skip nav  
 

BITE user comments - Hulots_hat

Comments by Hulots_hat

The Greyhound Inn, Llantrisant

It took me some time to enter this pleasant, relaxed, country pub, hotel, and restaurant. An elderly, genteel-but-scatterbrained lady and her daughter were deliberating on the threshold, as to whether to sit inside or out on this sunny day. Why, she might well have been one of the hundred thousand or so lucky Britons, who actually got to vote on who our present Prime Minister should be. It's a multi-roomed pub, and at the next doorway they stopped again to repeat the debate, and yet again at the next. The indicative voting process seemed inconclusive, but they sat down inside anyway, and at last I could get to the bar.

There were three ales cosily rubbing shoulders on the pumps, Bass, a local Welsh IPA, and Abbot. The service from the young bar staff was friendly and polite. My Bass was pulled into a dimpled pot, and it was as you'd expect Bass to be. My next was the IPA, which was fine enough, but it had a slight buttery note, which is not my personal preference. They did well though, given the recent very hot weather.

We decided to take lunch while we were at it, on the patio adjoining the spacious, well-tended gardens, in comfortable garden chairs, beneath one of the plentiful umbrellas.

The food was fine, and there was nothing at all to dislike, with no music nor televisions, and no loudmouths, nor jarring noise of any other kind. Oh, and paper hand towels in the clean and fresh-smelling toilets, which are always a plus for me.

It's perhaps not a drinking den, and closes at ten in the evening, or ten thirty on Fridays and Saturdays, but there's nothing wrong at all here, so it's eight-out-of-ten from me.

28 Jul 2019 20:59

The Prince of Wales, Beeston

Actually, it's a pizza delivery place, even the nearby baby shop having moved on.

That's not to say that new mothers aren't allowed to order pizza, mind you.

26 May 2019 11:37

The Prince of Wales, Beeston

Still has the prams, but that's because it's now a shop for new mothers.

It's an improvement of sorts, some would say.

26 May 2019 10:37

The Double Top, Beeston

You'll have to content yourself with off-sales these days, sugar plums.

This is now a Co-op convenience store.

The pub was apparently demolished - unless it's inside, hiding behind the shelving somewhere...

23 May 2019 20:00

The Horseshoe Inn, Mamhilad

Be at ease, dear reader. "Mamhilad" is not a fearsome utterance, in some Middle Eastern tongue, meaning "death to the unbeliever". It is the name of the nearest village to this pleasant, far-from-terrifying pub.

There were four ales on when we called. Among them being Tribute and Atlantic. The other two were perhaps shuffling about, avoiding eye contact, because I don't recall them now, but the Atlantic was crystal clear and fresh.

Staff were friendly, good-humoured and polite - despite having to nip down to the cellar and draw each pint by gravity, owing to a temporary technical problem.

10 May 2019 16:35

The Hermits Cave, Camberwell

The Cave was again perfectly pleasant on Sunday. There was no longer any sign of the furniture world's answer to the North Face of the Eiger, incidentally.

16 Apr 2019 18:40

The Trinity Arms, Brixton

No short measures on our Young's ordinary yesterday, I'm happy to report.

Roxy, the gentle, wearily amiable staffy, won us over. And I'm not dog-soppy at all.

I can't see there being a better pub in Brixton.

So an uncommonly fulsome nine-out-of-ten it is.

16 Apr 2019 15:49

The Grove, Camberwell Grove

It's open again, a Rampubco joint, it would seem.

You can see Wembley from here, incidentally. Or so the builder said, when he came down from his scaffolding and roof ladder.

16 Apr 2019 15:43

The Newcastle Arms, Worksop

Thank you, Ellisref.

It's always helpful to know what finally happens to these closed down places, and whether there is any likelihood of their opening as pubs again. In this case it would appear to be minimal.

There's also the general interest. We've had everything from babywear shops to Buddhist temples.

12 Apr 2019 09:47

The Crown and Sceptre, Streatham

Yes, Whale Jnr, I expect that the C&S will thrive in that vibrant area, now that it has shaken off the yoke of the reprehensible Tim Martin.

As for the claims of our friend below, I would say that any fair-minded soul reading the what-pass-for-comments on, say, the Market, in Reigate, would make up their own mind as to the truth of those.

1 Apr 2019 12:20

The Crown and Sceptre, Streatham

Whale, your patience is commendable, I'm humbled, but you are wasting your time trying to reason with this fool. I know the area, and the pub too, and my experience tallies with yours.

Randolph is reportedly one of a host of usernames used by the same person including, apparently, Tradervic, Tempest, Dolphox and many, many others. He appears to have an interest in some Surrey pubs and to be a Wetherspoons shill. He spends his time as many fake people, pretending to represent a consensus running down competition, or trolling folk such as you, who write informative or entertaining reviews, seemingly having nothing better to do with his time.

He has been well and truly rumbled by many regular users of this site, however.

1 Apr 2019 10:13

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

Hidden away in a peaceful setting, this rural community pub is popular with cyclists and walkers. A local brewery is usually present among the five hand pumps. The front bar features terracotta tiles and a fireplace, the rear bar contains a hundred-foot-deep well. There are two gardens, one child-friendly, the other for adults only. Lunches are served daily and evening meals from Tuesday to Saturday. The pub has a strong community focus showing TV sports, movies, and hosting charity events.

As for historic Interest, yes, there is that well in rear bar area. However, more interestingly, the pub was apparently that used as The Fool And Bladder, in the 1980 film by the late Vivian Stanshall, national treasure, "Sir Henry At Rawlinson End". You can see the pub in the opening shot here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6W5RB50fXk

You can find a link to a more recent view, in one of my earlier comments.

This pub serves two regular beers, Greene King Abbot and Greene King IPA.

There are three changing beers.

So there you go, I'll leave the kind reader to decide whose reviews they would rather study, mine or Randolph's - correctly oft described by Fozzy 123, as a multi-login troll.

31 Mar 2019 10:14

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

Brightie, old chap. Just because you and a few others choose to behave in much the same way does not make that a site rule. WhatPub and PubsGalore would seem to be the places for the type of information, which fully satisfies the scope of your particular outlook - my condolences.

There is one actual site rule, however, that comments should not be posted, which only refer to someone else's and not to the pub, as do yours - which tell no one anything whatsoever about it either.

But paste this for a view of this pub in 1980:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6W5RB50fXk&t=2s

You love it, don't you?

30 Mar 2019 21:31

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

Well, my dear energy-saving bulb, many people are interested in pub history, and in films.

If you want to know what it looks like though, then paste this link:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.8049701,-0.3077462,3a,37.5y,296.11h,93.34t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVyX3rgT5pHl290nYVffynw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

As for beer, there are some quite recent reviews below.

Rooty-tooty-toot-toot-pip-pip, as you are wont to say.

30 Mar 2019 18:12

The Elephant and Castle, Amwell

This seems to be the pub which was used as The Fool And Bladder, in the cult 1980s film "Sir Henry at Rawlinson End", by the late lamented Vivian Stanshall, National Treasure. It's on You Tube, so check it out, if you're in a whimsical mood, or if you're feeling sullen for that matter.

Then you could pop in, and win over the bar staff, by exclaiming "I don't know what I want, but I want it NOW!" or "If I had all the money I'd spent on drink, I'd spend it on drink"

28 Mar 2019 18:26

The Heathcock, Llandaff

You don't come to Llandaf, looking for gaming machines and pool tables do you?

So it probably comes as no surprise, to hear that the Heathcock is now a dining pub. The decoration is rather more restrained these days too, thankfully without being wishy-washy.

Mind you, I did spot the red triangle of Bass on the handpumps as we passed by today, and there is a bar.

Who knows? I might give it a proper try soon.

8 Jan 2019 18:22

BrewDog Cardiff, Cardiff

Sigmund's well-selected points were amplified, this bitterly cold January day, by the pub's being barely less Icelandic in temperature than the outdoors.

I was hoping to find Nanny State on tap, but it was only available in cans. Still, it made a change, drinking in hat, coat and scarf. We only stayed for the one though, as our hands were turning blue without gloves.

5 Jan 2019 17:30

Robin Hood Inn, Monmouth

We entered the mediaeval building, to be met by a slightly weary, late twentieth-century interior fitting. The heating was on though, and that cannot be taken for granted in these austere times.

Doom Bar and HPA snored quietly, while the few locals appeared to be drinking lager, this post-new-year lunchtime.

Who makes up playlists for pubs? We had 1970s American heavy metal, disco, Christmas carols from a cathedral, and all too loud for a very sparsely-populated pub. It seems to be happening more and more these days.

But it was cosy, friendly, and the food was fine.

3 Jan 2019 17:38

The Red Lion, Moreton in Marsh

That's a cracking review, Paul. It sums up my feelings about the place, and a few others in that vein pretty well I'd say, and saved my writing of any length..

I have a friend who is not really much of a musician, and yet he collects guitars. He is to them, what Vic - aka a host of others - is to username, it seems to me.

I gave this one a six.

2 Jan 2019 10:44

The Harbourside Inn, Charlestown

This pub affords little scope for any would-be Dadaist reviewers out there.

It serves good quality beer, wine and food, in modernised surroundings, but without any particular theme or interest in the interior. Given its location, you needn't be another Poirot to wonder if they might be missing something on that point.

Prices are about 25% higher than the Rashleigh - a tenner for a pint and a glass of wine.

Don't expect impromptu stand-up, or wassailing, for that matter.

Six-out-of-ten it can only be.

29 Dec 2018 20:54

Rashleigh Arms, Charlestown

This pub is apparently designed to be to tourists, what a combine harvester is to wheat stalks.

That said, it's still about OK, really. The atmosphere in the bar area over Christmas was lively enough, and the range of beers were well kept.

Matters were helped greatly, by a careful choice of music of broad appeal - which is just as well as it was quite loud. The list was peppered with classics, such as Fats Domino, the King, and so on.

I'm not sure what it would be like in peak season, mind, when the locals would be more heavily outnumbered.

Whatever, if you're of that age, and it seems too warm - for you - then you can always put the door on the hook. Can't you, Mrs. Pashmina?

Seven is maybe generous, but I'll stick at that.

29 Dec 2018 20:35

The Grove, Camberwell Grove

This pub is justly billed here as closed, but as a result of fire damage.

It's shrouded in scaffolding, and work is well under way. As to whether it will re-open as a pub, we'll have to wait and see

I wonder what ever became of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown?

24 Oct 2018 19:37

The William The IV, Halifax

It's still warm and still welcoming. The Tetley's - the only ale - was in fine form, and I don't know about you, but I'd rather that, than half-a-dozen variations on vinegar any day.

One of the tables in the lounge was rickety. Like, I mean, it was the furniture equivalent of one those music hall acts, who used to lock their hooked heels into the floor and then lean back-and-forth, or side-to-side, at impossible angles.

So it's six for the pub and ale, but have another for the table. ("I thank you", I think it said.)

17 Oct 2018 00:22

O'Neill's, Cardiff

This is now the Old Market Tavern, and it has a pleasingly-restored historic exterior, by Nicholsons.

At 1800 on a Friday evening however, all the hand-pulled ales were off, a sign informing us that this was by dint of "lines cleansing". Yes, at 1800, on a Friday.

So four-out-of ten for the frontage it is, then.

We moved on to the Glass Works for a couple, before Van Morrison at St. David's Hall. Happily, he and his outstanding musicians were all superb.

He didn't ask about The Old Market.

13 Oct 2018 19:47

The Halfway, Pontcanna

The old leather settees are gone, along with the dogs which used to sprawl all over them. We now have high tables and chairs, to suit the redecoration. Try getting your ageing rotweiler up onto those eh?

So that's a smartish move by Mr. Brain, perhaps?

The keeping of the ales has wobbled here and there of late though, so it's steady-as-she-goes, with an arguably-judgemental six for now.

6 Oct 2018 20:27

Broadway Hotel, Broadway

No dogs.

No children.

No hi-viz jackets.

No fruit machines.

No sport TV - that I saw.

No loud grime.

No dart board.

Several ales, comfortable chairs, and hotel bar prices.

Seven-out-of-ten.

25 Sep 2018 08:23

The Horse and Hound, Broadway

It still sports the old Flowers pub sign. There were a range of ales on, and a pint of Hooky seemed OK.

The food side of the business seems to be still possibly as described by other posters.

The bar area is apparently a safe space, for the less inhibited and for the less sensitive of the locality, maybe. After visiting the other nearby pubs, I was beginning to wonder where they went.

24 Sep 2018 19:34

The Swan, Broadway

It's had a make-over. It had a wide range of taps including some cask ales.

It's quite smart, and busy.

If that's what you want, then you probably wouldn't want the Crown and Trumpet anyway. If pushed, then I'd dare say that the feeling would be mutual, so there's no harm done if so.

24 Sep 2018 19:15

The Crown and Trumpet Inn, Broadway

The amplified-acoustic duo on Friday were musical and entertaining. From Birmingham perhaps, one singer asked an Australian couple what they thought of "Brick seat, because woy are ebsoloteloy seek of eet". The reply was skilful. "Perheps yeew should change your Proime Munuster, loike we dud wuth ours?"

There's other music on too - jazz on Thursdays it seemed, but the pub is about the most intimate in the village. It had maybe six ales on and mine was fine.

Will someone please serve that dog, standing on its hind legs at the bar?

24 Sep 2018 19:07

The Kings Arms, Mickleton

There seemed to be a locally-understood scale of entitlement, to the one high seat at the bar. As locals of differing social rank came and went, the ensuing rearrangements were a pleasant diversion, while I enjoyed a rather well-kept pint of Bombardier. There was another ale too - I don't recall it.

The larger room of the pub is given over to dining.

The car park and grounds are spacious.

So a - perhaps generous for the inverted snobs - seven-out-of-ten it is.

24 Sep 2018 18:52

The Glass Works, Cardiff

This pub has happily reverted to being called the Glassworks. It's a smartish city-centre venue these days, with some glass and steel, and high chairs. There's a dining area with normal seating too (if you get what I mean by normal).

Still, there were four or five cask ales on, and a wider selection of craft keg and lagers on offer. They'll mix you a cocktail too, if you can describe it, and agree on the definition, bless 'em.

Owing to the split levels, people watching can be specialised, to people's feet watching, which, I found, did make a change.

9 Sep 2018 19:33

Grange, Cardiff

This pub has been comprehensively de-Brainsified and de-nineteen-eightiesified (what a terrible decade) to its huge credit, and put back to what most pubs always should have been.

Its basic but smart, bar, and lounge-cum-dining area, are now varnished-and-sanded wood floored throughout. In the bar there is a dartboard and bar billiards table, but thankfully, no gaming machines, no sport TVs - although there is a projector for culturally important events - and no menus or condiments on tables. Dogs must be kept on leads (which means that you can require similar standards of restraint for kids too.)

There were five cask ales on, four craft and one standard, Butty Bach. Good food is served according to what is on the blackboards.

Best of all, there are no bigoted loudmouths dominating the atmosphere, but a mix of the gentler souls of the neighbourhood chatting, playing darts, enjoying good beer and food, and mixing generally amiably.

It's run by the same people who have the Lansdowne in Canton and it's great, getting ten-out-of-ten from me.

Incidentally, Brains gave up on it as a no-hoper, but it's now thriving. Take note, other strugglers.

1 Sep 2018 21:27

The Wellington Hotel, Brecon

It's a pity that a solid, historic building and its interior can have its atmosphere largely evaporated, just by the placing of wipe-clean menus on every table, but such are Brains hostelries quite often.

The expected ale range was on offer, and served in good condition, whatever.

It's a large busy place.

We crossed the road to the Brecon Tap. Although technically it's a micropub, it's larger than plenty of standard ones, but a much more intimate and relaxed experience than this.

I sensed a local, Gurkha-related feel there perhaps. Tell me if I'm wrong, do.

So it's six for here, but eight for the Tap.

25 Aug 2018 20:34

Chequers, Stanton

I was a fairly regular customer here in the 1970s and 1980s. I remember Bass being a fixture, sold on stillage. The pub memorably featured paintings of the local cricket team (unless I dreamt that.)

Today, all the plaster has been stripped off the walls down as far as the wainscot, but there is still a stuffed owl, and, touchingly, some hats, of those whom I assume to have been erstwhile, and now sadly-missed, but fondly-remembered regulars.

The pub is soft-upholstered throughout, giving a cosy and comfortable feel. There was HPA, JHB, Bass and 6X, along with a cider. Since I had just scored my two-millionth red arrow (not green, goodness me no, ladies and gentlemen) on the Daily Mail's what-passes-for-comment threads, I was in the mood for a modest celebration. I had a JHB.

The pub advertised "real food", and so we went for the battered fish, chips, and peas. The lady behind the bar appeared with a bowl of flour, and cracked an egg into it, later adding a dash of lager, and then some soda water, interestingly. You can't say much fairer than that, really can you?

Yes, this is a little gem.

Going back to the memorial headwear, and to the former regulars here, I'd be very grateful, if anyone who knew him at the Chequers could raise a glass to the recently-late Alan Winfield of these parts, being the much-missed, and arguably the most prolific visitor of pubs in these fair isles.

"To Alan".

17 Aug 2018 20:17

Bull, Ditchling

Not that much seems to have changed from the reviews below, it seems.

We called mid-afternoon last Sunday, and came upon what seemed to be a restaurant business, and apparently quite an intensive one too.

There are a few high chairs at the bar, in two of which we sat. That would appear to be it for non-diners. There was little change, from twelve pounds, for a pint of ale and a glass of wine.

I don't know if there was more to it than we saw, but six is as good as it gets from me from that. It's an old place, but with smart modern fittings.

The customer's springer spaniel, on the floor at the bar was amiably patient, mind.

15 Aug 2018 16:10

White Horse, Ditchling

We entered through a bead curtain, to find a normal, presentable pub yesterday lunch time. There seemed to be a restaurant annex too, but which was closed.

There were five ales, and my Harvey's Sussex Best was decent enough. Prices weren't silly either.

We entered the rear garden by another bead curtain, where we ate an appetising lunch. There must have been one or more wasps nests nearby, and that perhaps explained the bead curtains. I didn't see anyone reading tarot cards anyway.

People seemed unconcerned by the wasps, commendably, but the loan, of pairs of bicycle clips at the bar would have been welcome, maybe.

I'd gladly come again, if near this quaint Sussex village.

All wasps can pssoff.

15 Aug 2018 15:59

The Cayo Arms Hotel, Cardiff

The Pontcanna Inn, as the ex-Cayo is now called, offered four ales tonight, all in the craft groove I'd say, from VOG, mainly.

The high chairs, I have to say, are well-designed and comfortable. (You can always surprise yourself. Can't you, Theresa?)

The default glasses are, however, dimpled pint pots, so if that ain't your cwpan te, then don't say that you weren't told.

The downdraught from the aircon was quite nice too.

But, for all that, we went to the Cricketers, for a less-challenging pint of Evan Evans after just the one.

5 Aug 2018 22:16

The Birchgrove, Cardiff

It's a fairly normal Saturday night in the Birchgrove, a decent enough Brains pub.

However, a chap called Geraint Thomas has just won the Tour De France, as it happens.

He comes from Birchgrove.

Can you imagine what the bar in a French village would be like, nay, the whole town, if a local lad had just done that?

28 Jul 2018 21:42

Grofield Inn, Abergavenny

Sorry, sugar plums, I forgot to mention that the pub also has a very well-appointed garden smoking area, with heaters and the lot. It even has a roof, bless the considerate souls who built it.

It's where it should be too, as far away from the pub's doors as possible, so you might have to walk twenty metres in the rain. But hey, when you've got an addiction twenty times stronger than that to h e r o i n, then who cares?

You see, Brightie, when you've actually visited the pub, you get to know these things.

Now, "Really?", you ask. Yes, really. Prefaced, as I wrote, by "otherwise", it's a general term, which would include, say, the handkerchief, knotted at four corners, and worn in the 1970s, by the then equivalent of today's backbone of the Leave vote.

Di-di-dah-dit di-di-dah dah-di-dah-dit dah....oh, never mind.

26 Jul 2018 13:48

Robin Hood and Little John, Cherry Hinton

This is about the nearest pub to the site of the Cambridge Folk Festival.

The last time that we were here, the AfroCelts were among those playing. (Mrs. H was a little disappointed however, being a Shirley Bassey fan.)

Whatever, if you fancy a change from the various tents and vans, then you could do worse than to stroll over to this pub (but do make sure that you get back for Cerys Matthews.)

25 Jul 2018 14:29

The Old Nags Head, Monmouth

If you've been slopping about in the River Wye here (as folk often will), then this might be your nearest pub.

It appears to be yet another Brains pub these days, and entry was hindered anyway by dogs, so we didn't bother to explore, but perhaps there were hidden marvels within.

We'll show a bit more patience and curiosity next time, maybe.

23 Jul 2018 18:04

The Punch House, Monmouth

Six years on, and the pub is still as well-summarised by Campanologist below.

Just one more thing though. What is responsible for the characteristic odour of so many Brain's pubs?

22 Jul 2018 09:31

Castle Inn, Usk

Oh, the luxury, of being able to sit in a pleasant beer garden on a warm day, and on comfortable, outdoor sofas, or on cushioned dining chairs.

Take note other pubs. There's no law saying that you have to inflict the integral, see-saw style benches and tables on your customers, and you'll probably get more if you don't.

There's a bar to the left and a snug to the right as you walk in. Further on in there's a restaurant lounge on the left.

There were two ales on, Butcombe's Rare Breed and Exmoor Gold. The first was fine at any rate.

I'll control my exuberance over the garden furniture though, and stick with a seven for this pretty decent pub.

21 Jul 2018 17:35

The Nags Head Inn, Usk

Yes, it was closed at about 1530 this Saturday afternoon too. It had a variety of notices outside celebrating its menu, so that gives a few hints, maybe.

We did get inside to be told this though, and saw that it was offering Brains and Doom Bar, in a pleasant enough interior.

We crossed the square to the Castle, and so I'll leave this one with a provisional five.

Why, with Usk In Bloom, we fairly skipped across.

21 Jul 2018 17:21

Grofield Inn, Abergavenny

Mrs. H entered the edifice ahead of me.

At the bar, instead of the bandana-wearing, or otherwise-turbanned ruffian that she had been expecting, there was a very *nice* young man.

Tucked away on a side street, the interior of this pub is altogether smarter than one would expect. It has a spacious, pleasant, walled beer garden, entered by a wisteria-draped pergola too.

It's in the Good Beer Guide, and although it only sported two ales (Rhymney Hobby Horse and Gloom Jar) if the quality of their keeping were the reason, then its placing would be well-deserved. My pint of the first was perfect.

I think that I could stretch to an eight-out-of-ten for this happy find. There aren't so many, when we open the newspapers after all, are there?

20 Jul 2018 09:39

Kings Arms, Abergavenny

As many a bard has written, nothing rhymes with "orange",
So enjoy the charms, of the old Kings Arms,
And admire the views of Blorenge.

There were three ales on yesterday. The HPA was in good nick at least, and with friendly service.

Interesting efforts have been made to deal with the ancient sagging ceiling beams. If you're keen observer of such things, then this is a must-see pub for you. Why, it might even be top of your list. Have a hug.

All-in-all, I thought that this was a fair enough pub, so seven-out-of-ten it is.

20 Jul 2018 07:58

The Conway Hotel, Canton

Trust me, Barry John. In weather like this, you do not need to use the hot air hand dryer.

8 Jul 2018 23:22

The Partridge, Bromley

On a summer's evening, you can sit in the garden, and take in the view of the church. Or, if you prefer, you can look at the large, dark, brick building with no windows, and reflect on the fact that people built that, and wonder why. I surmise that even after a few pints of Discovery you will still be wondering. There are worse ways to pass time though, some would say.

Seven hits that spot for me.

29 Jun 2018 12:16

The Cayo Arms Hotel, Cardiff

Yes, Cayo Evans was leader of the Free Wales Army. However, it was in 1969 that he was imprisoned for conspiracy to cause explosions, and not in the 1970s as I wrongly wrote.

The area round The Pontcanna Inn, formerly the Cayo Arms, is home to many of Cardiff's Welsh-speaking residents, a few of whom were perhaps Cayo's erstwhile comrades, and I owe it to them to be precise.

I'm writing for the community of this pub's customers, not for, say, white van man from Reigate, who will never visit.

Whatever, TPI gets eight-out-of-ten from me.

20 Jun 2018 18:24

The Cayo Arms Hotel, Cardiff

Cayo was a Welsh nationalist, jailed in the 1970s for trying to blow up a BBC transmitting station, if I summarise correctly.

We bumped into one of his comrades (I perhaps won't name him), in the Halfway, just down the road not so long back. He was staring rather solemnly into his beer.

I suppose that he might well have been. There was once a time, when the odd jolly wheeze, such as the Brighton hotel bombing, meant that our rulers were at least scared of something. Nothing appears to frighten the wretched low-life these days, does it?

Well, if you have any sentiment for those days, then you'll possibly be disappointed to learn that the Cayo, after a period of some months closure, is now open again, but under the name of The Pontcanna Inn.

Still, if so, then dry your eyes, dear hearts. This now a fine pub-cum-restaurant-cum-hotel. The décor is stylishly traditional and solid, light, but not insipid. The selection of beers is pretty damned decent, and fairly priced too.

"To the future" (whatever that might be.)

20 Jun 2018 13:06

The Navigation Inn, North Ormesby

This pub is much like any other near a football stadium on match days, but let's address the other six-sevenths (or thirteen-fourteenths if you will) of its life. It's quite cut off, by the A66 flyover on the one hand, and by the River Tees on the other.

There is some extant industry nearby, however. Metal fabricators, marine companies, and maybe the odd chemical works ply their respective trades here, but there doesn't seem to be any neighbouring residential community of which to speak.

So, there is at least a nominal customer base for the pub, and I found it to be cosy and friendly. I've enjoyed simple hearty pub food here, and a fair pint of Guinness. (There might have been an ale too, but if so then I didn't spot it.)

The pub building stands rather alone in its style then, but defiantly so, surrounded by the clearance of heavy industrial dereliction, and by some of its replacement. Long may it keep on keeping on.

17 Jun 2018 12:04

The Counting House, Dundee

This felt like safe ground, in a city which, for its size, seems to be under-endowed with good pubs. We found the ales to be reasonably well-kept here too.

After spending the whole evening here, we left for pie and chips at the nearest chippy. On ordering this I was met with "A plegn yin oren yin yin yin?" A kindly local in the queue translated this for me as "a plain one or an onion one?" So it's maybe as well that it wasn't a Chinese business I suppose. They'd perhaps have had to have thrown in a few "yan"s just for balance, and then matters would probably have been beyond saving.

15 Jun 2018 14:50

The Green Man, Wembley

Unlike the better pubs of Sheffield, which are at the bottom of a hill, this one here in London is on the top. A surprisingly steep and high one it is for this part of the world too. Given the choice, I prefer it this way round, I'd say. On a clear day, you can see a remarkably long way from the garden, picking out Epsom racecourse, for instance.

On non-event days, the pub is frequented by a relaxed mix of customers from the the well-mixed residential surroundings, and quite pleasant it is for that.

I was cheered to see Tetley's on offer. It seemed to be far better kept than the pints that I have often had in Leeds, incidentally. I thought that the sensibly sparing use of the sparkler probably helped as well. Make what one will of that, eh?

There seems to be little else in Wembley, and so yours truly gives an appreciative seven-out-of-ten, in large part simply for this pub's being here.

15 Jun 2018 14:43

The Pot Still, Glasgow

The reviews below are still broadly accurate and relevant.

This pub is to single malt bottles what the Meenakshi Temple is to figurines. Incidentally, we were delighted to note that there were a few representatives of the sub-continent in, and they seemed to be feeling quite at home too.

The chef-de-bar is a quite solid gentleman, and he wore an apparently leather kilt when we called. (Those of a genteel disposition will avert their eyes, when he climbs the tall steps to retrieve a malt from among the myriad on display.) He has a ginger forked beard (though more Sven than the late Vivian Stanshall perhaps), and is on the case at once, if any known ne'er-do-well should try to cross the threshold.

There were also four ales on hand pumps from Alchemy. The Summer Pale Ale that I had was fine.

We also spotted that there was an English whisky on offer. Well, on show at least. The two bottles were still in their now-quite-faded boxes, apparently unopened.

It's great. Have nine-out-of-ten.

15 Jun 2018 14:33

The Waterloo Hotel, Runcorn

If you'e telling me then I do believe it, johnkn7.

Well, that's something on which to meditate.

The Wat Phra Singh, I see on street view.

(I've enjoyed reading your previous comments, incidentally, so keep them coming).

9 Jun 2018 08:23

The Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft

The JC is a typical Wetherspoons, maybe even one of the better ones, fine if you like them.

However, with the Stanford and the Triangle selling tip-top Green Jack ales, I've never felt the need to be a regular here when in Lowestoft.

Incidentally, my last post consisted of the final words of the anti-hero in "Apocalypse Now", based on Joseph Conrad's "Heart Of Darkness".

(I trust that fugglehops will take my sympathy as not overly ironic.)

29 May 2018 15:00

The Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft

"...the horror...the horror."

29 May 2018 10:14

Talbot Hotel, Ledbury

We enjoyed a pint of Wadworths here, in yet another period Ledbury pub.

It was fun being snooty too.

27 May 2018 21:14

The Royal Oak, Ledbury

A quite startling feat seems to have been accomplished in this historic, timber-framed building.

It would seem that someone found a time capsule, of a tradesman's fifteen-quid-a-night pub hotel in Warrington, dating from the 1970s or 1980s. They appear to have carefully removed all the décor and fittings, and brought them here to Ledbury, to be transplanted into the Royal Oak, where the cream-painted woodchip, clattery wardrobes, fringed lampshades, and rickety beds now sit alongside inglenook fireplaces and lead glass windows. (I must be mistaken in part though, because dim, pallid, energy-saving bulbs didn't exist back then.)

There was one forlorn hand pump on the bar, and the badge was neither facing fore or aft, so I had a Guinness.

Well, its customers need a place of their own, and this is at least open.

27 May 2018 21:07

The Prince of Wales, Ledbury

The senior chap, bearded, and in sage green from hat to ankle, hobbled in again after an hour or so. "You're back. Where've you been?" asked the bar lady. "Oi've bin molin' love", he explained.

He bought a drink, as well he might. There was a fair choice.

Some ales from Wye Valley, others, apparently rebadged ones from Ringwood, and so on, but no sign of Gloom Jar anyway.

The music did appear to be genuinely home-brewed, at least in part though. Someone seemed to be a Leadbelly fan. (I tried to work out a pun involving "Ledbury", but it would perhaps have had to feature a Japanese, and it all got too complicated).

This is a pretty, multi-roomed, wattle-and-daub pub, maybe Tudor.

It seems to be about the best in this pleasant town, and I'd give it eight-out-of-ten.

27 May 2018 20:30

The Travellers Rest, Caerphilly

The Thatchers were hard at work, replacing the roof today. I suppose that there's always a bit of a "rush" on, at Bank Holiday weekends (yes, wordplay is permitted on BITE).

If you go inside, then you'll need to sit if you're more than five feet nine inches tall, the ceilings being generally that low.

It's part of the Vintage Inns chain, so you probably know what to expect, but mother-in-law was fairly content in the garden with her Sunday lunch, and that's not to be underestimated.

Doom Bar, Pride, and Rev James Gold waited, as coiled springs for us at the bar.

Six-out-of-ten, I think, comrades.

6 May 2018 16:30

The Cricketers, Cardiff

There's no slacking here, matey.

The Cricketers used to be a RAFA club, sporting a large propeller blade in the front garden. None of that history (nor of any other really,) is apparent in this now pub of a few years standing.

They've got a good enough plan, which keeps the business ticking over throughout the day quite well, what with the decent food and the generally well-kept ales.

You could always still try a shout of "bandits at one o'clock!" I suppose. (People yell sillier things without reproach.)

26 Apr 2018 10:32

The Baum, Rochdale

Whoa, steady, ROBCamra.

So there's a "hostile" lady here now, is there?

You'll maybe have the John Gummers of the pub-going world rushing in, and then rushing out again to change their underwear, if you remember his famous alleged grovellings?

22 Apr 2018 21:29

The Butchers Arms, Llandaff

Changeless yet changing as canal water, and for many a year, the Butcher's Arms has now been improved, or in someone's opinion at any rate.

The parquet floor in the lounge has been revealed, and hooray for that. However, the Wedgewood-green panelling, with the detail picked out in white has you feeling as if you are sat within a piece of reproduction pottery. There are many other changes too tedious to list.

The beers are as good as ever though, and they do make a change from the dominance of Brains, so I'll run to seven-out-of ten (as if you care.)

8 Apr 2018 20:32

The Ostrich, Bristol

The food choice was indeed limited, but not in a bad way. There was a range of proper pies and mash, and a few other things.

The Butcombe's went down fine, and I rather liked the bold mustard and turquoise etc. décor. You only need to see so much Farrow and Ball "Mizzle" in one lifetime after all. The leather settees were great for slobs like us too.

So have seven-out-of-ten. What harm could it do?

7 Apr 2018 15:22

The Hatchet Inn, Bristol

It wasn't exactly riotous of a Wednesday lunchtime, but the staff were amiable enough, and the Butcombe's seemed OK.

The exterior publicity, given to the pub's claimed age related to nothing-in-particular once you were inside though.

You might well need your Beer Skates, before tackling the nearby multi-storey to return to your allotted driver's car though.

I hope that they don't still have a bouncer at any time. I don't go to pubs with bouncers.

So, I don't know, six-out-of-ten? What do you think?

7 Apr 2018 15:11

The Heathcock, Llandaff

It's all raspberry-leaf-green and deep crimson inside, which, to the eye wearied by the foggy tones oh-so-prevalent of late, is refereshingly satisfying to behold.

There's some nice period style furniture here and there too, and the pub is welcomingly warm.

Two ales featured, being Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Doom Bar when we called, and there was no problem with the first at any rate.

With the nearby Butcher's Arms having been in name only improved, I'd expect trade here to increase, and deservedly so.

"Share your treasures, O great Llandaf!"

31 Mar 2018 21:19

The White Hart, Grays

Essexnut would appear to be correct, if today's article on the DaiIy MaiI's site is any indication.

"Knitting enthusiasts particularly welcome", he might add.

"Bring your own black, red, and white wool".

Answer me this though. If Britain First and the rest love England so much, then why do they leave it covered in staffy s h i t, cigarette ends, used scratchcards and old mattresses?

30 Mar 2018 11:39

The Good Mixer, Camden

Ganger me ol' flower.

This pub is called "the Good Mixer".

Are you 'avin' a woolly scarf?

23 Feb 2018 09:11

The Grove, Camberwell Grove

"The natives used to say, that if a man's heart was pure, then the poison wouldn't harm him. Poor old Hargreaves died almost immediately, in horrible agony..."

So, with Rawlinson's words ringing in my ears, I lifted the opaque, vitriol-reeking pint of Bombardier to my lips. And here I am today.

I suggested to the bar lady that the beer was off. She said that it was a new barrel. I invited her to taste it. She said that she had no idea how real ale was supposed to taste.

What does it take, to remember "not like a mixture of vinegar and bad eggs"?

Here's a note to visitors from kinder, less brutal lands. No, we do not drink beer that tastes like demon's p i s s.

Send it back like we do.

21 Feb 2018 19:59

The Mochyn Du, Cardiff

This has now had a major refit, incorporating an in-house brewery (loads of copper fermenters, you know the stuff).

There's been a name change too. It's now Bragdy A Chegin, which my multilingual consort tells me means brewhouse and kitchen.

If you can manage "un pint cwrw os gwelwch yn dda" then you'll be very warmly received here. You will if you can't too.

There's a relic of the old name in the brewery's being called Black Pig, and there's more pub, less restaurant than previously.

The lead-(uranium maybe?)-glass tankards are comically heavy. Ask for a straight glass or take up training.

Overall I'd say it's a winner.

21 Feb 2018 15:12

Whitelocks, Leeds

I like Leeds. I like Whitelocks. There's plenty of money sluicing about in this fine, international, Remain-voting city, and understandably the good folk who run Whitelocks would perhaps like some of that.

So, the prices are what you'd expect really, especially as it's a small place, and it can be filled with relatively few customers.

I had no quibbles then, about paying the going rate for fine ales in good company, and in interesting surroundings, during an afternoon family get-together last New Year's Eve. It was quite a wheeze, seeing ourselves from a variety of jaunty angles in all the mirrors too. (Oh, how we chuckled, tsk.)

I suppose that if I'd been of the train-spotter mindset, then I could have ducked down the alleys to the other pubs off Briggate, but that was low priority on this occasion.

I see that the vitrina-painted windows still say Turks Head, and I wonder what was materially gained, by changing the name to the mouthful that is Whitelock's First City Luncheon Bar all those years ago?

Whatever, it's eight-out-of-ten, and "see you again", from your faithful reporter.

20 Feb 2018 22:46

The Falcon Inn, Nottingham

English Heritage do a fine job in placing Blue Plaques upon the former homes of the nation's notables, but as far as I know, none have been assigned to pubs where the same might have passed just as much time, and, moreover, rubbed along with the ordinary men and women of the day.

Cinephiles might be acquainted with the film Withnail And I by Bruce Robinson, about some of his days as a young man with his friend, the now late lamented Vivian MacKerrell.

Viv was a Nottingham man, and in the 1980s the Falcon was one of his preferred venues, in which to Quaff The Finest Ales Of Merrie England. Well, Shipstone's at any rate. His fellow drinkers probably recall his eloquent imperatives, as to the choice of music on the jukebox, and I spent many a ten pence piece on repeated discharges of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay", the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" and the rest.

I'm pleased and touched that the Shipstone's mirror is still there, but I don't hold out much hope for the jukebox, nor for a Blue Plaque.

19 Feb 2018 19:08

The Old Neptune, Whitstable

We stumbled in here last Thursday, when the smiley geezer was doing his quiz night. He asked the crowd how to pronounce "Cheviots", and then thanked me for telling him "in a Northumbrian accent" (fake), into the microphone. (The question was "in what county are they?")

Anyway, the Whitstable Pale went down well, and I must admit that this pub is, if anything, even woodier than the Kings Arms in Oxford, and I don't mind being wrongly blamed for spoiling a quiz question either.

Hats off all round.

16 Feb 2018 14:00

The Kings Arms, Oxford

I like this pub, with its Youngs beers, atmosphere, and its generally welcoming woodiness.

I'm not sure if its the woodiest pub that I've ever visited, but if I were in a betting mood, then I'd at least say that it's a good contender.

The home-made pork crackling etc. as bar snacks are a nice touch, for those who like that sort of thing too.

Eight-out-of-ten seems fair.

16 Feb 2018 12:52

The Cardiff Cottage, Cardiff

The Brains is as good as you'll find anywhere here.

Gets a bit over-jolly maybe, when there's an international on.

The steak pies are outstandingly pie-like, and notably steaky though.

Seven-out-of ten is respectfully awarded.

16 Feb 2018 12:47

The Hermits Cave, Camberwell

The pub sported a sign saying "the best beer round here" and yes, my pint of Hophead was flawless last summer.

The floorboards are good and foot-ground, but the furnishings are smart and comfortable enough, all except, that is, for the five-seater settee, which has a huge hole in place of one of its seats. (I saved one soul from throwing his new pint over himself by falling through it. I wonder how often that happens? Something needs doing before someone seriously hurts him or herself whatever.)

There are various curios on display on top of the bar canopy, including an accordion. So if you know any players of these devices, and they happen to be tall, then the good drinkers of this establishment would, I'm pretty sure, be grateful if you took them elsewhere.

16 Feb 2018 11:42

The Phoenix, Denmark Hill

As we abseiled down from the summit of Herne Hill last summer, our ropes happened to twang on the Phoenix.

It was giving out a relaxed, pleasant vibe, and so we decided to give it a look round. There was Doom Bar on, something with the American flag, and another which didn't ring any bells. As we were headed to the Hermit's Cave anyway, we gave the beer a miss.

Nonetheless, it is pleasantly, spaciously, and interestingly done out, with its bare brick walls and so on. The ceiling is very high. (I don't know if there'd ever been a fire, and hence the name, but that's what you could get if so I suppose).

I'd gladly call for a longer stay another day.

16 Feb 2018 11:27

Skehans, New Cross

The three ales on our visit were the said Doom Bar, Atlantic, and a robust, darkish bitter from Trumans. They're a welcome sight in an otherwise Irish-style pub.

It's a relaxed, cheerful, quality local, located on the slope of Telegraph Hill.

Does anyone know the semaphore for “come to this pub”?

16 Feb 2018 11:12

The Hoxton Pony, Shoreditch

This a cocktails, wine and champagne bar, and a drink will typically cost you about a tenner. It has live stuff on Fridays and on Saturdays, which tends to be anything, which might have a claim to be cool, that is, grime, hip-hop, EDM and so on. The interior design is as you’d expect.

So, chuckies, if you’re looking for real ale, morris dancing, and leather tankards, then you’ll be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you fancy flaring off a few smackers, among others also wanting the above, then perhaps its for you? And if you’re really loaded, and looking to begin a Mixed Attractiveness Relationship, then perhaps you could do worse than to come here too?

Now, following the release of the "Paradise Papers" on offshore tax avoidance, the dear old Guardian writes of one "James Mellon and his London bar". It says:

“The arch-Brexiteer and Isle of Man tax exile is a proprietor of a cocktail bar in one of London’s hippest neighbourhoods – the Hoxton Pony in Shoreditch.

In 2007, he teamed up with his longstanding business partner, the Canadian billionaire Stephen Dattels, to become a co-partner in the venture.

Rather than invest directly in a British business, Mellon created a layered structure. The bar was run by a UK-registered company, Calabrese House Ltd, which was entirely owned by an Isle of Man company, Calabrese Holdings Ltd, which had four equal shareholders.

Mellon and Dattels provided the funds, investing £500,000 each. They each held 25% via the Isle of Man. And it was the Manx vehicle that would pay out any dividends. If the bar was ever sold at a profit by its Manx parent, there would be no corporation tax to pay – because the Isle of Man does not tax company profits.

The leaked files show Appleby suggesting various ways this structure could help minimise tax. Mellon’s representative said the recommendations had not been acted on. The financier told the Guardian the bar had never made a profit, and that “the Calabrese investment has not been a good one”.

There are no tax advantages to holding the business outside the UK, according to Denham Eke, managing director of Mellon’s Isle of Man based Burnbrae Group. He added: “The reason we used an Isle of Man holding company is that we operate from the Isle of Man. It is our domicile and it is where we have our accounting and support infrastructure.”

Gerardo Calabrese, who runs the bar and holds a quarter share, said the dual Manx and UK structure was for convenience, for “minimising any cost duplication”, and had nothing to do with avoiding tax. Dattels did not respond to an emailed request for comment.”

So there you have it, sugar plums. “Never made a profit”. At ten quid a drink (cough.)

16 Feb 2018 11:10

The Beaufort Arms, Raglan

The Beaufort Hotel is named after the Beaufort family, whose seat for the dukedom was once Raglan Castle. From presumably an Irish branch of these arose Captain Beaufort, inventor of the famous wind force scale (not to be confused with that late-lamented fine fellow, who released Safe As Milk, Strictly Personal, Trout Mask Replica, Spotlight Kid and so on).

There are a number of rooms on the ground floor given to eating and drinking, along with a fresh fish and seafood display, but we made use of the smallest, the cosy bar, for a tapas lunch.

The glow from the burning logs was a simple joy, and my pint of UPA was crystal clear, a pure delight. At a fair-enough £3.70 that supported this bar’s standing as a pub for the locals as much as a hotel facility.

It’s only a girly stone’s throw from the A449/A40 should you be lucky enough to be passing, and I’ll certainly call again.

Why, if I were a military type, then it would have to be a chin-jutting, heel-clicking salute. Fortunately, I’m not.

So have eight-out-of-ten instead guys.

16 Feb 2018 11:06

Back to Hulots_hat's profile