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The Bunch of Grapes Inn, City of London

Ordinary pub, ordinary decor, ordinary beer, but an extraordinary experience; like that pub in the film "American Werewolf in London", if you're not a regular, the whole atmosphere freezes upon entry. Avoid, unless you're on a "Dismal London" tour or everywhere else is full (despite the location, somehow this place never is - rather telling)

19 Feb 2011 23:20

The George, Weldon

When I first moved to Weldon 10 years ago this was a really nice cosy village pub which used to be a 17th-century coaching inn; it was maybe a little tired but still full of character. Flag floors, wooden panels and some original stone walls, beamed low ceiling, an ancient bay window, a huge inglenook fireplace often lit, a good bar with well-kept Marston's Pedigree, Abbot, GK-IPA and Old Speckled Hen. Just the place to wander in of an evening, loop the dog's lead onto a hook under the bar and top up the old anti-freeze ;) They also did a really good Sunday dinner, choice of 3 roasts and a huge plateful for a very reasonable price, although admittedly the 'dining room' was small and cramped.

Alas, it was 'refurbished' a few years ago and all semblance of this character has gone, as have any decent beers; only GK-IPA and John Smith's Extra Bland remain. I can't comment on the food, as I haven't even bothered trying it.

Some of the front room is still left but it doesn't make up for the hideous modernising of the bar and back room. The glass walling-in of the coachway arch to make additional seating/eating space is effective but bizarre, and contributes to the general feeling of desecration of what was once a cosy and welcoming village inn.

19 Feb 2011 23:02

The Wheatsheaf, Upper Benefield

I've been going on & off for about 10 years, during which time it's changed hands, decor and shape a few times. Definitely in a good phase now; the food is excellent; good portions and reasonable value whether you're just going for a bar meal or a full sit-down restaurant meal. Digfield ales are a regular item, always reasonably kept; I had Barnwell Bitter and Fool's Nook this time round.

My only complaint now is that where the bar used to be open to a really cosy room with an open fire, they've now walled it off and made that part just an eating area. What's left of the bar itself now feels like part of the lobby - not really somewhere to linger ...

19 Feb 2011 22:32

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spladdocks has been registered on this site since 19th February 2011