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I am a cynical bastard who enjoys beer.

Username: docmartin

Age: 34

Sex: male

Latest comments by docmartin

The Bulls Head, Earlswood

Upon reviewing the previous commentary regarding this establishment, I feel in wholehearted agreement. Despite the previous landlord being an ignoramus, the pub itself was splendid; with good food and a country-bumpkin homliness about it.
In winter months, a good fire warms my body while good beer warms my soul.
In summer months, it is often difficult to find a spot to sit outside (and I did encounter the bizarre experience of a group of cyclists dressed as 1920's farm labourers performing a morris dance esque ritual before me). This behaviour went past eccentricity I had to double check to ensure my pint wasn't based with LSD.

The prices are reasonable, and this in itself excludes the more vulgar like people who do somethings inhabit inneries. There was a good range of real ale, and I selected a pint of a good beer. My second slightly psychedelic experience was the fact that to get a signal to pay on card, the poor barman had to stand outside in the rain with the card machine.

The toilets, always something to judge a pub by, were clean, and there was ample Carex available.

Although many in the current age would rather spend a fiver for a bottle of 'trendy' Tibetan beer in a 'gastro' bar with elongated tables and high chairs, I thoroughly enjoyed the contrast in this horse-hoof decorated pub. In the final analysis, this pub is, in a sense, like the morris dancers and the horse hoofs. That far out, the way out is in. But by Joe, it was enjoyable!

11 Dec 2012 14:34

The Baldwin, Hall Green

I was somewhat surpised when a leaflet accompanying the local rag (which somehow passes for 'jounalism') was rammed through my letterbox informing me that The Baldwin had been 'transformed'; had reopened and were offering me the 'best in pub food at reasonable prices'. I admit, I was cynical at first.

The last time I had ventured into the place, the first thing I noticed was a big sign on the wall saying 'drugs banned in this pub'. Never a good sign. I felt the cold eyes of the clientele study and assess ever fibre of my being as I ordered a beer. Apprantly, having successfully met the criteria that I was not a CID man, they revereted to whatever unsavoury activity they were previously enagaged in. The decor was old an tired and the whole place had the feel of a rough sink-estate pub.

However, now I was rather suprised. I was served reasonably quickly at the bar, there was a 'standard' range of beers and the food tasted fine, and was reasonably priced. The garden out the back too is very nice, and overlooks the bowling green.

There was not one sign of the previous miscreants who had ruled this pub (if they were they were at least well behaved). The only annoying issue was the fact that there was many children running riot, although I did expect this to a certain extent being a 'family' pub. A remedy perhaps is the erection of a playground in the spacious yard out of the back, so the children can be kept segregated from the hardcore drinkers.

All in all, a good establishment. Geoffrey Chaucer would certainly have recognised the 'ragged and pitied folk' who consume robust quantities in the presence of their offpsring. In that sense, it serves its purpose.

5 Dec 2012 11:33

The Drawbridge, Shirley

From any initial premise, this establishment may command a certain degree of respect. After all, it is situated in the leafy suburbs next to a quaint canal and it has in recent years been decorated up. In my sober mind's eye, I envisaged a nice steady beer or two, losing an hour watching the barges go by. Unfortunately, when the reality of place manifested itself before my very eyes, it all became too clear.

Upon pulling into the car park, I nearly ran over a small child whose parents were busy pouring the remnants of a cider and black down their throats. Waynetta, drawing heavily on a cigarette did not appear in the least bit concerned my Pirelli had narrowly missed her daughter's head.
I managed to find a space next to the 'scrap metal' vans which seem to be a permanent feature in the vicinity. I made a mental note to keep an extra vigilant eye on my wallet.

Inside, it was mildly busy, having been in several times over the years. I was served very quickly by a pimple faced youth whose flexibility in pouring four pints from different pumps simultaneously was rather impressive.

Unfortunately, as I settled into a corner to consume the beverage, which was reasonable, a drunken yob from the local football league decided to talk to me. My attempts at a diplomatic approach to getting the yob away failed. For a full twenty minutes I had endure a nonsensical and utterly absurd story that he had played for Manchester United and had been earning £200,000 per annum.
Alas, when I suggested he purchase me a double rum on the rocks, he quickly declined and moved on.

A lot of children running about. In one way the smoking ban was a real shame because now you can't smoke the darlings out.

My old nan always said you can tell a pub by its toilets. The toilets were reasonable, they were clean and had soap. There was the customary drunkard leaning up the urinal whistling Billy Ocean but on the whole reasonable.

And that in the final analysis, what this pub is. It is reasonably priced, the quality is reasonable and the atmosphere is generally reasonable.
Worthwhile going if you are on a budget and have kids... just make sure they stay clear of encroaching cars and drunkard Sunday leaguers.

2 Dec 2012 14:30

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docmartin has been registered on this site since 2nd March 2010