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BITE user comments - lovejoy

Comments by lovejoy

Pelican In Her Piety, Ogmore By Sea

Used to love this place. It had the earthy and rugged feel of the castle it overlooks. The setting its in is fantastic and that will always remain, but gone is the down to earth service, the good beer and the passionate management of the place and what we have now is the feel of a pub run by a bunch of hipsters who think they're in Shoreditch. Extortionate prices, badly kept beer and no atmosphere.

27 Mar 2016 00:05

Mermaid Inn, Christian Malford

This pub has been closed for some time now. The building is abandoned, no signs of anything happening.

29 Feb 2016 13:08

The Glue Pot, Swindon

Thought I'd give this place another go having heard that the old miserable gits had finally moved on. The place still seriously needs a makeover. You get the impression that the place hasn't seen a lick of paint since before the smoking ban came into effect. Given its position within Swindon's Railway Village this could be by far the best pub in Swindon but that's probably as much the fault as the Hopback Brewery as it is it's management.
Well, my visit lasted around an hour. 40 of those minutes were spent stood at the bar waiting to get served. Thankfully a pint had already been bought for me upon my arrival to meet some friends, but getting the second pint in was fruitless. One person serving, no more than 5 people at the bar when I approached, but absolutely no acknowledgement from the barman, he had no skills in knowing who to serve next, people approaching the bar new were getting served before people who'd been waiting a while and just as the final insult - after over half an hour of being ignored - the barman swans off to the toilet. At that point we gave up and left. What makes it even worse is the barman was volunteered some help behind the bar to which his response was 'no, I'm fine on my own thanks'. Seems as if someone could do with some basic bar and customer service training.
The saving grace of the evening was that it was only a few minutes' walk to the local Wetherspoon's which served us almost immediately with some decent beers.
Looks like we'll have to wait for another change of hands before returning here again.

13 Jan 2014 21:09

The Grampus, Ilfracombe

A real gem of a pub. Placed down a narrow alleyway off the main road through Lee, also within easy reach of the South West Coastal Path, this long thin building also doubles as the village stores. Entering the pub through the side past the large beer garden puts you straight at the bar serving a good variety of Devonian beers, ciders and perrys. On my visit there were handpumps from Otter and Exmoor breweries and ciders and perrys from Sandford Orchards both bottled and on tap. The beers are very well kept and served by attentive, friendly and helpful staff. The atmosphere here can range from very quiet to very lively depending on when you go, but always enjoyable.
The pub is divided into a number of small to medium sized rooms. One of the smaller back rooms houses a range of acoustic guitars and other instruments. Friday nights are advertised as an open mic night - feel free to bring your own instrument and join in. There are also occasional live gigs.
The jewel in the crown of this pub however is the food, which is all home made - no food service deliveries here - The menu also clearly marks out many vegetarian options and the vast majority of dishes are also gluten free.. On the first visit I had the venison casserole which was a perfectly sized portion served with new potatoes, sprouts and red cabbage - everything cooked to perfection, the venison had been slow cooked and was as tender as could be. The second visit and I had the bangers and mash - again gluten free. The sausages are locally sourced and delicious. For dessert the orange and cardomom steam pudding (again gluten free) was to die for. Looking forward to returning to North Devon to visit here again.

13 Jan 2014 20:37

The Talbot Arms, Uplyme

An excellent pub situated in a very pretty part of the world. Just up the hill from here and about 5 minutes walk is a great campsite that caters for tents and tourers so The Talbot is the perfect place to end the day, or to pop in as it's on the beautiful walk from Uplyme to Lyme Regis.
The pub keeps 4-5 ales on at any time and for the time we were there, these were from Otter or Dartmoor breweries. Without doubt the best pint of Otter I have ever had, including The Bridge in Topsham which is some achievement, although The Talbot does have the advantage of being nearer the Otter Brewery.
Service was never anything less than efficient and friendly and the locals are happy to engage in conversation too.
The food here also demands attention. The menu is firmly planted in the 'pub grub' rather than the restaurant pigeon hole, but it's reasonably priced, served efficiently, servings are plentiful and the food - particularly the meat - is locally sourced. The fillet steak was incredible and cannot be recommended highly enough.
On a nice warm evening, go down the stairs and out of the back of the pub to the large garden and patio and enjoy the view of the surrounding valley. There is also a stream running through the garden. Also at the back is a block of 5 single story apartments which form the pubs accommodation.
One comment about the note below. Although this pub has a juke box and a TV, it's not a sports bar, it's not rowdy and is not the place you'd expect to find people getting leathered before moving onto a club etc. The juke box is always played at background levels, as is the TV (if it's on). It's also not the sort of place you'd expect to be hearing offensive language coming from another table. If your 'private conversation' was overheard, which it clearly was, then you were rightly asked to leave and if you have to play the race card rather than own up for your own misbehaviour then it's you that sounds like the racist, not the pub landlords and clientele.

17 May 2012 15:45

Rodbourne Arms, Swindon

This place is now closed. The land is now owned by Farmfoods and planning application for a Farmfoods store being considered.

15 Aug 2011 13:01

Fox and Hounds, Uffington

Cosy pub split into three small rooms. The central bar area generally has three very well kept ales on handpump. Enjoyed the nicest pint of Ringwood Best I've ever had. Friendly and quick service. Food looks excellent - good quality pub grub and fish and chips on a Friday evening for �5. Music is played from behind the bar which is unobtrusive and enjoyable.

Two small rooms flank the bar area. The room to the left of the bar has a flat screen TV which shows sports events and the room to the right is for anyone just wanting a quiet meal/drink.

Young children and dogs also welcome, which adds to the friendly feel to the pub.

29 Oct 2009 07:12

Sun Inn, Lydiard Millicent

Great to see this place open again. Not too much has changed thankfully except that the room to the left of the bar has been opened up, seemingly as an eating area.
The beer selection has increased from 2 very well kept ales to 4. Had a good pint of Brains' Reverend James.

19 Aug 2009 18:28

The White Lion, Cricklade

Stopped off on a hot day after a cycle from Swindon and wanted nothing more than to sit in a beer garden with an ice cold Coke. �2.40 for a pint of Coke is a bit of a rip off really, especially when you consider that there's no alcohol duty involved. The range of beers on offer was nothing particularly inspiring and the beer garden was more like a few benches in the car park and was an absolute mess: Half eaten meals that looked as though they'd been left for hours. Ash trays full of butt ends and all sorts of detritus strewn around the floor. You'd think at �2.40 for a pint of Coke, they'd at least get someone to come and clear the tables.

19 Aug 2009 18:25

The Fox At Patching, Patching

Rather dowdy pub which is quite surprising considering how much you pay for a pint here. Visited here to sample the Hammerpot beers as it was one of the only pubs in the area that was said to stock them. Seriously wish I hadn't bothered as it was so poorly kept that I may as well have had a pint of Stella.

23 Jul 2009 23:37

The Carters Rest, Wroughton

My new adopted local - apart from living on the opposite side of Swindon. There's something very special about this place, the people are friendly both in front of and behind the bar. The beer range and quality is without match in the region and it's far too easy to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the place and while away hours getting gradually sozzled.

The majority of pubs in Swindon could learn a lot from this place.

29 May 2009 14:40

Sun Inn, Lydiard Millicent

Now completely boarded up

14 Mar 2009 12:27

Sun Inn, Lydiard Millicent

This pub, sadly, is currently closed, as of the end of 2008. It looks to have changed hands, so it may be closed for renovation, but could equally end up as a house/flats etc. Fingers crossed it re-opens with a new lease of life.

1 Feb 2009 12:22

The Turf Locks Hotel, Exminster

Pleasant summer pub (I believe it is only open during the summer months) on the cycle trail between Exeter and Dawlish. Good well kept beer and excellent food on offer which is well deserved after the long walk or cycle to get there. Situated on the estuary looking out towards Topsham, lovely beer garden with loads of space. On the opposite end of the pub to the estuary is the canal, so it's also reachable by canoe.

7 Sep 2008 14:10

Otley Arms, Treforest

Fond memories of this pub from my University days when it was known fondly by all students as 'O' Block. Nothing special inside, quite dark, a couple of TVs, good jukebox, conservatory area and pool tables, but always a good atmosphere, friendly staff and very reasonably priced food.
These days however, The Otleys brew their own beers. All I can say is that if they were doing this when I was at uni, I'd never have got a degree. They are all extremely fine brews and having been brewed locally, you can always guarantee a good pint. Other than that, I'm pleased to say that nothing much else has changed over the last 10 years or so.

7 Sep 2008 13:52

The Black Sheep, Almondsbury

This is now a Starbucks. There was obviously far too much money to be made selling coffee to the local workers to let it remain a pub. There is still some alcohol served in some form, but there is no real ale anymore and the usual Starbucks attitude and atmosphere applies.

15 Jul 2008 10:45

Zero Degrees, Bristol

Only visited this place after a very enjoyable evening at the new Cardiff branch. This was quite a different experience. The place has all of the atmosphere of an aircraft hangar. The feel of the place is somewhere between a construction site and a school canteen. The beers, as mentioned before are all brewed on site and you can see all of the workings, so you can at least be guaranteed a fresh pint. I guess they are subject to variances in batches but none of the beers tasted as good as they did in Cardiff. The staff were a pale imitation also and seemed disinterested and aloof. The staff in Cardiff could not have been more friendly or attentive, service was also quick and efficient. The Bristol people could learn a lot of lessons.
The only thing that the Bristol branch has over Cardiff is that it has a balcony for outside drinking, although a friend of mine on a separate visit was told he could not sit outside as he was not smoking. There's discrimination for you.

25 Jun 2008 20:11

Groves Company Inn, Swindon

Of the 3 Wetherspoons in Swindon, this seems to be the one where all the local bums and winos hang out. Never been a good atmosphere in here. The place feels more like a community centre (a care in the community centre) than a pub.

22 Jun 2008 17:36

The Talbot, Mells

Beautiful pub in a quiet little village which unfortunately is not easy to get to via public transport (at least not if you would like a night out there) but is well worth the trip if you are in the Frome area.

The pub is split into two main buildings with the bar to the right and the restaurant to the left of the cosy courtyard of this 15th Century coaching inn. The bar looks very much like a converted barn with high ceilings and rafters and oozes atmosphere. The beer is served from 3 barrels kept behind the bar. When I went there, all three barrels contained Butcombe Best, but it was a very well kept pint.

Beyond the courtyard is a sizeable beer garden which is raised and hidden from the road below (not that it's a busy road) and offers relaxed views of the pretty surrounding village. It also looks as if there is some expansion work going on - possibly to their already existing accommodation.

The food, as mentioned is not exactly cheap, but they are listed in Egon Ronay's guides, and it shows. You certainly get what you pay for. Staff and locals are very welcoming and you are well looked after.

15 Jun 2008 09:24

The Plough and Harrow, Monknash

Every time I get back to Wales and manage to visit this place, it re-asserts itself as the best pub I know of anywhere in the UK. There is nothing I can fault about it - The surroundings are cosy inside and on a nice day the beer garden is very pleasant, the staff are friendly and helpful, the beer is top notch and constantly changing, there are always at least 4 guests but even the more constant Wye Valley beers are fantastic. There's a good range of ciders, scrumpys and liqueurs too. They also sell Welsh Penderyn Whisky which is seriously worth a try if you appreciate a good single malt. The food is excellent.. Not the most extensive or varied menu, but what they do is done extremely well using local produce and is served very efficiently.
I can't say I agree with the comment made by acrylic about a middle class atmosphere with people keeping themselves to themselves. It's rare that I don't manage to get into a conversation with a stranger there and the place is very popular with the local farmers who do anything but keep quiet in a corner.
I really cannot rate the beer highly enough and you'd be hard pushed to find anywhere close with such a well kept and varied stock. During the two consecutive nights I was there in the last week, I managed to sample: Tomos Watkin's Grand Slam, Oscar Wilde mild from Essex, a summer ale from the Isle of Purbeck brewery, Rhymney ale and Sweet Jane (I forget the name of that brewery) and that was before settling back to the Wye Valley ale. There was not one bad pint among them.

11 May 2008 20:44

Sun Inn, Lydiard Millicent

Without doubt, this has to be one of, if not the best pub in North Wiltshire in terms of surroundings, atmosphere, beer and food.
Both the food menu and the beers on tap always provide some nice surprises. Have recently sampled beers there from RCH and the Hidden Brewery. The beers are so well kept that the Hidden beer tasted better than it does at one of Hidden's own pubs.
Also some of the best food that I have dined out on in a very long time, all reasonably priced and service is excellent.
If the weather is good, the large beer garden is a real treat with an expansive grassy area and a patio close to the rear of the pub.

6 May 2008 08:38

The Bell Inn, Ramsbury

Ramsbury is a stunningly picturesque village and well worth a detour if you're passing up through Marlborough. The pub sits on a Y junction towards the back end of the village. If the place had been sat on the river bank no more than a couple of hundred metres further south then it would have been idyllic.

As it is, there is a warm welcome and pleasant surroundings. A good mix between a diners and a drinkers pub with a number of rooms and cubby holes to sit in. The interior has seen some renovation in the last 5 years or so but it hasn't been made to look like a characterless chain pub. There is a nice ambience in here and the atmosphere is very homely. The locals are friendly too.

Beer is well kept with local Ramsbury on handpump and a brew which is made for the pub itself.

3 May 2008 15:18

Dick Whittington, Gloucester

This place alone used to make it worth a trip to Gloucester. Lovely building, friendly staff, fantastic array of beers all of which very interesting choices, and all very well kept too.
On my last visit in March 08, it seemed as if there had been a change of ownership. The bar staff were indifferent, the range of beers while not smaller had become more generic and all of that lively atmosphere had been sucked out of the place. A real shame. I hope this was just a blip.

21 Apr 2008 11:30

Queens Arms, Salisbury

A nice pub to pop into when you find that the Rai D'or across the road is closed, which it always is whenever I am in Salisbury.

Bit of a local atmosphere and not the most exciting beers in the world - four hand pumps each with a best bitter, but it's very well kept and service is good. Which is more than I can say for many places in Salisbury.

21 Apr 2008 11:15

The Village, Salisbury

Popped in here on a Saturday afternoon in Mid April after seeing the good ratings on here and the promising looking beer selection visible through the window from the outside.
Upon entering the building was overcome by the stench of sweat and disinfectant. It was so pungent I immediately wanted to leave but ordered a pint and sat near the door. Big mistake. My beer was obviously on the turn and after 3 sips found something rather disgusting with the consistency of overcooked pasta in my mouth. I hope it was sediment but I don't want to give it too much thought. I promptly left leaving over 3/4 pint.
The comments about the toilets are all true too. Best avoided.

21 Apr 2008 10:40

The Court House, Caerphilly

Going back a few years this used to be a great pub. A proper drinkers pub, 4 real ales, friendly atmosphere, good menu but not overtly a restaurant pub and in the large conservatory of the back of the pub, lovely views of Caerphilly Castle. Especially good on a warm summer evening when you can sit in the beer garden at the back enjoying a pint of good beer.
Going back there recently, all that remains are the good views! There is now only one beer on hand pump, which is not a very good one. The food is now straight out of the microwave and has now become a foody pub and the place is crawling with chavs. Agree with the first post that it now has a Wetherspoons type atmosphere but it's not one of the better Wetherspoons. A real shame this place has been let go so badly.

3 Apr 2008 09:55

Pattern Store Bar, Swindon

This place is now closed... Thankfully.
Apparently it will re-open as a pizza restaurant.

4 Sep 2007 13:48

George's Meeting House, Exeter

If there's a better Wetherspoons in the UK then I have yet to find it. The building is a conversion of a Methodist chapel and all of the original features have been retained, some even roped off to preserve them. There is an incredibly welcoming atmosphere to this place and kudos to the managers, it is run very well. Always an interesting selection of real ales which are kept very well. The food is of the usual Wetherspoons standard but that's to be expected. There are also a couple of large screen TVs which is unusual for a JDs but they are kept in the back section of the pub and they never seem to have any sound, so don't cause any disturbance. Also a pleasant outdoor seating area.

14 Aug 2007 19:14

The Cayo Arms Hotel, Cardiff

Returned to the much loved Caio after a few years of not being in Cardiff and whilst it's still a good pub, my fond memories of it were not quite relived as I remembered them. It gains lots of extra bonus points by virtue of the fact that it's one of the only places in Cardiff you can go for a pint of Tomos Watkin and escape the clutches of Brains Brewery, but the beer doesn't seem as well kept these days, although possibly this is a cellar issue owing to the hot weather we were having at the time. The food has unfortunately gone 'ping' cuisine as well though unfortunately and was rather disappointing.

14 Aug 2007 18:48

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