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BITE user comments - Steve_Smythe

Comments by Steve_Smythe

The Blue Anchor, Blue Anchor

A well worn but welcoming pub perched atop the cliff at the far end of the esplanade, sadly the cliff edge is eroding quite rapidly putting some of the pubs garden out of bounds.
A split level interior has lots of secluded seating areas including a small conservatory with great views out to sea.
A couple of real ales & a pair of decent ciders were present on a recent visit, friendly staff and locals at the bar too, on previous visits the place has been doing a good trade in food during the day too.

19 Sep 2014 19:43

The Smugglers Inn, Minehead

Still open, but under new management as Simon & Tanq have recently decamped to The Far Canal at Wrantage near Taunton.
Early days obviously, but the place was stripped of all the militaria and painted stark white inside on a recent visit, very quiet customer wise too.
A handy location though, might be busier when the Blue Anchor up the road eventually succumbs to cliff erosion...

19 Sep 2014 19:17

The Good Companions, Eastleigh

Looks lively on weekend evenings at least.
The foyer was sealed of with Police tape a couple of saturday mornings ago.
Seems to attract a similar crowd to the Chamberlayne in Eastleigh town centre.

23 Feb 2014 15:51

The Wagon Works, Eastleigh

Still OK overall, but a recent change of manager has seen the ale section plummet in quality.
There has always been a carefully thought out selection of ales from local and nationwide smaller breweries since the place opened, however a couple of recent visits have been a real disappointment with just a selection of boring brown beers from the big nationals on the taps.
Hopefully things will get back on track soon, otherwise Winchester is only a short ride on the train and undoubtably a better option for those willing to make the effort.

23 Feb 2014 15:46

The Portsdown Inn, Portsmouth

Closed and converted into a supermarket of sorts in early 2012.
Don't mourn though, it was shut "Before someone was killed" on police advise after a series of violent incidents involving locals and the incumbent bats, swords and GBH charges ahoy, and someones severed ear found in the car park after it was bitten off.
I was told by an ex-regular that I probably wouldn't have liked it!

20 Dec 2013 20:36

Lucky Jims, Eastleigh

This place is long gone now.
It went through several changes of ownership/name but always on the same low-end theme, and never improved before finally succumbing to the inevitable.
The site is currently occuied by a Poppins Cafe.

30 Mar 2013 10:16

Dog and Crook, Bambridge

Very food driven with only a tiny bar area.
Not somewhere you'd pop into for a pint without feeling slightly unwanted.

27 Mar 2013 00:11

Prince of Wales, Eastleigh

The PoW site is now a Tesco Express.

If you want a decent pub try The Anglers just up the road at 17 Riverside.

27 Mar 2013 00:03

Coopers Arms, Northam

Closed at least a couple of years ago, has since reopened as The Joshua Tree which is promoting itself as a music venue.

The correct address is 70 Millbank Street btw.

7 Jan 2013 19:25

The Exchange, Winchester

I had to laugh at the last review by "trebles all round"

I haven't visited The Exchange for at least ten years, but the notorious gents toilets out the back obviously havent changed....
As I recall you couldn't get within two feet of them because the floor was awash with an inch or two of recycled Fosters...standard procedure was to stand at the high tide mark and at least try and aim for a receptacle, although obviously those with a cavalier attitude just went on the floor anyway.

It was always busy years ago and aside from the bogs I enjoyed chucking plenty of Stella down my neck as a youngster before grabbing some chips from the much missed Blue Dolphin and getting on the last bus in a daze, these days I'd rather be in the Hyde Tavern or Black Boy though...real ale and real toilets.

4 Jan 2013 00:30

The Eclipse Inn, Winchester

Not a bad little boozer, recently cleaned up and back on the list of pubs for a Winchester crawl...the Ringwood Porter was on fine form during the Christmas break.
Small and cosyish inside, in better weather the outside seating is a pleasant place to sit and watch the hustle from the cathedral and city centre passing by.

It always was worth visiting but had become properly grubby a couple of years ago with a lot of neglect going on, and was the favoured haunt for the "off duty" Buttercross beggars for a while, though they thankfully seem to have vanished from the area in recent times?

An interesting comparison with The Vine just across the road, both are now worth a look though.

4 Jan 2013 00:08

William Walker, Winchester

The place seems to have improved recently since Fullers made it their third pub in the city.
Went in last week and found Black Cab Stout on tap which sort of made our day as the stuff has proved elusive so far, well worth seeking out and was also found in the Wykeham later in the day.
Friendly prompt service from the young girls behind the bar, and the place was more than half full too at mid afternoon too which is hopefully a sign of a return to the better days of this pub...given its location it should be busy all day?

3 Jan 2013 23:47

The Harvest Home, Whitchurch

Closed in early 2011.
Demolished in October 2011 despite a local campaign to avoid this.
So it says on the CAMRA website.

3 Jan 2013 23:37

The Trout Tavern, Keynsham

I visited this pub a few years ago, proper spit and sawdust place with decent cider and dogs covered in fag-ash wandering about.

Someone did tell me that they'd cleaned the place up in recent years which had led to a slight loss of character...although I suspect the dogs are happier now?

17 Nov 2012 09:06

Old Gaol House, Winchester

An alright place in the evenings, usually heaving with a young crowd and there is normally a half decent selection of ales on.
Staff do a good job and service is usually quite fast considering the bar is a fair old size.

A recent daytime visit was a tad different, a couple of tables of rough looking types arguing amongst themselves while one of their friends were fast asleep at 4pm.
Most amusing of all though was the bloke who had his half empty glass cleared while in the toilet, and was so far gone he couldn't remember what he had been drinking when offered a replacement...quality!

Basically alright, does not come into its own when half empty though.

11 Nov 2012 17:59

The Old Vine, Winchester

They serve a decent pint in here, though it sometimes has the atmosphere of a slightly poncey restaurant with foodies much in evidence.
Clean & tidy with pleasant staff, an interesting alternative to the Eclipse across the road...

11 Nov 2012 12:32

The Wykeham Arms, Winchester

A very decent pub, smart attentive bar staff and beer that is consistantly on good form, the HSB in particular though non-Fullers guest beers are often on tap too.
Tucked out of the way behind the cathedral and obviously geared for tourists and food, but the casual drinker is always welcomed with unfailing politeness in my experience.
If you want a Fullers pub this is a far better option than the nearby Bishop on the Bridge which has seen a marked decline in general standards in the last year or so.

11 Nov 2012 12:21

The Willow Tree, Winchester

Clean & tidy pub just a short walk from the city centre.
On the plus side the garden looks good for a summer drink, being bounded by the River Itchen on two sides...the food menu looked good to at a glance.
Sadly the beer choice was fairly uninspiring (GK) and the most expensive round of the day was purchased here for some average session bitter, albeit well kept.
Could have huge potential as a free house, though sadly it'll never happen of course!

11 Nov 2012 12:07

The Bishop On The Bridge, Winchester

The whole place was closed for a private function this afternoon...
A beautiful summer Saturday afternoon when the place would normally be heaving with happy punters.
Obviously Fullers must be properly minted to be able to afford to do this, not really in the spirit of the "public house" though, is it?

ESB aside, Fullers are increasingly poor anyway...I'll give this place a miss in future and spend my beer tokens in the ever decent Black Boy just up the road.

19 May 2012 19:37

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