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I do not currently post reviews on this site as I have lost faith in the way the site is administered but you can PM me if you so wish. I may even get back to you.

Username: RogerB

Age: 63

Sex: male

Latest comments by RogerB

The Royal Victoria and Bull, Dartford

I�m afraid that contrary to keepthechange�s comments, the recent refurbishments were more out of necessity than anything I may have conjured up but having just made my first post refurbishment visit, it appears to have been money well spent. The interior is looking in fine shape with many of the features restored to their best, in particularly the wonderful old fireplaces and the glazed courtyard. The introduction of additional furnishings where floors were once bare is a welcome improvement and even the pool room has taken on a new found attractiveness that was previously lost on me. There are several new, and in some cases bizarre old photos of the town and the pub itself dotted between the various rooms, my personal favourite being of the converted double decker bus that was used to transport bicycles through the tunnel. Many of the rooms and side bars have now been named giving them a bit of identity (the Royal Room, Games Room, the Nook etc). There is also more emphasis on the life of Richard Trevithick who lived and died here with several portraits taking prominent positions and a detailed display of the pub�s history can also be found.

The multiple TV�s and disco lights are still very much to the fore and if there is a drive to make the place more user friendly to those of us now beyond the first flushes of youth I doubt it will catch on as the place has an inbuilt reputation for clubbers, loud music, scantily clad nubiles, plentiful bouncers and all the baggage that goes with it. Mondays will be the new live band indie and metal evenings so that just leaves Tues to Thurs for the oldies to enjoy the improvements and I just can�t see the place getting busy mid week without anything specific to attract people away from their living rooms.

One final bit of good(ish) news - for all the fresh paint, new glazing, restored features and general tarting up of the place, nothing is more welcome than the 3 new handpumps that have sneeked their way onto one tucked away corner of the bar. I say this a bit loosely as, despite the clips showing Adnams Bitter and Broadside (on 2 pumps), none were available this afternoon but I�ll give them the benefit of the doubt regarding the lack of availability since today is the first full working day after Christmas and they had a metal all dayer gig yesterday so stocks may have been a bit low (you just know how these death metal fans love to knock back their Real Ales). At least it is a large step in the right direction and there is now hopefully a much better reason to make more use of the place in the future and wallow in the expenditure.

29 Dec 2009 16:00

The Bay Horse, Masham

In a town that boasts not one but two fairly major breweries, it seems ironic that I managed to find the one pub in town that doesn�t come under either brewery�s wings. With Black Sheep & Theakston dominating the Dales area, I suppose if anyone was going to stick their nose in it would be Greene King and the Bay Horse is their representative. Situated just off the town�s Market Place (England�s biggest) it does look quite appealing from outside and, as Greene King pubs go, it is certainly one of their better outlets with couple of ales from the better end of their range (St Edmunds & Speckled Hen) although both Black Sheep Best and Theakston Best do also make an appearance so on the whole it is Dales Ales business as usual.

The interior is divided into 2 equal halves with a smaller room at the rear. One section was largely for diners although it is more of an extended pub snack menu rather than anything pretentious and fancy with most main dishes around the �8 mark which is about par for pub grub in the Dales. Both sections contain open fires and have similar d�cor, nothing fancy but some interesting furnishings such as tree trunk stools and long tables. The rear lounge bar has a dart board and softer furnishings and to the rear is an attractive patio with several benches.

There is clearly a close knit customer base with one wall containing several obituaries with photos and comments of some of the regulars that have passed to the great pub in the sky although, far from being gloomy, the pub does present itself as openly welcoming with plenty of humour on show and personal touches from the hand written menus to the sign inviting the visitor to feel free to stoke the fires. The unobtrusive music featured an eclectic mix that ranged from Bing Crosby to the Buzzcocks and they also have Sky and free WiFi.

The notice outside says that this is a Real Pub with real food, real ale, real fires and real chips. I�d pretty much go along with that. Oh, and watch out for Hank the dog, a real cutie.

27 Dec 2009 15:55

The Bailey, Highbury

This decent sized Victorian corner pub has probably seen better days and certainly feels a bit rough around the edges but it is still preferable to some of the other posey pubs and bars in the area. The interior is a bit tired and can feel rather empty and cavernous when there are only a handful of people inside with lots of bare floor and unused space. The interior wraps itself around a large island bar with half paneled walls and dim lighting, scarcely enhanced by candles on the tables that are now almost a standard pub feature. Just 2 rather mundane ales, London Pride & Greene King IPA, with the former being a fairly reasonably priced (for the area) �3 and surprisingly decent quality for a pub that doesn�t initilally promise much. At the rear is a table football game as well as a Big Screen Projecter that projects the image direct onto the bare wall rather than having anything of novelty value like a screen. The food looked quite good although I didn�t try any but it is worth noting for future visits and now that the Garage music venue opposite has reopened, I dare say I will be back in the area more than I have for some time. Other than that, there isn�t really much else to make a visit essential.

27 Dec 2009 14:26

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RogerB has been registered on this site since 15th February 2004