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Old Spot, Dursley

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user reviews of the Old Spot, Dursley

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

This pub goes from strenght to strenght. It has a good selection of real ales, the food is outstanding. If you're travelling by bus, the bus station is at the back of the pub.
Purplehaze - 4 Feb 2018 20:35
Fantastic traditional english food in decent sized restaurant. good selection of beers. Nice garden area and open fronted barn of a smoking area

Friendly staff and good atmosphere
platelet123 - 4 Jul 2015 22:13
Great beer, warm welcome, great pub
Bagsy - 19 Sep 2012 11:39
Excellent choice of 9 beers including 3 from breweries which I had not come across before. All those sampled were in very good condition. Interesting brewery memrobilia on display. Well worth calling in if you are walking the Cotswold Way
Rocky53 - 27 Oct 2011 17:47
Beer very very GOOD
f6c - 30 May 2011 15:34
A great pub and not much to fault it, but you do sometimes get a "saloon doors" feel from the locals when you walk in: they have yet to come to terms with its ever-growing nationwide renown. The beers are excellent (Uley Brewery is only a couple of miles away), and the building is authentic. Worth the trip past the new library to see.
hugonius81 - 8 Jan 2010 16:59
Fantastic real ale pub - a beer drinker's delight. Shame they now sell food, but they do limit this to lunch and early evening. Very popular, traditional boozer, with 8 - 10 real ales in superb condition. Likes to support local brewers too, some always some interesting finds to try. Gave it 9 - would have been 10 if they'd resisted the urge to reserve tables for food at lunchtimes. Fantastic pub!
CriticalBeerLover - 14 Jul 2009 20:37
The perfect pub. Full stop.
headstandking - 25 May 2009 12:11
Visited this pub today specifically after reading the good reviews on this site.
Immediately felt welcomed by both staff and the warm and cheerful atmosphere. Eight or nine real ales on sale, tried the Old Ric and Hogs something or other. Both delicious, as were the meals. The pork and apple burger, served with apple sauce and a touch of Parmesan and salad, was so big the better half couldn't eat it all. Don't you love it when that happens and you have to finish it off.
Doombard - 7 Apr 2009 20:16
Got taken here whilst visiting friends. "We've got a CAMRA award winning pub locally". Going to be boring now, but have to agree with previous reviewers. Happened to be the last day of their Valentines Beer Festival and there were seven real ales on offer. Only had time to try the Top Tottie and it was superb, although very dangerous - the sort of beer where five or six pints could quietly slip down unnoticed, and suddenly you're in trouble.

The pub itself, typical old fashioned boozer, very sympathetically restored. What's more, they are proud of their reputation and do typical CAMRA type things e.g. on March 17th there is a "Meet the Brewer" evening where someone from St Austell is coming along, and they are offering a "Pint and a Pasty" for a fiver. Just wish there were pubs like this near where I live.
philanders - 17 Feb 2009 18:30
A good pub and they serve good food but i get really annoyed to see one half of the pub completely empty (lunchtime today) because there are reserved signs on every table. After 2 hours noone had shown up to fill these tables. The landlord should sort this out.
andy99 - 16 Jan 2009 19:46
Seems to be maintaining its reputation following the sad loss of Ric Sainty. Not very inviting from the outside but lovely old place inside. Staff friendly and efficient, encouraged us to taste samples so we could choose our lunchtime pints. Well-kept ales, excellent range, mainly local but it looks like anything could pop up here – just the right temperature too in a world of overcooled beers. Friendly locals too. If you really want to eat here, best to book. We visited Monday lunchtime and only just got a table. The food is good-quality reasonably-priced pub fare, but a mark knocked off for not much veggie choice.
krislee - 4 Nov 2008 15:07
Sounds like you were in a different pub to me. I certainly didn't smell anything untoward.

Also, CAMRA PotY. There are many criteria. But it's certainly not wholly based on the amount of ales on offer, it's about how good those on offer are; whether it's one minute after opening or one minute before last orders. Having 10+ ales on the go means little if two/three/four of them aren't any good at any one time. Sometimes too much choice is no choice at all.

And since when was Cornwall near Gloucestershire anyway? :o)
Quinno - 27 Aug 2008 13:31
There's no doubt that this is a good pub. Nice place, knowledgeable, friendly landlord and well kept ale.'s supposed to be CAMRA's Pub of the Year 2007, i.e. the best pub in the country. It certainly isn't. It does only 7-9 ales (I know it's a fair few, but compare that with dozens of places across the country that do 10+), the beers were all pale when I was there, not a dark one in sight, the place stank of p!ss.

It really is worth a visit, as it's a very good pub, but best in the country? If you're in the area, you'd be better off trying The Blisland at Blisland, Cornwall (2000 CAMRA P.O.T.Y.) or Tom Cobley at Spreyton, Devon I(CAMRA P.O.T.Y. 2006.
Spodgey - 27 Aug 2008 12:43
Very sad to hear of the recent passing away of ex landlord & owner Ric Sainty, what a character he was.

Very jealous that Quinno found Sarah Hughes on sale his visit, not had it myself in years:-) Though the Oakham JHB on sale on my last visit was probably the single best pint of bitter I have drunk this whole year.

Dyson hand dryer? Personally it's one of the main reasons I visit, to quote Uncle Bryn from Gavin & Stacy - "It's fantastic!". No truly, it really is and well worth a visit to the freshly upgraded lavvies for. It's a 40 mile round trip for me to visit this pub but one that is always worth it and I always make sure I am not the driver.
MisterX - 26 Aug 2008 22:47
Where to begin?

Excellent range of well-kept ales (I almost died and went to heaven when I spotted Sarah Hughes dark Ruby Mild on the go), a warm welcome and a good selection of nice food.

Lots of paraphernalia around the walls - old clips, ceramic drinking mugs etc.

One fault I would pick, is that the outside patio heaters seem to be permanently on. I'm no Swampy, but that really is a waste of electricity - get one of those push-button timer systems in and do your bit to save the planet!

Otherwise, near-perfect. Well done.
Quinno - 22 Aug 2008 21:23
Quite simply superb. Certainly no sign of boring old f***s at the bar. The beer range was interesting and the quality excellent. People of Dursley, count yourselves lucky to have this gem in your midst. It seems "Old Ric" died recently, so condolences to all concerned with the pub and his family. Hopefully the current landlord will keep the pub just as it is as a fitting memorial.
southdown12jack - 29 Jul 2008 12:29
I'm afraid I can't see why this won the National Pub of the Year award from CAMRA. The beer selection is good - but not as good as the Royal Oak Twerton or the Tom Cobley at Spreyton. The food is good although a bit pricey. Nevertheless it is still a pub I would recommend. The really downer is the attitude of the local boring old f***s who hang out at the bar. One was gratuitously rude before I had even found a table. He shut up when I gave a reply which even had his friends grinning. So sharpen your wits before you go. You have been warned. Oh yes, and the landlord thinks Dyson's hot air hand-dryers are wonderfully efficient. They aren't, so take your own paper towels.
Pompeybelle - 18 Jul 2008 15:42
Although this pub oozes character, you may wonder what exactly makes it the current CAMRA National Pub of the Year. This charming place has everything that you might expect, with its old fireplaces, multi rooms, bric-a-brac but apparently it wasn’t always this way. Local character Ric Sainty, of whom a beer is named, transformed a rundown establishment into an award winner. The character and love he instilled is the reason behind all its many awards and you only have to sit for half an hour to see why. Loads of local real ales and friendly people add to the pleasure and are the reason why the pub is buzzing even in mid-afternoon. If you are in the Gloucester area or are walking the Cotswold Way, this place is an absolute must.
Alerover - 18 May 2008 22:00
Funnily enough this was slated by a friend of mine for a visit months ago, long-before the CamRA POTY award was bestowed, but for reasons of over-doing the booze elsewhere, the idea had to be shelved! Happily, it came to pass last weekend, and by and large, I found the award to be justified.
Not immediately obvious as a POTY candidate (photos suggest a calm, rural location in a small village but in fact it is a beautiful old pub set in a busy and surprisingly developed setting - a car park opposite, and hideaous modern library and bus station encroach behind it). One also might struggle to fathom its popularity upon immediate ingress; busy, friendly, and clearly with a good beer range, but otherwise it looks like many a town local.
However, once bedded in one comes to realise that the Spot cleverly combines the best of several worlds and the result is a pub that can appeal to a lot of different people for diverse reasons. It seemingly blends urban and rural, drinking and dining, young and old, and good service with relaxed character.
The licensee is an excellent host who we found most genial; regulars were happy to chat but not intrusively. and the menu - modern but using traditional local ingredients, was both tasty and keenly-priced (sampled some gorgeous overnight-hung belly-pork with rich gravy and flavoursome veg for under a tenner).
The true hit is the ales of course, with supremely-kept Uley beers the lynchpin, and an unusual policy of having 4 offerings from a featured brewery each month - Bateman's at the moment. For those who don't enjoy the featured brewery's range, it does rather limit one to the 3 remaining ales for the rest of that month, but at least they're local and won't be found in better shape (who could hate Uley anyway?!).
All in all, a very worthy winner, and certainly a must for any good ale/food lovers who want a comfortable but unpretentious environment in which to indulge.
TWG - 19 Mar 2008 18:01
excellent ales...great selection. Old Ric 4.5% from Uley very nice, shame no Old Spot on offer tho. Guests from full Batemans range, that's hardly a local low carbon footprint delivery......excellent XXXB as one would expect.

service just a little under-whelming on a not too busy night, but friendly enough.
good value pub-type grub eg venison & stout pie wi roasted veg and dauphinoise pots £8.
alehouses - 13 Mar 2008 08:52
Yes well done Steve, Belinda and of course Ric on National Pub of the Year!!!

I must admit I'm not so happy about the recent-ish policy on guest beers being loacal due to the carbon footprint situation but I do understand Steve's decision to go down this route even if it does mean you can't get to try beers from far a field anymore apart from at the regular beer festivals here. Other than this nothing much changes at the Old Spot just the same old simple things being done to perfection leading to a packed pub on a daily basis (Are not ALL the "great" pubs this way though?). Just wish it was nearer to home that's all.
MisterX - 29 Feb 2008 18:29
CAMRA National Pub of The Year - congrats all at tthe Old Spot. The award tells you very much what you can expect.
Bard - 15 Feb 2008 14:31
Top notch pub, very friendly, always busy but never a problem to get served. Great choice of beer and well kept.
andy99 - 27 Jan 2008 17:58
My local pub.
Brilliant beer.
Brilliant food.
northernrogue - 3 Nov 2007 11:33
Fabulous place to drink beer
fatandforty - 8 Aug 2007 17:35
Called in on a saturday lunchtime of a Cotswold Way walking weekend - although I didn't do much walking as I'd bashed my foot!! Good place to stop this with excellent Uley ale and local bangers & mash. Comprises several rooms in a line facing the road and has many a wooden pig about the place. Will call again when I attempt to actually walk next time.
lout_from_the_lane - 10 Oct 2006 16:45
An oasis in the desert!

In my opinion one of the finest pubs in the UK, beer range is always eclectic and superbly kept. Landlord Steve knows exactly what he is doing by simply getting the basics right all the time which encourages a very mixed age group and therefore a great atmosphere.

It is a sheer joy to simply walk through the door of this establishment wondering what goodies are on offer that day and knowing 101% that whatever the beer concerned that it will be in perfect condition every single time. 11/10 if only I could award it.
MisterX - 18 Jun 2006 15:37
My local. Just started doing a fine range of food, prepared by the licensee, not an agency chef. Don't forget that a few years ago it was judged the best pub in England by CAMRA. Always has at least 5 well-kept beers and has frequent festivals.
davidashbee - 20 Jul 2005 23:45
Visited last week. Excellent pub. Good beer. Friendly staff
Jimbo Smith - 7 May 2004 19:32
Friendly, good beer, quirky but real interior. Doesnt cater for the "yoof" market.

Highly recommended.
John - 15 Jan 2004 12:34
Cant comment on it being best real ale pub in Gloucs, but it is def the best pub/bar in Dursley
John - - 14 Jan 2004 15:50
It dos,nt have a pool table, fruit machine, juke box or back ground music.ome and find out why its probably the busiest real ale pub in gloucestershire
steve - 8 Jan 2004 14:00

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