paid another visit last week. 4 pumps at the bar, 2 of these were off but clipped so presumably had run out.

On offer was Rocket Fuel by Pennine Brewery (4.3%) and Little John Proper Ale by Home Ales (4.8%).

All real ales £2.55 a pint or £1.30 for a half. I had a half of each, being the wild person that I am, and both were pleasant ales.

7 Nov 2016 16:26

Allotment, Manchester

Paid another visit a couple of months back and the music did not seem so intrusive this time. Also had better luck on the ale front, the one we wanted was on, although the barman did seem to get very confused with our basic order of 2 pints of the same ale and we nearly ended up with 4 pints of 2 different ales.

The ale was much better on this visit, from memory I seem to remember we ended up on the house ale last time, which was something else rebadged, so always a bit of pot luck involved there.

Would happily return.

5 Oct 2016 21:46

Ship Inn, Chester

I visited here in March on a weekday at lunchtime. The pub has only recently been added on BITE. At the time of my visits, 4 of the 5 pumps were on.

As Martinsh has said, this is a Thwaites pub and their ales dominate. On offer at the time of my visit:

Wainwright (off)
Lancaster Bomber
TBC Thwaites Best Cask
A hand written pump which may or may not have been Thwaites
Daniel Thwaites First Crusade

I went for the First Crusade, which was £3.10 - not at all bad for Chester - and was about 3.8% or 3.9%.

Feels like a modern pub, big glass frontage, clean and fairly contemporary with a mix of seating types and what looked like a real fire. Yet I was the only customer in there at lunch time at the time of my visit. Perhaps too far from the centre to get much passing trade? Pleasant enough pub though and nice to see some Thwaites ales I had not heard of before. Adding a guest or two would make this even better.

5 Oct 2016 21:40

Affleck and Brown, Manchester

One to avoid if you are looking for real ale.

Visited back in February, but the pub/bar has only just been added on BITE. So there is the potential for my comments to be out of date.

Two hand pumps - Deuchars IPA, which was off, and Wainwright, which had a suspicious hand written label on the pump. I was all for doing an about-turn but my partner in drinking crime spotted London Pale Ale on the main bank of taps. Figured we would give it a go. £9.20 for two pints! More of a fizzy lager in style, not what I was looking for, and the price added insult to injury.

For a place that is modern and in the Northern Quarter, I would really expect something more adventurous than Deuchars IPA and Wainwright on the real ale front.

5 Oct 2016 21:23

Beacon Inn, Skelmersdale

Not sure what to make of this place really.

Went on a weekday last month just after lunch time. Appears to be split level but on arrival from the road the ground floor entrance does not appear to be in use, with a sign directing you to the first floor entrance. It looks as if this entrance may not have been in use for some time, although I did wonder if maybe it only opens at weekends or evenings. Upstairs is set up as more of a restaurant than a pub, yet has TVs showing sports, so still has a kind of pubby feel. Seemed a bit mixed up. Looks like it has had a refurb, interior was nice and clean. Nice outdoor beer garden in a large courtyard which was a bit of a sun trap and a nice place to enjoy a pint in peace.

Despite hearing this pub had 4 real ales on, there were only 2 pumps in the upstairs bar - York Guzzler and Bombardier Old English. I went for the Guzzler (3.6%) which to be fair was an absolute bargain at £2.50. I was expecting some local ales though and was pretty disappointed. Service was friendly though, no issues there.

I feel this could be a nice country dining pub, I imagine oak beams and perhaps low ceilings. Just feels like it has lost its way a bit to me and isn't sure what it is meant to be anymore.

5 Oct 2016 16:31

The Fly in the Loaf, Liverpool

Visited in September during a visit to Liverpool. An Okells pub but had the atmosphere of a busy Spoons. No music but very noisy due to the volume of people. The bar was several people deep in places but managed to find a spot and get served reasonably quickly. The pint was a bit short, and I was going to request that it was topped up after I had paid, but despite trying to get the barman's attention as he handed me my change he promptly disappeared to serve someone else. A loud "excuse me" was either not heard or ignored.

Pint was fine, just would have preferred a full pint. It wasn't even that there was a large head, the head was acceptable but there was a gap of nothingness above it!

Wouldn't stop me going again though.

5 Oct 2016 15:52

The Egerton Arms, Salford

This was the last of the Salford pubs we ventured into on our crawl back in August. A Holts pub, so wasn't expecting great things on the ale front, despite the promise of guest ales in addition to the Holts range.

Five pumps were on, we went for a pint of ITI New Zealand Pale Ale, which I have since discovered is by Hawkshead Brewery.

Despite its location it felt strangely like an estate pub on our Saturday night visit, with a DJ on and couples of a certain age sat in silence next to each other. Perhaps wouldn't rush to go back, but another one ticked off the list, and no issue with the pint I had.

5 Oct 2016 15:46

The Kings Arms, Salford

Ale was a bit lacking on our latest visit (August). Of the 6 pumps, only one was on. But as we were only staying for one, not a huge issue as it was something we had not tried before - if it had been Doom Bar it would have been a showstopper!

Wishbone Bandit Pale Ale, 3.8%, £3.35 a pint.

Nice pub and would go again.

5 Oct 2016 15:40

The New Oxford, Salford

Paid a return visit back in August. Was quieter this time so managed to get a better seat and a better look at the ales on offer. 11 pumps were on and a further 6 were off. Plenty to choose from!

Went for a Barney's Stout which was very enjoyable.

Would definitely go again.

5 Oct 2016 15:37

The Old Pint Pot, Salford

Visited here on a recent crawl (August), just a short walk from the Crescent which was our first pub of the evening. A Marstons pub with 6 pumps, 3 or 4 were on at the time of our visit. Went for a pint of Golden Stout from Marston's Revisionist range, which was unusual and very pleasant. The barman was pleasant and shared his own enthusiasm of the pint we had ordered. Think it was £3.15 for the pint. A big pub, but not overly busy. If as others have said it is more of a student haunt, that could explain why it was quiet over the summer.

5 Oct 2016 15:34

The Crescent, Salford

Visited on a Saturday evening in August. Had done a few of the Salford pubs on a previous crawl and wanted to expand on our second crawl. A bit of a trek from Deansgate but decided to start at the one furthest away and work our way back.

9 pumps at the bar, 6 were on. Had a pint of Water Melon Wheat Beer by Se7en Brothers, reasonably priced at £3.

Definitely an interesting pub which I suspect has a number of local loyal regulars, but we were not made to feel unwelcome. It does have a certain "rough and ready" charm about it, and is probably the kind of place you could spend hours people watching.

I would happily go again.

5 Oct 2016 15:31

Board Hotel, Hawes

Visited back in August on a lovely sunny afternoon. Three cask ales available, Theakston Best Bitter, Black Sheep Best Bitter, and Timothy Taylor Landlord. One further pump was off.

Not the most inspiring selection of ales, but I went for the Black Sheep (£3.80) which was pleasant and in good condition. Plus I was sat outside in the sun watching the world go by, so I was happy enough. My pint was topped up without me being asked, which was nice. Service swift and friendly. No complaints!

Outdoors there are 5 picnic tables plus 5 smaller tables and a bench.

A chalk board outside lists the cask ales that are on and their percentages.

5 Oct 2016 15:23

The Dalesman Inn, Sedbergh

Visited back in August early evening time.

At the bar - Howgill Blonde Hop (Yorkshire Dales Brewing Co), Dales Gold (House Ale), Black Sheep and Tim Taylor Landlord. One further pump was off.

The Howgill was not very hoppy. The 6 picnic tables at the front of the pub were all taken, but I found a spot out the back (where there are 2). The front is nicer. The back does not feel so much like a beer garden as like you are squatting in a back yard. I would have stayed inside but most of the tables appeared to be set up for fancy dining and didn't want to risk being in the "wrong" area.

Probably wouldn't rush to call back. I have heard good things about the Red Lion so may try that next time I am in Sedbergh.

5 Oct 2016 15:17

George and Dragon, Glazebury

Visited here on a recent Saturday around 2:30pm.

On the real ale front, only Ruddles was available. Tim Taylor Landlord, Boltmaker and Golden Best were all clipped but apparently unavailable (settling).

I went for a pint of Guinness which set me back £3.75.

Not massively inspiring.

5 Oct 2016 15:11

The Brown Cow and Dragon, Whitkirk

Well, since my previous review things appear to have gone downhill at the Brown Cow.

Visited yesterday lunchtime and after poring over the selection on offer, went for a pint of Black Dog by Elgood's, a 3.6% mild, at £3.40. It was a bit bland and tasted like it was bordering on being off, but not being a connoisseur of mild could not be certain. The head was small and foamy. It looked a bit suspicious.

In the interest of fairness I decided to stay for a second pint, in case it was just that my initial selection wasn't compatible with my taste buds. This time a pint of Big Red by Black Wolf, 3.8% and again £3.40. Again a foamy head and the ruby red remained hazy. Some unusual flavours were trying to come through but sadly they appeared to be masked by that off vinegary taste. A shame, as it seemed as if it should have been a delicious pint. I would definitely be willing to try it again, but not at this pub.

Seems the pub has gone downhill on the real ale front and I probably won't be heading back.

Also noticed the carpet was rather worn and dirty looking. Hard to believe this pub only had a refurb last year. Some of the painted woodwork and walls looked like they could do with a good clean too. Fair to say that perhaps the ale is not the only thing not being cared for here.

5 Oct 2016 15:07

The John Gilbert, Worsley

It's been quite a few years since I was last in the John Gilbert and I recently had the chance to pay a visit while out and about. On entering the pub the first thing you notice is how bright and sparkly the décor is, which has obviously changed since my last visit.

At the bar there are 10 pumps, at the time of my visit 1 was off (clip turned round) and a further 3 were clipped but marked as "coming soon".

Of the remaining pumps, on offer was Fox Glove by Slightly Foxed, 4.3% at £3.20 for the pint (which is the one I went for), one other which I had not heard of before, one by Moorehouse's (can't remember which), Green King IPA, and other nationally available ales. The "coming soon" ales looked like ones I had not seen before. I found the Fox Glove a bit odd buy pleasant enough and certainly drinkable. I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again but would go back to the pub with no problem - very decent for a Greene King pub! Nice outdoor area too.

19 Aug 2016 12:37

White Horse, Swinton

Visited on a recent weekday just after lunch time. 6 pumps at the bar, all on and available, offering Black Sheep, Greene King IPA, Wainwright, Directors, Dizzy Blonde and Black Stallion (White Horse Ale). I went for the Black Stallion, 3.8% and £3.05 for the pint.

Stylish pub inside with a nice beer garden to the rear. Service was polite and friendly. There seemed to be a number of older locals using the pub, keeping it busy during non peak hours, which is good to see.

The pint I had was pleasant, though with 6 pumps to go at it would be nice to see something a bit more adventurous available.

19 Aug 2016 12:28

Ye Old Sparrow Hawk, Fence

Visited here at lunch time a few weeks back.

At the bar there were 6 pumps on, mainly the same brewery (Reedley Hallows) but 1 was different.

I went for a pint of the New Laund Dark at 4.4% which was a reasonable £3. Very pleasant - I was worried it may have been a bit bland but it was not at all. Clearly well kept too.

I stayed for a second pint and at the bar was asked if I would like the same again - little things like this make you feel valued as a customer. This time I went for the Blonde Spring Special by Worsthorne. This one 3.9% and a little more expensive at £3.20. Another nice pint.

A very nice pub indeed.

27 Jul 2016 17:20

The Three Stags, Bebington

Visited recently. 9 pumps at the bar plus 2 round the corner which were presumably duplicates. All of the 9 were available - it has the potential for one to be spoilt for choice! A chalk board listed some of the ales but not all of them, so had to have a good nosey at the pump clips.

One was Old Rosie Cider, there was also Ember Inn Ale (by Black Sheep), Tim Taylor Landlord, Hobgoblin, Bombardier(?), Thwaites Original, Doom Bar, Tyneside Blonde, and something else unusual, a pale ale I think. By the time you have eliminated the cider and the "standard" offerings, that left two to choose from, and the Tyneside Blonde did it for me. 3.9% and £3.30 for the pint.

Definitely has a selection of ales, but a shame so many are national brands but still pretty good going for a food focussed place.

It is a large pub with separate areas for dining. Typical pleasant Ember Inn décor.

I was offered a choice of straight or handled glass, which always pleases me. The Tyneside Blonde was very pleasant and I would recommend it.

27 Jul 2016 17:06

The Rain Bar, Castlefield

Visited last night. Had a pint of CyclHops IPA, which I think was 4.2% and £3.65. 4 pumps, all available. Not sure who makes the CyclHops, I'd guess it was J W Lees as all the other ales are from Lees, but it was not clear from the pump.

27 Jul 2016 16:57

The Airport Pub, Manchester Airport

Visited here on a recent sunny weekend with the family. It was very busy, with a queue to get in the car park, but stewards were giving out flyers with details of alternative parking. We decided to wait as there were only a couple of cars in front of us, and we didn't have to wait too long.

This is clearly a food focussed establishment but is perhaps one of the smartest Robinsons pubs I have been in.

At the bar, 5 pumps, of which 4 were on, offering Bonj Euros, Trooper, Unicorn and Dizzy Blonde. Went for the Bonj Euros as it was the only one I have not had before - presumably a special for the football season that was still ongoing at the time. Ale was served in plastic glasses but not the cheap wobbly disposable type, so not too bad, and understandable with there being so many people outside and it being family friendly.

Word of warning - the car park is pay and display. You used to get this money back when you bought something at the bar, but not any more. We only went for a drink and spent longer in there than we expected, so if you're going for food during busy periods, make sure you put enough money in the meter.

27 Jul 2016 16:54

The Horse Shoe Inn, Crook

This is a modern and stylish Wetherspoon pub which looks different outside to the usual Spoons style - more of a pub and less of a glazed barn.

Two banks of 4 pumps, one bank had the Spoons usual offerings, the other had something by Black Sheep, One is 90 (a Queen's birthday commemorative ale), a cider, and something less interesting that I can't remember.

I went for the One is 90 which was a pleasant enough pint, 3.6%, and a bargain at £1.85.

27 Jul 2016 16:45

Block and Gasket, Sale

Right then. This place is where the Slug & Lettuce / Hogshead used to be. The Slug & Lettuce is now where the Waterside used to be. Got it? Good.

A nicely refurbished open interior with a mix of seating.

At the bar, Candlemaker Black IPA (Sambrook's) 4.5% @ £3.65 a pint, Premiant IPA by Acorn Brewery, Help For Heros Ale and Wainwright.

The Candlemaker was lovely, a great pint and obviously kept in great condition. Choice of straight or dimple glass was offered at the bar, which always goes down well in my eyes. Service was friendly.

There was music on, but not too loud. Sky Sports was on the TVs but on mute.

All in all, well worth a visit if in Sale.

27 Jul 2016 16:40

Tavern Bar, Alltami

I had been eyeing this place up for a couple of years when passing but had never had the opportunity to call in until recently. It looks modern and welcoming from the road, and rather inviting!

Well unfortunately it was a bit of a disappointment. I visited at around 2pm on a Thursday lunch time and it was dead. Looks to be very much food focussed but there was just nobody in apart from the guy at the bar (which feels more like a reception area for the restaurant) and the guy in the kitchen (who didn't have anything to do).

There were two ales on offer - Tavern's Tipple and Alltami Gold. Always a bit cautious of house ales as they are often something else rebadged, so went for the Gold, a 4.1% ale. It was overly bitter, and I suspect in poor condition, cloudy and a slight vinegary taste. But by this time I had made my retreat to the beer garden - thankfully it was a sunny day so meant I could escape the awkward lack of atmosphere inside. It seems there are two bits to the beer garden. The bit nearest the pub, which is where you naturally end up, looks a bit unloved. Consisted of 3 tables undercover and 1 in the sun. Moss on the tarmac floor, weeds growing on cracked concrete near the building, drain hopper full of weeds - looks a bit neglected compared to the smartness of the interior. Only on leaving did I notice a raised grassed area up some steps with several picnic tables and a parasol. This, presumably is *the* beer garden and I was probably sat in a smoking area. But it still looked shabby.

Toilets were less than impressive. There was a rusty old bin in there. Liquid on the floor under the urinal - which is odd considering there were no customers in.

It may be that it is a lovely place for food if you dine inside the modern interior, but same the same attention to detail is not carried through to the toilets and outdoor area, and the poor quality of the ale was obviously a big disappointment.

27 Jul 2016 16:36

Running Horses, St Helens

Have visited a few times in the past but has just been added to BITE.

On my last visit there were 5 pumps, all of which were available, a mix of pales and bitters. Moorehouse's Pride of Pendle was on offer but it was the Cardiff Resin by Celt Experience that took my fancy. Described as a Session Pale Ale, 4.2%, and cost just £2.15 for the pint.

Plenty of seating, a pleasant and stylish environment, definitely more upmarket than the nearby Glass House.

27 Jul 2016 16:20

57 Thomas Street, Manchester

Paid a visit recently following their refurb earlier in the year. Real ales are now served in the upstairs bar. Barrels are in a small room behind the bar and are dispensed here to order.


21 Jun 2016 17:47

The Sefton Arms, West Derby

Visited today mid afternoon. I had heard this pub had a number of guest ales in addition to the Greene King offerings, but on entering this appeared not to be the case.

6 pumps, all of which were on, offering Old Speckled Hen, Purple Reign, Greene King IPA, Golden Hen, Ruddles County, and Tim Taylor Landlord.

I went for the Purple Reign which was £3 and fairly uninspiring. Nothing special, the same as most Greene King ales. A bit of a disappointment really. Nothing to rush back for.

The pub itself is a large family dining pub, garish carpet but otherwise tastefully decorated. Toilets were modern and pleasant.

21 Jun 2016 17:37

The Old Well, Barnard Castle

Was passing the Old Well Inn by, when I happened to gaze through the window and notice a selection of hand pumps at the bar with pump clips I didn't recognise. So I did an about-turn and I was in!

The layout is a bit sprawling, on entering the front bar there was an old guy who looked like he had been there all day but no sign of any bar staff, so I made my way to the rear/side bar which is fairly narrow and more of a wide corridor really with seating wedged in.

5 pumps greeted me and all were available. Tim Taylor Landlord, Cameron Strongarm, Mithril Boaty McBoatface, White Hot (possibly by Consett Ale Works) and one called Ali (presumably named after Muhammad, but no idea of the brewery).

A half of Boaty McBoatface set me back £1.50. This is a 3.7% ale and was OK, but fell a little short of some of the other Mithril ales I have had in the past. Perhaps my taste buds were still recovering from the sausage roll drink in the Golden Lion.

The pub was quiet at the time of my visit. Perhaps uncomfortably quiet. I stayed in the "corridor" bar which I figured was preferable to sitting with God in the front bar. It is a fairly traditional looking pub at the front half but then beyond the corridor bar is a very stylish restaurant setup with a large conservatory area attached. A group of diners were just leaving in fact.

A bit of a strange experience - perhaps would be better when busier.

21 Jun 2016 17:30

The Golden Lion, Barnard Castle

I was in Barnard Castle recently so decided to try a couple of pubs. First stop, the Golden Lion.

7 pumps, one of which was offering cider, the remaining real ale. Marstons seems to be the ale of choice in here - I think I remember seeing Pedigree and New World Pale Ale on offer. I went for a half of Selador, also a Marstons ale, but one I have not heard of before so thought it was worth a try. The half was £1.45 so presumably a pint would have been £2.90 or thereabouts.

There were a few people in watching the sport on the TV in the front bar. The back room was empty so I stayed in the front. Service was quick.

As for the Selador - it was perhaps a bit warmer than it should have been, and I can only describe it as tasting a bit "savoury". Imagine making beer out of sausage rolls, and you kind of get an idea of what I was dealing with here. I was not sorry I only ordered a half!

21 Jun 2016 17:16

Toronto Lodge Inn, Bishop Aukland

Paid a visit recently during a weekday afternoon. Was fairly quiet as would be expected for the location and time of day. However I heard that Sonnet 43 own the pub and despite it being primarily for dining, they use it to showcase their selection of ales. On that basis, I thought it would be worth a visit - and I was right!

I was greeted when I entered the pub and this was polite and pleasant (and expected for a dining establishment). At the bar there 6 hand pumps, 5 of which were dedicated to Sonnet 43's offerings, the other was a guest.

I ordered a pint of "The Raven" stout (a Sonnet 43 ale) and was offered a choice of cask or keg, and the difference explained to me. But my mind was made up, it had to be cask. This was a lovely pint. The kind of pint you don't want to end. Served in a tall Sonnet 43 branded glass too, for good measure. A bargain for the £3.25 price tag.

The interior is modern yet rustic, bare brick walls and copper pipes on show with red stop taps.

I didn't stay for food, but the ale was exceptional, and the service was pleasant and friendly.

21 Jun 2016 17:08

Brewery Tap, Crook

Was planning on paying a visit recently but apparently it no longer does real ale and is more of a cocktail place. I didn't bother checking it out.

21 Jun 2016 16:53

The Boat Inn, Doncaster

Paid another visit on a recent weekday lunchtime. The pub was busy, possibly due to the school holidays, but was quiet outside in the beer garden.

5 pumps at the bar on this visit - Doom Bar, Bombardier, Black Sheep, Old Speckled Hen, and Leeds Pale. I went for the Leeds Pale at £3.50. Not sure if the ale was about to turn past its best or if it just had a distinctive taste.

21 Jun 2016 16:51

Dun Cow, Sunderland

I stand by my closing statement on my previous review - "I would definitely return" - and I did!

8 pumps of real ale at the bar plus the extra 2 at the side I noticed were ciders.

On this visit there was an older friendly chap serving who poured the pint perfectly. I had a pint of Thunderbridge Stout 5.2% at £3.70. A great pint.

21 Jun 2016 16:46

The Isis, Sunderland

Paid another visit recently, the ale selection appeared to have changed from last time. 7 ales plus 2 ciders on at the time of my visit. I had a pint of Citra Pale by Saltaire at £3.65.

Well worth a visit.

21 Jun 2016 16:43

Glass House, St Helens

Paid another visit recently - thought it was time I gave it another chance.

Three banks of 5 pumps await the discerning customer, two of which offer real ales and the other offers ciders. One of the ales was off but all the other pumps were in use.

I had a pint of Empire IPA - Heritage Ales (Spitting Feathers Brewery) at 5.2% and the usual bargain basement Wetherspoon price tag.

I still stand by my earlier comment about the table layout in the main bar area, but as you go further towards the back of the pub there is more of a mix of seating and booths that are less institutional.

Beer was great, service was friendly, and if you're a cider drinker this must be worth a visit.

25 May 2016 15:18

Cross Keys, Gainford

Was in Gainford recently but unfortunately the Cross Keys was closed. I was hoping to call in and see what the ale selection was, but it obviously wasn't to be. Research suggested the pub opens at 3pm but come 4pm it was still closed. Maybe next time.

20 May 2016 15:04

The County, Aycliffe

Lovely pub in Aycliffe Village facing the village green. The pub is spacious inside and busier than I was expecting given its location in what looks like a sleepy village. At the bar there were 3 pumps offering Revisionist India Spiced Ale, Jennings Bitter, and White Gold by a local Dunham brewery.

I went for the Revisionist India Spiced, 4.5% and set me back £3.30 which is very acceptable. A very pleasant pint in great condition. I took it outside to enjoy in the sun at one of the four small tables to the front of the pub, which of course only enhanced my enjoyment of the aforementioned pint.

Would be more than happy to go again if I am in the area.

20 May 2016 15:01

The Blacksmiths Arms, Preston le Skerne

Was hoping to pay a visit here but on arriving was greeted by (presumably) the landlady at the door who informed me that they close in the afternoons and were just shutting up. My fault for not checking opening times beforehand. Maybe next time...

20 May 2016 14:54

Gold Cape, Mold

Visited here on a recent weekday lunchtime. 10 pumps split across 2 banks, all were on. The usual Abbot Ale etc was on offer, plus Cuckoo Light Bitter by Mauldons, Chester Gold by Cheshire Brewing, Rev James, a Queen's commemorative ale, and possibly a couple of others I forget.

I went for the Cuckoo (4.3%) at £2.19 - a bargain as usual in a Wetherspoon pub. Service was not particularly friendly and I got the impression the young barmaid that served me was counting down the hours till the end of her shift.

Large pub, plenty of indoor seating and different areas. A small beer garden, which was mainly in the shade, but still pleasant in the warm weather.

The toilets could do with some better signage. Did a full walk of the perimeter of the pub before assuming they must be up the stairs near the back of the pub. Thankfully that is indeed where they were and I didn't end up in the kitchen forced to wash pots.

None of the other pubs in Mold looked particularly inspiring, so I would happily pay another visit if I was in the area. I might get service with a smile next time.

20 May 2016 14:51

The King's Ransom, Sale

Paid another visit on a recent weekday afternoon while in Sale.

Of the 8 pumps, 7 were on, 2 by Greene King, 2 by Morland (Golden Hen & Hoppy Hen), Butcombe Bitter, and Old Rosie by Westons. I appreciate that doesn't add up to 7, so I must have forgotten what the other one was - it obviously didn't jump out at me!

I am a fan of the Golden & Hoppy Hen ales and it was nice to see them available but as I had a couple of bottles waiting for me at home decided on the Butcome Bitter instead. Sadly it was not very inspiring, nothing wrong with it as such, just nothing to write home about.

Service was swift. Finding a seat not a problem. The booth I sat in had a massive tear in the leather seat. Some tables were full of empty plates and glasses. A few people in but not packed out.

20 May 2016 14:36

The Watermill Inn, Ings

I decided to give this place another chance while in the area recently.

It was the Tuesday after a Bank Holiday and my first observation was how quiet it was at around 12:30pm - I recall on my previous visit a couple of years back it was rather busy.

Apparently has been affected by the flooding and re-opened earlier this year and had a bit of refurb work done as a result. I am pleased to say that the bar service was much more friendly than on my previous visit, and as that was the only thing that let the place down last time I'm going to up my rating accordingly.

I noticed the real ales were listed on a chalk board above the bar, which confirmed my suspicion that perhaps the beer selection was split across the two bars. I wanted to try the Watermill's own beers so went for the W'ruff Night (5.0%) which I think was £3.85. A very nice pint and because it was quiet I got the pick of the seating so had a nice view of the water running by outside.

I gave in to temptation and ordered food, and a second pint to wash it down. This time Dog'th Vader which again I think was 5% or so. A dark stout/porter and very pleasant indeed. The haddock and chips I ordered was very tasty. I am fussy about chips, and they were good. The tartare sauce and mushy peas were also well above average. A polite young lad was doing the rounds asking diners if all was OK with the food, and so you get the impression that they want to impress.

The pub started to fill up a bit around 1:00pm-1:30pm but was not full by any stretch of the imagination.

Well worth a visit, in my opinion. I would seriously consider staying a couple of nights here just to work my way through the beers!

20 May 2016 14:29

The Rising Sun, Manchester

Have visited a few times since my last review and am always impressed by the number of real ales on. Never had a bad pint in here. On my latest visit, of the 8 pumps there were 6 on, 1 of which was a cider. I had a pint of the Seven Bro7hers IPA (5%) at £3.90 for the pint. A bit more expensive than I remember from previous visits, but by no means outrageous for the city centre, and I'd rather that than pay 50p less and get a crap pint.

Was fairly busy on my late afternoon visit on my way to the train station, but service was friendly and there was no problem getting a seat. Recommended.

20 May 2016 14:17

The Bank At Sale, Sale

Has been closed the past few times I have been in Sale town centre, including today.

11 May 2016 16:06

The Boathouse Tavern and Grill, Dawlish Warren

I am a returning visitor to Dawlish Warren and it has been a few years since I have been in the Boathouse. Went in April after a walk along the beach and the place is not how I remember it - perhaps there has been a recent refurb or my memory is playing tricks on me, but it seems a smarter more mature pub than I remember.

Didn't stay for food so can't comment on that. Two real ales on at the bar (three pumps but one was off) - Avocet Ale by Exeter Brewery and Pride Of Dartmoor by Black Tor Brewery. I don't actually remember which I went for, but in any event it was very enjoyable and served in a classic dimpled pint pot.

A bit more expensive than the bar at the holiday park we were staying at, but not outrageously so, and nice to try something different anyway.

Would happily call back again.

11 May 2016 16:00

The Barn Owl Inn, Lymm

I went in here a few years ago and it seemed an odd place, a crowd of old men round the bar and the rest of the pub empty. Very strange atmosphere. What a change on my recent April early evening visit! This is now a thriving pub with dining, and offers 6 pumps up to real ale. 3 were from Thwaites, also available Storm In A Pint Pot by Salamander, Sir Philip by Wincle Beer Company, and Pride of Pendle by Moorehouse's. I think I went for the Salamander offering and it was very pleasant. I would happily return to this pub at some point.

10 May 2016 18:48

Ye Olde No 3 Inn, Little Bollington

Closed when I went past in April.

10 May 2016 18:43

The Swan With Two Nicks, Little Bollington

Mid week early evening visit in April. Think there were 5 real ales on offer, the one I requested went off mid serve, so had to make a second choice. The barman made a recommendation and let me have a taster before I made my mind up. I think I ended up with the Big Tree Bitter (Dunham Massey Brewing), so a nice local ale and very enjoyable it was too.

The front bar area was full but there was plenty of seating to the rear. This seems to be mainly used as a dining area but there wasn't an issue with sitting down with a pint.

Nice pub, plenty of outdoor seating for the warmer weather too.

10 May 2016 18:42

Dun Cow, Sunderland

Visited back in April early evening during the week.

8 pumps face you at the bar, 7 of which were on. There may also have been 2 more pumps round the corner but I didn't check them out to see if they were duplicates or additional ales. A variety of light, dark and fruit ales on offer.

I went for a pint of Irish Red or something similarly named, 4.5% at £3.40 for the pint. A tasty pint but it looked like the young barmaid didn't enjoy spilling beer down the glass onto her hands, which resulted in lack of top up and the head being a bit bigger than might normally be deemed acceptable. I didn't have the heart to ask for a topup though.

At the time of my visit there were 3 or 4 young student types serving, very pleasant and welcoming.

There was plenty of seating, the pub itself is pleasant, main room in front of the bar and a separate yet semi open room to the side with a fireplace. The pub itself was pleasant, old traditional bar in dark wood and stained glass.

I would definitely return.

10 May 2016 18:37

Mardi Gras, Manchester

Visited this lunch time. Rather busy but to be expected in the Trafford Centre I suppose. At the downstairs bar there were 6 pumps, 5 of which were on with the other 'coming soon'.

Available - Adnams Explorer, Thunder Road Pacific, Birrificio Italiano Bibock, Wadworth 6X and Tim Taylor Landlord.

I went for the Pacific, 4.4% and £2.49 for the pint. A nice clear pint of refreshing ale, very pale in colour but not lacking in flavour.

This has to be the only pub I can think of which has an organised queueing system instead of a free for all at the bar.

There is another bar upstairs. From memory on previous visits, only one or two hand pumps are at this bar - the bigger selection is at the main bar downstairs.

Would recommend if in need of some liquid refreshment while suffering the shops at the Trafford Centre.

29 Mar 2016 23:23

The Isis, Sunderland

Called in yesterday early evening after hearing good things about this pub.

On entering there is a long imposing bar to the left, with seating to the front and side. It was pretty full at the time of my visit but I just managed to find a table and seat. The bar boasted 12 hand pumps, at the time of my visit 7 offering real ales and 3 real ciders.

Ales were Camerons Strongarm, Camerons Pressgang, Titanic Cap Smith's, Cullercoats Northdown, Camerons Northern Line Stout, Bourbon Stout, and Fell Mosaic Oatmeal Pale (OPA). Plenty of different styles and strengths.

Ciders were Thatchers Cheddar Valley, Lilleys Strawberry, and Gwynt y Ddraig Celtic Warrior.

I went for a pint of the Fell OPA, 4.5% and set me back £3.65. Not sure how this rates for the area, but the pint was in good condition, a nice hoppy pale ale, and was just what I was hoping for, slipped down nicely.

A mix of people in, students and a more mature crowd too. The people on the table next to me were having a discussion about 60s documentaries and the arts. You know the sort. Better than a pub full of riff-raff though!

There was a connecting door to a room behind the bar - not sure if this was a further bar area or something else.

Would happily make a return visit, and would recommend to anyone who likes decent real ale in a nice pub.

24 Mar 2016 17:58

The Lambton Worm, Sunderland

Called in last night for a quick meal and a pint to wash it down.

At the bar, two banks of hand pumps (3 or 4 on each) , no duplicates. I went for a pint of Irish Red, 4.5% and only £1.99 - one of the Spoons Festival Ales. It was pleasant enough if a little bland, with a subtle roasty aftertaste.

I had the sweet potato and chickpea curry. Overall OK but naan bread was a bit well done on one side and was rather hard as a result. Poppadums were lacking in crispness. Plate didn't appear to have been warmed so the meal went cold prematurely.

Pub started to get a bit noisy by 5pm, plenty of students in and a few after work drinkers by the looks of it.

Large enough pub, plenty of seating. Standard Spoons really.

24 Mar 2016 17:45

The Salford Arms Hotel, Salford

Yet another decent pub, my first visit made this Saturday evening. 6 pumps offering real ale, with a handy chalk board listing the available options. The bar area was quite busy so was useful to be able to suss out the chalk board and see what was available.

We went for a pint of Lost Lobos Porter at £3.30 and had no issue finding a seat. Although fairly busy the pub is definitely large enough to cope.

Another one tried, and I would be happy to return.

21 Mar 2016 20:35

The Kings Arms, Salford

Visited on Saturday evening. Not too packed but busy enough. A good selection at the bar (I think 5 or 6 pumps) and we went for "The Chrous" stout by Hogarths. Was £3.35 for the pint, which I don't think is extortionate.

Was a pleasant pint and an interesting building. Aside from the main bar there is a "snug" room which was marked off as "reserved" at the time of our visit.

Another pub I would be happy to visit again.

21 Mar 2016 20:32

The New Oxford, Salford

Decided to pay a visit here on Saturday night. More real ale in here than you can shake a stick at! The place was pretty busy for the time of night, not sure if it is always busy or whether the fact they were showing the rugby helped. Evidence that some of the clientele were regulars judging by their metal tankards.

I went for a pint of Squonk by Sadlers, a pale and very pleasant tasting ale. Was very tempted to stay for a second (different) ale but we had a few pubs to tick off the list that night so decided to move on after one. Would definitely be willing to go back.

21 Mar 2016 20:29

Pow Burn, North Shields

Visited here last week for a weekday afternoon pint.

At the bar are 6 pumps, 3 offering Mordue ales, 3 offering Wylam. I went for a pint of the Mordue IPA, 5.1% at £2.50 which is pretty reasonable!

This is a fairly pleasant large town centre pub. However the graffiti in the gents suggests that this may not always be a quiet pleasant place.

A pleasant pint though, and I would be willing to go again.

21 Mar 2016 20:21

Old Bank, Bradford

This pub is now open and serving real ales. 4 pumps, all of which were on at the time of my visit. One was Doom Bar, the rest all something a bit more interesting. I had a pint of Blueberry Bitter by Coach House Brewery, 5.0% and set me back £3.00.

Was quiet on my weekday afternoon visit. A pleasant smart pub, ale in good condition, and friendly service.

21 Mar 2016 20:14

The Turls Green, Bradford

Visited last week on a weekday afternoon. 6 pumps, all of which were on, including some festival ales. Greene King IPA and Abbot Ale also available. Went for a pint of Plum Porter, which was very pleasant. Have had it before and it lived up to expectation.

I sat inside on this occasion but on glancing outside noticed that they appear to have given up with the segregated smoking and non smoking areas outside - most of the tables had ashtrays on.

Paid a vist to the gents (upstairs) and noticed the upstairs seating area seems much smarter than downstairs - will have to remember that for my next visit.

21 Mar 2016 20:12

The Dockyard, Salford

Was in here for a drink and a bite to eat with my wife last weekend. I had a pint of Gather Round Beer Stout which slipped down very nicely with my meal of pie and sweet potato chips.

Staff very helpful and friendly. Would have loved to have stayed and sampled a few more, maybe another time. I think there were 6 or 8 pumps available, if memory serves me correctly.

19 Mar 2016 17:41

Prior John, Bridlington

Paid another visit recently on a weekday afternoon.

10 pumps of which 10 were on, including Spoons regulars Doom Bar, Abbot Ale and Ruddles. The rest were all interesting offerings as part of the Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival.

First up was a pint of Island Hog, a pale and clear ale, very pleasant and refreshing. Service was friendly and the barmaid recommended another ale (or was trying to warn me off it) which a customer had told her it tasted of mince pies!

Intrigued, I went for a pint of Benjamin's, the mince pie ale in question, and was somewhat put off by the fact it is a Greene King ale. But, pleasantly surprised I was, the pump clip boasted cinnamon, cardamom and coriander, which did indeed have a bit of a mince pie taste to it. Nice and unusual, unlike most of the offerings from Greene King I have had in the past. Impressed!

19 Mar 2016 17:38

Station Buffet, Bridlington

Entered one weekday lunch time recently while in Bridlington. A short walk from the town centre and there was only a couple of other people in (together) and the atmosphere could only be described as "awkward".

There was a significant delay before anyone came to the bar, which gave me time to survey the offerings. Of four hand pumps, three were unclipped and one appeared to be offering Pricky Back.

Eventually the gent came out from the back but when I ordered he told me he was cleaning the bitters at the moment so couldn't even offer me the Tetley Bitter on the electric pump (no great loss there I am sure). He was polite enough about it, but unfortunately meant there was nothing for me to stay for on this occasion.

This seems one of those places that is rather small, so when there are only a couple of people in it has the ambience of a dentist waiting room, yet when it gets busy I can imagine it is almost unbearable. Still, it is an interesting and unusual place which I may possibly re-investigate another day.

19 Mar 2016 17:31

The Pied Bull, Chester

After aborting my trip to Watergates I decided instead to pay a return visit to the Pied Bull. I made the right choice.

Available were two of Pied Bull's own ales (brewed on the premises) - Matador (5.0%) and Red Bull (5.5%). I was torn between the two but the barman helpfully recommended the Matador, and it proved to be a sound choice. Also available was an ale by Blue Bell Brewery and a Liverpool Organic Brewery if memory serves me correctly. Plus one cider - Black Rat.

As per my previous visit, this pub had a nice relaxed feel to it, and a jolly decent pint to boot. Well worth a visit.

3 Mar 2016 17:05

Market Tavern (Lincoln Square), St Helens

Paid a visit this lunch time. I think there were 6 hand pulls, all of which were available. A couple by Exit 33, one by Sky's Edge (apparently now owned by Exit 33, which would explain the similarity in branding on the pump clips), Mild by George Wright Brewing, a cider and possibly one other pale ale.

I went for the Thirst Aid by Exit 33, 4.0% and cost only £2 for the pint. I'd never heard of Exit 33 before today, but it was a very pleasant pint, and looking on the brewery web site they do quite a variety of ales, so must keep my eye out and sample more from their range.

Inside, the Market Tavern is quite a large pub, feels a bit like a cross between a Spoons and a more traditional boozer. Plenty of seating, seemed to be mainly older people in.

Paid a trip to the (dimly lit) gents before leaving and was somewhat concerned to see a CCTV camera in there - I can only assume they have had serious problems in the past as I have never seen this in any pub toilets before.

3 Mar 2016 16:58

Watergates, Chester

Popped in at lunch time yesterday. Doesn't really look like a real ale kind of place but there was a sign outside promoting SIBA, so looked promising. The place looks pleasant enough inside and pretty spacious, but on reaching the bar the only cask ales were three offerings from Greene King, so I did an about turn and left. A shame really.

3 Mar 2016 16:46

The Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester

Called in for a swift pint last night while in Manchester. Mid-week so was not packed out but a fair few students in and an older gent (plus me) and a live band on.

At the bar there are 8 pumps, of which 2 were off. Available were Winter Tweed by Tweed Brewing Company (4.1%), 4T's IPA, Spitting Feathers Special Ale, and 3 from the Greene King stable.

I went for the Winter Tweed which was quite a pleasant bitter, not as bland as some bitters. Can't remember how much it set me back but don't remember being shocked at how little change I was given.

Oh, and it turns out the older gent was the next act on after the first band...

The live acts weren't uncomfortably loud and the atmosphere was OK.

25 Feb 2016 15:11

The Eccles Cross, Eccles

This place has apparently had some kind of refurb relatively recently - this was my first visit though so can't comment on what it was like previously. It looks small from the outside but fairly spacious inside.

My visit was on a Saturday lunch time and it was fairly busy but I had no problem getting a seat. There was a mix of customers in. Service was quick and friendly.

On offer on the hand pumps - Fortyniner by Ringwood Brewery (the one I went for at £1.95), Doom Bar, Ruddles, and a couple of others that I can't remember.

Wouldn't have a problem with calling in again.

25 Feb 2016 15:02

Allotment, Manchester

Very busy on Saturday evening. Another place that likes its music loud. On entering there was an interesting aroma - the mix of fish and coffee - thanks to a table of diners near the bar and presumably not some quirky air freshener (but anything is possible in the Northern Quarter).

At the bar there were four hand pumps, all looked unusual and not the usual national stuff. Unfortunately the ale we wanted went off mid-pour, so had to make another selection. This was a pale house ale and had a strange metallic taste to it, not dissimilar to drinking a can of Red Stripe straight from the tin. On the upside it was served in a proper dimpled glass tankard.

Not my round but was apparently £6-ish for two pints, which is not at all bad for the area.

It is a bit of a quirky place with the gardening and allotment paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling, just a shame it was so bloody loud and the ale I had was a bit disappointing.

8 Feb 2016 15:27

Tariff and Dale, Manchester

Paid a visit here for the first time on Saturday evening. This is a smart looking bar but very noisy for just a bar - the music was a bit overwhelming, especially for the first pint of the night.

At the bar were two ales - First Chop Brewing Arm HOP and Outstanding UltraPale. We went for the HOP which was a good pint.

Service took a while due to the number of people and the amount of time it takes to prepare the cocktails, but was not unbearable.

Cost around £7.30-ish for two pints so not bargain basement but about what you would expect in this style bar.

I imagine the place is a bit quieter in the week or during the day and would make for a better experience in my opinion. Good to try the place out, but not sure I would rush back unless it was at a quieter time.

8 Feb 2016 15:19

The Big Angel, Whitby

As others have said, now The Angel, a JD Wetherspoon pub.

First impressions - a smart looking pub, though unnervingly quiet downstairs considering the number of people in. Seemed a bit soulless. There is a second bar upstairs with more seating and the same ales are available on both bars.

I spotted Greene King IPA, Doom Bar, Columbian Creek (Osset Brewery) 3.8% and Jorvik Blonde 3.8%. Two local Whitby ales were "coming soon" - a shame, as I would have liked to have sampled them.

I went for the Columbian Creek at £2.65 for the pint - expensive for a Spoons but still on the cheap side. A pleasant pint. Service downstairs seemed very slow so I tried the upstairs bar which was running a bit better at the time of my visit.

8 Feb 2016 15:03

York Chambers, Long Eaton

Called in on a recent mid-afternoon weekday after what most civilised people would class as lunch time. I believe this place is fairly new so fancied giving it a try. This is a smart micro pub in a fairly grand building. Selection is made from a chalk board and is dispensed in a small room behind the bar (the bar itself has no pumps).

I was a bit spoilt for choice - loads of beers I have never tried before - Hop Garden (4.0%), Beerfest at Tiffany's (3.8%), 4 Hopmen of the Apocalypse (5.2%), Dark Darke (4.5%), Farmers Bitter (3.9%), Slap In The Face (4.0%) and about 5 or 6 ciders too.

I went for the Dark Drake as I was fancying a dark ale, priced at £3.25 - though on reflection I think I may have had the Dark Drake somewhere before so probably should have chosen one of the others and sampled something new. Anyway it was a very enjoyable pint.

There were a few other people in, including a table of presumably retired gentlemen enjoying the Slap In The Face, and I overheard them planning their next pub crawl. These guys were living the dream I tell you!

Anyway, enough of my jealousy - a brilliant place, great ale, great selection - I hope it prospers!

4 Feb 2016 18:32

The Salisbury, Manchester

Had the opportunity to call in a couple of times recently while waiting for a train, so thought it about time I updated my review.

A couple of weeks back, the hand pumps were offering Caledonian Golden XPA, Caledonian Deuchars IPA, Robinsons Trooper, Theakston Old Peculiar, Wainwright (if I remember rightly) and Hobgoblin. 8 pumps in total with 6 in active service. I had the Golden XPA at £3.30 for the pint and found a nice quiet corner to relax in with my pint. The Golden XPA was lovely - would recommend it.

Visited again a couple of nights back, the selection had changed but again there were 6 of the 8 pumps available. I didn't note all the ales but the Double Cross IPA by Theakston took my fancy. I also noticed there was at least one dark ale available. Unfortunately the Double Cross IPA was a bit of a let down - I could not identify any of the hoppiness claimed by the pump clip and to be honest it just reminded me of a mediocre pint of Theakston Best Bitter but a bit paler. Blander and creamier than I would have expected - disappointing. One to avoid next time. The pub was busier than my previous visit but I managed to find a corner to perch at.

Would still recommend the pub and would happily call in again for a pint.

4 Feb 2016 18:23

The Thirsty Scholar, Manchester

Been many years since I have set foot inside the Thirsty Scholar - and a recent wait for a train seemed like the ideal opportunity to put that right.

Available on the hand pumps - Greene King IPA, Robinsons Trooper, Black Coral Stout (Hornbeam), Rosie's Pig Cider, and one pump was off.

I had a pint of the Black Coral Stout at £2.85, service was quick, the pint was good. A handful of other customers in at the time of my weekday visit (around 5:30pm) and had no issue finding a seat.

Was surprised how pleasant the experience was - I would recommend this pub.

4 Feb 2016 18:15

The Oxford, Long Eaton

Paid another visit on a recent trip to Long Eaton. On first impression I thought the place had closed as it looked really dark from the outside - but no it was open. At the bar this time - Triton by Navigation Brewery (3.7%), Old Rosie, and Tetley Gold Cask. I went for a pint of the Triton at £2.25 for the pint. Can't complain.

I was there on a weekday around 2:30pm and it seemed to be mainly full of old men. Plenty of big screen TV's showing a mix of music and sports.

A pleasant pint, but the atmosphere wasn't quite how I remembered it from my first visit.

29 Jan 2016 12:06

Barley Farm, Eccles

Real ale selection is a bit poor (a tame Greene King selection), but if you're here you're probably here for the food, with the drinks being a secondary consideration.

Food-wise it can be a bit hit and miss on the carvery. Veg looks like it has been sat there a bit sometimes, on one occasion the roast potatoes were raw in the middle - though to be fair this had been picked up on and a fresh batch brought out by the time we managed to raise this with the serving staff.

Never had an issue with the food off the menu, including the specials board.

They do a "cakeaway" service whereby you get a massive slice of cake packaged up for you to take home - ideal if you have pigged out on the carvery. The cakes always look nice though I have not tried them yet.

There is a kids' play area which is handy if you're there with the family and the young ones can entertain themselves there for a bit while waiting for food.

Fine for food, but not worth a special trip for the ale.

14 Jan 2016 18:08

Castle in the Air, Manchester

Decent size pub with a nice fire at the far end.

Two banks of 5 hand pumps, offering Blond Witch and Pride Of Pendle by Moorhouse's, and Doom Bar. The ales were duplicated across the two banks and there was another Moorhouse's labelled as "coming soon". No sign of Abbot Ale or Ruddles!

It was quiet during my weekday afternoon visit with the family. Service was friendly, we stayed for food and this was served quickly and decent portion sizes.

No issue with the ale - a pleasant pint.

The pub was a bit chilly on our visit, but it is a vast open space and slap bang next to the ski slope which is apparently kept at -1°C during the day - so I am going to make the wild assumption that the pub is never what you would call roasting.

14 Jan 2016 18:00

The Seven Oaks, Manchester

Not been in for about a year, though on previous visits has never seemed especially busy and the real ale selection was a bit lacking. One time there was a hand written pump label of something obscure (which we decided to risk) and on the following visit only Black Sheep on offer.

Plenty of more inspiring pubs in the immediate area.

6 Jan 2016 21:31

The Crown and Kettle, Ancoats

Been a while since I last visited and even longer since I left a review. This place has definitely improved over recent years and now has 8 hand pumps at the bar meaning plenty to choose from.

No issue finding somewhere to sit, but seemed busy than I remember it had been in the past, without being uncomfortably packed out. I guess it has benefited from the increased popularity of the Northern Quarter and its decent selection of ales helping to make it more worthwhile to cross the road for.

Not at all pretentious, just a decent pub with decent ales. Would recommend!

6 Jan 2016 21:26

The Smithfield Hotel, Manchester

Now known as the Smithfield Market Tavern. As others have pointed out, Blackjack Brewery run the show and naturally several of their offerings are available at the bar. A couple of non-Blackjack ales also featured on my recent visit.

I have not been in here prior to its takeover by Blackjack so have nothing to compare to really, but it is now a deceptively spacious pub with plenty of seating. The ale was good and I would be happy to return.

6 Jan 2016 21:21

The Angel, Manchester

Been a few times since my last review so thought it was time for an update.

There are 11 hand pumps at the bar, with 10 available on my latest visit. Plenty of selection and if memory serves me correctly there may have been some ciders too.

Getting a seat can sometimes be a struggle as it is always busy in this pub - at least this is my experience at weekends. There is a piano in the corner and more often than not somebody is making use of it.

A great pub, great ale choice in good condition - always worth a visit.

6 Jan 2016 21:18

Barkers Brewery, Huyton

Visited in July but the pub has only just been added, so my comments may seem a bit out of season!

This is a fairly large Wetherspoon pub with different areas and a beer garden to the rear. The beer garden was nice and sunny on the day of my afternoon visit.

I don't recall all the real ales on offer but I had a pint of Ostlers SPA Summer Ale, 4.6%, at £1.95. Unfortunately it was blander than I was expecting, seemed to be lacking in flavour.

Service at the bar was initially friendly but then seemed a little abrupt.

There is a small car park to the side of the pub, which is unusual for a Wetherspoon.

11 Dec 2015 10:10

Black Swan, Hollins Green

Have been in a few times and really like this pub. A big village pub that does not feel "exclusive" to locals. There is a big focus on dining with a large separate restaurant area, but plenty of real ale to keep the drinkers happy too.

6 hand pumps with 5 on at the time of my most recent visit. I had a pint of Thunderbolt which was very pleasant. Did not make a note of the other ales on offer but there was a good selection to choose from, which regularly rotates.

This pub is even better in the summer with its large beer garden with views onto open fields. Great surroundings for enjoying a nice pint.

9 Dec 2015 12:08

The Grocers, Cadishead

Have been wanting to visit this place since it opened and finally got my chance yesterday. On offer were a couple of real ales and a few ciders which I didn't pay much attention to. They also serve wines and soft drinks. Orders are taken and the drinks brought to your table as there is no "bar" as such.

I had a pint of the Collaborator by Heavy Industry, 5.0% and priced at £2.80. A lovely pint in great condition - a credit to the place's passion for real ale. I'd happily go again.

9 Dec 2015 12:04

The Upsteps Inn, Oldham

Paid another visit yesterday. Ordered a pint of Titanic Stout and was served a half. I just made do, not wanting to cause a fuss as they were pretty busy.

Two banks of six pumps, one bank seemed to be dominated by ciders and the other offering the Titanic Stout (4.5%), Blond Witch, Scrooge's Christmas Barrel, Doom Bar, and another Santa themed ale, the name of which I didn't fully take in. One pump was off.

Managed to find a seat in the busy pub then half way through my drink I noticed a foul smell in the air - like dodgy drains crossed with bad swap water. It disappeared after a few minutes but judging by other people's faces I wasn't the only one to notice it. Paid a trip to the gents before I left and the reason for the smell became apparent - suffice to say somebody's insides had exploded in one of the cubicles. Nice to see some customer living up to the Spoons frequenting stereotype.

My only other observation was that nobody seemed to be collecting the empty glasses - they were piling up on most of the tables.

Good selection of ale (and ciders) but I obviously caught it on an unfortunate day. Might give it a miss when I am next in Oldham.

9 Dec 2015 12:00

The Ashton Arms, Oldham

Ventured into here yesterday for the first time after fancying trying it for a while.

This is a pretty old fashioned looking pub inside - a bit shabby, grubby even, worn out seating and carpet - a proper boozer some might say!

At the bar there were 8 hand pumps, of which 3 were off. Joseph Holt Bitter on offer along with two by Ossett Brewing Co (Nervous Turkey plus another I cannot recall), another ale which I didn't note, and a 7% cider too. I went for the Nervous Turkey which was a decent enough pint. Set me back £2.50 which I think is pretty reasonable.

On my afternoon visit there were a few people dotted around on the seats across the two levels and one merry propping up the bar who I imagine should be called Frank - a friendly enough and harmless chap.

Worth investigating, a bit different to your larger pubs in Oldham.

9 Dec 2015 11:52

The Rawson Spring, Hillsborough

Made a late weekday lunchtime visit last week. This is a large pub with a long bar down the right hand side of the building. Two banks of five pumps, consisting of one perry and six real ales (three of the pumps were off). Wetherspoon usuals Ruddles and Abbot Ale featured, along with Doom Bar, Farmers Belgian Blue (Bradfield Brewery) and a couple of others I did not note.

I had a pint of the Belgian Blue at £2.20 (bargain). I was surprised to find it was purple in colour when being poured and did wonder what I had committed myself to - however the taste was great and very refreshing. A nice enjoyable and unusual pint, even if it was served in a John Smiths glass!

The seating arrangement feels a bit odd, but not quite as "canteen style" as some Spoons I have ventured into.

Definitely worth a visit if in the area and you like a real ale.

7 Dec 2015 15:06

Chester's, Sunderland

6 hand pumps with 5 on at the time of my visit, plus 1 "coming soon". A good selection on offer - Broadside, Workie Ticket, Pagan Queen, Wild Mule, and Sonnet 43 India Pale Ale. Ale ales were priced at £2.80 except the Broadside which was £2.60.

I went for the India Pale Ale (4.4%) and was offered a choice of standard or dimpled glass. Dimpled all the way!

As well as meals, bar snacks are offered and I went for a sausage roll which was only £1.49 and very tasty.

This is a big pub, modern décor, nice large fireplaces, and friendly attentive service. Impressed.

2 Dec 2015 15:03

The Plough, Harborne

@ Mappiman - how much?? I think I was best not remembering. At least I got a full pint on my visit though.

30 Nov 2015 14:59

Joseph Morton, Louth

Been in a couple of times when visiting Louth and is usually pretty busy in an afternoon.

There are two banks of five pumps, one real cider and some ales are duplicated across the two banks.

I went for a pint of Olde English Ale by Milestone, 4.9% and typically reasonably priced being a Spoons at £2.30. My only complaint would be that the ale seemed a bit too chilled, but then I did choose to sit in the beer garden (back in August) so it wouldn't have had the benefit of "room temperature" to correct that which probably would have happened had I been inside.

The pub itself is a bit hidden away down a passage, but worth a visit in my opinion.

30 Nov 2015 14:50

Butchers Social, Harborne

I forgot to add - if you are planning a visit, bear in mind that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

30 Nov 2015 14:39

Grain Loft, Manchester Airport

This is a refreshing addition to Manchester Airport and offers 5 real ales. Previously I have had to settle for something less inspiring pre-flight.

I daresay the prices are high but I don't remember as there were a few of us and we ordered food at the same time, so I didn't pay that much attention.

I had a pint of Hop Twister by Salopian which was a pleasant way to mark the start of a week's holiday.

I'd go again when next at T1 Departures.

30 Nov 2015 14:39

Beer House, Bradford

This place looks like a café from the outside - if I wasn't looking out for the place I could easily have walked on by. The tables and chairs looked more café style than pub/bar style, all plastic and no soft furnishings!

Not mad busy during my lunchtime visit but a few other customers in.

There were 6 hand pumps, Black Sheep and 6X were on offer but the other 4 were all something a bit more unusual. I went for a pint of the Framboise Strawberry Stout by Bradford Brewery at 4.3% and set me back £3.50. It was served in a glass tankard which was a nice touch. Service was friendly.

I like to try something unusual but I think strawberry stout was a bit too unusual for me, however that's down to my personal taste and no reflection on the quality of the ale or the venue itself.

I'd be happy to return when I am next in Bradford and sample something else.

30 Nov 2015 14:34

Butchers Social, Harborne

Visited a couple of weeks back. Quite a small front area but they have made the most of the space with plenty of seating. I noticed there is also a separate room to the rear. The thing I couldn't help noticing on entering was the smell - maybe it was a trick of the mind but it did have that hint of old butchers shop - a mix of meat and sawdust. There was chipboard all over, and I am not sure if this is meant to look rustic or whether it's work in progress. Tables are made out of old pallets.

At the bar there were three hand pumps, two of which were serving cider which only left one for real ale. This was Sadlers Citrus Ride at the time of my visit, not badly priced at £3.50. However I was a bit disappointed that it was served in a plastic glass! Nonetheless the Citrus Ride was delicious and served at perfect temperature. I was only stopping for one so the lack of choice was not an issue.

I did not sample the food but I observed a couple come in after me and they had their food served to their table in polystyrene trays.

A bit of a quirky place, an interesting experience, and can't fault the ale. Would recommend a visit, if only once to try it.

30 Nov 2015 14:27

The Sportsman Inn, Harborne

This is a pub that is much nicer than you would expect from the outside. Inside it is clean, bright and has a contemporary feel to it. Different sections tucked away.

I had a pint of Red Baron (Davenport Brewery) which cost £3.40 or £3.60. Also available were two ales from Wye Valley - HPA and Butty Bach. There was a fourth pump which was not in use at the time of my visit.

Nice pub, nice pint, nice atmosphere but not too lively - would be happy to visit again.

27 Nov 2015 18:51

The Bell Inn, Harborne

Now this is a bloody lovely pub. A bit out of the way but well worth the walk. Traditional feeling pub with wooden beams on the walls and ceiling.

On entering the bar is in the small corridor, with the main room to the right running the length of the pub, and a smaller room to the right behind the bar area.

At the bar there are 4 pumps, though 2 are a bit hidden so escaped my attention at first! On offer was Long Blonde, Exmoor Gold, Sadlers Thin Ice, and Ghost Ship.

I went for the Long Blonde at £3.60 - service was friendly and swift. I perused the menu while I sat quietly with my pint and decided to stay for food. I ordered the calamari starter followed by the lamb shank - and another pint to wash them down of course (think it was Thin Ice).

The food was absolutely lovely, both pints in excellent condition and really tasty and refreshing. Very impressed and I would be more than happy to pay a return visit.

It seemed a bit of a locals pub - but not in an unfriendly or intimidating way, just people enjoying themselves in a nice pub.

27 Nov 2015 18:46

Duck Inn, Edgbaston

Called in to the bar while staying at the attached Premier Inn recently. No real ales on offer the first night, second night Hobgoblin and Sharp's Atlantic were available.

Went for the Atlantic, was £3.65 or thereabouts. Pleasant enough.

27 Nov 2015 18:38

The Garden House, Edgbaston

No ciders on my most recent visit. Ales available were Purity Mad Goose, Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen (?) and something else which didn't jump out at me as being particularly exciting.

I went for the Mad Goose which I think was £2.73 or £3.73 for the pint.

Service was friendly, as I have always found in here on previous visits.

A nice place to sit and relax with a quiet pint.

27 Nov 2015 18:31

The Figure of Eight, Birmingham

I have never been so relieved to set foot inside a Wetherspoons, after my visit to O'Neill's next door. OK, so this is an older Spoons, a bit bland and sporting a bit of a canteen style layout at the back of the pub, but there were different areas towards the front to break up the space. Just looking a bit run down - dirty stained seating and varnish wearing off the tables. All part of the character though right?

Anyway, on to the beer - 5 pumps at the bar of which 1 was off. An interesting selection on this bank and I went for a pint of Midnight Express by Salopian at £2.35 for the pint. Bargain - and a much needed decent refreshing pint after my visit next door. Strangely after paying with a £5 note I received £2.35 in change, so I think the person serving got a bit confused. Not worth arguing about though especially once you have left the bar area. The Midnight Express was a dark ale and very tasty.

There was a second bank of 5 pumps which I didn't inspect fully but seemed to have the usual Wetherspoons offerings of Ruddles and so on, plus a couple of "coming soon" ales.

Busy but no problem getting a seat. Plenty of interesting looking characters around.

If I am up that way I would probably go again, purely for the decent selection of ale on offer.

27 Nov 2015 18:27

O'Neill's, Birmingham

Ventured in here on a recent evening, and was immediately disappointed on getting to the bar and discovering the real ale offering was Doom Bar or Pedigree. A two further pumps were off. Well by the time you reach the bar you kind of feel committed so I went for the Doom Bar as I haven't had a pint of that for a while. £3.15 for the pint. It took the barman a few attempts to pour it properly and allow it to settle - I thought he was about to tell me it was off but he persevered and I eventually ended up with a pint. It tasted OK, but I would not say more than OK. I perhaps should have gone for a Guinness, which I can only assume is their flagship offering due to the number of pumps dedicated to it.

It's quite a big pub, was quiet on my visit and seemed a bit lacking in atmosphere. I can imagine it gets a bit busy at the weekend though.

Not especially welcoming, the ale selection was poor - nothing for me to rush back for unfortunately.

27 Nov 2015 18:15

The Green Man, Harborne

Paid another visit on a recent Monday evening and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Monday is Cask Ale Club and all cask ales are only £2.49 - bargain!

As noted previously there is a bank of 8 pumps, and a further bank of 3 which are duplicated from the main bank.

I went for a pint of Godfathers by Itchen Valley, 3.8%. This was perfectly fine.

The pub was reasonably busy at the time of my visit, but no issue finding a seat in a quiet corner.

27 Nov 2015 18:05

The New Inn, Harborne

Ventured into the New Inn one evening recently. As mappiman has pointed out, on entering at what appears to be the only entrance, there is a strange sign pointing you in the direction of the main bar. In a way this was a blessing as it forced you to the larger more open part of the pub rather than the smaller room. It just seemed a bit strange though.

On reaching this "main bar" there were 5 pumps, 2 were off at the time of my visit. Ales available were New Inn Ale, Ubu Purity and Enville Ale. I was tempted by the Enville but decided to chance the New Inn Ale instead - £3.30 for the pint. The ale was fine.

This has more of a traditional pubby feel to it than the Junction nearby, though food seems to be a big thing here too.

I noticed a shelf in the gents above the urinals, presumably for the purpose of resting one's pint on.

27 Nov 2015 17:57

The Junction, Harborne

The Junction is a large building, though the front bar area is quite small, then with contemporary booths along the side wall until opening up with more tables and seating at the rear.

On my visit I noticed 6 pumps of which 2 were off. Service was swift and I had a very enjoyable pint of Conqueror Black IPA at £3.95. There were a few ales to choose from though I did not make a note of them all. My pint was pleasant and in good condition.

Has a bit of a gastro pub feel to it and there was a good menu (though I did not stay for food).

27 Nov 2015 17:50

The Three Crowns, Oldham

Pub was closed when I walked past yesterday. Front door boarded up with a security grille.

27 Nov 2015 17:44

Piccadilly Tap, Manchester

The interior is a bit odd with its mock retro wooden panelling and stone cladding effect (if memory serves me correctly) but I suppose that makes it a bit different to your bog standard smooth white painted walls.

The bar seems disproportionately large considering that the real ales are dispensed from what appeared to the untrained eye to be unmarked taps on the back wall. There is a good clear chalk board menu from which to make your choice.

Apparently there is an upstairs area which I did not investigate on my visit.

Ale selection very reminiscent of the nearby Port Street Beer House, although the place itself seemed to lack a bit of atmosphere somehow (despite its quirky interior).

29 Oct 2015 18:22

The Fox Hole, Piercebridge

Paid a few visits here since this pub has re-opened as The Fox Hole.

The real ale seems to rotate fairly regularly and is always in good condition.

I have had a few meals in this pub and although perhaps a bit on the pricey side is nice food and I haven't felt too guilty for letting myself have the occasional treat when I have been passing through.

The pub is very smart inside, service is always friendly both at the bar and when food is being served.

There is an outdoor area though it appears to be an extension of the rather fancy dining area rather than a general pub beer garden.

29 Oct 2015 18:13

The Twitchel Inn, Long Eaton

Visited a couple of months ago. Don't know if this is a permanent feature but there were three real ciders to choose from. I decided to try a raspberry and pomegranate still cider at 4% costing £2.85 a pint. It was a bit strange, perhaps still cider is not my thing.

There were two banks of 6 pumps, as well as the 3 ciders mentioned, there was New World (duplicated across both sets of pumps), Doom Bar, and the rest real ales.

It is smaller than your average Spoons but not really small as far as pubs go generally. It extends back further than you would expect when looking at the pub from the outside.

No complaints but I will probably stick to the ale next time!

29 Oct 2015 18:01

The Brown Cow and Dragon, Whitkirk

Visited a while back during the week. It is now just known as the Brown Cow.

There appeared to be a group of sales people having a team meeting round one of the tables, which was a bit odd.

At the bar there were about 8 hand pumps, so is still a noteworthy real ale pub. I went for a pint of Afterglow by Harviestoun (3.0%) at £3.05.

The seating area behind the bar now appears to be a family dining area.

Still a good pub and would happily call by again.

29 Oct 2015 17:53

The Ginger Goose, Bradford

Ventured in the Ginger Goose on a weekday around lunch time. Yes, it seems very Wetherspoons-esque, but on the upside it is a large pub with plenty of seating and a decent sized bar.

On the real ale front there were 5 hand pumps, offering Naylor's Black & Tan (4.4%), Salamander Golden Salamander (4.5%), Saltaire Blonde, Tetley Cask, and one pump was off. There is a second bank of 5 pumps but these were not in use.

I went for the Black & Tan which cost £2.70 for the pint. The young barman took his time to pour a decent pint. I was served quickly. Quite a few punters in at my lunch time visit, and they didn't all look like the dregs of the earth!

The Black & Tan was a very pleasant pint, technically down as a porter but I believe a mix of bitter and porter recipes. In good condition, no issues with temperature, and very drinkable!

29 Oct 2015 17:41

The Ring of Bells, Shipley

Visited on a recent weekday lunch time. A traditional looking large pub with original stained glass windows. The interior is also traditional in style though not old fashioned and dated - plenty of dark wood but comfortable furniture.

Service at the bar was efficient and friendly. There was a small crowd at the bar chatting but no issues getting noticed and served swiftly.

There were 7 hand pumps offering Old Rosie, Tetley, Tetley Mild, Copper Dragon Golden Pippin, Ruddles, Greene King IPA, and finally Ring O'Bells Guest Ale.

I chanced a pint of the Ring O'Bells Guest which I think set me back £2.85. No issue with the pint.

Would happily call in again if in the area.

29 Oct 2015 17:30

Hen and Chickens, Bolton

Entered here one weekday lunchtime and it was rather quiet except for what appeared to be a couple of regulars propping up the bar.

This pub has quite a traditional interior with two separate rooms as you enter the main door. There were three pumps, all with something out of the ordinary to offer, and although I cannot recall the name of the ale I sampled I do recall it was pleasant and in good condition.

The pint glass, however, did have some markings on the inside as if it had not been washed properly.

I'd also suggest the pub was uncomfortably quiet during my lunch time visit. Presumably there is a bit more atmosphere of an evening.

Not sure if food is served - no sign of any menus but there was a table with bottles of ketchup etc.

Worth calling in if you're passing, to try the place out.

29 Oct 2015 17:23

Cross Keys, Gainford

This village pub is very pretty from the outside with plenty of flowers and hanging baskets etc. On entering the pub seems a little more dated in terms of décor and layout, but not at all offensive. It is deceptively large inside with multiple rooms.

I'd heard this pub always has a Mithril local ale on, so was a bit disappointed to discover on my visit only one of the two hand pumps was on, offering Golden Hen (4.1%, £3.30). The beer was OK but nothing to write home about. Hopefully I just caught them on a bad day. Service was friendly on my afternoon visit and as you would expect for that time of day in the week it was pretty quiet.

The gents are a bit interesting with a sloping floor which I am sure must make for some mishaps after a few halves of shandy on a Friday night. On my way to the gents I caught a glimpse of the rear beer garden which, despite being enclosed, appeared to have the same care taken in terms of flowers etc as the front of the pub.

I'd definitely give it another try if I am in the area.

24 Sep 2015 21:30

George Hotel, Piercebridge

Visited in August. Four hand pumps at the bar, two were on. The choice was Black Sheep or George Bitter, a 4.0% ale by Mithril. Naturally I went for the George Bitter, it was pleasant and refreshing and quite hoppy. Think it set me back £3.40 for the pint.

There is a large rear garden which backs on to the river, which cannot be appreciated from the road. It's not just a beer garden but a lovely well kept garden and was nice and peaceful on my afternoon visit.

Service was a bit slow as there was nobody at the bar initially, but once the barmaid arrived she was pleasant.

Well worth a visit especially on a sunny day to enjoy the garden.

24 Sep 2015 21:23

Boat and Horses, Oldham

Made another visit last month. Of the three pumps, two were on. I went for Tackler's Gold 3.8% at £2.79 for the pint. The other ale was MPA, which was also available on my previous visit.

Service much more efficient on my latest visit, I am pleased to say!

24 Sep 2015 21:17

The Plough, Harborne

Just to add... despite being so busy, I was served pretty quickly in fairness. I went for the Butty Bach in case you were interested. Can't remember the price.

23 Jul 2015 18:40

The Plough, Harborne

Counted five hand pumps at the bar, offering Wye Valley Butty Bach, Rev James, and something by Ubu. Now this is a busy pub. Seriously busy. Even on a weekday evening. Plenty of people dining, bar crowded, outdoor area crowded. A bit too busy for me, found a corner outside to loiter in and then drank my pint rather quickly and left.

If you can catch it when it's quiet it is probably a very pleasant environment but this was just totally bonkers. They must be doing something right I guess.

One thing that didn't help is that the pumps didn't have the usual branded pump clips on, everything was hand written, making it that bit harder to see what is on offer especially when the bar is busy.

23 Jul 2015 18:38

The Green Man, Harborne

I believe this is an Ember Inn at the moment. Large pub and pleasant modern décor.

There was a bank of 8 hand pumps with a further bank of 3 (the ales on these 3 duplicated from the main bank).

I went for a pint of Seafarers by George Gale, 3.6% and setting me back £3.20 which seems fairly reasonable. Settled clear, very yellow like a lager in colour. Other ales I noticed were Purity Ubu, Rev James Gold and Brakspear Bitter - I can't remember the rest.

A really pleasant pub, liked the music in here, good selection of ales, would happily visit again.

One thing I did notice once I had nearly finished my pint was a sign at the bar offering the option of a straight or dimpled glass. May have been nice to have been given this choice when I ordered my drink, but no big deal.

23 Jul 2015 18:33

The White Swan, Edgbaston

Well, made a re-visit this week and three of the four hand pumps were off! Only real ale available was Pedigree New World 3.8% - I went for this at £3.65 for the pint.

Settled cloudy with a light bubbly head. I was a bit suspicious about how cloudy it was until I tasted it and it seemed spot on. Quite hoppy and refreshing.

Hopefully the real ale drought was a temporary setback!

23 Jul 2015 18:25

The Garden House, Edgbaston

Visited again this week. The seasonal cider offering has changed and at the time of my visit was Rosie's Pig, 3.8%, £4.15 per pint. It was very nice. The 6% Thatchers was also still available.

In terms of real ale, of the four pumps, one was off and the others offered Greene King IPA, Wainwright and I think the other was Wadworth 6X. Not a very exciting selection but I was fancying the cider anyway.

23 Jul 2015 18:22

Duck Inn, Edgbaston

Paid another visit this week and no real ale on at all. Disappointing. Had a bottle of Brewdog Dead Pony (£3.99) instead.

23 Jul 2015 18:17

Dockyard, Manchester

A large spacious bar with a decent selection of real ale, on the edge of the River Irwell at Spinningfields. Pretty much right opposite the Mark Addy (other side of the water).

I clocked 6 hand pumps in total, 4 offering guest ales and 2 offering Wainwright and Dockyard Ale. On my Saturday evening visit I went for a pint of the Plum Porter, which was in great condition and very tasty, plenty of flavour.

Would definitely recommend a visit.

24 Jun 2015 17:40

The Sawyers Arms, Deansgate

Ventured into here after hearing it had changed hands and is now owned by Nicholson's and had upped its real ale offering.

Sure enough on entering there was a bank of 8 hand pumps, all of which were available. I can't remember what I had but I was pleased to have a selection to choose from, and we managed to find a seat (though only just) on our Saturday evening visit.

Would definitely be more inclined to visit again.

23 Jun 2015 22:16

The Mark Addy, Salford

Finally visited here after an earlier attempt resulted in us turned away due to a private party.

6 pumps at the bar, 4 were on, and 2 of those were from Manchester breweries. My ale remained a little cloudy and was perhaps served a bit on the cool side. A little disappointing but may well return to give it another try sometime.

Handy for the Spinningfields area without venturing too far into deepest darkest Salford. Seems a little rough around the edges compared to Spinningfields, but nothing wrong with a bit of variety.

23 Jun 2015 22:08

The Gas Lamp, Manchester

Have visited a few times since my previous review. 4 hand pumps at the bar though unfortunately only 2 in action on my Saturday visit. I had a pint of Red 5 which was very pleasant and ruby/red in colour as one may guess from the name. Once again served in a traditional dimpled tankard. Well worth a visit.

23 Jun 2015 22:02

Red Lion, Hollins Green

Recently had a bit of a facelift externally and now boasts cask ales. Looks promising as real ale availability has been a bit hit and miss previously.

Two hand pumps, only one was on unfortunately, offering Deuchars IPA which was fine in itself, but I would like to see a bit more variety.

Had lunch here and food is good. Proper grub, decent portions, and not priced to break the bank.

Service always friendly in my experience. Worth a visit.

23 Jun 2015 21:58

The Commercial, Easingwold

Visited here in April - looks as if it has recently had a refurb and feels fresh inside and appealing from the outside. Of three hand pumps, two were on, offering Leeds Pale (Leeds Brewery) and Black Sheep.

There was a friendly welcome at the bar. I went for the Leeds Pale (3.8%), described as a "refreshing session ale" at £3.20 for the pint. Never had this before and it was definitely pleasant and very drinkable!

The pub has a pool table to the left section, and the right hand area appears to have been designated as a dining area.

Worth a visit if in Easingwold, even more so if they get another ale on!

19 Jun 2015 16:27

Glasshouse, Kirk Sandall

Visited here in May. All real ales priced at £2.50. 6 hand pumps and at the time of my visit 3 were beers by Old Mill Brewery, one was Theakston Best Bitter, another Fool Hardy by Whole Hop Brewery, and one pump was off.

Went for a pint of Willows Wood (4.2%) by Old Mill Brewery. A pleasant pint though possibly lacking a bit of flavour for my taste.

Next went for a pint of the Fool Hardy (3.8%) by Whole Hop Brewery. Again, not remarkable, perhaps a bit sour tasting, and I struggled to identify with the fruity citrus taste claimed on the pump clip.

I ordered food - the pie menu is excellent value so figured I couldn't go wrong. I had the homemade turkey, leek and ham pie with curly fries and veg. Very enjoyable and reasonably priced.

The pub itself is nice in terms of décor, a mix of leather tub chairs and low tables plus more traditional seating for dining. The music was good too, some old classics being played.

Worth investigating if nearby.

19 Jun 2015 16:22

The Oxford, Long Eaton

Visited in March but pub has just been added. Three hand pumps available, at the time of my visit these were Tight Head by Navigation Brewery (4.1%), Gold Bullion by Cameron's Brewery (3.9%) and Bombardier by Wells and Young's.

From memory I went for the Tight Head and it was £2.25 for the pint.

Pub décor was pleasant and modern, with a mix of benches, stools and table seating. Was a bit like a Lloyds Number 1 in style but possibly aiming a bit more upmarket.

Nice enough pub, decent pint and would be happy to return.

15 Jun 2015 15:22

The Railway, Birmingham

Called in here as I had some time to kill before catching my train - this pub is very handy for Birmingham New Street station. On entering I got the feeling this was a bit of a locals' pub but thought I would stick it out.

Two hand pumps at the bar, one was off the other appeared to be sporting Greene King IPA priced at £2.45 per pint. A little disappointed that nothing more adventurous than this was available, again I stuck with it and ordered, only to be told the IPA was not available, and the closest they had to real ale was John Smiths or Guinness. I very nearly left at this point but settled on the Guinness, which was £3.45 for the pint. Pleasant enough pint of Guinness, but it wasn't what I went in the pub for.

Disappointing considering the signs boasting "local cask ales" - perhaps I caught the place on a bad day. Will not be hurrying back though.

12 Jun 2015 15:32

The White Swan, Edgbaston

Visited here and noted four pumps at the bar (two banks of two). My Darlin' Lemontime took my fancy but appeared to go off during the final stages of being poured. The barman looked at it with a puzzled expression then had to offer me another drink. I went for the Ubu (by Purity) which was pleasant enough, though at £3.70 for the pint I would have expected no less. Other ales available were Doom Bar and Old Speckled Hen.

Pleasant modern pub, outside drinking area, perhaps geared up more towards dining but plenty of informal seating for just enjoying a drink.

Would definitely be tempted to re-visit if in the area.

12 Jun 2015 15:24

The Garden House, Edgbaston

Very pleasant large pub on Hagley Road. While the focus may be on dining, the pub is large enough that there is still plenty of seating for drinkers.

At the bar there were four pumps for cask ale, but it was the chalk board advertising the ciders that got my attention. Old Rosie cloudy cider with elderflower (4%) caught my eye, having had regular Old Rosie before thought I would give this one a try. Was not disappointed and despite the higher than expected £4.10 for the pint, it was a lovely drink and I would recommend it. The other cider listed was a Thatchers at 6%. I only stayed for the one pint though.

12 Jun 2015 15:19

Duck Inn, Edgbaston

Stayed at the attached Premier Inn recently so this was naturally my first port of call for a pint having checked in.

Two hand pumps but only one in active service, which offered Hobgoblin Gold, 4.2% at £3.35 a pint. Pleasant enough but if you're a real ale drinker staying in the hotel for a couple of nights, chances are it is going to take a bit more variety to keep you on site.

Had a steak here which was very pleasant, there was a 20 minute wait for a table in the restaurant area but was told I could sit in the bar area and order my own food at the bar instead - which is what I did. Went for a bottled ale with my meal for a change - Brewdog Punk IPA 5.6% costing £4.05 for the 330ml bottle. This was crisp with a floral/citrus scent.

Wouldn't revisit just for the bar offering but equally if I was staying in the hotel again I wouldn't dodge it like the plague. I suspect I will be visiting again and hopefully by then the ale will have rotated.

12 Jun 2015 15:15

The Royal Hotel, Thirsk

Friday afternoon visit and the pub was dead - I was the only one in. Apparently recently refurbished, the décor was fairly stylish and some effort has definitely been made here.

Three hand pumps of which two were on - Theakston Best Bitter and Double Maxim by Maxim Brewery.

I went for the Double Maxim, naturally, 4.7% and costing £2.80. A dark premium bitter, not at all bland, and I would recommend a pint.

6 Jun 2015 21:03

The Darrowby Inn, Thirsk

Two hand pumps offering Doom Bar and York Guzzler at the time of my visit.

I went for the York Guzzler (3.6%) which cost £3.00. Have had this before elsewhere and the pint here did not disappoint.

The only thing I would say is that on my Friday afternoon visit it definitely felt like a "locals" pub, which I did find a bit awkward. Plenty of men of a certain age with their betting slips watching the racing on TV. The front bar is quite small so I probably stuck out like a sore thumb.

Oh well, decent pint, but don't think I would rush back!

6 Jun 2015 20:57

Bridgewater Hotel, Oldham

Contrary to the review by "blue_scrimpy" this is a Holts' pub not a JW Lees. I've never had an overwhelming experience with Holts on draught and this pub is no exception.

Decent carvery though and staff fairly friendly though on one visit I did get told off for standing at the wrong till when wanting to place a food order!

Not somewhere I would rush back to unless I particularly fancied a carvery in the area.

1 Jun 2015 23:18

The Old Pavilion, Bradford

Went for a carvery at lunchtime today. Wasn't really expecting much of a real ale selection, but they did have Black Sheep which is better than nothing and probably more than I was expecting.

Carvery was great, nice meats, plenty of veg to choose from. The Black Sheep was pleasant. My only slight grumble would be that they did appear to be somewhat understaffed for lunchtime trade.

I'd go again for the food if in the area but wouldn't make a special trip just for a pint of Black Sheep.

1 Jun 2015 23:06

The Blacksmiths Arms, Thirsk

Deceptively spacious multi roomed pub - goes back further than you would expect when looking at the pub from outside. Apparently Grade II listed but the only thing of note was some old dark timber and the smell of smoke from years gone by. It certainly felt like an "old school" boozer, very traditional inside.

Three pumps featuring Golden Sheep (Black Sheep Brewery), Help For Heroes Amber Ale and Tim Taylor Landlord. I went for the Golden Sheep which set me back £3.00 for the pint.

The Golden Sheep I had was very pleasant and obviously in good condition, hoppy and crisp.

The pub was quiet so securing a seat was not a problem.

Not sure I would rush back but it was not a bad experience and couldn't fault the quality of the ale I had.

31 May 2015 21:32

Little 3, Thirsk

I see this has now been added under its new name. I have previously left a review after visiting last year (under its old name, Ye Olde Three Tuns).

Of the 6 pumps, 5 were available, which is a marked improvement since my last visit. Available were safe bets Tim Taylor Landlord and Theakston Best Bitter, plus Springwatch 3.9% by Moorehouse's, Mill End Mild 3.6% by Ossett Brewing Co, and Farmers Ginger Beer 4.3% by Bradfield Brewery.

I went for the Ginger Beer, for something a bit different. It settled nicely, pale and slightly cloudy, with the head all but disappearing by the time I was half way through the pint. This is more subtle than some of the ginger beers available out there, but very enjoyable and most refreshing.

One thing I can't figure out about this place is that it has been dead on both my visits. On the first occasion I put this down to timing, but on my most recent visit Thirsk itself was pretty busy but only one other person in the bar when I entered, and by the time I came back in from the beer garden this other person had disappeared. The beer garden was pleasant and peaceful in the lunch time sun.

Perhaps the place gets busier at evenings and weekends.

31 May 2015 21:25

Boat and Horses, Oldham

Have been eyeing up this pub for a while now and managed to pay a visit earlier this week, later afternoon.

At the bar's three hand pumps had a JW Lees ale - John Willy's 4.5%, MPA (Manchester Pale Ale) 3.7% and Victory 4.5%.

I was at the bar a few minutes before being served. Two members of staff passed through the entire length of the bar without acknowledging waiting punters, making their way to the private function in the other half of the pub. Another member of staff later came out and to be fair apologised for the delay and got another member of staff out to server another chap who was waiting.

I went for a pint of the Victory, £2.79 for the pint, settled dark and tasted somewhat heavy but in good condition. A substantial solid pint.

Would be happy to pay another visit, apparently some of the ales rotate so should be able to get some variety.

31 May 2015 21:12

The Postal Order, Blackburn

Paid a re-visit earlier this week around lunch time. A fair few real ales to choose from spread across two banks of hand pumps at opposite ends of the bar. First up for me was Doff Cocker by Three B's Brewery of Blackburn - I always like to try something local where I can. This is a 4.5% pale beer and a bargain at £1.79. Very pleasant.

Next up for me was Dark Age by The Celt Experience, a 4.0% mild. Apparently a Welsh brewery, so not so local, but I fancied the mild in contrast to my previous pint. It did not disappoint - dark and tasty and definitely hit the spot.

Some interesting characters in the pub at the time of my visit. One guy appeared to be complaining about the amount of time he had been waiting for his food order; however he looked like he'd been drinking since 9am so I couldn't help suspecting he had a very limited concept of time. The staff placated him though and his meal arrived shortly after. For living up to the stereotype of Wetherspoons clientele, well done that man!

31 May 2015 21:05

The Knott Bar, Deansgate

Visited on a recent Friday afternoon before it got too crowded, whilst waiting for a train. 8 hand pumps, of which 7 were on. A chalk board sits behind the bar listing the ales and their strengths and prices.

I went for a pint of Hop #256 by Saltaire Brewery, 5% and set me back £3.55. Very hoppy and refreshing, just what I was hoping for.

Due to my train being delayed I had the unexpected pleasure of being able to stay for a second pint. This time the Black Shire Stout at 4.5% and priced at £3.30 for the pint. Not as thick a stout as I was expecting, but pleasant enough.

Always worth a visit due to the vast selection of real ales available and reasonable prices. Only struggle sometimes is getting a seat when it's busy.

12 May 2015 11:52

The Deansgate, Deansgate

Paid a visit on a recent Friday afternoon, as it has been some time since I last called in. Four ales were on, Lancaster Red, Lancaster Amber, TPA Tweed Pale Ale and Wainwright.

I went for the TPA which set me back £3.80 for the pint. Service was quick.

This is a multi roomed pub with character inside, elegant fireplaces, coving and old timber. Not a bad selection of ales but still a bit pricey really.

12 May 2015 11:46

The Lysander Arms, Rawcliffe

Visited recently. Three real ales available - Raisin Detre, a mild by Hop Brewing Co, Sharp's Doom Bar and Sharp's Offshore.

I've never heard of Offshore before so figured I would give it a try, at 3.8% and described as a 6 hop IPA, costing £3.30 for the pint.

I was a little disappointed, it was not as hoppy as I was expecting and was a bit bland at first, but then hints of subtle flavour followed on subsequent gulps. It was also served a little cold for my liking, which may not have helped on the flavour front.

The pub itself is OK - open plan with a long central bar. Pool table at one end of the pub, and plenty of seating.

12 May 2015 11:09

The Carlbury Arms, Piercebridge

Paid a revisit to the Fox Hole recently. The ale selection was Slippery Wicket by Mithril (3.7%), Red Dust by Consett (4.5%) featured again, and a Blonde by Gainford Beer Cooperative (4%). I went for the Slippery Wicket which was pleasant. The Blonde got taken off shortly after, so presumably had sold out.

I sampled the food menu again, this time the soup was broccoli and asparagus, and I had the chicken supreme. All very tasty, though no complimentary bread and butter this time and think the portion size of the soup had shrunk compared to my previous visit.

Would still recommend a visit if passing by, but somehow the atmosphere in here seemed a little sterile compared to my previous visit.

13 Apr 2015 13:39

Symposium Ale and Wine Bar, Idle

Visited on a Friday evening around 5pm. Six hand pumps at the bar so plenty of real ale to choose from. The barmaid seemed knowledgeable and was discussing the hoppiness of various ales with another customer.

I went for a pint of the Sneaky Peep by Salamander Brewing Company, 4% at £3.02 for the pint. I'd describe it as golden, pale, slightly hoppy, and very drinkable! There is a lower seating area to the front of the pub then a raised bar area and side passage leading to a bit more seating and then the outdoor terrace. There are seven tables outside and although not much of a suntrap at the time of my visit, I imagine this varies depending on time of day.

I'd recommend a visit and next time I am in the area I will try and pop in and sample a pint of something else. Decent looking pub, decent selection, and priced not to break the bank.

13 Apr 2015 13:31

The Boat Inn, Doncaster

Visited here on a recent weekday around 5pm. It was a sunny day and the large outdoor courtyard was very pleasant to sit in. At the bar there were three ales available; I went for the Yorkshire Terrier by York Brewery at 4.2% costing £3.45 for a pint. Other ales available were Black Sheep and Old Speckled Hen.

The Yorkshire Terrier settled clear and had a nice creamy head. Sitting outside felt nice and peaceful even though there were a fair few other customers in.

Worth a visit if in the area, especially on a nice day to take advantage of the outdoor seating.

13 Apr 2015 13:24

Whittles, Oldham

Visited this afternoon and despite being on a main road with a bus stop right outside, it was dead!

Bank of five hand pumps, of which four were on, offering Tim Taylor Golden Best, Tim Taylor Landlord, Phoenix Arizona, and Theakston Best Bitter. I went for the Arizona (4.1%) at £2.80 for the pint. Have had this before so I knew what to expect, and it didn't disappoint. There was a small chalk board behind the bar listing the real ales, and pricing was £2.70 / £2.80 / £3.00 depending on the ale, which seems reasonable enough to me!

Service was quick (obviously, as the place was empty) but not overly friendly and the barmaid seemed more interested in getting back to her phone than pulling my pint. To be fair she was probably bored stiff, but even so.

This place is clearly geared up as a live music venue with a stage opposite the bar. Plenty of seating though some sections of the pub were in darkness - they perhaps don't bother turning all the lights on when they are quiet!

There was a TV on showing a match on BT Sport. One solitary song came on over the speakers, rather randomly, then nothing else when it had finished.

Worth a visit for the number of real ales available, and to be fair it was a decent pint. Perhaps better to visit during a busier period if it's atmosphere you're after. I would definitely consider going again.

24 Mar 2015 20:47

The Carlbury Arms, Piercebridge

This pub is now The Fox Hole following what appears to have been a long period undergoing refurbishment.

The side entrance is referred to as the "Welly Bar" but make no mistake, this is no run down snug with thread bare carpet and battered old furniture. It is very smart and stylish and it is obvious the refurb has been completed to a very high standard. The bar continues round to the front of the building, feeling spacious, with plenty of seating available, without feeling cramped.

At the bar there were four hand pumps, of which three were on. At the time of my visit the selection was Twickers Tipple 3.7% by Mithril, Brew No11 Milk Stout 4.2% by Rudgate, and Red Dust 4.5% by Consett. Good to see local breweries being supported. I had a pint of the Twickers Tipple and then later a Brew No11 Milk Stout, both of which were beautiful pints, well served, delicious, and worth every penny of the £3.30 per pint. A nice touch that each pint was served in the correct branded brewery glass.

I was tempted by the food specials on the chalk board so decided to indulge. Jerusalem artichoke soup to start at £4.75 and roast loin of pork (locally sourced) for main course served with root vegetable mash, braised red cabbage, apple ketchup and crackling for £10.95. OK, not your bargain basement stuff, but when you consider the quality of standard pub grub you get for about £8 these days, well worth paying a couple of quid extra to have something served that has obviously had some pride taken in it. Complimentary bread and butter before the starter was a nice touch (the bread alone was fabulous).

Service was friendly, both at the bar and the waiting staff. I ate in the bar but a more formal dining area continues to the right hand side of the pub, with impressive well laid out tables. It has been a long time since I have been in an establishment which obviously takes such pride in everything they do, from presentation of the place itself, through to quality of ales, delicious meal, and good service.

In addition to the ales available by the pint, a further 6 bottled beers were listed on a chalk board above the bar, and 12 different types of gin.

If this place was my local, I don't think I would be spending much time at home! If in the area I would definitely recommend a visit, whether for a quiet pint or a full on dining experience.

20 Mar 2015 14:58

The Railway, Sale

Visited on a recent weekday evening. Each side of the bar has two hand pumps, at the time of my visit Unicorn and Voodoo Dawn appeared to be on. Not sure I have ever sampled the Voodoo Dawn so decided to try it, only to be told it was not available. The barmaid didn't turn the pump clip round though, strangely, so I had to settle for a pint of Unicorn which was, I have to say, not the best.

Very quiet on my visit, and there was a Champions League game on the TV with commentary in what appeared to be some East European language.

The pub was done up a few years ago but the ale selection was a disappointment.

15 Mar 2015 11:54

Alibi, Sale

Visited the Steamhouse on a weekday evening. 3 hand pumps of which 2 were on at the time of my visit. Ales available were Roaring Meg (Springhead Brewery), which is the one I went for, and the other was Project B (unsure of brewery).

The Roaring Meg was a good pint, slipped down nicely, no complaints.

Inside there is a small area in front of the bar and some additional seating on a slightly raised level to the side. It is fairly small though so fills up pretty quickly, but didn't struggle to get a seat on my visit.

As "Caskales" has already pointed out in the previous review, I have also heard that this Steamhouse is owned by the same people as the one at Urmston train station. I have passed the one in Urmston many times but not yet visited, need to sort that out...

15 Mar 2015 11:46

The King's Ransom, Sale

Visited on a weekday evening. 8 pumps of which 7 were on. Went for a pint of Cornish Coast (Penpont Brewery) at 3.7%. Possibly the palest ale I have ever had, but very pleasant, lots of flavour and very refreshing.

Pub is large with a few different levels. Plenty of tables. Worth a visit!

15 Mar 2015 11:39

Navigator, Stoneycroft

Visited here on a Friday towards the end of what most people would call lunch time. 6 pumps of which 4 were on. Old Porter, Icarus (Blindmans), Barnsey (Bath), Loddon IPA. Interestingly absent were the Wetherspoon usuals Abbots and Ruddles - unless of course these were the pumps that were off, or there was another bank of pumps hidden somewhere, though couldn't see anything else when I passed the full length of the bar to nip to the gents later.

The Old Porter was pleasant, 4.8% if I remember rightly, and a bargain at £1.95. A pleasant porter with plenty of flavour - felt like a good solid drink whereas some can be a bit wishy-washy.

I went for the Loddon IPA next, 5.5% and still a bargain at £2.10. It seemed to lack some flavour for an IPA and was perhaps a bit warmer than I would have expected. It was OK, I didn't have to do anything rash like leave the pint unfinished, but I did feel it was somewhat lacking.

This pub has an outside seating area which I can only describe as being like a lion's cage with wrought iron railings protecting you from the outside world. Unfortunately not much of a sun trap as the space is fairly limited and not helped by beams or girders or something to prevent too much of that outside goodness from sinking in. The tables were nice and some effort has been made with plants in tubs (which may or may not be plastic) but I imagine it is more of a smoker's retreat than a proper enjoyable beer garden.

The gents were interesting - an unusual feature was that each urinal was separated by a tiled wall, to overcome that age old problem of not wanting to stand too close to a stranger taking a slash.

In response to the comment by "blue_scrumpy" - I had been eyeing up the Wheatsheaf but research before my visit suggested they don't serve real ale. Would be interested to know if this is not the case.

Would happily pay The Navigator another visit when I am next in the area.

9 Mar 2015 16:21

The Bell Inn, Great Barr

Ventured in one weekday lunch time. This is a large looking pub from the outside, complete with large car park, but made to feel smaller on entering due to the central bar and seating wrapping round it in a horseshoe shape.

5 pumps visible on entering, consisting of Brakspear, Tiger, Mad Goose, Rev James and Silver Hare. I think I spotted an additional 3 pumps round the other side of the bar, containing Brakspear, possibly UBU, and think the other one was off.

I went for the Silver Hare by Batemans at 3.8% and costing £3.00 for the pint. For some reason I was expecting this to be a pale ale, but was more of a bitter served with traditional creamy head. Perfectly drinkable but not really what I was fancying on the day.

Pub was nice enough, service quick and friendly. Would call again if passing by.

9 Mar 2015 16:04

The Three Crowns, Oldham

Visited on a Friday lunch time. The pub is deceptively large, with more seating available than you would expect when eyeing the place up from the outside.

There was a bank of three hand pumps of which two were on. Sweet Chariot at 4.8% and Revisionist Ruby Liquorice Smoked at 3.6% - both by Marstons.

I opted for the Sweet Chariot which turned out to be a somewhat uninspiring bitter. Drinkable, but not remarkable, and reminded me a bit of John Smith's.

Back to the pub itself, there was a fair mix of people in, a surprising number of people with kids (do primary schools in Oldham finish early on a Friday?), three guys propping up the bar, and a noisy young crowd on the elevated seating area. There was a TV on showing daytime TV. Although not an unpleasant pub the atmosphere was a bit strange. Would be willing to try a revisit though.

9 Mar 2015 15:53

The Bear and Billet, Chester

Visited here on a recent Monday afternoon. There were 6 hand pumps of which 5 were available. One real cider, at least one Okell's (think both Bitter and MPA were available) plus a couple of others including the Victorian Porter (4.6%) by Heritage Ales that I went for at £3.35 for the pint.

The ale was pleasant, not sure if my glass was stained or whether my porter had just marked it, so shall reserve judgement there.

There is a small bar area at the front of the pub with a separate area to the rear. In the front there was a real fire, and tables round the edges of the room. A couple of pillars with shelves cater for the stand-up drinkers. They could probably do with another table or two in this front area as it looked a bit empty, but I guess there is seating in the back room and upstairs to go at too.

Food looked pleasant though did not have any myself. There was a random middle aged gent trying to converse with the table of four female diners next to him, and took great delight in telling them a joke. Perhaps this is the kind of establishment that attracts "local characters".

The interior is perhaps a bit bland compared to some of the pubs in Chester that feel more traditional inside, but not unpleasant.

26 Feb 2015 16:31

Ye Olde Kings Head, Chester

I have passed this place many times but finally made it in on a recent Monday afternoon. 5 hand pumps at the bar, of which 3 were available. I went for a pint of WhirlyBird (Mobberley Fine Ales) 4.0% at £3.40.

This is a pale ale, almost sweet, with a subtle taste. Quite drinkable.

Others available were Doom Bar and Cheshire Cat (Westwood Ales).

The inside of the pub is very much in keeping with what you would expect from viewing the outside of the building. Dark wood, old beams, you get the idea. The right hand side seemed to be more formal dining seating yet plenty of more informal seating to the left for sitting with a drink. Food also available on this side.

A nice pub, friendly service, good ales. One of many good pubs in Chester.

26 Feb 2015 16:13

The Postal Order, Blackburn

Called in here on a Friday afternoon. In front of me was a bank of 6 pumps, 5 of which were on. 2 real ciders, others were Deuchars IPA, Moorhouse's Black Witch and Harpoon Brewery Long Thaw White IPA.

A friendly older chap at the bar recommended the Black Witch, which I had been eyeing up. As the name suggests, this is a dark ale, 4.2% and set me back £1.79. The helpful and obviously experienced customer also pointed out there was something else on offer at the other pumps further down the bar, but by this point I had made my mind up! Service was fairly quick and I had no problems finding a seat despite the pub being quite busy. Seating is a mix of booths and tables with a separate family friendly area to one end of the pub.

It looked like a few of the punters had spent most of the day in there, but it was a pleasant atmosphere and not at all intimidating.

Decided to indulge in a second pint and this time went for The Long Thaw White IPA, 5.5% at £2.09. Service was a bit slower this time, but not unbearable.

Both very different but very enjoyable ales. Would be inclined to pay another visit if I am in the area again.

20 Feb 2015 21:56

The Turls Green, Bradford

Called here after discovering that the nearby Jacobs Beer House was not open. 6 hand pumps spread across two banks of three, offering three guests in addition to Wetherspoons regulars Abbot and Ruddles. One pump was off at the time of my visit.

Went for a pint of Nettle Thrasher (Elland Brewery) 4.4% costing £1.99 which is a bit of a bargain and cheaper than the pint I had at the nearby Sir Titus Salt. I can't work out if this is still a Lloyds Number 1 as the branding outside is now Wetherspoons. But the beer was nice and reasonably priced, so who cares?

At the time of my visit it was a bright sunny February afternoon (yes really!) so took advantage of the outdoor seating. Despite being slap bang in the city centre it still felt peaceful and relaxing. 6 of the tables outdoors have been roped off to provide a non smoking area, which is a nice gesture, but not sure how effective this "smoke free" area would be if someone lit up on the other side of the rope and the wind was blowing in your direction. The chairs in the non smoking area seemed less substantial than those on the other side, and tended to bend when you sat back, which wasn't very comfortable.

Still, decent pint, quick service, nice outdoor area. All good as far as I'm concerned.

19 Feb 2015 10:52

Jacobs Well, Bradford

I was looking forward to a trip to Jacobs Beer House (formerly Jacobs Well) but unfortunately was closed on a Wednesday lunch time. Further investigation reveals it has fairly limited opening hours and doesn't open until 4pm Monday to Wednesday, 3pm on a Thursday & Sunday, and midday on Friday & Saturday.

Plenty of "picnic bench" style tables out the front - I imagine this must get busy in the summer. I will have to see if I can make it back to Bradford during opening times to pay this place a visit.

19 Feb 2015 10:40

Sir Titus Salt, Bradford

Entered via the Morley Street entrance and there was a rather unpleasant toilet smell as I climbed the steps up to the bar level. Not a great first impression. On entering I spotted a bank of 5 hand pumps, 2 were taken up by Wetherspoons standard ales Abbot and Ruddles. Remaining 3 were all available and featured something a bit different. I went for a pint of Ilkley Gold (Ilkley Brewery), a pale at 3.9% and costing £2.20. Served with a creamy head, this was a refreshing ale.

My otherwise peaceful lunch time visit was spoilt somewhat by a group of two women and two children who decided to seat themselves on the table next to me. The kids were noisy and running about the place and one of the women had a rather nasal American accent, which did grate on me somewhat. To be fair to the staff, once they had ordered food they brought over crayons and colouring stuff to attempt to occupy the kids.

The place is fairly standard in terms of Wetherspoons layout, though there was a fire in the centre of the seating area with tables facing it. It doesn't feel like one big open barn as sections of wall help to break up the place into sections. There was a "tick and pick" chalk board listing real ales near the bar, but was more of a chance to tick off your favourite rather than being a menu of what was currently available.

Before leaving I noticed there was a further bank of 5 pump, looked like Abbot and Ruddles were duplicated, also looked like there was a Doom Bar pump but couldn't see the other two.

Exited via the Randall Well Street entrance which was a bit more pleasant than Morley Street, but still had that "pavement toilet" aroma in the doorway but perhaps to a lesser extent than the other side. There were a handful of small tables on the street outside for outside drinking.

Overall, not a bad pub, and a decent pint.

19 Feb 2015 10:29

Masons Arms, Mickleover

Called in here yesterday, early afternoon. The pub seemed quiet considering its main road location and at first I was the only customer in there. This is a pleasant pub with the two bar areas being smaller than you might imagine from the outside.

A chalk board listed the four real ales on offer. At the time of my visit these were Old Speckled Hen, Pedigree, a 'Courage' and dcuk by Dancing Duck Brewery. Another ale was listed as "coming next" which I thought was a nice touch.

Having previously sampled Dancing Duck's Dark Drake at another establishment, I decided to go for the dcuk and was not disappointed. This is a 4.3% pale ale, hoppy and refreshing, and priced £3.50 at the Mason's Arms.

Shortly after I settled down with my pint, a few more customers came in. An overweight bearded gentleman with his Thai bride, and later a student / young professional looking sort who decided to sit uncomfortably close to me considering the number of other free tables spaced throughout the establishment. He had earphones in, so presumably was not intending to strike up conversation.

Books and games are available, including Operation and Screwball Scramble, so presumably is a pub that caters for families.

Quiet background music was played, but unfortunately the chef appeared to be listening to Radio 2 in the kitchen, and the big screen TV had the news on, so the three different noise sources were a bit much, but surprisingly did not annoy me as much as it should have.

Overall, I would recommend a visit if in the area.

17 Feb 2015 16:15

White Swan, Littleover

Visited here yesterday lunchtime. Tucked down a narrow street, you could easily go down the main road without realising this pub was here. This is a pub that looks well looked after. There are two rooms, a small one at the front of the pub and a further, presumably larger room to the rear, both served by a central bar but only a doorway between the two, so can make it a bit difficult to see through and get noticed. There was only one member of staff serving so there was a short wait as she was serving on the other side. I went for a pint of Cherry Brook (Nutbrook Brewery) at 3.8% and I was ordering an older gent next to me at the bar said he could recommend that particular beer, which I thought to be encouraging (ignoring the fact he had just ordered a half of Pedigree).

After pouring my pint the lady serving then asked if I had any ID. Being 34 and married with kids, I didn't have anything on me except the credit cards in my wallet, she then started to go on that I didn't look old enough to be married with kids and that she thought I looked under 25. I accept I may look young for my age but not 10 years younger, so perhaps a trip to Specsavers is in order. Despite the lack of ID she handed over the pint anyway and proceeded to talk about me to a guy propping up the bar, which I thought was a little rude.

The pint itself was OK, though not remarkable, it was a strange red/orange colour, almost luminous, and a little bland with an occasional vinegary taste. I like to sample a local ale when I can, but would seem I may have made a poor choice on this occasion.

There was a list of ales on a chalk board behind the bar, which is always a nice touch as when a pub gets busy you can't always see all the pumps at the bar in order to make a selection.

Pub interior was nice, 7 tables in different styles in the front bar. Did not investigate the other room but I imagined that to be more of a dining area though I could be mistaken. A table near me ordered food and it looked and smelled pleasant.

I probably won't be rushing to call in again if I am in the area, due to the pint I had not tasting that great, and the barmaid being less than pleasant. A shame, as this pub had the potential to be a nice little hidden gem.

17 Feb 2015 15:45

The Maypole Inn, Long Preston

Was open when I passed by recently. Didn't have chance to call in though.

17 Feb 2015 15:22

The Talbot Arms, Settle

Decided to visit the Talbot Arms on my latest visit to Settle. 6 hand pumps sporting 5 real ales and a real cider. One of the ales was Theakston Best Bitter but plenty more interesting to choose from. I went for a pint of Red Rum by Nine Standard Brewery, a dark bitter at 4.2%. £3.00 for the pint. A nice pint.

Pleasant pub, fairly quiet at lunch time but started to fill up. Service was quick and friendly. A chalk board behind the bar lists the ales available along with strength, price and style. Always good to see.

I didn't go for lunch but there was a decent enough food menu on the tables and the food being delivered to other tables looked good and decent size portions.

Would recommend a visit.

11 Feb 2015 14:38

Hollybrook Tavern, Littleover

A large yet quiet and comfortable pub. Visited here some time back but couldn't find the pub listed on BITE to leave a review. Clearly it was here all along and I must have been having a special moment and missed it.

This pub has a good selection of real ales to choose from, think I counted 6 hand pumps, and on my latest visit went for a pint of Rivet Catcher by Jarrow Brewery. A pale beer, quite hoppy and 4.0% which set me back £3.30 for the pint. Very pleasant and refreshing, and pleasant quiet surroundings to enjoy my pint in during a weekday lunch time.

11 Feb 2015 14:30

Nags Head, Mickleover

Made a return visit here and the selection of ales had changed. There were a couple of ales from Dancing Duck, which is a local brewery. Always good to see a local brewery being supported and good for the punter who gets something that isn't so widely available.

I went for the Dark Drake, a 4.5% stout, at £3.16 for the pint. Slipped down very nicely.

11 Feb 2015 14:24

The Bricklayers, Altrincham

Visited last night. Definitely feels like a locals pub, the only other punters were sat round the bar chatting to the landlord. Only Pedigree available on cask and it didn't seem to be in amazing condition but perfectly drinkable nonetheless. Must be handy for nipping for a quick pint while suffering a shopping trip though.

8 Jan 2015 15:21

The Old Market Tavern, Altrincham

Many real ales to choose from. Visited last night and had a pint of the Vanilla Stout at 5.0%. Well worth a taste if you like stout. Plenty of seating and a bit of a crowd round the bar. Well worth a visit if in Altrincham.

8 Jan 2015 15:18

The Brown Cow and Dragon, Whitkirk

Paid a visit here yesterday lunch time. This is a large pub with seating areas both in front and behind the central bar. However the bar is only accessible from the front so the back area feels nice and secluded. Nice variety of seating from comfortable benches to tables and chairs, to cater for all tastes.

Went for a pint of Tornado from Cottage Brewing, 4.0% and £3.00 for the pint. A nice bitter, creamy head, easy on the palette.

The pub itself had a handful of customers in but seemed pretty quiet for the time of day. Not uncomfortably quiet though like some places can be. There was a sign up stating that the pub was due to close for investment and would become an Ember Inn. I don't really see much that needs changing in this place from my visit to be fair.

8 Jan 2015 15:14

Crows Nest, Seaham

Visited here last July, the pub has only just been added so excuse me if some of the details are a bit sketchy. Feeling uninspired by Wetherspoons in the town I ventured into the Crow's Nest which is on the outskirts of town, but not a huge walk away. This is a Marston's pub and a number of their ales were available. Can't remember what I selected but it was a nice pint and seemed reasonably priced. The outside of the pub has a fair sized seating area, and facing the main road is not unpleasant due to the sea views. For diners outside there are also some covered booths, which I imagine are great from shielding you from the winds. No need for that on my visit though, the sun was out and I enjoyed a peaceful pint basking in its warm glow.

6 Jan 2015 13:28

The Bank, Manchester

Quite a large spacious pub with plenty of seating and a rotating selection of real ales to choose from. Never seems particularly busy or lively, but perhaps that is disguised by the size of the place, allowing people to spread out more. No complaints here.

14 Dec 2014 21:13

The Piccadilly Tavern, Manchester

Have not been in here for many years, but heard it had recently been refurbished or under new ownership and now had an impressive selection of real ales, so thought it would be worth a revisit. I have to say it was pretty underwhelming! Not a very adventurous selection of real ales, though went for a pint of Pendle Witches Brew which was fine. The carpet looks like it may well have been the same carpet that was down 10+ years ago when I last visited. As others have noted, it is pretty much a Wetherspoons-esque pub. Service at the bar was a bit slow, there seems to be enough staff and not a massive queue of customers, but somehow it just seemed to take a while to get served. Probably wouldn't rush to go back - there are much better establishments in the area.

14 Dec 2014 21:07

Kro Piccadilly, Manchester

Sadly this place now appears to be closed. A shame in my opinion.

14 Dec 2014 20:58

Port Street Beer House, Manchester

Noticed on my last two visits the prices seem to have been creeping up here. It's now a challenge to get a pint for under £4 and many are £5 and above. The choice of ales is usually second to none, but it is less tempting to stay for as long as we used to due to the pricing. Still, it must work for them as they are always busy. That said, didn't take as long as usual to grab a table on my latest visit - either good luck, or a sign...

14 Dec 2014 20:57

The Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester

First time in following its refurbishment. The bar area now looks much more modern, whether that is a good or a bad thing is down to personal taste though. There were plenty of people congregating in front of the bar which made it a bit congested - strange as there were plenty of seats available further down the pub. After making it to the bar there were about 5 real ales available, one of which was Greene King IPA Reserve, which I have never had before, but decided to pass on this time in favour of one of the festive ales. All in all, still a pleasant pub with a fair selection of ale. Perhaps some of the character has been lost though.

14 Dec 2014 20:52

Kro Piccadilly, Manchester

Like other reviewers, I had previously not been drawn to this place on the assumption that it would be a real ale free zone. However a friend of mine persuaded me to enter and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a selection of real ales to choose from, and not just the usual "safe" options either. Not what you would call a traditional boozer, but the kind of respectable place you could take your other half and still get to enjoy a pint of the good stuff. I don't recall the pricing being above average for the city centre.

12 Dec 2014 16:13

The Upsteps Inn, Oldham

This is a typically bland Wetherspoons in terms of layout and décor, but there is more selection on the ale front when compared to the Squire Knott. Think I spotted two real ciders in addition to a decent selection of real ales. Went for a pint of the Titanic Cappuccino 4.5% at £2.30 for the pint. Managed to just find a seat on my weekday afternoon visit, it was quite full. Enjoyable pint, service was pretty quick, and no issue with the pub itself.

9 Dec 2014 17:05

The Angel View Inn, Gateshead

Pleasant modern pub, also with a hotel attached and separate function rooms off the main pub area. Decent sized bar area with separate dining area. On my afternoon visit there were a fair few people in though due to the size of the place and spread of people in different areas it seemed fairly quiet, though not too quiet to be comfortable. There were three hand pumps, one was off, the other two had Workie Ticket 4.5% and Northumbrian Blonde 4.0%. Opted for the Workie Ticket at £3.30 for the pint. Pleasant pint in pleasant surroundings. The only thing I would say is that once you are inside the pub it is not that easy to catch glimpse of the Angel of the North - but it can be viewed quite easily from the car park.

9 Dec 2014 16:58

Red Lion, Chester

Called in here after a trip to the Pied Bull next door. Both these pubs have been on my mental to-do list for some time. On entering there is a long bar to the right hand side of the pub, and two sets of six hand pumps (ales are duplicated across the two banks).

Initially it looks like an impressive selection, but on closer inspection one pump was off, two were Wainwright, one was Greene King IPA, one Hobgoblin, leaving only one which was a bit different. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all those ales, but it's nice to have something new. Shingle Shells (3.9%) by Adnams was the other ale on offer, and the one I went for, setting me back £2.60 which I thought was a bit of a bargain for a Chester city centre pub. A decent refreshing pint it was too.

On my early evening visit the pub was not packed, but getting busy. Plenty of seating in front of the bar and to the rear.

All in all a pleasant experience, and if I were to go again I would be hoping to see something a bit different on the ale selection front.

2 Dec 2014 17:38

The Pied Bull, Chester

I have been wanting to visit this pub (and the Red Lion next door) for some time but they have always escaped me on my visits to Chester. This week I managed it!

The Pied Bull is deceptively large inside, from the outside you imagine it may be quite cramped but this is not the case at all. Well laid out, plenty of seating. A pleasant ambience with some quiet background music. It felt quite traditional with the dark wood etc.

I went for a pint of the Black Bull 5.2% which as you may expect from the name is a dark porter. It set me back £3.30 which I think is fine for Chester city centre. It was a very pleasant pint, and I'd be happy to recommend both the beer and the pub itself.

2 Dec 2014 17:30

Lord Rosebery, Scarborough

This is a fairly typical Wetherspoons pub in terms of frontage and layout - not a complaint, just an observation.

Plenty of ales to choose from at the bar, including a chalk board listing the Christmas ales selection. I went for a pint of the Festive Thirty Five by Titanic Brewery, at 5.0% and priced at £2.45. It was quite cloudy when settled and quite hoppy. Very pleasant and of course an absolute bargain.

Staff I found to be friendly and chatty. Shame I couldn't stay and sample all the ales!

2 Dec 2014 17:23

North Riding Hotel, Scarborough

Visited the North Riding Brew Pub on a recent weekday afternoon around 4pm. I happened to enter into the lounge bar which perhaps was my mistake as most of the pumps were on the other side of the bar, as were most of the punters. I went for a pint of the York Guzzler 3.6% at £2.70 for the pint. Only afterwards did I notice a chalk board with an impressive list of available cask ales, including some craft ales and some ciders. The pint I had was fine, but I may have gone for something a bit more exciting had I entered the other side of the bar and had chance to inspect the full array of pumps.

The pub itself seemed quiet, possibly a bit too quiet, and quite old fashioned in terms of layout and furniture. Nothing wrong with traditional, but it was bordering on looking a bit run down. A bit of a shame really.

If I am in the area again I would perhaps go again if I happened to be nearby.

2 Dec 2014 17:14

The Boars Head, Long Preston

From the outside, this looks like it could be a trendy gastro pub, but regardless I was drawn in by the sign outside declaring it as a 'real ale pub. On entering from the front entrance you land in the lounge with the central bar immediately in front. Presented here are 6 hand pumps, one of these was off, another was Tetley Bitter, another Black Sheep and the remaining were more interesting and lesser spotted ales. I went for a pint of Hen Harrier (Bowland Brewery) 4.0% which set me back £3.20. No complaints with the pint or the service.

The bar/lounge is quite traditional, proper old pub style seating, and I imagine on an evening and at weekends there is a great lively atmosphere. It was pretty dead on my lunch time visit but there were a couple of people on the restaurant side which is separated off by double doors, or accessible directly from the side (car park) entrance.

I'd be happy to come back here and try another local ale.

18 Nov 2014 19:32

The Maypole Inn, Long Preston

Closed today, there was a notice on the door which I did not bother to read. Perhaps a temporary closure?

18 Nov 2014 19:24

The Royal Oak Hotel, Settle

Forgot to add there was an attractive wood burning stove though I think you'd have to be sat closer to it than I was to feel the benefit from it. Nice to look at though.

18 Nov 2014 19:23

The Royal Oak Hotel, Settle

Drawn in my the signs outside promising 'real ales' and 'cask ales', you can imagine my disappointment when reaching the bar I discovered that only Theakstons Best Bitter (3.8%) was on, the other two hand pumps were blank. I imagined it was just bad luck on the day, but judging by Mappiman's review from a couple of weeks back, it would seem perhaps not.

The pint set me back £3, and was pleasant enough, I haven't had a pint of Theakstons in a while so I didn't feel too put out, but I do prefer to go something a bit more adventurous.

The pub itself is nice, spacious, one section reserved for diners (though on my lunch time visit there was nobody eating). Stylish interior, painted wood panelling, nice lighting, etc.

Based on the ale selection though I probably wouldn't rush to return. Next time I'm in Settle I will probably try the Lion or the Talbot Arms instead.

18 Nov 2014 19:22

Nags Head, Mickleover

Called in here and enjoyed a pint of Cleopatra by Derventio Brewery. It's a 5% ale, pale and remains slightly cloudy once settled. Definitely has a crisp fruity taste to it, and slipped down very nicely. Set me back £3.21 for the pint.

The bar was equipped with 6 hand pumps (2 banks of 3), other pumps featured Old Rosie, Doom Bar and a pale ale. 1 pump was unavailable.

Plenty of space for a seat even at lunchtime.

17 Nov 2014 23:40

Ye Olde Three Tuns, Thirsk

Visited on a recent weekday afternoon, this is now the Little 3 Real Ale Bar and Brasserie. The interior has character, low beams, a nice cozy feel. Plenty of seating though on my visit it was dead, possibly due to time of day, though there were a couple of customers who appeared to have eaten at the Brasserie which is upstairs.

There were 6 hand pumps but unfortunately only 2 on at the time of my visit. I went for the Viking Bitter 3.8% at £3.20 for the pint. Also available was Fireside Blond 4.9% at £3.30 a pint. The Viking Bitter was very pleasant, well poured and I would be happy to recommend it. Over the fireplace are 6 chalk boards, one per beer pump, detailing what ales were currently available and what was coming soon, complete with pricing. A nice touch and would certainly be useful if you were stopping for a few drinks in here and planning what to have next - assuming at some point there will be more than 2 at a time to choose from of course.

There is a beer garden to the rear courtyard which I imagine must get busy in the warmer months.

Overall I would recommend a visit if in Thirsk.

11 Nov 2014 14:06

Bransty Arch, Whitehaven

Called in here as it looked like the most inviting pub in the area, and you pretty much know what you're going to get with a large Wetherspoons. Went for a pint of Yates of Cumbria Golden at 3.9% which set me back the grand sum of £1.90. I think this must be the cheapest pint I have had in a long time. The ale itself was fine, the pub was pleasant enough if a little sterile. Plenty of seating though.

5 Nov 2014 15:36

Ye Olde Custom House Inn, Chester

Called in one afternoon and had a pint of Boon Doggle (Ringwood Brewery) 4.2%. Good layout of pub with central bar area meaning plenty of places to sit. Cost was around £3.85 which I guess is to be expected in the centre of Chester. Pleasant atmosphere, pleasant pint. Would visit again.

5 Nov 2014 15:32

The Postern Gate, York

Went here for a meal with the family while visiting York. Service was not wonderful when placing a drinks order, the chap seemed to repeatedly mis-hear what I was asking for and seemed frustrated as if it was my fault. By comparison when I went back to the bar to order food, a different chap served me and he was great.

In terms of the ale, I had a pint Magnum at 3.8% priced £2.35. No complaints, a nice pint. Plenty of other ales to choose from too.

3 Sep 2014 17:17

The City Arms, Manchester

Had the pleasure of calling here again, this time on a Friday lunchtime for a quick pint. Despite being fairly busy, service was swift and efficient, and there was still room inside to take a seat.

31 Jul 2014 19:23

The Bridge Inn, Calver

Visited here on a Thursday lunchtime, taken in by the large beer garden with plenty of tables. As soon as I walked up to the door the barmaid was on her way out to collect some glasses from the tables, she said a friendly hello and asked how I was. She allowed me a minute or so to make my selection before she returned and took my order, remaining friendly throughout. She even asked what type of glass I would prefer (handled tankard or straight glass).

I went for a pint of Greene King IPA Gold at 4.1% which set me back £3.40 for the pint. A bit on the expensive side but not too extortionate.

Despite being near the main road, the beer garden felt nice and peaceful, especially with the river being so close.

It was pretty quiet on my visit, but perhaps that was due to the time of day. there was an older couple inside just finishing a meal, and a small group on one of the tables outside.

The inside of the pub is split into two fairly narrow rooms with a central bar - making the inside space feel smaller than you would expect when looking at the size of the building from outside. However on a nice day with the size of the beer garden, I don't imagine this would be a problem. Decent size car park as others have noted.

They had a couple of other ales on the hand pumps, certainly enough choice for a passing visit. All in all, I would recommend calling by on a nice day.

31 Jul 2014 19:13

Queen's Hotel, Ambleside

Visited on a sunny Friday afternoon in July. I entered via the front which is pretty much a hotel reception, then you work your way through to the bar. The bar area itself was pretty empty. To the rear there is a small courtyard beer garden which was pretty full though I just managed to get the last table, even though it was in the shade (as was pretty much the whole beer garden).

From the bank of hand pumps I went for a Windermere Pale at 3.5% and priced at £3.35. A lovely pint, very hoppy and very refreshing.

Bar service was friendly, I'd recommend a visit, plenty of decent ales to choose from.

12 Jul 2014 13:54

White Lion Hotel, Ambleside

Sorry, in case anyone feels like being pedantic, the Dark Matter was in fact 3.6% and not 3.8%.

12 Jul 2014 13:49

White Lion Hotel, Ambleside

I was drawn to this pub by its large outdoor seating area on a sunny Friday afternoon in July, and the chalk board outside advertising its cask ales. It was fairly busy though there were a few tables available.

There was a bank of hand pumps at the bar and I opted for a pint of Dark Matter from Peerless Brewery, a 3.8% mild. The name rings a bell with me and I am wondering if I have had this before somewhere else. £3.39 for the pint.

Sadly the beer was not very good at all. In fact that is probably an understatement. Whether it was just not to my taste, or whether it was badly kept, I cannot be sure, but it was very vinegary tasting to the point where I just could not persevere with it any more, and I ended up leaving half the pint. It's fair to say I don't think I have ever tasted anything quite like it, and nor do I wish to again.

Bar service itself was OK, and the pub has a nice large airy modern feel to it inside. The bar staff seem to double up as hotel receptionists, which did result in a slight delay in being served.

12 Jul 2014 13:46

Royal Oak, Ambleside

Popped in here on a hot sunny Friday afternoon in July. The outdoor area is not that big but I just managed to get a seat outside (even if it was next to a dripping hanging basket). It is a bit of a shame (in my opinion) that the front area was covered by huge umbrellas. However it was still a warm and pleasant environment.

On entering the pub I was surprised how near the front of the building the bar was! There was a bank of four or five hand pumps, a fair selection to choose from, including a cider, and I went for the Thirst Oak (Keswick Brewery I believe) at 4.8%. A very pleasant pint, served by a friendly efficient barmaid. The pint cost £3.53 - not bargain basement but I guess to be expected in a popular tourist area.

If I'd had more time I could easily have worked my way through some of the other ales, especially as I had secured an outdoor seat, but sadly it was not to be on this occasion.

I would definitely recommend a visit. Nice pub, good location, decent pint, friendly service.

12 Jul 2014 13:33

The Nottingham Hotel, Cleethorpes

This is a pub with a very traditional interior, two rooms at the front and one to the rear of the bar. On my visit there were 7 ales listed on the board (which is handy as you can't see all the pumps as they are split across the two front bars). I had a pint of Pricky Back at 4.2% which was very pleasant and well served. This is a quiet pub, perhaps uncomfortably quiet, but perhaps that was more to do with the time of my visit (late afternoon).

Good to see a selection of ales available, and although some of them were Tetley, Landlord and Hobgoblin, there were at least a couple on the board I had not had before.

I noticed they also do bar meals at selected times, which looked to be very reasonably priced.

I would recommend a visit if only for the decent selection of ales, and to take in the atmosphere of such a traditional interior.

10 Jul 2014 13:03

Willy's Pub and Brewery, Cleethorpes

I visited here and was looking forward to trying a pint of Willys but unfortunately at the time of my visit, the only hand pump in action was the Black Sheep Bitter. I had a pint of this which was perfectly fine, however I would have preferred to have tried something a bit different. There were four hand pumps in total, Willys, Bass, Black Sheep, and something else I can't remember. To only have one of the four ales on was a bit disappointing. Perhaps I caught them at a bad time.

The place was fairly busy with lunchtime diners, fishcakes seemed to be a popular option and although I didn't dine here myself, the portions looked fairly generous and I'd definitely be tempted to eat here if I was in the area again.

The terracotta floor tiles in the bar area looked like they should have been in the toilets, and bizarrely the flooring in the toilets would have been well suited to the bar area. Some of the décor looked a bit run down - a half painted wall towards the back of the bar which looked as if somebody just gave up half way through.

The staff were pleasant and efficient, keeping on top of clearing tables and cleaning the bar area.

Overall a pleasant atmosphere, and I'd be tempted to return if they had other ales on next time, and as previously mentioned, to sample the food.

10 Jul 2014 12:51

Beef and Pudding, Manchester

From the outside this looks like a restaurant or wine bar, so the discerning real ale drinker could be forgiven for walking on by.

However inside this "gastro pub" there are three hand pumps and the atmosphere is more relaxed than you might expect from the outside.

Would recommend a visit if in the area. It's a large building so seating was no problem on my Saturday evening visit.

9 Jun 2014 15:32

The Crown, Manchester

Is now the Beef & Pudding.

9 Jun 2014 15:29

The Vine Inn, Manchester

This weekend saw my first visit to The Vine Inn since the opening of its Malt & Cask Cellar Bar. This has made a real difference to the place and makes it well worth a visit. Previously the ale selection in the bar has been a bit limited with just a couple of "safe" real ales available. Now downstairs in the converted cellar there are 8 hand pumps, all of which were available, and apart from Black Sheep and Greene King IPA, the remainder were all something a bit different.

As the name suggests it is also geared up for whiskey drinkers, with a vast range of malts and blends available, complete with little menu cards on the tables.

I didn't venture into the main bar on this trip, so can't comment on what is available up there these days, but I'd definitely recommend a visit to the cellar bar.

9 Jun 2014 15:26

The City Arms, Manchester

This is certainly a proper traditional looking pub. 8 hand pumps, of which only 1 was unavailable. Had a pint of "Black Coral Stout" which was very nice indeed.

Wasn't too busy on my Saturday evening visit, but I imagine would have soon filled up later on.

Would definitely recommend a visit.

9 Jun 2014 15:19

Jackson's Boat, Sale

Not been in here for many years and finally ventured back yesterday, a sunny Sunday afternoon. The large beer garden was busy, but managed to find an outdoors table. There is also a grassed area for people to overspill onto, and plenty of people seemed to be making the most of that. A decent play area to entertain the kids making this popular with families, plus its location next to the river makes it ideal for passing cyclists and walkers.

On my visit there were two real ales to choose from - Timothy Tailor's Landlord and Black Sheep Ale. I had a pint of each and both were fine. I am not sure if they just weren't pulled very well, as the Landlord certainly looked a bit lively, or whether there is a deliberate ploy to serve with an overly generous head - however two different ales and two different serving staff both managed to produce this. I think my pint was £3.40 if I recall correctly.

Service was not unfriendly, especially the younger staff, though I have to say the older chap behind the bar did look as if he'd rather not have been there! At first I assumed he must be the landlord, but on reflection he surely wouldn't have looked that unhappy at seeing his pub so full, so maybe not. One customer came back to the bar with a flat glass of Coke (or Pepsi, to be precise). This was changed for him, but the replacement was the same, and so he was offered a J2O at no extra charge. However nobody appeared to look into the issue and the less than lively Pepsi continued to be served to other punters.

There was an outdoor barbeque serving burgers and chips, which smelled very tempting, but I managed to resist. The meals being brought from the kitchen looked good. Someone on a nearby table had the Sunday roast and it looked to be a generous portion. I didn't examine the menu so can't comment on what the food pricing is like.

Worth calling in for a refreshing pint if you are passing on a warm day!

2 Jun 2014 09:57

The Three Tuns, Thirsk

This was my first venture into a Wetherspoons that is also a hotel. On entering the large staircase straight ahead is prominent (but roped off) and the bar area can be found to the left. Of the 6 hand pumps, 5 were available and I opted for a "Woild Moild" from Wolf Brewery, at 4.8%. At £1.99 you can't knock the value for money factor.

The "Woild Moild" is not the darkest of milds - I would describe it as being a dark red rather than the brown / almost black that many are. Would definitely recommend it - something a bit different.

No issue with service on my Friday afternoon visit. The place was starting to fill up but was not what you would describe as majorly busy. There is plenty of seating split across various smaller rooms. There also appeared to be an outdoors area to the rear, though I did not investigate this so not sure if it is a beer garden or just a smoking area.

Definitely worth a visit for the selection of real ales and the value for money.

1 Jun 2014 13:59

The Golden Fleece Hotel, Thirsk

From the outside the Golden Fleece looks like a normal pub, but on entering it soon becomes apparent that this is not so much a pub, but a hotel with a public bar.

On my Friday afternoon visit, it was pretty quiet inside, there was a couple having a drink and a chap on his own who appeared to have been deserted by his other half (judging by the remains of a half of lager on his table next to his pint).

The young lady behind the bar was very friendly, and a credit to the establishment. After handing over my change, she realised she may have inadvertently short changed me, and insisted that I check my change and subsequently corrected her mistake. Honesty like this is to be admired, I would easily have tipped my change into my wallet without realising I was £1 lighter than I should have been.

There was a single hand pump, which was serving All Creatures by the Black Sheep Brewery, a 3.5% pale ale. The pint was pulled well, allowed to settle then topped up before being handed over. I can only describe this as a somewhat creamy real ale, with a creamy head on it. This is not a complaint at all and was very refreshing.

1 Jun 2014 13:49

The Sun Burnt Arms, Dawlish Warren

As of April 2014 this was closed. Appears to be some activity on site though, as if it is a bit of a building site, so maybe undergoing a refurb? Someone was jet washing the outside area at the front for days.

28 May 2014 22:38

The Welcome Inn, Dawlish Warren

Closed as of April 2014. When visiting in previous years have always enjoyed the Sunday carvery, and was disappointed and surprised to find it closed, as it was always so busy.

28 May 2014 22:36

Lower Turks Head, Manchester

Paid a visit here a month or so ago for the first time. Always good to try somewhere new, but sadly as others have observed, the real ale selection is a bit on the "safe" side. It was very busy when I went, got served downstairs then managed to find a corner to loiter in upstairs. If they get a bit more adventurous with the real ale, I might be tempted to pay another visit. Otherwise only if I am passing.

28 May 2014 22:24

The Carlbury Arms, Piercebridge

Drove past this pub last week and noticed that it was closed. There is a skip outside and scaffolding round the back, so perhaps is undergoing refurbishment.

28 May 2014 18:14

Albert Square Chop House, Manchester

This Chop House is different in style to the other two in Manchester. A newly refurbished building with a large open plan bar area, nice and light and fresh. There is a dining area downstairs but this does not detract from the main bar at all, where bar meals are also available.

There is mixed seating in the bar, from sofas around low tables, to more traditional tables and chairs, and even some bar stools. There is also seating outside at the front, which I imagine gets busy in nice weather.

There was a fair selection of real ales on offer and on both visits the beer was very pleasant. Bar service was friendly. Pricing is not over the top for the city centre. I would recommend a visit if you're in that area.

28 May 2014 18:11

The Watermill Inn, Ings

Called in here after reading about its impressive selection of real ales, and the place looks very inviting from the road!

On entering you are presented with a choice of two bars - the River Bar to the left or the Smithy Bar to the right. I opted for the River Bar and ordered a pint of "Bit'er Rough" which is a pale coloured ale and rather pleasant. There were about 6 hand pumps in front of me so plenty to choose from. The signage boasts 16 real ales, so perhaps there were additional pumps in the other bar, or maybe it's a rotating selection. The bar area itself looked very traditional, quite small and cozy but with a fair bit of seating.

Bar service was not particularly friendly, bordering on surly. I'm not one for excessive awkward chit chat at the bar, but I do expect basic manners such as a "thank you" when I hand over my money and a "here's your change" - maybe even followed by "enjoy your pint" if we were to push the boat out. But sadly no, none of that, and from handing over my cash the transaction was carried out in silence. I was left to feel like I was a bit of an inconvenience, so I didn't stay for the second pint I was originally contemplating.

When sat down with my drink, the table staff around me serving diners seemed very polite and friendly. There was a mix of clientele in the place but seemed mainly to be tourists. Drinkers do not feel out of place amongst the diners, like you can in some places.

Was a bit disappointed by the service, but other than that, was a nice pint in a pleasant and busy pub.

28 May 2014 17:59

The Angel, Easingwold

Visited this pub a couple of months back, after visiting the George on my previous trip to Easingwold, thought I would sample somewhere different this time. This looks like a fairly small pub from the outside but is deceptively spacious inside, or perhaps felt that way as it was almost empty when I went one weekday lunchtime. Real ales were available, though I cannot remember the name of the one I tried. It was perfectly acceptable. There is a large screen TV which presumably draws in the sports fans. Service was friendly and despite being almost empty, I didn't feel awkward like you can in some establishments when they are quiet.

4 Feb 2014 19:05

Port Street Beer House, Manchester

This is a place which is seriously dedicated to beer. If you're after a Fosters or a Stella, walk on by. An ever-changing selection of real ales are available here. Not just from one visit to the next, but while you are in there if one ale runs dry, another one is up to replace it before you notice it has gone. It's off the beaten track to a certain extent, so easy to justify staying for at least a couple of pints in here. It is not huge inside but split across two floors and there is a seating area out the back with heat lamps. As far as I can see they don't do food, which allows the place to focus fully on its ale and that has to be admired. Bar nibbles are available and from memory were quite reasonable at £1 for a bowl of nuts.

Would definitely recommend a trip here for any ale lover!

4 Feb 2014 18:58

The Railway, Irlam

Following a recent re-visit, the cask is now MPA and was pretty nice.

4 Jan 2014 23:25

The George, Easingwold

Had a very pleasant pint here one lunchtime in the summer. Sat outside and watched the world go by, so cannot comment on how busy it was inside as I didn't take much notice. My ale was very enjoyable and I would be happy to return again.

28 Nov 2013 18:03

Glass House, St Helens

Visited late afternoon and it was reasonably busy though not packed. Service was efficient and there was a fair variety of real ales on offer. I had a pint of the "World's Biggest Liar" by Jennings Brewery. It was nice enough but not outstanding. On sitting down I noticed that the tables were all laid out as if it was a school - all in straight lines and I suddenly felt as if I was in a classroom. Typical Wetherspoons mix of clientele in when I visited. Décor is plain and functional in this establishment.

For a more sophisticated Wetherspoons experience I would recommend The Running Horses, also in St Helens, a short walk away from this place. They had a great selection of real ales too, and it just seemed a classier more welcoming establishment.

21 Nov 2013 18:53

Ralph FitzRandal, Richmond

Called in here for a quick pint at around 5pm a few nights ago. As others have pointed out, this is a big pub with plenty of seating. There was a varied selection of real ales on offer and I opted for the Northallerton Dark, which was very enjoyable and nice clean pint. Bar service was friendly. It wasn't too crowded but didn't feel empty either. No problem finding a seat, which was nice and comfortable to relax in with my pint. I would definitely pay another visit if I get the chance.

20 Nov 2013 12:25

The Town Hall Hotel, Richmond

It was probably about 18 months ago that I visited this pub, but a recent trip to Richmond triggered my memories so I thought I would leave a review.

Had a very enjoyable pint one summer's afternoon and sat outside, watching the world go by. Was busy but managed to get a table outside. Can't remember what the beer was at the time, but no issue with its quality or service at the bar from what I can remember! Would recommend a visit.

20 Nov 2013 00:00

The Turf Hotel, Richmond

It was probably about 18 months ago that I visited this pub, but a recent trip to Richmond triggered my memories so I thought I would leave a review.

Had a decent pint of Black Sheep Ale in here one afternoon and sat out the front enjoying the pleasant weather. It was fairly quiet at the time so didn't struggle for a seat, and service was prompt. Worth a visit!

19 Nov 2013 23:58

The Grey Horse Inn, Manchester

Ventured into here for the first time last weekend. It's always a bit of a risk stepping foot inside a small wet lit pub with the bar so close to the door as it doesn't give you much time to turn round and change your mind. However there was a pleasant atmosphere in here and I get the impression most of the drinkers are regulars. There was a small loud group near the bar who perhaps had one too many after the football, they weren't causing any real trouble but they certainly stuck out like a sore thumb in this pub. Bar staff were pleasant, and a decent pint. Would recommend a visit.

22 Oct 2013 18:44

The Gullivers, Manchester

When in the area I have always walked by this place. That changed this weekend and I was pleasantly surprised - from the outside it looks like it could be a dodgy boozer, but once inside there is a decent atmosphere and no sign of any trouble. The beer was fine, if nothing special, and certainly cheap enough.

There appeared to be a band taking equipment through the bar so presumably setting up for a gig either upstairs or in a back room, not sure. Only stayed for one pint.

22 Oct 2013 18:39

The Crown and Anchor, Manchester

I didn't expect this part of town to be busy, but was a fair crowd in early on Saturday evening when I visited. There was a selection of real ale and I had the Dizzy Blonde which was served in a branded pint glass with the Dizzy Blonde logo. I'm easily pleased perhaps. Pleasant enough interior, as others have said not the traditional interior you might expect when looking at the place from the outside, but I don't think the pub is any worse for that - it is certainly not pretentious. The music was perhaps a little on the loud side considering it was only early - amusingly there is a sign behind the door reminding the staff to turn the volume up on Friday and Saturday nights, so we at least know the staff do as they are told! I'd be happy to call in here again but perhaps wouldn't make a special trip. Very close to the Port Street Beer House which itself is well worth a visit.

22 Oct 2013 18:29

Sam's Chop House, Manchester

Can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something about this pub that I like. There was a fair selection of ale on my visits, no complaints. The only thing that strikes me as a bit odd is that you have to walk through the restaurant area at the rear of the pub to get to the toilets. I'm sure the diners must love that when it's busy!

22 Oct 2013 18:20

The Ape and Apple, Manchester

Visited here one Saturday evening in August - was busy enough but there were seats available. Quite a large pub, inexpensive, no complaints with the ale.

22 Oct 2013 18:16

The Queens, Windermere

Pleasant pub, good location in the town centre, stopped by here a couple of times when visiting Windermere. Not an unfriendly place but you do get the impression it is a locals' pub. There were a couple of real ales on, no issue with the quality.

5 Aug 2013 15:24

The Railway, Irlam

Called in for a pint here, only JW Lees Bitter on cask, which was OK if a bit vinegary. There are two sides to the pub, central bar, plenty of tables, and an outdoor area to the rear with additional seating. The outdoor area could do with a bit of a spruce up, it lets the place down a bit when compared to the interior which is pretty nice. Probably won't be rushing to call in again as I was a bit disappointed by the ale.

3 Aug 2013 20:12

The Old Nag's Head, Manchester

Ventured into here again last night and stayed for two drinks. They had issues with the till but they still served us and asked us to stay at the bar so we could pay when they had got it sorted. After a few minutes of looking stressed, the guy who was presumably the manager got it working again, and we were then charged £6 for our two pints which I thought to be pretty reasonable. When we went back to the bar for another drink the same drinks were well over £7. Seemed a bit pricey but maybe I am getting out of touch.

3 Aug 2013 20:07

The Sir Ralph Abercrombie, Manchester

Have been here twice in recent memory, the most recent visit being last night. It was pretty busy and standing room only. Had a pint of the Copper Dragon Golden Pippin which was pleasant. Seemed to be a fair mix of people in, from a table of studenty types playing a game on a mobile phone to a middle aged chap in nylon jogging pants and flip-flops. Staff seemed busy but no issue with service at the bar.

3 Aug 2013 20:02

The Deansgate, Deansgate

Not been in here for over a year and called in last night with a friend. If I recall correctly there were three real ales on so enough to choose from if you're not spending all night in there. I had one of these and my mate had a lager, came to just under £8 - I assumed the lager had pushed the price up but reading some of the other reviews here perhaps the real ale was the culprit (or both, of course).

It is pleasant enough inside, nice and big with different rooms and sections, so we had no problem finding a seat even on a Friday night.

The prices would put me off returning here in a hurry though.

3 Aug 2013 19:55

Penny Black, Kidderminster

My visits here have been restricted to weekday lunchtime and later in the afternoon so no idea what the place is like at a weekend or of an evening. Typical Wetherspoons setup really, big glass fronted building so you can see what you're getting yourself into before you step inside! Varied selection of real ale on, staff seemed fine, clientele a mixed bag of stereotypical Wetherspoons drinkers. Not the kind of place I would want to chance a meal at though, don't know why, just something about this establishment.

26 Jul 2013 16:20

The Horse and Jockey, Chorlton cum Hardy

Went in here a couple of weeks back after the Chorlton Beer & Cider Festival. Decent selection of real ales on offer and we stayed for a couple of pints. It was a hot day and pretty busy outside but we managed to get seated indoors. Can't remember what the pricing was like to be honest.

21 Jul 2013 15:28

Micro Bar, Manchester

Paid another visit here last night. Had a nice pint, and reasonably priced, though it was a bit warmer than it should have been so perhaps they are struggling to keep the temperatures down in the heat? Not the friendliest of service last night, felt like we were causing an inconvenience by being there and we were initially ignored at the bar.

21 Jul 2013 15:22

Mother Macs, Manchester

Another fine Manchester pub with character! Only Black Sheep available on the hand pump, this was my only visit so don't know if it's a regular feature or whether it rotates. Not a bad pint though seemed expensive at £3.20 a pint. You very much get the impression this is a "local" pub but we weren't made to feel unwelcome at all. As someone else has pointed out, you can still smell the smoke from years gone by, which definitely adds to the charm and character of this place.

21 Jul 2013 15:19

The Castle Hotel, Manchester

This is a nice pub, not many city centre establishments with character like this. The front area was pretty crowded but there were a few seats in the room behind the bar. Decent selection of ale to choose from, although hard to see the full offering due to the bar being so crowded. Small outdoor seating area to the rear. A proper pub!

21 Jul 2013 15:14

57 Thomas Street, Manchester

Visited here again last night. Not as expensive as I remember it, so perhaps my comment in my earlier review was a little unjustified. Don't think there was as much selection as on my previous visit but had a pint of the Manchester at £2.90 - also good to see that despite the hot weather the cooling of the barrels was doing its job and the beer was served at perfect temperature.

21 Jul 2013 15:10

The Sawyers Arms, Deansgate

Dived in here a couple of months back when it started raining and I was on my way elsewhere. Was pretty crowded as there was some sport on the TV screens, but got served reasonably quickly and found a corner to loiter in while having a pint. I don't recall a great selection of real ale, but my pint was inoffensive enough. Not the kind of place I would make a special trip back to but if I was passing and had time to kill I'm sure I could be tempted...

17 Jul 2013 18:18

The Moon Under Water, Deansgate

Gets busy on a Friday night but there's usually space upstairs. Service at the bar can be a bit slow and always has been in this place. Enough real ale to choose from on my recent visits and very enjoyable it was too. Seems like the kind of place that can get a bit chavvy but to be fair I'm normally only in for a pint or two before moving on, and haven't seen any trouble.

16 Jul 2013 21:26

The Crown and Kettle, Ancoats

Not a bad pub, plenty of space on a Saturday afternoon when I went in. It was quiet-ish but not completely dead. Worth stopping by if you are passing! Nice interior with original features including the crumbling ceiling (with netting to catch the bits that fall down). No complaints about the ale.

16 Jul 2013 21:18

The Unicorn, Manchester

I can't think of anything specifically unpleasant about this pub, but I didn't find it overly pleasant either. Nothing special and no plan to return, though the ale was fine.

16 Jul 2013 21:12

Font, Manchester

Not really my kind of place at all. Went in here and felt decidedly old! To say this place is expensive would be an understatement. Some beers on the chalk board were £4.50 a pint - I nearly died! Thankfully I recall the real ales were a little cheaper. The smell of fresh coffee and limes at the bar should probably have been enough of a warning sign that this place wasn't really for me.

16 Jul 2013 17:24

Atlas Bar, Deansgate

There's nothing here really for the real ale drinker, though they did have Hoegaarden on draught which I do like every now and then. Handy for a "first pint" due to its location next to the train station, but I do prefer the Knott to be honest. This place, and its clientele on my visit, seemed a bit pretentious, bottles of wine in ice buckets everywhere you looked.

16 Jul 2013 17:21

The Knott Bar, Deansgate

Always a great selection of real ales to be had in here, never had a pint that disappointed me and there is often something a bit quirky such as a ginger ale or a chocolate stout. Getting a seat can be a bit of a struggle sometimes, and that's on a Saturday afternoon so can only assume it gets a lot busier in the evening. Food always looks nice enough though I have never eaten here myself. Well worth a visit!

16 Jul 2013 17:15

The Gas Lamp, Manchester

Only been once, but it was clean and pleasant and certainly unusual. A few real ales to choose from and served in a proper old fashioned glass tankard. I'd definitely visit again if drinking in this part of town.

16 Jul 2013 17:11

The Circus Tavern, Manchester

Entered with some trepidation, but we were made to feel welcome, our drinks orders were taken at the bar and then we were shown to some free seats round the back and our drinks brought out to us. Can't remember what the ale selection was but I had a nice pint in here and despite being very compact didn't feel uncomfortable at all, even when the seats around us filled up. Definitely worth a visit.

16 Jul 2013 16:45

The Old Monkey, Manchester

The beer was mediocre on my visit. Can't remember what I had a pint of, but a mate of mine had the same but in bottled form. To look and taste the two together, you wouldn't know it was the same beer at all. The bottled one was much clearer to look at and cleaner tasting. It wasn't packed out on my visit on a Saturday afternoon, though it was standing room only. Doubt I will be bothering to rush back, but it's another Manchester pub off the list.

16 Jul 2013 16:40

The Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester

An unusual pub with character, and that is not a bad thing! Hadn't been in for a few years but paid a visit a few weeks ago. I am sure I remember there used to be a glass viewing 'dome' which allowed you to see the micro brewery in the cellar. This appears to have gone now, which is a bit of a shame as it was a bit of a novelty and added to the charm of the place. That said, the ale in here was absolutely fine, a fair few to choose from on my visit and no issues over quality. I'd definitely recommend calling in for a pint or two, especially if you like real ale.

I remember years ago in here I was short changed at the bar. Didn't realise till I sat back down at the table and was gutted, knowing it was too late to go back and query it. About 5 minutes later the member of staff who served me came over with a £5 note apologising. I was very impressed; you wouldn't get that kind of honesty everywhere.

16 Jul 2013 16:31

The Rain Bar, Castlefield

Great for a sit outside on a sunny day! The only downside is that they serve drinks in plastic glasses, but this is understandable as people tend to spill out of the outdoor seating area and down to the canal when it's busy. A decent variety of real ales on offer, stayed for a couple and both pints were enjoyable, though would have been better in a proper glass.

16 Jul 2013 15:55

The City Road Inn, Manchester

Used to drink in here years ago and at the time mocked the fact that they always had Old Speckled Hen. How times have changed. Paid it a re-visit a few weeks back - no Hen but there was another real ale which I thought was pretty decent though one of my mates (another real ale drinker) didn't seem overly impressed for some reason. I think I was more excited by the fact it was served in a glass tankard with a handle! You don't feel as exposed as you might expect when sitting outside, bearing in mind it is located on a reasonably busy junction. The toilets (gents at least) had a machine selling bizarre novelty items, such as inflatable sheep. I didn't make a purchase.

16 Jul 2013 15:49

The J P Joule, Sale

This is your typical Wetherspoons, a bit bland on the inside compared to others, but is always busy so doubt they'll be closing for a refurb any time soon. Plenty of booths and tables both upstairs and downstairs, and a bar on both floors. Sometimes there are a couple of different real ales on the upstairs pumps so worth checking out both bars if you're staying for a few. Can't knock the price of the ale and I don't recall ever being disappointed by the beer in here. Visited one Sunday morning for breakfast which was a decent size (I probably didn't need to upgrade to the larger option, but I did because I'm greedy) and it was pretty tasty. A few guys in drinking lager first thing on a Sunday morning, which probably about sums up the typical clientele.

16 Jul 2013 11:31

The Green Dragon, Lymm

Been here a few times over the past few months. The food is nice, and quite a selection is available on the menu. It isn't cheap but then you wouldn't expect it to be due to its location. They do a pre-starter option for those who are too impatient to wait for their starter! Tempted by this I have had the warm flat bread with oil a couple of times. The first time it was very nice, but the second time there was not the same selection of breads (it was as if they had run out of one so just substituted with two of something else) and they seemed a bit stale or over heated, or possibly both. The rest of the meal was fine but just a shame this spoiled the experience. They have a couple of real ales on, which have always been perfectly pleasant.

16 Jul 2013 11:23

The Angel Hotel, Knutsford

If you want a decent meal at a sensible price in Knutsford, this is your place. The Joey burger was a proper sized meal and dessert was good too. From the hand pumps I had a pint of the Holts bitter which was OK, if a little bland, followed by the Holts IPA which was more to my taste and very refreshing. As another reviewer has pointed out, the tiling in the gents is interesting, but not unpleasant at all, a change from the normal dull white tiling and anti-slip flooring you get in so many places. I probably wouldn't call in just for the beer, but their pricing on food makes this a winner for me.

16 Jul 2013 11:15

The Egerton Arms, Chelford

Visited here with the family after a disappointing trip to Chelford car boot, so decided to treat ourselves to Sunday lunch. The food was lovely, they had stuff the kids would eat too which is always a bonus. The staff were very friendly, a guy who was presumably the manager or landlord was going round and checking everyone was OK, chatting with the diners and helping some of the older clientele to their tables. There was a decent selection of real ales available, and the pint I had was very pleasant. The food bill soon racked up but the food was decent and even the kids cleared their plates, so you don't resent paying a bit extra. There was some seating out the front and a small play area to the rear, neither of which we investigated. It was busy at Sunday lunchtime but that's to be expected and to be fair we didn't have to wait to get seated. The only thing I found a bit strange was the presence of a stool (of the seating variety) in the corner of the gents toilets - by all accounts there was one in the ladies too. Not quite sure why you need a viewing stool in the toilets! All in all a great experience in this pub and I would be happy to recommend it to anyone.

16 Jul 2013 11:06

The Mersey Farm, Sale

Generally the food in 'Table Table' places is fine and I have never had a problem with the meals at the Mersey Farm. It is pleasant inside and spacious enough that you don't feel crammed in when sitting down for a meal. On one occasion though the jug that had the cream in to accompany dessert had gravy stains in, which was a bit offputting and showed it hadn't been washed properly. Fair enough it would have been machine washed, but whoever decanted the cream into it must surely have noticed! While not mega expensive, it's not bargain basement and I expected better for the price. When I went to settle the tab it seemed more expensive than I expected, but I know things can creep up when a few of you are eating and adding drinks on etc. Only when I got home did I have a good look at the receipt and found I was charged for something I shouldn't have been. Like with the dirty jug, this comes down to attention to detail. On a later visit, also having a meal, while looking at the menu one of the waiters must have come over about three times to tell us what the soup of the day was, which of course we found highly amusing! Can't remember what real ales were on, but I had no issue with the selection or quality of the drink on my visits.

16 Jul 2013 10:57

Pelican Inn, Altrincham

This used to be a regular haunt of mine and I still have a pint or three in here every now and then. This place seems to undergo a lot of refurbs! In its latest incarnation it is a 'Flaming Grill' pub. Can't help thinking it looks a bit tacky from the outside now and it looked better when it was a more traditional black and white. I haven't eaten in here for many a year so can't comment on what the food is like these days, but looks pleasant enough when plates are being delivered to tables. These days there doesn't seem to be a divide between bar and dining areas like there used to be, you can sit anywhere and get a meal. There are usually a couple of real ales on, Wainwright seems to have a regular presence. Considering how many refurbs it has had, it does look a bit shabby and neglected in parts, for example the toilets (gents at least) are a bit worse for wear and there is crumbling plaster near the side exit door. Pleasant enough but get the feeling it is no longer the pub it once was.

16 Jul 2013 10:41

The Boat House, Irlam

Had lunch here one day recently, there were a couple of real ales on, one was Wainright and I can't remember the other one. The food was perfectly acceptable and sensibly priced. Nice view of the old river from the conservatory area. There were only a few other people in, notably older people makint the most of the 'pensioners special' meal offers. An enjoyable pint. Staff friendly, checking everything was OK with the meal etc. Nice place to go for a pint and some unpretentious pub grub.

16 Jul 2013 10:27

Shropshire Arms, Chester

Enjoyed a pleasant pint here sat at the tables out the front watching the world go by. This was on a weekday lunchtime so not sure what the place is like when it gets busier.

16 Jul 2013 10:20

The Bear and Billet, Chester

Pleasant enough place with character. Decent selection of real ales on my visit. The only disappointment was the lack of outdoor seating - just a small smoking area to the rear of the pub. Worth a visit, like so many of the pubs in Chester.

16 Jul 2013 10:15

Prior John, Bridlington

Visited here after a rather underwhelming trip to the Greyhound down the road. It was a sight for sore eyes! It was busy on a weekday afternoon and I only just got a seat. Had a decent pint of a proper real ale, which was very refreshing after my insipid pint down the road beforehand! Lots of people eating food in there too, standard for a Wetherspoons though of course. It might be 'just a Wetherspoons' but at least you have an idea of what you're going to get when you walk in. As far as the real ales are concerned, they had a fair selection and most of them seemed to be from a local brewery, but not being from the area I can't remember what it was called, it was just nice to get a chance to try something different.

15 Jul 2013 23:29

The Greyhound, Bridlington

Visited about a year ago, was drawn in by the 'cask ale' sign and their reasonably priced food menu. Sadly the only cask ale they had was John Smiths, the barmaid started to pour me a 'regular' John Smiths and then seemed surprised when I politely corrected her as I had asked for cask. The end result was quite unremarkable but that perhaps says as much about John Smiths bitter as it does about the establishment. The food was OK, decent portion for the price, but kinda spoilt the magic when I saw them get the fish out of the freezer in the back, and the chips seemed to be oven chips. Still, it was cheap. The place had a 'chavvy' feel to it and reminded me of the pub from Shameless. If it had been remotely busy to start with I imagine it would have fallen into silence when a non-local entered! Can't say it was an awful experience but I will give it a miss if I am in the area again and head straight to Wetherspoons.

15 Jul 2013 23:21

The Briton's Protection Hotel, Castlefield

Always an enjoyable real ale to be had in here. When I have been there has always been a good selection and I have never been disappointed.

15 Jul 2013 20:23

The Marble Arch, Manchester

A decent pub but always very busy, and when the tables are full there isn't much standing room at the bar so you're constantly having to shuffle to let people past. Definitely worth a visit if you have never been, lovely character inside, not to mention the infamous sloping tiled floor! It is a bit on the pricey side though and it's another place that now seems to focus on food. Never eaten here or even investigated the menu, but the meals being delivered to the tables looked pretty nice.

15 Jul 2013 20:16

The Angel, Manchester

A bit out of the way perhaps but well worth combining a visit here with the Marble Arch. Looks a bit dodgy from the outside but perfectly pleasant on the inside, decent selection of real ales and a very enjoyable pint was had in here.

15 Jul 2013 20:11

57 Thomas Street, Manchester

The seating reminded me a bit of a school canteen with a long row of tables in front of the bar with seats on both sides. A fair selection of real ales served directly from the kegs. A bit on the pricey side but a nice clean pint. Worth a visit, I'd say.

15 Jul 2013 20:07

The English Lounge, Manchester

Worth a wander inside if you're passing. A decent enough pub but it's obvious the focus is now on food and seems to offer that 'gastro pub' experience. On the occasions I have been in there was a decent selection of real ale, but did seem a bit on the pricey side. If the seating area is full you can feel a bit squashed stood at the bar. Looks like a nice place to get some food but haven't eaten here myself.

15 Jul 2013 20:03

Micro Bar, Manchester

It certainly makes for an interesting experience, indulging in a pint while sat in the market area of the Arndale. An excellent view of the cheese counter next door, but sometimes the smell of the fish counter round the corner can be a little offputting. However for me what makes this place is the funny looks you get from passers by in the Arndale when they see you sat in the market with a pint. Something a bit different!

15 Jul 2013 19:59

The Old Nag's Head, Manchester

This place is a bit run down but pretty spacious inside and usually room to stand at a weekend without someone walking into you every two minutes. As a real ale drinker I was a bit disappointed to discover it wasn't really a real ale kind of pub - however they did have Old Speckled Hen and it was nice enough. The gents toilets are a bit of an experience, you effectively go and pee in the corner of the bar! Karaoke seems to be the thing on a Friday night - not saying it was great but people seemed to be enjoying themselves which in turn helps create a decent atmosphere.

15 Jul 2013 19:11

The Rising Sun, Manchester

This is one of those back street pubs I have spotted while walking up Deansgate and was curious to try just for the experience. From the outside I expected it to be a bit of a grotty hovel but when I stepped in I was very impressed - presumably has benefited from a refurb within recent history, nice modern decor and well lit. Have now been back several times and am always impressed by the selection of real ales available. I would definitely recommend a visit!

15 Jul 2013 19:03

The Salisbury, Manchester

This is a decent pub you could easily miss from the main road. Always had a good selection of real ales when I have been in, and no complaints about the quality. There is a fair amount of space inside with plenty of seating but without making the place feel too crowded. A nice atmosphere and a nice pint.

15 Jul 2013 18:56

The Paramount, Manchester

Always seem to have a vast selection of real ales which is no bad thing, except for the extra time it takes to make your mind up! Decent prices as with any Wetherspoons, and I've never been disappointed by the ale, always a decent pint and plenty of choice.

15 Jul 2013 18:51

Squire Knott, Oldham

I like this pub, have been several times at lunch time and in the afternoon, so can't comment on what it is like in an evening or at the weekend. There are 4 or 5 hand pumps usually featuring a combination of real ale and cider. There are two banks of pumps but each set is duplicated. Ruddles often features but the rest rotate regularly. Can usually get something new and interesting. Staff are nice and friendly, some of the clientele seem to be local characters but aren't intimidating and I've never seen any bother in here. I have only eaten in here once and had the mixed grill. I think the steak was a bit under cooked but was hard to tell due to the very dim lighting and dark decor inside! It didn't make me ill though and tasted fine, so no complaints!

15 Jul 2013 18:46

The Peveril Of The Peak, Castlefield

Have been in here a few times. A great traditional looking pub both inside and out, a proper boozer, although I think the prices seem to have crept up on my last visit. On a sunny day it's great to sit at one of the outside tables and watch the world go by. Decent cask ales, can't remember what the selection was but I didn't struggle to select something I hadn't had for a while.

15 Jul 2013 18:34

The Temple, Manchester

First tried to get in here on a night out many years ago and it was so packed it was impossible and we just turned round and went elsewhere. Visited during an afternoon crawl a few weeks back and didn't struggle for a seat but it did start to slowly fill up. Disappointed there was no real ale on the pumps but settled for a pint of Guinness which was perfectly acceptable. Later noticed the big chalk board next to the bar listing all their bottled ales. I will know for next time! That said, I doubt I will be in a rush to return. It is worth a trip for the novelty value but the musty dank smell down there made it a bit unpleasant really. Perhaps when it gets busier it's not as noticeable.

15 Jul 2013 18:26

The Shakespeare, Manchester

Visited here a couple of months back. If I'm in the area on a crawl I always suggest coming in here, and am usually underwhelmed. What draws me in is the look of the building from the outside, looks like it would be a little hidden gem. Once you step inside it is distinctly underwhelming, not particularly offensive, but certainly nothing special. To be fair I don't recall any overwhelming smell of urine. Well after my last visit, I think I have finally learnt my lesson not to bother going again. Had a pint of Shakespeare on the hand pump. Tasted off and vinegary, not an enjoyable pint at all, and was very disappointing. The next morning we all felt unusually rough and can only put this down to the 'bad pint' of Shakespeare. I always though the 'bad pint' was a myth, until I drank here. Not recommended!

15 Jul 2013 18:19

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