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BITE user comments - edchambers

Comments by edchambers

The Golden Rule, Ambleside

Wonderful, characterful pub, pretty much unchanged since my previous visit 10 years ago. Very good beer and a fantastic interior, not to be missed by the discerning drinker. Plus my children were made welcome.

18 Aug 2012 21:36

The Watermill Inn, Ings

Excellent pub- good food, dogs and children very welcome and a great range of real ales from their own brewery. We enjoyed an excellent evening meal in the suntrap beer garden. And they must have read one of the previous reviews as the chips are now home made, and very nice too. My favourite ale was the Isle of Dogs, as reccommended to me by a local.

18 Aug 2012 21:33

The Duke William, Staveley

Attractive pub with a really nice little beer garden at the back. Good food served at bargain prices. My only disappointment was the beer- the best thing on offer on my visit was a very bland pint of Jennings Cumberland Ale which couldn't begin to compete with the beers on offer in the Eagle and Child or Hawkshead Beer Hall. This little village is a mecca for beer lovers, my advice for the landlord of the Duke William would be to join in and get a great range of local ales on the bar.

18 Aug 2012 21:28

Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall, Staveley

Very nice beers and our family were made welcome in comfortable surroundings. The 'beer tapas' to accompany our beers were very nice indeed. On the beer front, try the Brodies Prime- great stuff.

18 Aug 2012 21:21

The Oddfellows Arms, Keswick

A really excellent pub- we went for lunch and were treated to good and inexpensive food with a Cumbrian twist (ie Cumberland sausage etc) and Jennings beers served in really good condition- the Snecklifter was so good I'm expecting to see this pub in the Good Beer Guide for 2013. Very pleasant outside eating/drinking area.

18 Aug 2012 21:17

Inkerman Inn, Ipswich

No real ale.

24 Mar 2012 21:22

The Thomas Eldred, Ipswich

I was wrong when I suggested in September 2009 that Greene King would probably sell this pub off as a Tesco Express. Instead they've sold it off to be developed into 6 houses. So another community loses its pub and Greene King makes 345k from the sale. Usual response from CAMRA and our pub-loving MP, Ben Gummer, ie nothing.

18 Mar 2012 22:22

The Rose In Bloom, Whitstable

Very popular with the locals but didn't seem so hot on catering for visitors which is a pity as there are many people (like us!) on holiday in the area. On entering the pub I asked at the bar if there was a children's menu and was told we could order kids portions of anything from the adult menu on the blackboard. We ordered accordingly only to have someone come out from the kitchen to tell us that actually we couldn't order kid's portions of the adult menu after all and that actually there was a children's menu, it just wasn't written down anywhere. Also the things we'd ordered from the blackboard weren't actually available, it just hadn't occured to anyone to rub them off. So we all had to order something different. Once we'd done so, the food arrived with such dizzying speed that there was obviously very little home-cooking going on. I'm sure the locals are used to all these eccentricities but we found it a bit bewildering.
Having said that, the beer garden was very nice- how could it not be when it overlooks the sea?- and there were 2 decent ales on.

13 Aug 2011 21:54

The New Inn, Whitstable

Traditional back street pub not far from the main shopping streets/harbour. Comfortable and friendly with a decent pint of Master Brew on offer at a reaonsable (for the area) 2.90. Reccommended for anyone who appreciates a genuine pub atmosphere.

13 Aug 2011 21:42

The Sole Bay Inn, Southwold

First visit for some years and was disappointed to find that the pub has been transformed from the characterful interior of yesteryear, complete with mini-arboretum, into a soulless gastropub type interior. Seems very inappropriate for a pub with so much history and within sight of the Adnams brewery. Having said that, the food looked very nice, the beer prices were the same as in the other nearby Adnams pubs and the pint of Broadside I had here was the best in town, which is praise indeed!

5 Aug 2011 21:23

The Hare And Hounds, Ipswich

New owners took over in January but are apparently leaving on July 3rd and closing the pub after running it on the same lines as the previous occupants with the same lack of success.

23 Jun 2011 21:37

The Swan, Westerfield

Excellent village pub whose owners are clearly trying hard to cater for everyone. Wide choice of food on offer from full meals to sandwiches/baguettes etc, fresh fish a speciality. Two real ales, Adnams bitter and Greene King IPA, the Adnams was in very good condition. Nice touch was a free lending library for the locals. Attractive beer garden at the back. Definitely worth a return visit.

27 May 2011 21:03

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

Had been a pub since the seventeenth century but no one at all appears to give a shit as it is gutted and trashed to be turned into an Indian restaurant.

24 Apr 2011 21:08

The Kings Head (Low House), Laxfield

Fantastic pub. The unspoilt and wonderfully atmospheric interior was complemented on our visit by a very friendly welcome and some really good food. Even more importantly the beers- served from the tap room, as there is no bar- were of top quality. Absolutely not to be missed if you are in this part of the world.

19 Jan 2011 21:07

The Lion, Needham Market

Family dining pub on the outskirts of Needham Market. Very Busy when we visited 1.00pm on Sunday but we managed to get a table. Full menu was available from roasts to sandwiches/ burgers etc which was what we were after. Food prices very reasonable, food good and service friendly. 3 real ales were on offer, the 2 we tried, Adnams Bitter and Woodforde's Wherry, were fine. All in all an excellent pub unless you're after a 'gastro' or child-free experience. My only slight criticism was that lunchtime food service times seems very limited for such a food-orientated oub- only 12.00 to 1.55pm. I'd have thought 12-3 or even all-day food might be more appropriate.

11 Jan 2011 21:08

The Red Lion, Ipswich

This pub has now re-opened, Punch Taverns having sold it to Admiral Taverns. Hopefully the new owners will be giving the pub the kind of investment it needs to survive in the 21st century.

4 Jan 2011 21:40

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich

Rumour has it that the tenants were forced out by sky-high rents and the pubco which owns it plan to sell it off as part of a development into flats which also encompasses the property next door. Obviously these rumours can't be true or the local CAMRA would be making an awful lot of noise about losing one of their flagship real ale pubs in such a tawdry way, and there's been nothing but silence from CAMRA.

4 Jan 2011 21:38

The Edwards, Ipswich

Briefly changed its name to Dakota's (or something like that) but has now had the quickest/ cheapest refurb in history and is called Coleman's. The sign over the door says Coleman's but the signs on the windows say Colman's- has to be a new low in chain pubs when they can't quite sort out how to spell their own name.

4 Dec 2010 21:29

The Hare And Hounds, Ipswich

Never mind closing early, the pub doesn't appear to open at all on an increasing number of evenings. No real ale, no food, no bands- this was once a leading live music venue in Ipswich. I think we can assume the owner has given up on the place.

1 Dec 2010 21:29

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich

Good to know that the review I posted in April was wide of the mark and that the Beerhouse is going from strength to strength with a new taproom to be added etc. Have to say things looked a bit quiet when I passed today.

22 Nov 2010 21:09

The Dales, Ipswich

Have just heard on the grapevine that the Dales is re-opening. Great news, and I would urge whoever is running it to look long and hard at why it went downhill last year and think about extending the floorspace- the car park is way too large for the pub, surely it would make sense to stick a conservatory on- and letting in families, perhaps just in one part of the pub-
some kids' play equipment in the beer garden would also be good. This is a community pub and needs to let everyone in if it's to prosper.

3 Nov 2010 21:29

The Peaks Inn, Castleton

We visited this pub last Thursday lunchtime. The only real ale on was black sheep, but it was perfectly drinkable. We ordered food for 4 people and it was served in good time and was absolutely fine. Most of the other pubs in Castleton looked 'posher' than this one, but as we had children with us and had been out walking we wanted somewhere down to earth. Staff were also very friendly and produced strwas for the children's drinks etc. As a relaxing family pub this place fits the bill very well.

31 Oct 2010 21:15

The Red Lion, Ipswich

Further to my previous comments this pub is now closed 'until further notice'.
Perhaps Pubmaster/Punch Taverns are planning to give it the refurbishment it has so badly needed since about 1988.
But perhaps not.

31 Oct 2010 21:08

Oddfellows Arms, Gorleston

Very good news and thanks for the info onewhoknows! Just a pity that Adnams- and other regional pubcos like Marstons- are turning their backs on community pubs which can be run successfully and profitably for all concerned

23 Aug 2010 21:50

The Old Neptune, Whitstable

Staff very friendly, 3 beers on, the one I had was very good. Can't comment on the state of the interior as like everyone else we sat outside enjoying the sun and the beach location.We didn't eat here but the food we saw being served to others looked very nice.

16 Aug 2010 21:34

The Summerhouse, Ipswich

Open plan family friendly eatery, more a cafe/bar than a pub. Always busy during the daytime with diners, but the cafe atmosphere has proved a disadvantage in the evenings which are much quieter. Which perhaps explains why last weekend the owners, Marstons, abruptly closed the place down and the new owners immediately began gutting the interior. The rumour is that the Summerhouse, after being a pub under a number of different names for several decades, will now be turned into a surf shop, the farsighted new owners obviously seeing some reason why this will attract more custom than the other surf shop 3 doors away along the Buttermarket.

26 Jul 2010 21:54

The County Of Suffolk, Ipswich

Has just reopened as a freehouse after many months of closure (quite why Scottish and Newcastle bought this pub from Adnams only to leave it closed and then sell it off again is one of life's mysteries). Several real ales on offer as well a big TVs showing the world cup, but at present the interior smells of fresh paint and there's no food as yet.The new owners will have to deal with the fact that Adnams inflicted a very unwise refurbishment on this pub before offloading it- as the picture shows it looks like an enormous wedding cake.

13 Jun 2010 21:14

The Man on The Moon, Ipswich

Very pleasant and comfortable estate pub. On previous visits I've been put off by the fact that the only real ale available has been Greene King IPA. However on today's visit 4 real ales were on the bar- all from the Greene King portfolio but a great improvement nevertheless. Food is served all day and is typical pub grub but very good value- 2 main courses for 8. Our children were made welcome. There were big tellys for sporting events. Probably the best all-round pub on this side of Ipswich.

12 Jun 2010 21:44

The Ivanhoe Hotel, Scarborough

The food isn't overpriced and the pub sells real ale. I think Baznpat is/are confused. This is a family friendly pub with lots going on and some decent real ales and good food.

13 May 2010 21:20

The Blooming Fuchsia, Ipswich

The only pub in the UK with this name and has some interesting period features particularly on the exterior walls. Unfortunately this pub has become a victim of Pubmaster/Punch Taverns' policy of failing to invest to keep the pub alive and then pulling the plug when it inevitably becomes unprofitable. There is now an application on the table to demolish the pub and turn it into 6 houses. Each time a pub of this kind disappears, a little bit of our history and heritage goes with it. Given the complete inactivity of the local CAMRA when it comes to pub closures, the only gleam of hope for this pub comes from the election of Ben Gummer as the new MP for Ipswich. During the election campaign he sent out leaflets blaming Labour for the tide of pub closures in Ipswich, and pledging to put a stop to them. This will be his first test- the council planners will be asked to decide whether the local community needs 6 houses (and lots of money for Punch) more than it needs its local pub.

12 May 2010 21:55

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Single-roomed bare-boards ale and cider house which I visited as a result of reading previous reviews on BITE. Much of the interior looks genuinely 'old' rather than having been themed into an alehouse, which is great. On my visit there were 8 real ales on offer which I feared was a bit optimistic given the level of trade- however the 2 I tried were in perfect condition. All the ales were offered at the same price- 2.90- which made the stronger ones a real bargain. There were also 4 real ciders and 2 London-brewed lagers, no fizzy national brands at all. Food was very basic, just pork pie, scotch eggs etc. All in all this an absolute gem, I have no doubt at all it will be in CAMRA's 2011 Good Beer Guide and can only grow in popularity.

6 May 2010 21:28

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

Agree with polypinmath and the other coherent reviewers. I visited this pub yesterday afternoon, there were 5 real ales on offer at reasonable (for London) prices, the interior was pleasantly stuck in a timewarp and there were a friendly group of regulars in evidence with their dogs. Well worth tracking down, two minutes away from Kentish Town High Street but it feels like you're in a different world.

6 May 2010 21:08

The Red Lion, East Bergholt

Attractive-looking Greene King pub, handily situated next to a free car park and opposite the Church. First pub you come to if you walk up to East Bergholt from Flatford Mill. The pub was divided into several different rooms including a family dining area, but as it was warm and sunny we sat in the beer garden which had a couple of swings to keep the kids entertained. Lunch time menu included huffas (large rolls) with a wide variety of fillings, some listed on a 'specials' board. Greene King IPA on offer but fortunately there was also a guest beer. Friendly staff, all in all an enjoyable pub to visit.

2 May 2010 16:35

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich

Good to see that the Milestone is is still in business for the time being, but it has to be said that from the point of view of someone who likes real pubs and real ales the glory days are long gone. The signage on the front of the pub has been covered over with a home-made banner re-naming the pub the Beerhouse 'live music venue', for some reason accompanied by what appears to be an image of Che Guevara. The interior has been redecorated accordingly, dark walls and minimal seating. No food on offer. 4 real ales, the one I had was in good condition, but these clearly aren't what makes this place tick. I inagine it's at its best around midnight on a Friday or Saturday with live music on the go.

20 Apr 2010 21:09

The Shakespeare, Scarborough

Once pubs like this are gone forever we'll all be buying our beer at Tesco Express. In the meantime It's clinging on as a community local and needs local support.

12 Apr 2010 22:14

The Turks Head, Scarborough

Once pubs like this are gone forever we'll all be geting our beer from Tesco Express. In the meantime it's a comfortable little pub serving a decent pint of black sheep bitter.

11 Apr 2010 22:34

Gallon Pot, Great Yarmouth

Visited this pub yesterday- it's open as usual and offering good beers and food as usual. Temporary closure may have been due to a change of ownership.

9 Apr 2010 21:43

The Marine, Great Yarmouth

Closed and up for sale, as is its next door neighbour, the Barking Smack. Depressing to see these two closed pubs amongst all the crowds and other thriving businesses on Great Yarmouth seafront. Hopefully someone will buy them up and restore them to life.

9 Apr 2010 21:40

The Barking Smack, Great Yarmouth

Closed and up for sale as is the Marine which is right next door. Depressing to see two closed pubs in such a prominent position on the seafront of one of our leading seafront resorts. Hard to believe this pub couldn't be hugely profitable if it was in the right hands, given its location- let's hope someone buys it up and gives it the future it deserves.

9 Apr 2010 21:38

The Ship, Reedham

Nice spacious riverside pub. The interior was full of character but we sat in the beer garden which ran alongside the river with interesting views of the swing bridge - we enjoyed seeing this in action. Good beers- we had the broadside and wherry, both of which were in excellent condition. We also enjoyed the food which included a kids' menu. Definitely worth a detour to visit if you are in the area to visit Pettitts theme park as we were.

9 Apr 2010 21:34

Gallon Pot, Great Yarmouth

Not been to Great Yarmouth recently but have just heard that this pub is currently closed. Given that it's Great Yarmouth's flagship food and ale pub, presumably the closure is only temporary. CAMRA would doubtless be mounting a campaign to prevent any permanent closure, details of which will presumably be posted on here.

26 Mar 2010 22:03

The Bear and Staff, Leicester Square

When I last visited this pub over 20 years ago it was quite bohemian and full of character, festooned with theatre posters and memorabilia. Was quite disappoined to find this pub of yesteryear has been completely expunged. Having said that, this is still a pleasant enough pub, with friendly staff and tasting notes on the handpumps of each ot the 6 real ales on offer. Prices, at just under 3 a pint, were very reasonable for central London. One nice touch, a member of staff going round offering free samples of the 'seasonal sausages' currently on the menu. All in all you could do worse.

24 Mar 2010 22:31

The Harp, Covent Garden

Gem of a pub. Interesting collection of pictures around the walls. Real ales served in excellent condition by genuinely friendly staff. Great atmosphere. Popularity reflected by the fact that despite being slightly off the main drag of Charing Cross Rd it was packed at 4pm on a Tuesday. Everything a real pub should be.

24 Mar 2010 22:23

Indigo Alley, Scarborough

Always disappointed when viewing pub reviews in Scarborough on BITE to find them dominated by a couple of reviewers who seem to relish their role in helping put every pub out of business through negative comments. Indigo Alley was one of the 4 or 5 best pubs in town so I'd expect to be reading about a CAMRA campaign to save it rather than an apparent celebration of its departure. The Northway-nice little local-doesn't anyone mind it being turned into a mini-supermarket? The Dolphin- potentially a nice little pub with sea views- should we be thanking God that it's gone? Approx 60 pubs in town so the current closure rate of 4 or 5 per year suggests our kids won't be drinking real ale in a real pub environment, just a thought

22 Mar 2010 21:50

Oddfellows Arms, Gorleston

Adnams have obviously now read my previous review and remembered they don't 'do' traditional pubs any more. Passed yesterday and though the pub is open it is now up for sale. Would be nice if it was bought by someone who wants to continue running it as a pub as it's one of Gorleston's hidden treasures, a quality community pub for locals not visitors.

3 Mar 2010 21:52

The Cap and Gown, Gorleston

This pub has been demolished. Passed the site yesterday and the bulldozers were just finishing their work. Not being local I don't know why this community has lost its pub or what is going to replace it. If I had a crytal ball, however, I'd probably see one of the big supermarket chains opening a Metro or Express on the site with the result that the attractive row of local shops adjacent to the former pub will soon be following it into oblivion.

3 Mar 2010 21:48

The Triangle Tavern, Lowestoft

Best pub in Lowestoft. Kitted out as a traditional alehouse but with various humorous posters and eccentric add-ons to give the pub its own individual character. Excellent beers, the Gone Fishing was superb. Not to be missed if in Lowestoft.

3 Mar 2010 21:44

The Welcome, Lowestoft

Friendly and comfortable pub decorated with nautical pictures and memorabilia. Has the feel of a community local despite being right in the middle of town. 3 beers on when I visited- Adnams Broadside and bitter plus a guest. Pleasant atmosphere, worth dropping in if you're in Lowestoft.

3 Mar 2010 21:35

The Suffolk Punch, Ipswich

Broken windows have been replaced and the pub has reopened pretty much as it was before the temporary closure.

28 Feb 2010 22:27

The Pillars of Hercules, Soho

Visited this pub when in the area on the strength of its description in the 2010 Good Beer Guide. Probably worth mentioning that none of the beers listed in the GBG were actually available in the pub, instead there were a couple of Thwaites beers and a couple more I'd never heard of before. The beer I chose was flat and uninspiring. Pub smelt of fresh paint and had obviously just been redecorated, although I felt there was a lack of character compared to other pubs in the area.

25 Feb 2010 22:16

The Suffolk Punch, Ipswich

Closed around the end of October 2009. For some reason the metal shutters were put up around the inside of the walls instead of the outside (come on, guys, you must have had enough practice by now!) with the result that the local vandals and would-be burglars have had a field day smashing in all the windows. A report in the local 'paper claimed this 'popular' pub was temporarily closed for refurbishment but the vandalism that has occured since then- plus the fact that the pub has been left to rot during a potentially lucrative Christmas season- would suggest otherwise.
The tragedy is that this is a prominent pub with great potential. It's in a prime position with a spacious interior and a clock tower which can be seen across the local area- the kind of pub which would have been bought up by Wetherspoons had it been nearer to the town centre. Instead it has suffered years of neglect with no attempt being made in recent years to actually attract customers into the pub. I have only visited once, and found myself drinking fizzy lager (no real ale) amidst a sea of empty tables and chairs. If the pub chain which owns it actually gets its act together and reopens the place it would be nice to see real ales, good food and a welcome for families.

27 Dec 2009 21:42

Cherry Tree Inn, Woodbridge

Our favourite pub in Woodbridge. Great Adnams beers, plus- unusually for an Adnams pub- some interesting guests. Nice beer garden in the summer. Food served all day, and since our last visit the menu had expanded so that it's now possible to get sandwiches, baguettes etc if you're not after 'big food'. Children welcomed, staff friendly, it's all good.

20 Dec 2009 22:39

The Jolly Sailor, Orford

Haven't visited this pub for a while and on my last visit I remembered it as being emphatically anti-family. Visiting Orford with my children this weekend I was delighted to see they now welcome children (and dogs and parrots). We had lunch there, and the food was excellent without being pretentious- you could still get chips and the kids got ice cream. Staff were friendly and most imprtantly the Adnams beers were in excellent condition.Thoroughly recommended.

14 Dec 2009 21:39

The King's Arms, Blakeney

We visited this pub on an unseasonably warm day in late October and were delighted to find it ticked all the right boxes. Good real ales including excellent Nelson's Revenge on gravity. Food served all day with a varied menu including much local produce, but also including reasonably priced sandwiches and baguettes for those of us who wanted to keep it simple. Nice chips. Pleasant multi-roomed interior, plus a spacious beer garden. Row of swings which kept the children occupied until their food arrived. Friendly staff and relaxed, informal atmosphere. Everything you could possibly want from a country pub.

30 Oct 2009 21:23

The Masons, Ipswich

Reopened on October 9th, no longer under the Greene King banner. Live music and karaoke advertised going forward.

12 Oct 2009 21:21

The Greyhound, Ipswich

If, like me, you're a fan of Adnams beers you can't go wrong here. The full range is on offer in excellent condition, plus a guest beer. Good food- high quality but unpretentious, ie you can get a burger and chips if you like, or even just a sandwich; there's also a specials board with more ambitious alternatives. Friendly staff who are obviously on good terms with the regulars. Pleasant surroundings, including a paved outside drinking area at the back. Overall one of the best pubs in town.

9 Oct 2009 14:27

The Thomas Eldred, Ipswich

With its nearest 'rival', the Dales, bought up and closed down by the caring Co-op (allegedly!), it's great to see the landlord pulling out all the stops to ensure the Eldred doesn't go the same way. It's open all hours with a tempting menu of pub favourites,tasty Sunday roasts, a great range of real ales and even a bouncy castle for the kids.
Back in the real world of pub meltdown, I visited this pub for the first time today as my previous local, the Dales, is no longer with us. I entered the bar, only to beat a hasty retreat on discovering there was no real ale of any kind on offer. There was also no food. There was a notice on the window stating that, having already given up on opening on weekday lunchtimes, the pub would not be opening at all on Tuesays 'until further notice'. Needless to say this spacious pub had very few customers- just 4 people who were gathered at the bar and were probably the landlord's friends/family. This was at 1.00pm on a Sunday.
The fact that Greene King, the owners, don't seem to be putting any pressure on the landlord to perform better- or even to sell their beers- probably speaks volumes about their future plans for the pub. Like the Dales, it occupies a generous plot of land, much of which is currently taken up by a car park for the non-existant customers. Tesco Express have probably already sent their surveyors round with their tape measures.

6 Sep 2009 15:23

The Dales, Ipswich

Not an occasion when I take pleasure in saying I told you so, but-
The Dales closed on Saturday, having resolutely excluded familes- ie the bulk of the local community- until the bitter end.
At this stage it's unclear what will happen to the pub site- the application to turn it into a Tesco has been withdrawn, but some other developer has bought the place and I somehow doubt they're planning to give this community its pub back.
Have been disappointed by the lack of reaction by CAMRA to the probable disappearance of this pub. I contacted them to alert them to the threat a couple of months ago and they said they'd mention it in their magazine, but this didn't happen; instead there has been total radio silence despite the fact that the Dales is (was) a Good Beer Guide regular.
As I've said before, the real tragedy is that this pub and others like it could be phenomenally successful if they would just offer a wholehearted welcome to families. Anyone who dounts this should try visiting one of Greene King's Hungry Horse pubs- not everyone's idea of heaven, but these are thriving pubs which are likely to be here for years to come.

24 Aug 2009 22:12

The Dales, Ipswich

This pub has gone rapidly downhill in recent months, culminating in an application to turn the site into a Tesco Express. The application has now been withdrawn, for reasons unknown, but I still have no confidence the present owners will want to retain it as a pub.
The attraction for developers like Tesco is that the pub has an enormous car park which could potentially turn into shop and warehouse space.
For anyone wanting to run it as a pub the obvious strategy would be to turn some of the car park into extra eating space, extend the conservatory area, knock the whole place into one big eatery, serve food all day, put out some kids play equipment in the beer garden and basically extend a welcome to families. This is an estate pub and families are what's needed to keep it in business. Not everyone would approve of this idea, and I would be the last person to support welcoming families into all pubs, but estate pubs like this one- my local- will only stay in business if they let families in to spend their money with them.

30 Jun 2009 21:38

Great Eastern, Great Yarmouth

Closed at present

25 Jun 2009 22:03

Tramway, Gorleston

Last time I visited Gorleston this pub was being refurbished, so I was pleased to have the chance to revisit and check it out. Unfortunately a single glance inside was enough to reveal that no real ale was on offer so I didn't stay.

25 Jun 2009 21:45

The Crown, Great Yarmouth

Now re-opened- although various nearby pubs, not listed on BITE, aren't so fortunate.

24 Jun 2009 22:06

The Lock and Barrel, Frinton-on-Sea

Attractive looking glass-fronted open plan pub, well known for having opened in the face of opposition from some local residents who didn't want anything as common as a public house in their exclusive little resort. Busy with families when we visited- half term- despite no obvious signs of family-friendliness. Before serving me, the woman at the bar told me to move my family to the 'raised areas' as these were the only areas where children could sit- a rule which didn't seem to apply to some other families who were presumably regulars. Shepherd Neame beers were expensive but in good condition. No children's menu available so all of us, including my 4 year old, ordered an adult portion of fish and chips as listed on the specials board. Each time I went to the bar the unsmiling staff managed to make me feel just a little bit like 'something the cat had dragged in'. We were in the middle of a caravan holiday and had been out walking in wet and windy weather so weren't looking our most elegant, but this is a pub not a restaruant. The food, when it came, consisted of meagre fish fillets encased in a very thick layer of breadcrumbs- probably straight from a Bird's Eye box. The chips were also of McCain oven chip variety. Salad 'garnish' looked nice but was dried up. It was an Ok meal- I'm not fussy and am quite happy as a rule with bog standard pub food- but certainly didn't justify the staff behaving as though this is anything more than a bog standard pub.

29 May 2009 21:11

The Waterlily, Ipswich

Has now reopened- but no sign of any real ale, or indeed any customers.

3 May 2009 21:54

The Black Horse Inn, Ipswich

This pub has now reopened yet again!
I happened to pass by early this morning and saw that the dreaded Fleurets for sale sign has gone, and instead there's a banner advertising the fact that the pub is now open all day every day and serving food from 12-9 daily with lunch time special offers etc.
Will call in soon to see what's now on offer in the way of real ale.

5 Apr 2009 21:55

The Masons, Ipswich

This pub closed in early March and the usual iron shutters and 'for sale' boards are now on display. As I said on May 13th 2007, it's through pubs like this one that Greene King demonstrate just how commited they are to the communities which buy their products.
It's a real shame because despite the obvious drawbacks- backstreet location and lack of space for a car park or outside smoking area- this is an attractive pub in a densely populated residential area which always seemed to be well-used. my belief is that in the right hands it could work as a pub, even a 'non-food' pub, especially if the owner was free to put a couple of decent beers on instead of Greene King IPA.

30 Mar 2009 22:00

The Sorrel Horse, Barham

We always enjoy visiting this pub and today was no exception. There's an attractive beer garden and kids' play area, and at the weekends decent food is served all day. 2 real ales on offer- Spitfire and Adnams bitter- both were in good condition. We didn't eat here today but the pub was busy with diners and everyone seemed happy enough.

15 Mar 2009 22:12

The Waterlily, Ipswich

No signs of life in this pub at 2pm today despite opening hours sign on the door suggesting it should have been open. On the door is posted a notice from the council saying they are planning to close the pub because of excessive noise..
Last year the council successfully killed off the Victoria pub just across town using the same strategy. Like the Victoria, Lily's Bar is situated on an extremely busy road where the main noise pollution must be the incessant sound of traffic. Also like the Victoria, this has been a licensed premesis for many decades, so local residents moving in must be aware they are choosing to live near to a pub where there's likely to be noise at times.
The unfortunate person who took on this pub- which had been closed for a year or two- and invested money in bringing it back to life, presumably under the impression that a bar close to Suffolk College was bound thrive, must now be wishing he'd taken his investment elsewhere.

8 Mar 2009 21:55

The Grand Old Duke Of York, Ipswich

Visited this pub today for the first time in 4 or 5 years. At the time of my last visit it was an Adnams pub so I was curious to see how it had changed since being sold off.
On the plus side, the welcome was friendly enough and the one real ale on offer, Adnams bitter, was very drinkable.
Unfortunately there wasn't much else positive to say about it. The row of hand pumps which used to dispense a range of Adnams beers are now disused, and coming in through the front doors all you see is a bank of white, disused handpumps- you have to go round to the side of the bar to discover there's even one real ale on offer. Everything else looks neglected- there's no evidence that anything has been done towards maintaining the pub since my last visit. The 'events' and 'coming soon' blackboards over the bar are all blank. The decor looks dull and grubby. At one o'clock Sunday lunchtime there were only half a dozen other customers. Sunday lunch was on offer but just three people were eating this. All in all this is a very tired pub which needs serious work doing on it if it's to survive the current downturn.

8 Mar 2009 21:43

The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds

Couldn't fault the beer- Greene King Abbot and IPA only, but both served in excellent condition, far better than they taste elsewhere. However we felt the pub was in need of a good clean- of course it's an architectural gem and full of atmosphere etc etc but that doesn't justify it having greasy surfaces and being just a little bit smelly. Lots of people stop to gawp at this pub- in one case even to have their photo taken in front of it- what a pity more of these admirers don't call in and buy something. If the Nutshell had even 5% of the custom thronging into to the nearby McDonald's its future would be guaranteed.

18 Feb 2009 22:00

The Beerhouse, Bury St Edmunds

Passed this pub today and would love to know by what mental process someone could decide that a pub which for many years has been called the Ipswich Arms would be improved by being renamed The Gaff, have all its original pub signs replaced with shitty black and white cartoony ones and replace the real ale with 'cocktails and shooters'. Presumably some cretin or other invested thousands of pounds vandalising the pub in this way.

18 Feb 2009 21:52

The Old Cannon Brewery, Bury St Edmunds

Really enjoyed our visit here. The interior is very modern and gastropubby but the staff were friendly and the atmosphere relaxed. The beer was excellent- we had the Gunners Daughter, 5.5% and dangerously drinkable. Food was equally good- higher quality than your typical pub food, without being wildly expensive. All in all, a gem, Bury is very lucky to have this alternative to all the Greene King pubs.

18 Feb 2009 21:44

The White Horse Inn, Framlingham

Definitely the most down-to-earth pub in this affluent, historic town. We chose this pub because we wanted somewhere where our two childen could be a little bit noisy without the sky falling in, and we weren't disappointed; there was a friendly and informal atmosphere and we quickly felt relaxed and at home. There's a seperate restaurant area, but we were happy to eat in the 'pub' area. Only one real ale was on offer- Black Sheep bitter, which was served very cold, but then it was freezing outside so the beer reflected the temperature in the cellar. Food-wise we ordered baguettes and chips, plus kids meals, we found the food was good and plentiful, and appeared quickly. Pub was busy, with most people going through to eat in the restaurant part. There were two friendly pub cats who had an eye on our food. Only downside was that there was a 'for sale' sign on the wall, which means things might change in the near future- hopefully any new owner won't go down the 'gastropub' route, Framlingham is already awash with these.

8 Feb 2009 21:37

The Castle, Bredfield

According to the local 'paper this pub has suddenly closed down, and the interior has been stripped out, which suggests the pubco which owns it intends to make sure no one can challenge the closure or attempt to revive it as a pub.

20 Jan 2009 21:56

The Elephant and Castle, Eyke

According to the local 'paper, needtocomment has got his/her wish and this pub has now closed down.

20 Jan 2009 21:51

North Riding Hotel, Scarborough

Feel quite offended to find my review described as 'stupid' by someone whose own previous pub reviews have generally been somewhat neanderthal in tone ('It's a toilet!' 'Don't bother!' etc). The previous reviewer seems to think it's incumbent upon someone visiting a new pub 250 miles away from their home to research its past history and make allowances if they discover the place used to be really run down. I feel that's too much to ask; the only research I do when visiting a new place is to check out what's in the Good Beer Guide, and if I then post a review it's intended to be an honest representation of what I experienced on my visit, which may be of interest to othet first-time visitors rather than seasoned regulars.
Furthermore, I don't find fault with this pub for being quite basic; it's often the very thing which gives a pub its character, which is why for example I always visit the Champion of the Thames when in Cambridge despite the fact that the seats are even more uncomfortable than in the North Riding. However in this pub any possibility of finding character is snuffed out by the presence of a great big telly tuned into Sky Sports, something which can't be blamed on the neglect of previous owners. As for the toilets, perhaps the owners should have had them higher up their renovation list, as they're the one place everyone visits.
In conclusion, stupid or not I'll stick to my previous review- if you visit this pub you'll find yourself drinking great real ale in a spartan front bar where the seating is uncomfortable and there's a bloody great telly which is hard to ignore.

17 Nov 2008 22:07

Valley, Scarborough

Really friendly pub with great beer and a comfortable atmosphere. Doesn't fit the appearance of a traditional pub- as you approach you feel like you're going into a seaside guest house- but once inside it's good news all the way.

1 Nov 2008 22:19

The Turks Head, Scarborough

Comfortable bar serving a reasonable pint of black sheep bitter when I visited. Surprisingly quiet given the location close to the seafront.

1 Nov 2008 22:16

The Shakespeare, Scarborough

Not closed- very defintely open for business, although the leasehold is up for sale. Would have gone in during a recent visit to the area but was driven away by the sound of some very noisy karaoke.

1 Nov 2008 22:13

The Scarborough Arms, Scarborough

Looks like the killing process may have succeeded. We were on holiday here over half term, and at the start of the week the pub was definitely open for business- however from midweek onwards the place was in darkness with nobody home. A real shame as years ago this was a Good beer Guide pub and a thriving community local. Hopefully the closure will only be temporary.

1 Nov 2008 22:11

North Riding Hotel, Scarborough

Spartan bar with badly upholstered seating. 6 real ales on offer on my visit and the 2 I tried were in excellent condition. There was a big screen TV showing, for some reason, a very obscure sports channel- not sure of the general entertainment value of horse racing from Greece. Toilets were in very grim condition. All in all a pub which offers a great pint of real ale but nothing else.

1 Nov 2008 22:07

The Leeds Arms, Scarborough

Very much a local pub for local people only. I visited whilst on holiday in the area because I'd been told it was the best pub in this part of town. The pub was busy on a Friday evening but there were 3 staff serving. I stood at the bar attempting to catch the eye of one of the staff whilst brandishing my ten pound note and gazing longingly at the Taylors Landlord handpump. Unfortunately I seemed to have become invisible, and when not actually serving the staff were chatting and chortling with their friends, remaining determinedly unaware of my existence. Not sure whether the staff were just a bit clueless or whether they were just determined not to serve an unfamilar face- I suspect the latter, as people either side of me were being served. First experience of this kind in 25 years of pubgoing, and in a way I suppose it's reassuring that some pubs can still afford to turn away custom in this way. I went elsewhere- and if you're a visitor to the town you should do the same.

1 Nov 2008 22:03

The Ivanhoe Hotel, Scarborough

Only downside of this pub is that the Old Peculier is now 3.37 a pint- wildly overpriced compared with any other beer in Scarborough, in fact more than I'd expect to pay in London. Otherwise we found it to be an excellent pub, welcoming and unfussy. The 'playbus' in the beer garden kept our children entertained while we ordered food and waited for its arrival. Food was good and there was lots of choice, including an unusually large range of choices on the children's menu. Staff were very friendly; all in all a pleasant, relaxing place to visit with the family.

1 Nov 2008 21:51

The Angel Inn, Scarborough

Thriving locals pub. I popped into this pub on a wet Monday evening when everywhere else was quiet, but the Angel was busy. I was amazed by the number of people who kept coming through the door, everyone knew everyone else. The beer was Ok. An interesting collection of traditional seaside postcards adorns the walls.

1 Nov 2008 21:44

The Alma Inn, Scarborough

Seems to have expanded its drinking areas since my last visit a few years ago. It's now a spacious but still comfortable pub with low ceilings with zillions of toby jugs hanging off them. Busy and popular with all kinds of customers. Unfortunately the beer range is very boring- just bland national brands in the main- and the pint of Theakstons XB which I ordered was definitely past its best, although just about drinkable, which would explain why the Alma no longer features in the Good Beer Guide.

1 Nov 2008 21:40

The Horse and Groom, Ipswich

Walking up Woodbridge Road I noticed the iron shutters had disappeared from this pub. On closer inspection I was delighted to discover it has reopened and all my previous comments about permanent closures and flying pigs have been proved wrong. Would have gone in to see how things were inside, but I had my 4 year old with me and there was a sign on the door emphatically banning children ( good idea in a community pub trying to build daytime trade?). There were blinds behind the windows so I couldn't even peer in to see what ales might be on offer. Anyway it's great to see the Horse and Groom back in business and I hope it will succeed even without family custom.

18 Oct 2008 22:08

The Salisbury Arms, Cambridge

Pub looks very small from the outside but once you go in it's rather long and spacious. As other reviewers have noted, there are 2 bar areas, each with all the available handpumps, but one has the little overhead spotlights turned off, from which you are somehow supposed to guess you won't get served if you stand at this particular bar. Very odd- someone isn't thinking about this from the customer's point of view. Good range of beers on offer, and the food, which I wasn't able to sample, looked great- all the traditional pub favourites, nothing pretentious. They just need to sort out the slightly strange business at the bar to make this the top pub in this part of Cambridge.

17 Oct 2008 22:14

The Crown, Claydon

Well worth a visit if you're eating out with children- the Crown is a Hungry Horse pub which means you get big portions of pub favourites in a relaxed, family- friendly atmosphere. Many pubs of this kind tend to be real ale deserts, so for me it's a bonus that you can get good quality Greene King Abbot to go with your meal. Not much reason to visit here if you don't have kids with you- although plenty of childless groups do seem to go in.

12 Oct 2008 22:27

Sir Garnet Wolseley, Norwich

From the outside this looks like a fairly large pub, dominating Norwich's busy market place. However, inside it's tiny- not much bigger than the late lamented Vine on the other side of the market square, but without the charm. Only one real ale was on offer- Greene King IPA at a hefty 2.90 a pint. Unfortunately it had proved beyond the ability of the landlord to keep even this one beer in drinkable condition, and I was basically presented with a pint of malt vinegar. I'm usually one of those foolish uncomplaining types who will put up with a pint of beer that's 'on the turn', but this particular pint was completely undrinkable. Unsurprisingly there were few other customers, just a trio of teenagers who were sharing a single pint of coke- which probably tasted much better than my 'beer'. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks working in Norwich and to have the opportunity to visit several of the many excellent pubs in the city- but this grubby little pub with its vile beer certainly wasn't one of them.

30 Sep 2008 22:15

The Camber Castle, Camber

Built around 1970, this pub looks like it should be on a run-down inner-city estate rather than in a small seaside village. The lounge is set out with tables and menus, very food and family-orientated. Food is cheaper than in the other pub in Camber, but you get what you pay for. My steak appeared with an inexplicable gloopy brown coating on it, as if someone had started to pour on congealed gravy and then changed their minds. Rest of food was uninspiring, but staff were friendly. No real ale- there was one handpump with the pumpclip turned around, and I had a feeling it was usually like that. Probably worth a visit if you're on holiday in the area and want a change from the many fish and chip shops in town.

30 Sep 2008 22:06

The Arboretum, Ipswich

There are posters in the window saying that this pub will reopen late Autumn as a 'traditional public house' serving 'contemporary British food'. The first part sounds reassuring- the latter suggests some kind of gastropub experience may be on offer, which isn't my personal preference. Anyway it's great news that the Arboretum is to rise again- hopefully the traditional bit means there'll be a selection of real ales- I'd like to wish the new owners good luck with their enterprise.

25 Sep 2008 21:58

The Rumsey Wells, Norwich least, that's how it was last week. Now it's closed with a rather small 'to let' sign on the wall outside. In these times you worry that the plan is not to find a new tenant so it can then be sold off for redevelopment etc..

10 Sep 2008 22:12

Micawbers Tavern, Norwich

Nice pub in pleasant, leafy backwater on the edge of the city centre. 3 or 4 real ales on offer from East Anglian breweries - I had the broadside and it was fine.

9 Sep 2008 22:20

The Steam Packet, Norwich

Closed. It's as though someone just walked out and locked the door behind them as all the pub paraphanalia, tables and chairs, bar, blackboards with menus etc can still be seen through the windows.

5 Sep 2008 21:53

The Mustard Pot, Norwich

A real winner- in an area of foody riverside restaurant style pubs, the Mustard Pot caters for regulars with a real community atmosphere and great Adnams beers. Good to see Adnams are displaying some rare common sense and holding on to this one, where elsewhere commonsense seems to have deserted them and led to them selling off some cracking pubs.

3 Sep 2008 22:25

The Rumsey Wells, Norwich

Slightly schizophrenic pub- the bar and entrance area are really basic, even shabby, but go further in and it gets quite smart and restauranty. Beer quality is excellent- I had some great Adnams Broadside here.Have never been quite sure whether Adnams own the pub or whether it's a free house which specializes in Adnams beers, either way it's well worth a visit if you fancy a good pint.

3 Sep 2008 22:19

The Golden Star, Norwich

Very pleasant and comfortable Greene King pub which offers more than the usual Greene King IPA and Abbot, extending the range with pretend guest beers from breweries GK have taken over and closed down and whose beers they have synthesized in recent years.
I didn't think the prices were particularly expensive-anything less than 3.00 a pint seems OK these days- and I enjoyed the plesant relaxed atmosphere.

3 Sep 2008 22:14

The Woolpack, Norwich

Visied this pub on a trip to Norwich today because it's the only pub in the current Good Beer Guide which I've never visited. Walked in to be greeted by a row of disused handpumps- only one real ale was on offer, Woodforde's Wherry, which was drinkable but not great. Coming from Suffolk I found nothing amiss with the pink exterior, but thought the interior was rather drab, the green seating looking moth-eaten, and the fireplace piled up with pretend logs. I was the only customer. Generally felt it was a pub which has seen better days.

2 Sep 2008 21:40

The Woolpack, Brookland

Very nice pub, in a scenic location between Brookland and Camber. The pub is small and cosy with old beams etc, but if you can't fit in there is a large beer garden. Shepherd Neame beers in good condition. An extensive menu of traditional pub food- our meals were served promptly and the food was very good. Try the steak pie. A pub which manages to be welcoming to everyone.

30 Aug 2008 22:09

Quilters Bar, Colchester

Closed and being gutted as we passed today- not being from Colchester I can't say if it was being refurbished or closed down for good.

20 Aug 2008 22:07

The Cross Keys, Henley

Went here for a family meal early on Friday evening. We found it to be a friendly, relaxed pub with a pleasant interior and nice beer garden. Pleasantly rural setting, especially as it's just a mile or two from the edge of Ipswich. Very difficult to tell from our end of the bar what beers were on offer as they were chalked on a blackboard right at the other end. Food took a while to arrive and was to be honest slightly disappointing. Some big fat, golden brown, really attractive looking chips turned out to be stodgy and tasteless, very definitely from the freezer- rest of the food seemed catered-in rather than home cooked. Having said that, it was Ok, the beer was fine and the landlord was friendly and came out to talk to us about a 'loyalty' scheme we could join. May seem a minor point but the toilets are truly dreadful, I haven't been in quite such an unplesant gents since I was at primary school in the 70s.

8 Aug 2008 22:00

The Ship, Soho

I always head for The Ship when in this part of London- it's a rare example of a genuine, no-frills pub amongst the chic restaurants and upmarket theme bars which abound around here. Music is a constant feature, usually of the alternative kind, although on my last visit it was the entire Bob Dylan back catalogue- not exactly cutting edge. Beers are from Fullers, the ESB is excellent and the pub sometimes features in the Good Beer Guide. Most importantly this single bar pub has lots of dark wood and comfy seats with all kinds of people coming in for a drink, a really relaxing place to sit for a pint and watch the world go by.

2 Aug 2008 22:13

The Tottenham, Soho

Worth a visit for the very attractive interior- ornate ceilings and seating areas divided into Victorian-style alcoves. Londoners might find this kind of thing commonplace, but for me it's a treat just to be in a space like this. Beer quality indifferent- Taylors Ladlord could have been anything.

1 Aug 2008 22:55

The Spread Eagle, Ipswich

Yet another pub which is apparently closing or closed

28 Jul 2008 22:38

The Railway, Ipswich

The good news for all those of you knocking the Railway is that it's closing down, so you won't have to worry about its shortcomings any more.

28 Jul 2008 22:36

The Mulberry Tree, Ipswich

Took my 7 year old daughter here after a swim at Crown Pools, knowing it would be less crowded and less corporate than the Cricketer's. We ordered food and drink and the barman then informed me we'd be amongst the last people to eat here as food is finishing at the weekend and the pub itself is soon to be demolished. Of all the pub closures sweeping across Ipswich (and presumably everywhere else) this for me is the saddest. Just a few years ago we used to live up the hill and were regulars in this pub which was then thriving and popular. We'd come for the Sunday roast and the Monday steak nights, always accompanied by excellent beers from the tap room.Live music was always the biggest draw, this didn't attract us, but I remember the crowds spilling out onto the pavements on music nights. I remember going in on Xmas day when the aforementioned 7 year old was a toddler and receiving a free pint from the landlord and landlady of the time, Ady and Karen. Of course they moved on to the Dove- a pub which at the time was about to close because it couldn't attract any customers. Now the Dove is thriving and serving the great beers which seem such a mystery to other pub landlords,and it's the turn of the Milestone to give up the ghost. I suppose it would be churlish at this time to wonder why the first thing they did was close down the taproom and get rid of most of the real ales, or indeed why good old Punch Taverns didn't question a strategy which was bound to drive away most of their customers. Anyway, not much point reviewing the food as you will never eat it- there were 2 real ales, deuchars IPA and Adnams bitter served from the cask which was OK. The pubs around this area are dropping like dominoes.

23 Jul 2008 22:06

The Red Lion, Ipswich

Passed this pub early this morning and noticed a hand-written note in the window advertising a disco next Saturday. Which means the pub is actually open for business, for the time being, contrary to my previous review. The events blackboard is still decorated with the same illegible grafitti I noticed in May. The windows are still blocked with dirty curtians. With apologies to the landlord, I'd like to ask him/her whether it's a good sign that someone posting on this site should find this pub looking so decayed that they genuinely believed it was closed down. How long before Punch Taverns are applying to turn the place into flats on the grounds that in spite of all their hard work (?) it just isn't viable as a pub any more..

13 Jul 2008 22:43

The Castle Inn, Cambridge

Always a favourite when I visit Cambridge, but on this occasion I was shocked to be charged 3.30 for a pint of Broadside. 3.30!! On the previous day I paid just 69p more for a very good bottle of South African shiraz (admittedly on special offer) at my local Sainsbury's. It's being said more and more- no wonder people are turning to the supermarket for their booze. People bleat on about Labour adding 4p a pint in duty in their last budget making price rises inevtable etc etc but the fact is that on the same visit to Cambridge I bought a pint of Old Empire, 5.7% premium ale, at Wetherspoons for 2.05. Presumably Wetherspoons are making approfit on this, and when you consider that they have to buy in their beern from a middleman whereas The Castle is serving beer from Adnams' own brewery you begin to see that the strategy seems to be to turn their backs on people who actually care about the price of their pint. Enough to say, I'd never stay here for more than one drink.

9 Jul 2008 22:05

The Flying Pig, Cambridge

From the outside looks very neglected and decayed- two large blackboards either side of the entrance doors are blank, suggesting a pub with no future. Once inside it's a very different picture, there's a cosy single bar with every surface festooned with various posters; pig ephemera and rows of beer bottles add to the ambience. Lunch menu is basic but appealing, sandwiches and burgers with nothing costing more than 4 or so. 4 real ales on offer- I ordered the broadside but it was off, so I went for the London Pride. This turned out to be the best pint of Pride I've ever tasted; normally I'm not a great fan of this beer, finding it too astringent, I tend to end up with it when the broadside (or ESB) is unavailable, but this particular pint was great. This pub was in CAMRA's 2007 Good Beer Guide, but not the 2008 one; hopefully will reappear ther in future, especially if they work on the exterior

9 Jul 2008 21:50

The Victoria, Ipswich

This pub has changed hands many times since the previous review, but was recently taken over by an enthusiastic landlord who pulled out all the stops to try to revive the place. The exterior was festooned with signs proclaiming that the 'old' Victoria was gone, and the new pub had clean beer lines, real ales, food, children welcome etc etc.
Unfortunately all of this has been cut short as the pub is now empty and there's a council notice on the window explaining the pub is having its license reviewed because of excessive noise.
Nearby residents, who presumably rent flats above the pub, which is adjacent to a very busy roundabout on the edge of the town centre, would naturally expect to live in an oasis of calm. Hopefully the Victoria- and the real ales it so briefly served - will survive.

22 Jun 2008 22:24

The Red Lion, Ipswich

Actually, ignore previous review. Closer inspection would suggest that this pub is actually closed at present- hopefully for refurbishment rather than the usual conversion into flats.

1 Jun 2008 09:59

The Red Lion, Ipswich

I would challenge the landlord of this pub- or someone from Punch Taverns if they still own it- to stand on the pavement outsie and look at it from the perspective of a potential new customer. The two front windows are dusty and have blinds behind so it's impossible to see anything inside the pub. The 'events' blackboard has nothing on it but some illegible grafitti squiggles. There are no notices of any kind, no events (this is Bank Holiday weekend) no mention of whether food is served (somehow I doubt it) not even opening hours. Walking round to the side you can see there's a reasonable-sized carpark, but again the only notice is one threatening to wheelclamp non-customers. There's a substantial development of new flats and houses just across the road, and if I were a new resident one of the first things I would do would be to check out my 'local'. However, confronted by this scruffy and unfriendly frontage I wouldn't make it through the front door and would go elsewhere for a pint. I'm quite passionate about pubs and beer so it speaks volumes that I've been in every pub this side of Ipswich town centre at some point (I've even tried the Suffolk Punch- once) but haven't gone into this one.

26 May 2008 22:51

The Waterlily, Ipswich

The iron shutters have now been taken off the windows and the place is being stripped out- whether for restoration as a pub or for some other purpose I don't know. Perhaps someone from East Ipswich can let us know whether the pub has been saved.

22 May 2008 23:31

The Old Bell, Ipswich

One year on, the vendors cannot find a buyer for their 'fantastic' hotel/redevelopment opportunity. The problem seems to be that it's not just the pub which is for sale , but a large annexe on the back which is supposed to turn the pub into a restaurant and hotel. I think the pub on its own would find a buyer- after all, it's been viable as a pub longer than any other pub in town, and Pubmaster's sign attesting to this just before they sold it off anyway is still in place. However, no one wants to do a deal in creating a giant hotel/restaurant complex in this location. Dodgy property deals are not prospering just now, and it would be nice to think that as a result Ipswich's oldest pub might survive.

22 May 2008 23:24

The Cricketers, Ipswich

Have to agree with other reviews. The cheap beer prices are fantastic- ordering a pint of Abbot and being asked for 1.89 is something which can only happen in a Wetherspoons. However it's also true that the pub is understaffed, you will wait at the bar to be served even if there are no other customers, and you'll wait 20 minutes or more for even the simplest food order- perhaps a deliberate national policy to ensure you order another round of drinks. The menu looks sumptuous and seems to promise a lot but somehow boils down to very little- the food is all of the out-of-a-freezer kind . Unsurpsingly the clientele are mainly people attracred by the cheap deals on drinks.

22 May 2008 22:15

The Murderers, Norwich

Nice interior- the space is broken up with lots of wooden beams which creates the impression of a warren of small spaces, quite like a London pub. Signs outside adverise it as Norwich's premier real ale venue but it's very far from being that- in fact there are only 3 or 4 real ales, predictable choices from national brewers eg London Pride, and whilst drinkable they aren't served in great condition. Quite food orientated and definitely less 'themed' than other city centre venues- worth visit.

16 May 2008 22:32

The Fat Cat, Norwich

Have to agree with GrahamH that the Fat Cat has gone slightly downhill. I visit approx 3 times a year- whenever I am in Norwich- and on the last couple of visits have noticed the range of beers on offer have been very familiar- the 5 Fat Cat beers, Batemans XXXB, Fullers ESB, Taylors Landlord etc with 'local' beers represented by the very predictable Woodfordes Wherry and Adnams Broadside- nothing on offer from smaller local or regional brewers. Perhaps worse than this was that on my visit early this afternoon the place stank of bleach/chlorine. I've noticed this in other pubs since the smoking ban (the Lord Nelson in Ipswich for one), preumably the smell was always there but was previously masked by the smell of cigarette smoke. However in the Fat Cat today it was particularly bad, a bit like having a pint beside an indoor swimming pool. I'm not a particularly sensitive soul but my eyes were smarting after 20 minutes in here, and obviously my enjoyment of the beer I was drinking was diminished.

16 May 2008 22:22

The Cock Inn, Brent Eleigh

Visited on a sunny lunchtime and was v disappointed to find there were no other customers. Other slight disappointment was that the beers are no longer on gravity. The new owners have introduced a basic but adequate food menu- doorstep sandwiches or baked potatoes. Everything else is the same- the fantastic, unspoilt interior which you really won't want to leave, the tiny beer garden and the rather basic outside toilets. Beer is still very good, go for the Abbot.

15 May 2008 23:06

The Arboretum, Ipswich

Great reviews, but before whizzing down there it would be wise to check this pub is still open. I walk past each morning around 8.30am and recently there have been no signs of human habitation. Menus etc have disappeared from the windows- the only visible poster advertises the Woodforde's ale trail for 2007. Perhaps someone can confirm that I'm wrong, but I reckon there's nobody home.

23 Apr 2008 21:46

Gallon Pot, Great Yarmouth

Good beer but extremely expensive- expect to pay over 3.00 a pint. Pub is currently running a 'loyalty' scheme whereby locals can sign up as members and get their food much cheaper. As a result there is a confusing menu which starts off with members pages featuring exremely cheap prices- then you turn over and find the same items far more expensive for the rest of us. This will presumably work well out of season but is likely to result in confusion and angry people walking out when they discover they can't order what other customers are ordering when the holiday season begins.

18 Apr 2008 22:54

The White Lion Hotel, Gorleston

Pub/hotel in a commanding position overlooking the seafront with views of the dock and beach. Very convenient for both residents and tourists- the best situated pub in town. Despite this, Pubmaster/Punch Taverns seem to have been unable to run the pub at a profit as the familiar iron shutters have now gone up. I expect the next stage will be a 'reluctant' application to turn the whole place into flats, which the local council will, after much careful consideration, accept.

17 Apr 2008 22:18

Oddfellows Arms, Gorleston

Elsewhere In East Anglia Adnams have sold off their traditional pubs to concentrate on upmarket gastropubs/hotels etc. However they haven't got around to disposing of this one- it's a genuine back street community pub with good Adnams beer and a cosy front bar which is especially reccommended if you are 8 feet tall as all the barstools have very long legs. In the back is a 'family' room with a pool table. There's a friendly atmosphere and good conversation, though no food.

17 Apr 2008 22:13

The Talbot, Great Yarmouth

I shouldn't rely too much on those rumours. There's a notice on the front applying for permission to turn the Talbot and connected buildings into- yes you guessed it- flats. It's hard to get close enough to read this notice as the buildings are covered in scaffolding. The conversion has clearly begun so if you wanted to object you're too late. Never mind, you can always cross the road and go to the Mitre- oh no, that's boarded up too. Well then, cross the bridge to the Two Bears for

17 Apr 2008 22:08

The Crown, Great Yarmouth

Closed and boarded up- like so many locals pub since the smoking ban

17 Apr 2008 22:03

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

The Emperor has improved by leaps and bounds since Nigel left it, and hopefully the same will happen here. This goes to show, you can't run a successful pub by sticking a few real ales on the bar and letting everything else go to seed. As I said in my previous reviews, this pub has been scruffy, freezing cold and dark on my visits- on one occasion so cold I couldn't stay to finish my beer. It really wouldn't have taken much investment to whitewash the walls, stick up a few traditional pub signs by way of decor, turn on the lights and central heating and offer a bit of pub grub. Anyone wanting to run a successful real ale pub should pop along to the Dove or Fat Cat to see how it's done - it's not rocket science, but great real ale isn't the only thing on offer, customers need to feel comfortable enough to want to stay. Hopefully this pub will be taken on by someone who is able to offer west Ipswich the great real ale pub it really needs.

5 Apr 2008 22:17

The Ancient Mariner, Hunstanton

Having just spent a week in Hunstanton I can confirm, after trawling all over town, that this town has no pubs! There's a cavernous bar/diner on the seafront called something like the Waterside, and a number of hotels have bars open to non-residents with pub-like names, but of actual genuine stand-alone pubs there are none. The nearest thing is the Ancient Mariner which is actually a sort of add-on to the big hotel next door. Having said that, I can't see it bears much resemblance to previous, negative review. It's light and airy, the family room is pleasant and has views over the enormous garden which slopes down to the sea and has a kids play area. The food is OK. On our visit there were 4 real ales and the 2 we sampled-Adnams bitter and broadside- were in very good condition. This pub used to be a Good Beer Guide regular and I'm not sure why it no longer features there.

4 Apr 2008 22:25

The County Of Suffolk, Ipswich

According to CAMRA's newsletter, this pub has been sold off to a company called Elizabeth Ryan Inns. Their name seems to be something of a misnomer since their sole intention, according to the newsletter, is to close the pub down and make a fast buck by turning it into flats. The County is/was one of a group of 7 pubs standing quite close together in a residential part of east Ipswich- the only place where such a density of pubs survived. It's loss will mean 4 of these pubs have gone in just a couple of years- two for flats, one permanently boarded up and one transformed into a 'brasserie'. A 5th- the Duke of York- is also under threat, since like the County it has been sold off by Adnams. We are now within measurable distance in Ipswich of having no pubs left away from the town centre. 15 years ago there were around 80 community pubs in the town- a quarter of these have since gone. The rate of closure is accelerating and we are now losing 3 or 4 pubs a year- you don't have to be a mathematical genius to realise that unless something changes drastically all the pubs will be gone in 20 years or so. The only thing that can change is the policy of our planners- at the moment every closure application is waved through on the nod, with the result that the vultures are circling round our pub estate in search of a quick profit from change to residential use. Unfortunately our local CAMRA branch seems totally apathetic about these closures, despite the fact that as the pubs go real ale will go with them.

16 Mar 2008 22:11

The Belle Vue, Gorleston

Long, thin pub which suffers from a peculiar lack of seating- there's a single table with a few chairs at either end, but the rest of the pub is empty space. Even the bar only has half the usual allocation of barstools. Presumably all of this is designed to promote 'vertical drinking' in the evenings, but as I visited mid-afernoon on a dreary Wednesday it all seemed a bit forlorn. Some of the interior walls are of an ancient fake-brick design straight out of the 1970's. CAMRA produce a local guide to pubs in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston which doesn't even mention this pub, so I was delighted to be served a really excellent pint of a Greene King beer called Fireside (I think)which was far better than a pint I'd had earlier in a Good Beer Guide listed pub nearby. There are interesting views out over the docks and sea, hence the pub name.

6 Mar 2008 22:17

The Albion, Gorleston

This pub has a large l-shaped bar full of fake timbers and set out with loads of tables and chairs. The whole layout suggests a dining/carvery type pub so it's quite surprising they don't seem to serve any food. My impression was that the current owners just aren't trying very hard. This pub is in the current Good Beer Guide. I wouldn't want to condemn it on the strength of a single visit, however when I went in only 2 real ales were on offer, all the other pump clips were reversed. My pint, Adnams Broadside, was barely drinkable. The other customers all seemed to know one another, so perhaps it functions more as a locals venue than a pub catering for visitors and holidaymakers.

6 Mar 2008 22:06

Mariners Tavern, Great Yarmouth

This pub has had its ups and downs. I was unlucky enough to visit a few years ago when it was a run-down dump with no real ale and no customers. Returned a few days ago to find it transformed. New owners have put in carpets, comfy chairs and a real fire to create a really pleasant ambience. More importantly there are 5 or 6 real ales served in excellent condition ( as well as a vast selection of bottled continental beers for those who like that kind of thing). The pub was very busy, obviously with loyal regulars, and deservedly so.

6 Mar 2008 21:57

The Cock, Lavenham

Three real ales on offer including Adnams Broadside in good condition. Good- but quite expensive- food served all day. We enjoyed our visit but were let down by the fact that the pub didn't seem to have any staff- only the landlady and a chef who was also acting as waiter were in evidence. On arrival I went to the bar, which was unattended, and waited and waited until finally the chef/waiter broke off from his other duties to serve me some drinks. Same thing happened when we ordered food, and again when I went back to order more drinks- we might have managed without these but the food had taken so long to order let alone arrive that we'd all long ago finished the first 'round'. The food when it did come was fine, but not really worth all the hanging around. This policy of skimping on staff is really false economy, since people who come in and can't get served won't always hang around- there are plenty of alternative eating places in this touristy village.

23 Feb 2008 22:38

The Hare Inn, Long Melford

We visited this pub mid-afternoon on a Sunday and were pleased to find they serve food all day every day. The pub is owned by Greene King and the only beers on offer were Abbot and IPA but these were served in good condition. Despite the time of our arrival the pub was busy with people eating- clearly the Sunday lunches are very popular. We didn't want traditional Sunday lunch so ordered from an extensive menu of alternative choices- and the food was 'pubby' rather than restauranty. The kids menu was better than average- ours really liked the 'chicken on a stick'. Nice beer garden. I'd recommend this pub to anyone visiting Kentwell Hall as it's right outside the gates.

23 Feb 2008 22:28

The Kings Head, Orford

We'd heard adverse comment about this pub, ie that it had gone very upmarket and was now just a restaurant etc. So with some trepidation we went in with our two kids, aged 6 and 3, only to find it friendly and welcoming with good food and excellent Adnams beer. The children's menu included such delights as peanut butter sandwiches and banana sandwiches, just to dispel any fears this had turned into a snooty restaurant. We had the 'doorstep' sandwiches for lunch and I enjoyed them, and felt that at 3.95 they compared very favourably with similar sarnis in less attractive pubs. We will definitley be back here, especially as the 'Jolly Sailor' down the road is emphatically anti-children.

28 Jan 2008 21:48

The Masons, Ipswich

Has recently had a minor makeover and renamed itself the Masons. It remains a classic community pub, comfortable and unpretentious, much visited by many in the local community. Perhaps the only genuine 'back street boozer' left in Ipswich. Only slight drawback is that the only real ale on offer is Greene King IPA- but great real ale isn't everything, I suppose.

24 Dec 2007 22:20

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

Christ, what a shambles. Despite previous disappointments, I revisited this pub on Wed 23rd because I'd seen an ad in the local 'paper stating that they were holding a beer festival, starting on the 21st, with 'up to 20 real ales available'. On my visit there were just 3 0r 4 beers on offer, as when I have been in before. There were only 2 customers, watching 'Top Gear' on a big telly(the beer festival entertainment??) The beer I bought, Santa's Revenge, had a strong aftertatste of soap, as though something had been washed out and not rinsed properly. Much of the pub was in darkness as if customers weren't wanted. Worst of all, the place was absolutely freezing cold, so much so that I couldn't stay long enough to finish my drink. The landlord was much in evidence looking very pleased with himself - really not sure what he has to be pleased about on this showing.

24 Dec 2007 22:15

The Emperor Inn, Ipswich

Much better than it used to be- the new owners have smartened it up and the old air of shabby dilapidation has gone. 4 real ales are available, as before, but one of these is now Adnams Broadside which happens to be the finest beer on earth so I will be dropping in more frequently.Food has been reintroduced, but if I could offer a word of advice to the owners it would be a good idea to state exactly when this is available- no one is going to call in on the off chance they've hit 'food service' time. Also, how about welcoming families again?- in years gone by there was a family room, why not bring this back to life?

21 Dec 2007 21:59

The Old Scalby Mills, Scarborough

Excellent pub which caters for all- our small children were made welcome, good local beers were also on offer.. Very handy for both the sea-life centre and clifftop walks!

10 Dec 2007 21:57

The Steam Packet, Norwich

Apparently one of a number of pubs being sold off by Adnams as a result of the smoking ban. Since Adnams specialize in premium real ales and previous posts suggest some customers here don't want good beer, this may end up being a good thing for the pub's future- it's always been an uneasy mix of good beers and noisy music, so under a new owner it may find a new identity as a music/young people's venue.

7 Dec 2007 22:08

The Plasterers Arms, Norwich

Have just heard that this is one of a number of pubs Adnams are 'selling off' as a result of the smoking ban which was going to produce such an influx of new customers. It would be nice to think a characteful back street local like this would have a safe future in new hands, but given that only one Norwich resident has posted a review on this site in the last three and a half years I'd say things don't look too promising for this former Good Beer Guide regular.

7 Dec 2007 21:46

The Grand Old Duke Of York, Ipswich

Use to live just up the road from this pub, it was a nice little local with good beer and OK food. Now I hear it's to be sold off by Adnams along with most of their other pubs in this part of Suffolk. Very depressing that they are selling their pubs down the river, espcially as so many other pubs around here (Water Lily, Horse and Groom, County of Suffolk...) are closed or under threat. Adnams seem to have embarked on a closure/sell-off programme which will end with their brewing operations taken over by Greene King. Oh well, like most other people I mostly drink at home these days.

10 Nov 2007 22:22

The County Of Suffolk, Ipswich

Have just heard a scary rumour that Adnams, having wasted vast amounts of money turning this pub into an unecessarily upmarket gastropub, are now about to sell it off, along with most of their other pubs in this part of Suffolk. Just a few days ago I heard they were disposing of the British Grenadier, one of their flagship Essex pubs. It's beginning to be depressingly obvious that Adnams have a strategy for pulling out of running pubs- except very posh ones in Southwold and environs- ultimately this will lead to the ubiquitous Greene King taking over brewing the beers. A few years ago I would have been leaping off the Orwell Bridge at this news, but they've been going down the wrong road for some time now which gives you time to get used to it.

10 Nov 2007 22:15

The Foresters Arms, Colchester

Beware, this pub doesn't bear much resemblance to the cosy descrition in CAMRA's new 'Good Beer Guide'; it's actually quite run-down. There are two entrance doors, marked 'bar' and 'saloon' but they actually both lead into the same compact room, partially divided by an archway. The green and cream paintwork would suggest this was once a Greene King pub, but the paintwork is peeling and discoloured and crying out for a makeover. Bar staff not very friendly. 4 beers on offer- again the Good Beer Guide gives the impression there are more- and the one I had was served much too cold. We had thought about eating here, but the general air of neglect in the place, plus the fact that the menu featured things served 'in a basket' (thought this had disappeared with the 1970s) put us off and we went elsewhere. Very few customers, unsurprisingly.

5 Nov 2007 21:47

The British Grenadier, Colchester

A gem of a local- comfortable atmosphere, friendly, welcoming landlord and top quality Adnams beers. So it was very depressing for me, three minutes into my first ever visit here, to overhear the landlord telling a customer that this pub is being sold off by Adnams and as a result has a very uncertain future. I'm a huge fan of Adnams, their pubs are great and I am of the opinion that Broadside is the finest beer in the world. All the more deprssing, then, to find that they are prepared to sell off their pubs in this way, apparently regardless of the fact that this is a multiple winner of CAMRA's 'Town Pub of the Year' award, features in almost every edition of the Good Beer Guide etc. The landlord apparently hasn't been told the reason for the sale, but presumably the bottom line is he isn't making enought profit. If this is the case surely the best course would be for someone from Adnams to suggest ways of making the pub more profitable- I personally would have stayed much longer and spent more money if there had been a lunch menu available, even just a sandwich- clearly any pub depending on drink sales alone is bound to struggle. This isn't the first time Adnams have pulled the rug from under an excellent pub- RIP the wonderful Vine in Norwich- but hopefully the high profile this one has with CAMRA will enable it to survive and thrive as a free house. In any case, good luck to the landlord, and thanks for the superb beer.

5 Nov 2007 21:36

The Ark Royal, Wells next the Sea

A weathered sign outside this pub claims it is CAMRA recommended and specializes in local real ales. Don't know how old this sign is, but I have every edition of CAMRA's Good Beer Guide dating back to 1997 and can't find a listing for this pub. Another sign on the wall claims the pub sells Woodforde's Norfolk Ales. The only beers on offer when we visited were the inevitable Greene King IPA and Abbot plus John Smith's.
We visited on a chilly day during the October half term. The pub interior looked quite enticing but as we had small children with us we went into the family room. This was small and unheated- absolutely freezing cold. There was a free-standing heater in the room but this wasn't switched on until another customer demanded this. We went for the Abbot Ale which was just about drinkable but 'on the turn' and not far off turning into vinegar. Despite the fact that the pub menu was very restauranty, the actual food choices were quite basic- things with chips. Our food when it came was of the 'brought in on a van' variety, eg featuring those caramel coloured, leathery skinned sausages with an indeterminate pulpy interior which will be familiar to anyone who has eaten breakfast in a Little Chef. Main plus point was that the food was hot- microwaves have that effect. In a nutshell, only come here if you have kids with you and are intimidated by the 'posher' pubs in the town.

27 Oct 2007 22:11

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Heacham

One of those slightly pretentious pubs which serves its food in a seperate 'restaurant' area. Food was very average and the beer- bloody Greene King, naturally- was vinegary and almost undrinkable. On our visit the place was virtually empty, though this seems to be the usual state of things in many places sine the smoking ban. The main plus point was that the staff were very friendly, and made friends with our children.

26 Oct 2007 21:48

The Horse and Groom, Ipswich

An application has now been lodged to convert this pub into 2 or 3 houses. The case against allowing this conversion is overwhelmingly strong. As the picture shows, the pub fronts directly onto one of the busiest roads in Ipswich; just a few metres away there is a busy road junction which is an accident blackspot, and on a daily basis queues of traffic form along this stretch of road creating a blanket of pollution. Any new resident would find their front room set in the midst of this noise and pollution. Many new flats and houses have recently been built in this densely populated area and a former allotment site, rich in wildlife, is currently being concreted over to provide 150 or so more homes just up the road, which in turn will add to the number of cars passing the Horse and Groom. It seems screamingly obvious that all these new residents- plus the existing ones- will need a community pub to act as a focal point for their community much more than they will need 2 or 3 badly sited new houses. It also needs to be pointed out that the owners of the site- someone called Bankside- certainly haven't owned the place for very long and would have a hard time convincing anyone who cared that they ever tried to run the Horse and Groom as a pub as opposed to having acquired it as a property speculation. The only alternative local pub, the Orchard, has been converted into a 'brasserie' called Creams which certainly doesn't function as a community local, so allowing this application would leave many hundreds of Ipswich people publess.
Given this case, it's clear the planning committee would only allow this application if they didn't give a monkeys about the local people whose interests they are elected to serve and were only interested in promoting lucrative business deals to enrich wealthy speculators.
So I'm confident they will throw out the application and force Bankside to run the Horse and Groom as a community pub or else sell it on to someone else who will do this. There's a pub in Cambridge called the Flying Pig- I feel this would make a good name when the pub is relaunched.

7 Oct 2007 22:27

The Ramsholt Arms, Ramsholt

Stevehar has a point but I think the remote location of this pub means they have to squeeze maximum profit from every session- there must be few, if any, 'locals', so every sunny lunch-time session needs to be milked as much as possible, since there must be many cold winter nights when nobody much turns up. Today the excellent Broadside was 2.60 a pint which compares favourably with other places where I've bought it recently. However, food prices were indeed unreasonably high- 9.25 for Sunday roast, we didn't sample this but hope it was worth it! Cod and chips came with tinned peas which we felt was unworthy of the price we paid. Kids meals cost as much as adult meals elsewhere, which stung us particularly as we had to buy a meal for our 3 year old who ate very little of it. I would suggest to the landlady that she introduces sandwiches, snacks etc since this part of Suffolk has a number of picturesque waterside pubs and next time we would probably go for one where we can spend a bit less on the food.

23 Sep 2007 22:13

The Emperor Inn, Ipswich

Definitely on the slippery slope now. Has recently given up opening at lunchtimes, apart from at the weekend; when a pub starts opening at 4pm you know it's on the way out, especially as at one time this pub had a family room and served food, and even featured once or twice in the Good Beer Guide. Today (a Friday) there was a chalked notice by the front door saying the pub is closed until next Wednesday because they have no beer- a former landlord is blamed for this little oversight. It would be fantastic if someone took this place over and gave it a new lease of life as it's been going downhill for some years now- but somehow I doubt this will happen.

19 Sep 2007 22:10

Mannings, Ipswich

Only decent pub remaining in Ipswich town centre, but is suffering as a result of the smoking ban. On a Friday or Saturday night the little beer garden out the back is crowded whilst the pub itself is pretty empty. The winter weather may well cause problems. Beers are good if a little overpriced, and it seems insane that the pub continues to call last orders at 11, sweeping away all the customers in the beer garden who might well have have bought another round or two if allowed to stay. I constantly despait over the way pubs put their own convenience over that of their potential customers, with the result that they end up out of business

18 Sep 2007 21:42

The Horse and Groom, Ipswich

Just prior to the smoking ban (which all you non-smokers claimed was going to reinvigorate the pub trade) Pubmaster/Punch Taverns quietly disposed of various pubs which had no obvious beer garden area to cater for the people who have actually been using the pubs for years. Now the results are starting to show. Just around from the Horse and Groom the Water Lily has been boarded up for about 8 months. Just down the road the Orchard has been turned into a 'brasserie' called Creams. Turn the corner again and the County has been turned into pseudo gastropub called the County of Suffolk. Both the latter are obviously struggling with their new identities and are sort of pretending to still be pubs to get the punters in. Now the Horse and Groom has joined the ranks of the closed and boarded up. Of couse both the Water Lily and the Horse and Groom are theoretically 'to let' as pubs, neither being easy premesis to sell off for conversion into flats. Meanwhile the Dove is still going strong down the road, but given so many pubs falling by the wayside so quickly it's hard to imagine what will be left of the real British pub in say 20 years time.

3 Sep 2007 21:49

The Leopard, Norwich

Large, airy single-roomed pub. There's a big telly on one wall showing terrestrial shows- Weakest Link during my visit. Beers, unusually for Norwich, are Batemans XB and XXXB. Unfortunately, whilst drinkable, they aren't served in great condition and are unlikely to attract any real ale fans to go out of their way to pay a visit. At the risk of sounding horribly patronising I would urge whoever is in charge of the cellar to visit the Kings Arms on Hall Road and taste the same beers as served there. This is a friendly comfortable pub with its own character- drop in for a pint if you are in these parts.

12 Jul 2007 22:08

The Plasterers Arms, Norwich

Looks quite drab and unappealing from the outside, an impression not helped by a whole host of notices on the door telling you you'll be banned if you do this that or the other, you can't come in at certain times etc. However once inside you'll find yourself in quite a cosy and comfortable pub- carpetted lounge with big fish tank, dark wooden beams, cushioned seats etc. The beers are from Adnams and are served in pretty good condition. I went in on my own and witnessed the phenomenon of everyone else in the pub, bar staff and all, disappearing outside for a fag and leaving me as sole occupant. Since I have no objection to cigarette smoke I wonder exactly who is supposed to be benefitting from this ban! Anyway this is a nice enough 'local', worth a visit if you're in this part of Norwich

12 Jul 2007 22:02

The Farmhouse, Kesgrave

I would recommend this pub to parents with small children. It's a 'hungry horse' pub which means food is served all day on unfeasibly large plates.The food isn't of gourmet quality and closer inspection might suggest your meal could easily have fitted onto a standard sized plate; however if like me you are happy with a 'chips with everything' type of menu then you'll be OK here. Furthermore this is a pub which welcomes children, with their own 'pony club' menu, fruit shoots etc. This is a pub where your kids can talk incessantly at top volume- drop their cutlery and climb under the table to look for it- get bored and decide to keep wandering off- in fact do all the things kids do without you having to cringe with embarrasment because all the other kids are doing it too. Extra plus point for me as a parent wanting to eat with my family but still drink decent beer- the hungry horses are owned by Greene King so you'll find some of their real ales on offer- Abbot and Old Speckled Hen (sadly the new reduced alcohol version) on our visit. Given the cacaphony of kids it's surprising any childless groups would want to come- but they do, in droves. As a result the pub is very busy- on one occasion we were told there was a 20 minute wait to order food, let alone be served with it. In a nutshell I would recommend a) visiting only if you have kids in your party b)avoiding obvious busy times like Sunday lunch- try 'teatime' instead. For the childless I'd recommend nipping round the corner to the Bell.

10 Jul 2007 21:36

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

j-p implies I've been less than fair in my review of this pub and I agree my last review reads a little like 'sour grapes'. I want to put down why I'm so disappointed in the Rose and Crown, then I'll shut up about it forever.
Rewind a couple of months; the Rose and Crown closed its doors. Then an advert appeared in CAMRA's local newsletter stating it would be opening again as a 'cask ale freehouse.' I was excited. Cask Ale freehouses are 'theme pubs' - I don't mean this in a disparaging way because these are the pubs I love. They are always built around a tried and tested formula. First the range of Cask ales- usually at least 6. The decor is based on the 'bare boards' theme- bare floorboards, stripped down walls, but all gleaming and clean. Often the walls are decorated with old enamel pub signs, advertisements for long defunct brands of cigarettes, quack medicines etc. Food tends to be of the basic-but-filling variety- Pies, filled rolls, scotch eggs, the wonderful home made pork pies that used to sit on the bar at the Golden Rule in Ambleside. There's an absence of piped music and fruit machines. 'Events' usually mean a weekend barbecue and perhaps a bi-annual beer fest.The intention is to recreate the atmosphere of the bygone 'Victorian ale house', but the whole thing is usually not the genuine article.If you are ever lucky enough to go on a pub crawl in Burton on Trent you will inevitably find yourself in the Burton Bridge Inn. The back room there is an absolutely classic drinking space ticking all the 'traditional' boxes- yet it was created less than a decade ago as an extension to the original pub. The Norwich and Ipswich Fat Cats were both renovations of former non-descript failing boozers- the Victorian atmosphere is purely a recent creation. Norwich has an abundance of great 'cask ale freehouses' answering this description- I'd say at least 20- and over the years I've spent countless happy afternoons in them, always ending at the best of them all, the Fat Cat. One recent discovery, for example, is the Kings Head on magalene Road, which has been a cask ale freehouse for all of 2 years but nevertheless oozes atmosphere.Occasionally you might find yourself in a pub whose atmosphere is the real thing- the Cock at Brent Eleigh is an example of this and it's a joy to drink there. But failing that the manufactured variety is a great substitute.
So this is what I thought- or hoped - we were getting in north west Ipswich- a cask ale freehouse in a town where unlike Norwich we have just 2 other examples. In my mind's eye I was calling into this great new pub for a beer on my way home from work, maybe becoming 'spotted' as a regular; in my dreams I was beckoning over my friends from East Ipswich to come for a beer in a decent pub on this side of town for the first time on record.
Then reality kicks in. Creating a 'cask ale freehouse', as with any other kind of refurbishment, takes an investment of money. This simply hasn't happened. Before it closed the Rose and Crown was a run-down pub with no real ale. Now it's a run down pub with 4 real ales. So much for my little dreams.
Finally in my previous post I accused the pub of having no events planned. This has now changed. Apparently from June 30th the pub is playing host to 'one big Polish party' (the migrant worker type, rather than the kind which might make the surfaces a little cleaner). So I'll leave the pub and it's future to the Poles, and leave it to others to form their own opinion.

1 Jul 2007 22:24

The Cat and Fiddle, Norwich

Hi, Poppi. The question now is, did you actually enter the pub before posting your new review? I see you comment on the curtains- and I agree it's deplorable that they are kept closed all day long, although i know of a number of other 'locals' where this happens- and you comment on the people coming and going from the pub, but you don't give your verdict on the actual interior or drinks on offer. If you haven't actually been in and had a beer I feel it's a little unfair to condemn the place once more- the landlord is clearly making an effort and needs an influx of 'ordinary' customers to appreciate this.

26 Jun 2007 21:25

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

Feeling a little guilty about posting 2 negative reviews for this pub without ever having set foot in it I felt I'd better pay an actual visit this evening. First I can confirm the pub has not been 'externally renovated' as a previous review claims- it looks exactly like the picture on this site which I suspect is at least 5 years old. Cannot confirm whether the pub has been 'internally renovated' but if so what came before must have been dire indeed. There are basic wooden tables and chairs;at the time of my visit most of the tables were coated with cigarette ash; I would guess the landlord has removed the ashtrays and not quite had the courage to ban smoking, hence the ash protest. In just 2 weeks he will lose his smoking customers forever. This evening- Friday at approx 9pm- there are 10 customers in the pub. 8 are clustered at the bar and are obviously friends/associates of the one memmber of staff who is running the place. The other 2 are German tourists. There are 4 real ales on offer but absolutely nothing else- no food, no forthcoming events, no karaoke, no barbecues, no discos no- As I have said previously, it's just a run down dive. Putting 4 real ales on the bar simply isn't enough to create a 'cask ale freehouse'- the landlord needs to go across town to the Dove and Fat Cat to find out what else is needed.

22 Jun 2007 22:53

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

Ok, you can stop watching this space. The pub has quietly reopened, with no announcement or fanfare of any kind, and I'm reliably informed that it is exactly what it was before- a moth eaten, somewhat run-down gay pub. Real ale may or may not be on offer now- but given this descrition it doesn't really matter, I won't be going in to find out and this side of Ipswich will have to keep on hoping for its 'cask ale freehouse'...

15 Jun 2007 21:21

The Cat and Fiddle, Norwich

Yes but I actually visited the pub on the day I wrote my review- I suspect those who have contradicted it are basing their reports on past visits. If they hated the pub that much they wouldn't have returned in April 2007 to find out if I was wrong. So go back now and give it another go- you'll find it perfectly clean and decent with a pleasant pubby atmosphere, if not many customers.

5 Jun 2007 22:02

The Rose and Crown, Ipswich

Closed at present but an advert in local CAMRA newsletter states it is to reopen as a real ale freehouse. CAMRA themselves don't seem to know anything about this, despite having presumably accepted payment from someone for placing the ad in their newsletter. Anyway it's good news for real ale lovers since there are no decent real ale pubs on this (west) side of Ipswich; the Emperor has a few good beers but is othrewise tired and run down, and the Dales is more like an OAP's club. So let's hope this pub will bring something like the Dove/Fat Cat etc to this side of Ipswich! Watch this space.

3 Jun 2007 21:21

The Ten Bells, Norwich

I wpould have gone in here for a pint at lunchtime today but discovered it no longer opens at lunchtimes. Now, a pub which doesn't open at lunchtimes and foregoes all those possible trading hours when it could be selling beer and food is a pub on the slippery slope. Please wake up guys, you are throwing business away and that isn't a good idea!!

23 May 2007 21:20

The Kings Head, Norwich

Very nice interior and good beer- if you like the atmosphere of a 'traditional ale house' with lots of bare floorboards, no music or fruit machines etc., you'll like it here. Personally I am quite happy with all the beers coming from East Anglia- there are an enormous variety of beers brewed in this region and you really don't feel restricted for choice. In fact on my visit there were 8 real ales on offer and 7 I had never heard of before.Norwich has many excellent pubs and this is one of the best.

22 May 2007 21:02

The Leather Bottle, Colchester

from the outside it looks like a historic little gem but the interior is bogstandard 1990s chain pub with boring beers to match.

16 May 2007 22:01

Ye Olde Marquis, Colchester

Has a cosy feel- full of fake old beams and other pub tat which actually make it feel rather homely. At present the lease is for sale, which might expain why the beer is undrinkable and the place is being 'run' by a bunch of minimum wage casuals who clearly don't give a xxxx about the place

16 May 2007 21:44

The Stockwell, Colchester

Currently closed with lease for sale. It's a lovely pub in a fantastic location, but as previous reviewers have commented it has been sadly neglected of late. Hopefully someone will take it over and invest in restoring it to its former glory, but given current trends in the industry I wouldn't bet on it.

16 May 2007 21:40

The Fat Cat, Colchester

The Norwich Fat Cat is my favourite pub in the whole universe and I'm also a great fan of the Fat Cat in Ipswich, where I live. Unfortunately this one isn't in the same league at present. The beers are of course excellent with the usual Fat Cat range of hand pump and gravity ales. The problem is with the interior- it's basically a fairly small, thin space with walls painted cream, one left with pale exposed brickwork,huge brand-new beams on the ceiling, little cuby lights mounted on the walls, a smell of fresh paint still lingering in the air; in a nutshell you don't feel like you're in a pub at all, it's more like the waiting room of some modern upmarket solicitors' office. Before paying this visit I honestly hadn't realised how crucial the right atmosphere is to a good pub experience. This is a pub which desperately needs some 'character'

16 May 2007 21:35

The Lexden Crown, Colchester

This pub is in the 2007 CAMRA Good Beer Guide so notwithstanding other reviews on this site, being in the area I decided to give it a try. I ordered a beer called Jouster, and sure enough it was cloudy, soupy and barely drinkable. The pub's decor is pleasant enough, and I can't comment on the food as I didn't stay for any- But I can confirm that the beer isn't good and this pub shouldn't be in the Good Beer Guide

16 May 2007 21:23

The Masons, Ipswich

One of just a couple of back street community pubs surviving in Ipswich. On July 1st the smoking ban takes effect and pubs like this will depend upon Greene King to keep it alive and demonstrate just how commited they are to the communities which buy their products.

13 May 2007 22:01

The Old Bell, Ipswich

Ipswich's oldest surviving pub in a rambling old listed building. A few months ago the owners applied for permission to close it down and turn it into a restaurant. Naturally, mindful of its history and heritage, this permission was immediately granted. Now the pub has closed and has boards on the wall saying that it's for sale as a redevelopment opportunity with permission for conversion into a restaurant or hotel.My dream is that it will be bought up and restored as a fantastic pub- its location near the resurgent docks means it has huge potential in the right hands.

21 Apr 2007 22:16

The Wheatsheaf, West Beckham

This pub is listed in all the good pub guides so I felt I was onto a winner driving here with my family on a fine April evening. With two small children in tow we prefer to eat in the beer garden so having settled at a table I approached the pub only to find a notice on the door saying 'we do not serve food to the beer garden in the evenings'. This explained why despite fine weather the beer garden was empty! A quick look round inside revealed low ceilings and tables packed closed together- not a venue for small children- so it was back in the car to eat elsewhere. We would have spent about 50 here on food and drink; so work it out, if just one carload an evening is driven away by their silly little notice they will lose about 9,000 of sales this summer. So my advice to the landlord is, don't be so ****ing lazy, get serving in the beer garden and stay in business!!

20 Apr 2007 21:58

The Red Hart Inn, Bodham

We received a really warm welcome here. Staff very friendly and helpful, and beer- Adnams Broadside- pretty good. However the food was a bit of a let-down and didn't justify the price tag; better quality and a wider choice would be a good idea.

14 Apr 2007 21:57

The Punch and Judy, Ipswich

The one and only reason for coming here is that they welcome children. It's a typical chain pub. There are too few staff which means you will wait to get served even if no one else is at the bar. The staff-when they do appear- are underpaid and unfriendly. The food is of the kind which is delivered in by lorry and goes straight from the freezer into the microwave. There's no real ale. But- and this is a big but- this is the only pub in Ipswich town centre where children are welcome, ie there are high chairs, fruit shoots and oversized menus featuring things with chips, ice creams etc. For this reason they have a captive audience of parents with small children desperate for a 'pub meal' in Ipswich town centre. The extraordinary thing is that you see people without children coming in and eating here voluntarily when they could be at one of the many far superior but less child-friendly pubs nearby!!

2 Apr 2007 22:07

The Waterlily, Ipswich

Currently- and probably permanently- closed. A decade or so ago this was a popular little pub, the only one in Ipswich serving real ales straight from the cask. Successive landlords came along and took away the real ale, food etc, and of course the customers stopped coming. Just up the road is the Dove, one of the most successful and popular pubs in the UK and I often wonder why someone from the Water Lily- or indeed from Punch Taverns who own it- never looked in at the window and thought 'Why have they got lots of customers when we haven't got any??'Not that Punch care- they've probably already sold the place off for flats.

23 Mar 2007 21:49

The Dyers Arms, Norwich

Seemes quite run down- ancient barstools with the stuffing coming out, bare plaster crumbling away on the walls etc, carpet clearly not cleaned in a long long time. London Pride equally tired.Desperately needs some money spending on it, or could well be a victim of the forthcoming smoking ban

23 Mar 2007 21:29

The Cidershed, Norwich

Of course given the Fat Cat connection the beers are plentiful. The problem is it really is literally a shed, a big wooden buiding with doors at either end. On a raw March day it was freezing in there, and the air temperature meant the beers were also being served too cold. Great in summer I'm sure, but in winter this place needs warming up!

23 Mar 2007 21:26

The Cat and Fiddle, Norwich

nice little pub, clean and friendly with small selection of good beers.

23 Mar 2007 21:22

The New Entertainer, Gorleston

A classic pub. It stands out as a period gem amongst the undistinguished buildings around it. LOts of old, dark wood and original features. Has a great relaxing atmosphere; you won't want to leave. But beware, there are no pavements around this pub, you step out straight onto the road, so don't get too p***ed!

27 Apr 2006 22:06

The Railway Tavern, Reedham

EXcellent pub in a favourable location right by the railway station.With great beers from its own brewery and good food here is one rural pub which can't fail- we'll certainly never hear that greedy profiteers have turned this one into flats!

22 Mar 2006 21:55

The Fox and Hounds, Heacham

We are going to this area on holiday with our family
so e-mailed ahead re family facilities. Despite several attempts we received no reply. So don't go with your family, and don't expect a pub which cares about 'customer relations'.

22 Mar 2006 21:49

The Dales, Ipswich

Had an excellent meal and some good beers here. We live locally but have two small children so have only visited once in two years, as this pub doesn't welcome children. After the smoking ban next year, life is going to be really tough for community pubs which don't want families...My message would be, open your doors to kids, let families in and stay in business!

1 Mar 2006 21:49

The Emperor Inn, Ipswich

my nearest pub. excellent real ales are served but the pub seems to attract a clientele of weirdoes which are likely to deter normal people from going in. also the pub looks scruffy and neglected, which it clearly isn't. i cant help feeling this pub will follow the live and let live, defiance, gardeners arms etc and be sold down the river by pubmaster/punch taverns in the near future which would be a shame.

21 Jul 2005 21:36

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