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BITE user comments - esp2006

Comments by esp2006

Whites Tavern, Belfast

Another old characterful pub tucked away down a little alleyway and easily overlooked. Like Kelly's Cellars, a watering hole for those who like a bit of character and rough 'n' ready old-time 'charm'.

The food looked/smelled good and the ale was spot-on and sensibly priced for the city.

As fresh visitors to the area we were taken aback by the film festival being held, complete with popcorn supplied to customers watching the film outside in the alley! Obviously a favourite of the students.

Enjoyed a pleasant evening playing cards and supping ale. Liked the Halloween decor too!

28 Oct 2015 12:31

McHughs, Belfast

Though relatively quiet here, on the edge of the city and later in the evening (Saturday), we walked in, surveyed the possible ale choice and walked straight back out - nothing struck us as being readily a pint to make us stop, pleasant though the surroundings might be.

28 Oct 2015 12:26

The Garrick Bar, Belfast

We made the mistake of trying this establishment a bit late in the evening (9-ish or so?) Despite the good write-up and the prospect of finding some good ale, we found the place absolutely heaving on a Saturday evening, with no prospect of easily or quickly gaining a seat for the two of us. We gave up and left, almost tripping over the arriving band's equipment as we did so. Need to get to this one a lot earlier next time we visit!

28 Oct 2015 12:23

Kelly's Cellars, Belfast

Great vibrant atmosphere and character(s). Food (Irish Stew) and ale sensibly priced. Guinness smooth and rich and Smithwick's ales also on tap - very good.

It might seem a bit rough and ready, but at least there's a friendly welcome and they have small bottles of eminently quaffable wine for the ladies. ;o)

Would have returned for the advertised and locally recommended evening live music, but had too much else to try in our short time in Belfast. Maybe next time.

28 Oct 2015 12:20

The Duke Of York, Belfast

Another very attractive and interesting pub, tucked away down an alley, worthy of a visit for the interior décor alone. Far more spacious than it looks, with plenty of room. Good ales and well-kept Guinness; very acceptable Sauv Blanc for my wife. Well worth incorporating into a mini pub crawl of the immediate area. Scary array of Irish Whiskey from the sublime to the ridiculous - over £100 for a measure in one case! The alley outside must get rammed in the summer but it was pleasantly quiet on an October Sunday afternoon.

28 Oct 2015 12:17

The Cloth Ear, Belfast

Absolutely heaving on a Saturday night and, I have to admit, not my scene nowadays. Yes, the young and trendy crowd (generally) were having a high ole time, but the level of noise was unpleasant and I resent having to shout to make myself heard when trying to have a conversation over an over-priced pint. I found the name somewhat ironic.

Probably worth visiting at a more sociable, quieter hour of the day to appreciate the setting and maybe the food, which did look rather good. I felt sorry for those trying to eat a late dinner there.

New to Belfast, we didn't know the best places to go for a proper drink and conversation, but maybe the bouncers outside should have been a warning.

28 Oct 2015 12:14

Bittles, Belfast

An attractive and interesting place to visit for the tourist, particularly because of the artwork on display. Interesting selection of varied customers, though the turnover seemed high.

Wide range of craft (bottled) ales plus some on tap...but what a price! Why do they charge £2.50 a half for Guinness and £2.75 for a 'guest'? I was gobsmacked when I handed over £10 to buy two pints and had to find another £1 to pay up! Yes, it's a very nice bar, but such prices are taking the proverbial - it's NOT London! Probably explains the high turnover of customers.

Interestingly, after an initially friendly welcome, our sedate drinking and playing of cards (after we asked permission) was eventually called into question - apparently, we were occupying valuable drinking space at our table - we moved on, ultimately unimpressed. Pity.

28 Oct 2015 12:09

The Summer House, Dudley

Yes, the OTT Christmas decorations are still world famous around the Black Country! :o)
It's a friendly pub offering great value for money. The menu might not be extensive or particularly imaginative, but portions are decent and tasty. We dine there regularly and are assured of a warm welcome. Bookings are advisable for Saturday and Sunday lunches.
No real ale on tap, although Marston's Pedigree is usually available. There's a choice of fairly decent and good value wines by the glass or bottle.
Take care when exiting the car park - vision to the left is not as good as it could be on this road.

30 Jan 2014 20:48

The Green Man, Dunchurch

We dropped in for Saturday lunch in mid January, having checked a few online references. It's not impressive from the front, having a narrow frontage. It's also useful to know that there is a decent carpark accessible via the drive at the left side.
Inside, the Green Man is an interesting combination of local bar and lounge plus hotel and restaurant. It's also a combination of old and new - the dining area proper looks to have been recently(?) decorated.
We found several real ales on tap and a freshly lit fire to greet us on a cold wet afternoon. We asked for a bar menu and were directed to a full menu with a good selection of sensibly priced options. As two of our party have special dietary requirements, we asked for guidance. We were very pleasantly surprised when the chef came out to discuss the menu with us and make sure she got it right first time.
We had a very enjoyable meal with very good and friendly service. If we're in the area again, we will certainly consider dropping in.
We noticed a fairly spacious garden area at the back - complete with benches and kids' play area.

30 Jan 2014 20:28

Littleton Arms, Penkridge

We have visited the Littleton at least once a year since 2009 for meals since stumbling upon it while in the area. We enjoyed the 'can do' attitude and good food then and continue to do so. The young team always seem welcoming and happy to help.
Yes the food can be a bit 'pretentious' and pricey, but it has always been good value and very enjoyable in our experience. Food is locally sourced wherever possible.
There's usually a good selection of ales on tap and it looks as though there are various lagers/lager beers available on tap/in bottles too. Wine can be a bit steep, but always good quality.
It's certainly more of a dining pub (and hotel/inn) than a 'local' but seems to be popular - best to book ahead for meals.
We have stayed overnight and recommend that too.
If you don't mind paying that bit more it's well worth a visit.

30 Jan 2014 16:40

The Star Inn, Penkridge

As of end December 2013 we can support the three previous reports: well worth a side trip. Little to add, even to the 2009 report. Very good. Welcoming and friendly. Good selection of bar snacks at sensible prices. Good service.
Obviously a popular place for the regulars/locals - good Saturday afternoon atmosphere.

30 Jan 2014 16:17

Boat Inn, Stafford

Still showing under Stafford, but definitely located in Penkridge! :o)
Visited at the end of Dec 2013 during a Saturday afternoon.
Unexceptional exterior but interior is wooden paneling and floors + brickwork, broadly split into two main areas. Clean. Varied seating options from stools to comfy sofas and chairs.
Friendly atmosphere.
Sport on TV without sound.
Ale was good (three pumps on) but had to request top-up of my two halves.
Was informed by the wife that the non-specific dry white wine was very good.
Cannot speak for the food menu, but am told it is quite varied, good value, and locally sourced.
One room seems to have set-up for live music.
We enjoyed our visit - worth the walk out from Penkridge centre.

30 Jan 2014 16:10

The Whitesmiths Arms, Gloucester

We popped in here on a late January Saturday night after turning up at our first choice, The Tall Ship, just as they were locking the doors (approx 10:30pm?)
I can understand previous reviewers' comments, but even though we're a group of middle aged types, we enjoyed our visit.
Take time to look around you and the place has 'character'. Take a look up in the one area and you will see the old roof timbers and beams.
It was quite busy, but we found room for the 4 of us amid a varied crowd of customers. The disco was crammed into the front bar but not too loud further back. The music was surprisingly varied and suited us.
Sadly, not all ales were on, but what we had was perfectly fine (can't recall which Arkell's ale - sorry).
Livelier atmosphere than elsewhere we visited that evening!

30 Jan 2014 13:27

The Water Poet, Gloucester

Visited in late Jan 2014 for late evening meal and also for breakfast.
A typical Wetherspoon's establishment - what else is there to say? You largely get what you expect and pay for.
One comment: unlike some JDW establishments we've visited, the toilets were less than impressive. Both on the Saturday night and Sunday morning the smell in the gents was less than pleasant.

30 Jan 2014 13:12

Dick Whittington, Gloucester

The two most recent reviews seem to substantiate our opinion and experience. We stayed for one drink, although we had considered eating. It was very 'quiet' on an early Saturday evening but we were told they only had one steak left and "only a few prawns". One of our party has special dietary requirements and was told that when we placed our order they would consult the cook - obviously not keen to help in advance.
Tired and dated decor/furnishings didn't add to the experience. Neither did the loud music.
One good point: our ales were properly topped up without need for a reminder and seemed to be in decent condition.
Not sure if the photo that goes with the pub is appropriate or not - pity about the police vehicle! Maybe things get more 'interesting' later - we did note there was 'live music' advertised for later on.

30 Jan 2014 13:07

The Lower George Inn, Gloucester

Since the last review this pub has reopened under new management as the Lower George (although the former name also appears).
From our own experience of an early Saturday evening in late January 2014, we can safely say that this watering hole is maintaining a reputation for serving a range of real ales at quite sensible prices, with friendly service and a friendly atmosphere.
The only downside for us was that they were clearly getting ready for a local band to put on a gig, with the result that music played through the speakers was a bit intrusive, even in the front bar.
Needs more visits and reviews.

30 Jan 2014 12:59

Cafe Rene, Gloucester

As this most 'recent' review was from 2012, it's time for an update. Based on a Sunday afternoon visit in late Jan 2014 for a drink and late lunch.
Quite busy but good atmosphere and not noisy. The place has character and charm. It's easy to miss down that side alleyway, but worth seeking out.
Yes, the drinks were more expensive than anywhere else we went in Gloucester, but were of good quality. Those an ale were happy.
Our meals from the varied lunchtime menu were sensibly priced and very satisfactory with one major exception. Despite taking pains to speak to a helpful member of staff regarding a gluten free meal (they actually have a marked up copy of the menu for GF customers), the burger that was ordered still arrived in a bun - we assume a communication breakdown between bar and kitchen. After that my wife lost faith in their ability to feed her without making her ill.
On the positive side, we did get a refund with no fuss but profuse apologies from the serving staff. Sadly, a bit too late to prevent severe disappointment after my wife's hopes had been raised (it's nice to get a decent choice of GF meals). Hence I am marking Cafe Rene down from an 8+ to a 6 in this instance.
Otherwise, I can recommend a visit.

30 Jan 2014 12:52

The Courthouse, Dudley

For money this is, apart from the annual Winter Ales Fayre, the only reason to venture into Dudley town centre. There's always a good cross section of real ales on - usually something for most folks' tastes - and even a selection of ciders. The range changes regularly, which is good. Prices are fairly reasonable, too - nice to drink for under �3 a pint.
Earlier in the week, I joined a couple of mates there. As I expected, after the weekend the range of beers was depleted, but there were still at least 6 to try. Each one I tasted was good. We very much enjoyed our evening.
Also as expected it was quiet - a Monday night in Dudley is hardly a throbbing and 'happening' scene! However, for a quiet drink and a chat the Courthouse was just about right. OK, so it's not the most glamorous place to visit and looks a bit daunting (lacking in presence of the young and beautiful, but having its share of local 'characters') but certainly a good venue for a few drinks and conversation held at normal volumes. I even felt perfectly safe in reading my Kindle before and after my friends had come and gone.

31 Oct 2012 12:03

Tumbledown Farm, Hatherton

In brief:
Two real ales on offer: Wells Bombardier and Titanic Tumbledown.
Style: modern family dining pub/restaurant.
Menu: varied with emphasis on local farm produce.
Service: variably disorganised, slow and even insulting.
Overall: a real disappointment - this could be a really good dining pub, but in our experience has been let down by very poor service levels.

We don't go looking for reasons to complain and rate any establishment poorly, but our experience at the weekend means we will not be returning to Tumbledown Farm again. This was definitely third time unlucky for us. A birthday celebration was ruined by the disgraceful attitude of the manager on top of poor organisation among his staff. Suffice it to say that we won't be back. Discounted meals offered with ill grace simply do not cut it - too little, too late.

Hopefully, the other diners who experienced the same poor service (and even some very rude attitude from the manager) will also be submitting their own comments somewhere.

28 Mar 2011 09:21

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