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BITE user comments - JBGatelad

Comments by JBGatelad

The Vine, Norwich

Lovely little friendly place in central Norwich. Good small selection of beers on handpumps but also, in January, holding a beer festival with 12 barrels lined up against the wall. I was amazed how knowledgeable the wee Thai girl was, describing in detail the different styles of beer on offer! The Thai food upstairs is excellent as well - a brilliant place!

10 Feb 2013 13:41

The Half Moon, Knaresborough

The Half Moon shut down in 2011 but reopened its doors in December 2012. The pub is now independant of the destructive pubcos and the whole place has been thoroughly cleaned and given a tasetful facelift. Whilst retaining the original layout the whole place does now have an airy, brighter feel to it, there is no intrusive telly and no machines to detract from a thoroughly pleasant interior. There are 4 handpumps - Black Sheep, Landlord and two Roosters, YPA and Buckeye, the Roosters being kept in excellent condition and going down well with the locals. It was also doing a good trade from its coffee machine, supplemented by some chocolate brownies and cakes thus attracting casual passing tourists as well as the beer enthusiast. All in all a splendid effort by those concerned. The only downside was the bar was difficult to get to due to the local glitterati hogging the serving area, just as they do/did at Blind Jacks in the Market Place!

10 Feb 2013 13:36

The Morning Star, Lincoln

Yes there are locals here who are curious about "strangers" but what the hell! Their entry in the GBG will bring about many visitors I'm sure that would not normally find the place. The beer was good and a reasonable range without being a beer exhibition - you can find that elsewhere anyway. What we have is a fine local serving good beer and good value food. What excelled for me however was the young lady behind the bar - suddenly descended upon by 7 blokes she dealt with all the beers quickly and efficiently, then 7 meals and another round of drinks - all with a cheerful, friendly attitude and a lovely smile on her face. An absolute credit to what customer service should be all about! Well done!

24 Oct 2012 09:52

Shakespeare Hotel, Sheffield

This was a new one to our group, an excellent addition to the Kelham Tri-angle (where you wouldn't mind disappearing for a while!) We were introduced to the young bar manager, Chris, who knows his stuff and keeps excellent beer. There were about 8 beers - nearly all of them from micros which I'd never encountered including Leeming Bar and Ouseburn beers from further north. They also sold tasty baps very cheaply - just the job to mop up the beer now and again. A cracking dance room upstairs where live acts were featured.

23 Feb 2012 13:53

The Great Western Hotel, Exeter

The bar is a bit scruffy but the beers we had, from Dartmoor, RCH and O'Hanlons were in excellent condition. Not one normally to have burgers, I thoroughly enjoyed their Exmoor Burger, the barman was sociable and the locals welcoming!

23 Feb 2012 13:46

Richard Oastler, Brighouse

Beers were varied and well kept in this magnificent 'Spoons conversion. Good job we were only stopping a short time as my colleague, who plays for weddings and funerals, asked the barman if he could go upstairs and look at his organ......!*!

9 Feb 2012 11:27

The Old Ship, Brighouse

Bit chilly on a cold February day as the heating had bust, but the welcome was warm and the locals friendly. A good selection of well kept beers, most of which were micro-breweries I hadn't encountered before, from Rossendale and Wigan. Food was hearty stuff reasonably priced and the young bar lady very pleasant and knowledgable about the beer.

9 Feb 2012 11:23

The Narrow Boat, Skipton

A cracking 2 room pub with an upstairs balcony in the bar, it is situated in an alley easily reached off the High Street in one direction, and the canal area in the other. Plenty of choice from local brewers as well as continental beers, as found in the rest of the Market Town Tavern chain. Staff seemed knowledgeable and efficient. Disappointed no food mid-Saturday afternoon but not far from a great fish and chip shop and some nice pie shops!

1 Feb 2012 09:55

Red Lion, Skipton

I was in here about 6 months ago and although all the pumps didn't have beers on them, there was a choice of 4, mainly from the Greene King empire. The food was good too. However, I visited the Good Beer Guide listed pub this Saturday to find lots of incleared tables and apart from the GK IPA modern pump thing, there was only 1 beer on the pumps - at 1.99 which was obviously a clearance thing! Kids crying, the place looked a shambles - we retreated back to the safety of a real pub, that does not try and be all things to all men, women and children!

1 Feb 2012 09:49

The Waverly Bar, Dumfries

Near the station, this bar is a bit of a clutter of interesting stuff. There were only 2 out of 3 (I think) pumps working, one with Green King IPA, the other Loch Fyne Avalanche which was the best beer I'd tasted on that day. It was just a bit impersonal - had a handfull of punters but they nor the barstaff had any desire to engage in a bit of social banter!

27 Jan 2012 13:27

Robert The Bruce, Dumfries

In an old converted red sandstone chapel, it is standard 'Spoons decore inside. There were 6 handpumps with only 4 working 2 each of Ruddles and Deuchars which I found puzzling, but another 6 with all Scottish independants featured so that'll do for me! There didn't seem to be the usual staffing problem but it wasn't too busy anyway. The Orkney Raven was spot on

27 Jan 2012 13:21

The Ship Inn, Dumfries

This looks like a good drinkers bar, bar down one wall and long settle opposite with a few tables and stools. 5 Handpulls operating - 2 Green King Morland beers, Bombardier and more interestingly 2 Stewarts of Edinburgh - 80/- and Pentland IPA. Only one punter in so regretably my beer was first out of the pump so wasn't on best form (I don't think the woman behind the bar would knew about such things.) Hopefully now this is in the Good Beer Guide it will enjoy better fortunes than those described below!!

27 Jan 2012 13:15

The New Bazaar, Dumfries

I was the only customer on a quiet wet day in Dumfries but the landlord certainly made me feel welcome. It had the feel of what I think of as a "border" pub with three of the four handpumps showing real ales. I chose the Corby Ale which the boss told me was from the Carlisle area; it was an excellent pint. The interesting gantry featured a good selection of single malts; it is an italian marble counter on italian hardwood evidently!

27 Jan 2012 13:05

The Cavens Arms, Dumfries

Must confess to being slightly put off as I thought I'd entered a posh restaurant rather than a pub. I said I was only there for the beer and was directed to the rear where I found 10 handpumps featuring a mix of interesting English and Scottish beers. I only had time for a pint - chose the Ayr beer - very well kept. I got the hang of the place listening to what was going on and indeed it seems a very friendly, well run place. Must go back sometime!

27 Jan 2012 12:37

The Fighting Cock, Bradford

It's a bit of a hike from the centre of Bradford, but well worth the effort. Particularly enjoyed the Rat & Ratchet beer from Huddersfield, along with other Yorkshire micros. One of those pubs you don't want to leave.....

19 Dec 2011 12:53

The Corn Dolly, Bradford

An excellent range of local real ales and some very tasty food at very affordable prices. Lunch times seem to be well patronised by office workers from nearby buildings. A must when visiting Bradford.

19 Dec 2011 12:47

The New Beehive Inn, Bradford

An excellent old CAMRA National Inventory and GBG pub - well worth a visit. Interesting locals who joined in our game of "If you had a time machine, would you go forwards or backwards?" Beers were excellent - a must on a Bradford crawl.

19 Dec 2011 12:41

The Boy and Barrel, Bradford

On a crawl of Bradford on 9th December it was open; one of our party, a confirmed larger drinker, dragged us into this boozer, attracted by flashing coloured lights and the sign that said Karaoke from 2pm. The interior looked as if it could be a fine historic pub with a lot of T.L.C. I didn't fancy the Tetley's Cask which I would have found tasteless after the wonderful hoppy brews at other pubs, opting for a brandy! The customers were certainly interesting folk and polite, unless you tried to knick their Karaoke spot! You'd be better going there in a group!

19 Dec 2011 12:37

Har.Low.Gata, Harrogate

With connections back to the North Eastern Railway's arrival in the town in the 19th Century, this fine building is now to be a Zizzi Restaurant - just what Harrogate is short of, yet another chain Italian food joint. The destruction of probably the last traditional pub in the town centre and part of Harrogate's history sacrificed by tasteless businessmen with an eye only for money! R.I.P.

19 Dec 2011 12:23

The Forresters Hotel and Restaurant, Middleton In Teesdale

A comfortable bar in an old Hotel which seems to be able to cater for Tourists and the local farming community. I was rather disappointed to find only Black Sheep (again!) the other two of the three handpumps having nothing displayed. I had a hearty meal of steak pie, chips and mushy peas which was akin to Desperate Dan's cow pie and nearly had me defeated!

Good welcome and friendly service with a smattering of locals willing to engage visitors. Well worth a visit - use the bus from Barnard Castle as it is under threat from Mr. Big Society!

26 Oct 2011 16:16

The Great Western, Wolverhampton

Finally found a quick route by turning right outside the railway station entrance and in a corner, it is marked "subway" - down some steps through the subway and turn right, then on to the end of the path opposite the pub. The old Great Western station, looking more and more magnificient as it seems to be in the process of renovation, is on your left. There were 3 Holdens beers and a Bathams, with, I think 3 or 4, other Handpumps round the right hand corner of the bar. Sampled 2 Holdens and a Bathams and they were all splendid.

Customer service was very friendly and efficient and prices very reasonable. I sampled one of the days specials, Cumberland Sausage with a leek and black pudding mash. It was truly excellent. Can't fault it! Well done!

12 Oct 2011 15:20

The Bow Bar, Edinburgh

Visited this twice last week - once when very busy and once early doors. A great interior of wood, mirrors and pictures, good informed staff, excellent beer and intersting customers. A great place to sit and watch the world go by!

25 Sep 2011 11:57

Thomson's, Edinburgh

Great little pub with well kept panelling, mirrors and old posters of brews present and long gone. Staff were very friendly and the beers, mainly from Scottish micros, very well kept. Handy for a pint or three prior to trying Chop Chop Chinese restaurant experience a little way down th road....!

25 Sep 2011 11:49

The Oxford Bar, Edinburgh

As the Bar area was full (it doesn't take many!) we regretably moved into the side room just for a quick pint. We left 4 pints later - there's something about this place - the conversation flows and the beer (Ossian in this case) was excellent and you could stay all night! Brilliant!

19 Sep 2011 18:47

The Starbank Inn, Edinburgh

Came across this on a walk between Leith and Granton. It now seems to be part of the Greene King empire and was actually pleased to drink two different Belhaven beers on handpump, which I'd never had before - the only examples being keg. Nothing remarkable taste wise but they were well kept beers, as were the better beers from one of the micros. Food was reasonablly priced and staff welcoming. Views over the Forth beautiful!

19 Sep 2011 18:36

Teuchters Landing, Edinburgh

This apparently is a former waiting room for passenger ships that docked at Leith with interesting photos round the wall and rooms at the rear serving food; also an outside area next to the old dock. There were several handpumps, the beer we had was Inveralmond Ossian which was excellent however the highest priced beer we had that week at 3.60!!

19 Sep 2011 18:27

The Cask and Barrel, Edinburgh

I think this is a great pub but I always seem to be there before the evening rush when the staff have always been polite and informative when I've asked about the beers. The beer has always been good quality too and personally I'm not bothered about TV screens being switched off - I'd rather they weren't there! Plenty of conversation and good atmosphere was my experience.

19 Sep 2011 18:20

Bennet's Bar, Edinburgh

A beauty of a pub - beer quality was good and atmosphere cosy on a wild and wet Edinburgh day. Good selection of whiskys too.

19 Sep 2011 18:13

The Stockbridge Tap, Edinburgh

Stumbled across this pub whilst walking the Water of Leith. Very pleasant atmosphere and 6 handpumps featuring mainly Scottish micro beers. Excellent Pentland IPA on our first visit; we came back later in the week as it was a beer festival - Loch Fyne Jarl being the standout beer for us. Staff were pleasant and on top of the game whilst we were there, including serving up some appetising meals.

19 Sep 2011 18:10

The Elm Bar, Edinburgh

Was about to enter the pub when one of the smoking fraternity outside the pub, aimed a flying kick at four passing gay women, accompanied by abuse, much to the amusement of the "security staff" at the pub. Decided not to go in - obviously some of the inhabitants don't aspire to standing upright and stop their knuckles dragging on the floor.

19 Sep 2011 18:04

The Shakespeare Tavern, Durham

This used to be one of my favourite Durham pubs - now the little snug has gone, the back rooms opened up and to crown it all, those wonderful windows seen on the photo above, have gone. The beer was average. It is now a superb example of how our heritage can be destroyed overnight and replaced with bland replication you can see anywhere. Disgraceful.

19 Sep 2011 18:00

Anne Of Cleves, Melton Mowbray

Tried all three Everards beers which were spot on. The food was very good and the service pleasant. Even though it appeared to be a foody pub we were able to play dominoes without any problems. A very interesting building, evidently left to Anne of Cleves (Henry VIII fourth wife) in a divorce settlement. Lots of what look like genuine artifacts from that period around the walls and on the ceiling!

11 Aug 2011 20:48

The Sidings, Castletown

Great selection of well kept beers and right next to the IOM steam railway. An interesting clientele made it one of those places you wanted to stay awhile - pity the last trains to Douglas are in the afternoon, but plenty of buses into the evening.

31 Jul 2011 14:46

The Glue Pot (Castle Arms Hotel), Castletown

Pleasant pub by the Quay with Okells beers. Nothing exceptional but it was a quiet haven when we visited it. Beer was good. Only gripe was that when "Whole lotta love" came to the guitar solo, the stereo split had Jimmy Page's guitar solo sounding as if somewhere in another room!*! I had to put down my air guitar and retire!

31 Jul 2011 14:42

The Falcons Nest Hotel, Port Erin

Visited twice in the week - beer was very good both occasions, with staff and locals very friendly. Food is served in the bar, which includes conservatory with great views over the bay, or in a dining room in the hotel area. Food was reasonable value pub grub, but crab sandwiches were excellent.

31 Jul 2011 14:37

The Bay, Port Erin

Although the beer was very good, we didn't get a friendly vibe here; also, we thought it was a bit on the smelly side. Shame - we were looking forward to it.

31 Jul 2011 14:30

The Whitehouse Hotel, Peel

Well kept selection of beers in this multi-roomed pub and well informed landlord, who proudly pointed out the awards presented to the pub, on the wall. Clientele seemed to be all locals, with only us as trippers so a more balanced view of island life here!!

31 Jul 2011 14:27

The Creek Inn, Peel

There seem to be two distinct areas in this old pub - the front bar which has a quaint fishing town pub decor and a room to the rear left which could be described as a sports bar with telly and games. It obviously does a roaring trade in food which means if you are a drinker but prefer the front bar you may have difficulty finding a pew during food serving times which is most of the day apparently. We did eat there and whilst it was enjoyable, thought it was a bit overpriced. The staff were mostly young people some of whom could do with a talk on customer service and reasons for paying particular attention to how they should serve the extensive range of well kept beers.

31 Jul 2011 14:21

The Sulby Hotel, Sulby

Splendid old hotel with very enthusiastic landlord. It was just prior to a beer festival and so had my first Northern Ireland real ale. Well kept beers - a must to visit if you go to the IOM.

29 Jul 2011 18:48

The Ginger Hall Hotel, Sulby

Dropped off here by the bus by mistake but the beer was very good. However, we felt that we should have had something hot and throbbing between our legs rather than having come on the bus!! Horses for courses....no, that can't be right!*!

29 Jul 2011 18:43

The Trafalgar Hotel, Ramsey

Although the beer was pretty good we weren't too keen as the bar woman and people huddled round the bar were engaged in a demolition job of various things in Ramsey. Made you think you had come to the wrong place so we went to Sulby.......

29 Jul 2011 18:40

The Swan, Ramsey

Fairly featureless pub but the Okells and the imported Green King beers were in good nick.

29 Jul 2011 18:35

The Shore Hotel, Laxey

A very pleasant mile walk from the tram stop gets you to Old Laxey where you can watch the sea go by in all weathers and enjoy the pub's brew. Grub available to keep you going - leave plenty of time for the wobble back to Laxey!

29 Jul 2011 18:32

The Queens Hotel, Laxey

I would think this pub is not a regular call for tourists as it is just a little away from the main drag (tram stop/mine railway, etc) but no doubt popular with bikers and beer enthusiasts, as well as a good locals base. Beer excellent and cheap butties to provide sound foundations!

29 Jul 2011 18:24

The Mines Tavern, Laxey

This was one of those places where I could easily have passed hours, days....the beer was very good and the sight and sound of the trams passing in the day time transported me back to a more pleasant, pre-Thatcher/Murdoch time! Should be in the GBG rather than some of the Douglas pubs!!

29 Jul 2011 18:17

The Albert Hotel, Douglas

I'll use basic as the word "rough" has been used already a few times! Went in to tick the box whilst waiting for a bus. It seemed that the colourful language was cranked up in volume and frequency when they spotted I had my wife with me. This settled down to a dull roar when they saw she was not intimidated. Not a problem being a teacher of the young and immature!

Beer was good though!

24 Jul 2011 18:20

The Terminus Tavern, Douglas

The beer was consistently good and certainly the best value, tasty pub grub we experienced in Douglas. When a certain young lady was directing traffic it seemed to function at its best. Very handy for the Tram Cranks!!

24 Jul 2011 18:14

The Rovers Return, Douglas

A pub full of character and characters, the beer was very good and niely priced. I can imagine at times it is not for the faint-hearted!

24 Jul 2011 18:11

The Queens Hotel, Douglas

One of the better pubs on the long promenade at the north end, the Okells beer was pretty good. The promised guest beers didn't seem to materialise when the last pints were drawn off leaving Okells Bitter only for most of the week. Food was average but reasonably priced.

24 Jul 2011 18:09

The Prospect Hotel, Douglas

Whilst on holiday visited this pub three times - it seemed to have three different drinking areas round an L shaped bar, including a "library" area. Okells beers plus a guest or two were in good nick. Quiz on Wednesday night was fun. Young bar lady was very informed and informative about the beers and a good ambassador for the pub. Well done.

24 Jul 2011 18:06

Smugglers Den, Morecambe

This is a pleasant cosy little pub, but not an easy one to find for the casual visitor. My search was rewarded by a splendid pint of one of my favourite beers, Coniston Bluebird which was excellent. There is some interesting bric-a-brac on the walls and an interesting collection of shell cases some from WW1. I sincerely hope this pub doesn't succumb to the greedy landlords.

23 Jun 2011 12:07

The Palatine, Morecambe

Mid-summer's day in Morecambe was quite a depressing experience until I entered this little heaven. The Lancaster beer was excellent, four guests as if that wasn't enough and a selection of foreign beers to go at. Food looked interesting though I didn't partake, and the barman very helpful dn friendly. Must now seek out the other Lancaster Brewery pubs!

23 Jun 2011 12:01

The Waters Green Tavern, Macclesfield

I happened on this place by accident as it was nearest to the bus stop where I dropped off from Buxton. York, Phoenix, Whim - and the Townhouse whose session beer was superb. Basic fodder at reasonable prices. Lots of interesting conversations - I thought I'd landed in an Episode of Early Doors which was great!! Must plan more bus trips to end here!

26 May 2011 15:57

The Crown Hotel, Horton in Ribblesdale

Been here a few times recently. Beer by Theakstons and a guest - the last two times Kirkby Lonsdale Ruskin which was kept well - a good beer, but at 3.10 rather pricey. You never are greeted with a smile - more viewed with suspicion!! If you go in the lounge to the left it might have the atmosphere the previous reviewer describes. The bar on the right is very often full and interesting to listen to the events and gossip of the Dale! There always seems to be a chap though who will be keen to know who you are and what you are up to.....!!

21 May 2011 13:23

Number 22 Alehouse and Canteen, Darlington

Following a request to the management we were allowed to pursue the ancient sport of dominoes (on a specific table with suitable top.) A good time was had by all - the Durham and Village Brewer beers were excellent, as was the food. An all round top notch experience.

21 May 2011 13:15

The Black Bull Inn, Bangor

We arrived "off peak" so didn't experience any negative vibes. Bar staff a bit surly but beer was good quality. A small group of blokes looking to start WWIII and I can imagine what this might be when multiplied up for a later session!!

21 May 2011 12:57

The Spooner's Bar, Porthmadog

Arrived on a late running train from Blaenau causing operating problems with the new WHR arrival from Caernarfon but splendidly dealt with by the staff at Porthmadog minimising delay down to 3 minutes. I digress - it did allow us time therefore to sample the Purple Moose beer which was excellent. Staff were good and well informed and gave 5% discount for CAMRA staff. Beers seemed reasonably priced anyway. Crank heaven!

21 May 2011 12:53

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

I've been here before on two occasions in past years and fancied a re-visit. I think the quality has definitely gone down both in beer quality and general ambience. I took an instant dislike to the guy behind the bar who was directing the rest of the staff - no smiles, no please/thank you - just bustle all the time, clearing tables, moving condiments about, etc. You can't beat hard workers but he just gave you the feeling that you were inconveniencing him by dirtying another glass!! Very unwelcoming! How about a smile?*!

13 May 2011 10:27

The Ship Tavern, Holborn

The beer range was not very exctiting - had Bombardier which was very good. Seemingly popular with foodies but a bit over my price range, me being riff raff!

13 May 2011 10:19

The Castle, Holborn

Having a bit of a Nethergate day and my selection here was excellent. Lad behind the bar offered a taster which is the first time I've experienced that in London. Most of the bar is standing room but there is a seated area upstairs for restaurant purposes. Not a burger person but must say the burger, salad and chips I saw two guys eating looked extremely tempting - not a crumb was left!

13 May 2011 10:14

The Knights Templar, Chancery Lane

Splendid 'Spoons conversion of an old bank. I had one of the beers from Nethergate which was top class. I couldn't understand why a splendid place like this wasn't as busy as the other pubs in this Legal area where the beer was 1 a pint dearer - what does that say about the drinkers round here?

13 May 2011 10:03

The Edgar Wallace, Temple

Bit rough at the edges, decor wise, considering the area it is in. The beer on the 8 pulls was imaginative in choice and I overheard the gaffer talking about keeping the bigger brewers out (which you can get in most of London real ale pubs) in favour of the smaller guys - good for him! They have their own Edgar Wallace beer 3.5%, a good session beer brewed by Nethergate. Worth a re-visit.

13 May 2011 09:57

The Devereux, Temple

Cosy little pub tucked away in a side street near the Legal area and adjacent to the Edgar Wallace in Essex Street. Tidy. panelled place with 4 pulls; the Youngs was on top form but the choice of beers was unimaginative from the larger breweries. Will return if visiting the Wallace next door.

13 May 2011 09:53

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

Been looking for this pub for years - quite hidden away on a passageway under Charing Cross station, and spread over both sides of the alley. Badger beers were very good and had a very enjoyable fish pie. Will go again now I know where it is!

7 Apr 2011 12:26

The Lamb Tavern, Leadenhall Market

Youngs Bitter was good quality though why did the barman need reminding to top it up when he presented it with nearly an inch of head on it?! Very interesting tiling and architecture in a unique location - must learn about the history of the place.

7 Apr 2011 12:22

The Crosse Keys, Bank

Massive interior in this conversion of an HSBC bank evidently. Good beer selection (actually available!!) for a 'Spoons and the staff sounded interested in their product, reflected in the quality and taste. Definitely one of the better pubs in this chain. Pity not open on Sundays!

7 Apr 2011 12:16

The Old Doctor Butler's Head, Moorgate

A 17th century pub of character which has managed to be retained amongst all the other modern rubbish around it. The Sheps beers were good but the telly and machines completely spoil the atmosphere of this passage-way pub.

7 Apr 2011 12:11

Red Herring, Bank

Although the beer quality was very good, two pints of low-ish ABV beers for 7.05 put this as my most expensive beers in three weeks of visits to London area. As it is a very unremarkable pub architecture wise, I won't be back.

7 Apr 2011 12:07

The Magpie, Bishopsgate

Very busy City pub handy for Liverpool Street station. I enjoyed the Sharps IPA (which I believe has now been taken over by a much bigger predator) and the Steak Pie was good quality. Crammed with suits at lunchtime slinging it down their necks - I thought most of us weren't allowed to drink at lunch time these days! Anyway, good to see these City types stimulating the economy!!

26 Mar 2011 10:03

The Peacock, Tower Hill

Not sure what you call the external architecture - it just looks "modern" to this old git! Internally I would describe it as scruffy but comfortable. Plenty of chairs and tables considering no catering. There were 4 handpumps with all beers available - I had the Woodford Wherry which was pricey at 3.40 for a 3.8% beer. Upstairs had dart boards where some suits seemed to have a regular contest going on. Nothing really attractive to tempt me make another visit but you couldn't fault the beer.

26 Mar 2011 09:57

East India Arms, Fenchurch Street

I could never get in here when I used to pass regularly on my way from Fenchurch St station in the days of Youngs. Finally managed it on a fine spring day - the SN Master Brew was 3.10 - a bit pricey for the cooking bitter, but the condition and taste was top notch. Interesting pictures round the panelled walls and splendid mirror.

26 Mar 2011 09:44

The Nook, Holmfirth

It's many a year since I came here but drawn by Jack Bruce round the corner in the Picturedrome, I had to pay a visit. I enjoyed the Nook Beer and the sausage and mash was pretty good. I didn't like the fact that there were dogs wandering about, some up on the furniture, their untrained owners quite oblivious to other people's feelings about it.

My main gripe was the youngish chap behind the bar who felt the need to comment to the locals about the fact that I asked if they were quality sausages (as opposed to the majority of crap you get in pubs) and then had to sound off when I asked for English mustard! If he knows the difference between Tetleys and the beers they keep at the Nook, why does he have a problem with food? Perhaps this guy would be better off serving in MacDonalds. Points deducted for having such an oik on the staff!

18 Mar 2011 18:04

The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Great for the range (entire?) of Robinson's beers. Interesting rooms at the rear including one with a stage. The copper topped tables that were here last time I came, are now gone - probably lost the battle with verdigris!

13 Mar 2011 13:30

The Angel, Manchester

Beers were excellent but seating is rather limited and a bit scruffy. I'd heard this area might suffer from "development" and the place might be lost - I hope not!!

13 Mar 2011 13:27

The Crown and Kettle, Ancoats

It's a great shame someone hasn't the dosh to renovate the ceiling damaged in a fire. I really liked this place and met a guy there who knew the history of the local boozers which was very helpful. Beer couldn't be faulted.

13 Mar 2011 13:07

The Jolly Angler, Manchester

Only Hydes Original at a splendid price. Not too far away from the station and a nice way to start or end a crawl of the eastern edge pubs of Manchester. Contrasts with the Port Street Beer House just opened not too far away across the canal!!

13 Mar 2011 13:04

The Marble Arch, Manchester

A splendid place - I had a beautiful pint of Pint! Prices are a bit high - I've had cheaper Marble beers nearer centre of town but if it keeps the decor intact, it'll do for me!

13 Mar 2011 12:58

The Smithfield Hotel, Manchester

Bit scruffy but couldn't fault the beer and the prices.

13 Mar 2011 12:56

Bar Fringe, Manchester

Can't fault the beer/cider/continental range of beers. It's interesting the comments about a certain female behind the bar. I was ribbing a mate of mine about his choice of lager and she joined in. All good fun but I can imagine how this could kick off the wrong way! I thought I was in an episode of "Shameless"!!

13 Mar 2011 12:54

Mizen Head Hotel, Bamburgh

An update is required I think - Feb Half term 2011. It seems the owners of the Castle Hotel/Pub have taken over the Mizen Head and directions were on the Castle door to go the Mizen Head as the Castle was closed for refurbishment (at Half Term!!!!) The staff at the Mizen were pleasant and helpful, also the food was usual holidaymaker fodder. The Beer was Black Sheep in pretty good condition, better than the Victoria down the road.

It seems that when the Castle is back in action, the Mizen will be changed (again!) and become an upmarket restaurant with cocktail bar. I fear they are making a big mistake as this will lose a big slice of the holiday trade on which this area depends. In the Cameron/Clegg Return to Victorian times Society, people will have less to spend - changing the current style which has been going on for many, many years, will exclude part of the available trade. If it's not broke - don't fix it!!

13 Mar 2011 12:43

The Pilot Inn, Berwick upon Tweed

Cosy little pub that thankfully modern renovation has by-passed. Beer is always excellent here and staff friendly. Good place to calm down and re-establish that life is worth living, particularly after a visit to The Leaping Salmon!*!

5 Feb 2011 10:40

Leaping Salmon, Berwick upon Tweed

On a sunny January afternoon, I arrived and waited at the bar. Another guy was there and it seemed that the Unleaded had gone off and she was changing "it". Time passed slowly - the girl avoided any eye contact - no communication whatsoever. Eventually the problem was sorted out and the customer served. As I prepared to ask for a drink a bloke got up from a group of local stalwarts and she served him instead. Perhaps I should have written my order on Facebook or texted her. I walked out. Mr. Hampson really should root out rubbish like this. Points : 1 for the view

5 Feb 2011 10:36

The Alehouse, Reading

Managed to spend half an hour in this pub between trains - about 10 minutes max from the station. An interesting pub layout wise with a number of little snugs through the back. Beer was excellent - Chubbs from West Berkshire I think - I found it difficult to read the pumps having to dodge the animated club of four who block your way to the bar. Pricey.

5 Feb 2011 10:19

Far From the Madding Crowd, Oxford

Good selection of beers with the accent on local stuff when I visited. I thought at first it was a bit canteen like but I think it is the windows that detract from what is quite a nice room. Comfy chairs at one end, tables for dining in the middle area and a raised "observation" bench at the other end. Beer was top class - food looked average but probably good value for what it was. The only problem was the learned beer nerds drinking in a clump at the bar, preventing punters from seeing what was on the pumps!

5 Feb 2011 10:06

The Fox Inn, Hermitage

West Berkshire Good Old Boy, Cottage Atlantic (I think), Sharps Doom Bar and Youngs Special all with Cask Marque when I visited on a windy February night. I partook of three of the beers which I thought were in good nick. Locals were playing darts and were friendly to an outsider from up north. Pub grub looked fine though I only had a plate of pate (home made) to go with the beer. Cosy with a roaring fire in a stove between the two parts of the bar. Separate dining area available for posh nosh.

5 Feb 2011 09:58

The Water House, Durham

I'm very fond on the GBG listed Durham pubs but so far have avoided this one. Wasn't impressed by the beer selection but had the Prince Bishop from Big Lamp which was well kept. Only got a half and was glad as just as I sat down a chav family (including child) kicked off and had to be ejected by the manager (don't envy his job on North Street). Doubt if I'll be back.

27 Jan 2011 12:40

White Swan, Stokesley

There were four Captain Cook brews available plus three guests (I think) - the Slipway was an excellent pint. Friendly staff and locals, I would have like to have stopped in the town overnight for their Burns Night!

27 Jan 2011 12:33

Spread Eagle, Stokesley

There were four handpulls dispensing mainly national beers such as Marstons, etc. I went for the Camerons Strongarm as this is now quite rare for me (ruined by asset strippers in the 70s/80s but thankfully back in production at Hartlepool) and it was in excellent condition. Lively banter with the regulars and good home cooked food available.

27 Jan 2011 12:29

The Blackfriars, Glasgow

Well kept beers, helpful staff and the food looked good. Tryst Brockville Dark - top notch. Splendid selection of continental beers - all round excellent pub.

27 Jan 2011 12:18

The Babbity Bowster, Glasgow

The real ales are on Air pressure (which is probably getting rarer these days) and are very well kept. But the pricing seems over the top! Nice touch - the photo memorial to the late George Jackson of Ossian who was a regular here.

27 Jan 2011 12:12

George and Dragon Inn, Knaresborough

The "Top House" has just re-opened, 24th November, 2010, following a change of landlord and a re-furbishment. The couple who are running it evidently used to run the Groves some years ago. The four handpumps had 2 x John Smiths, Daleside Blonde (I think this is 3.9% not 5.9% as previously suggested) and York Guzzler. The Blonde was in excellent condition, a beautiful beer. If the new landlord keeps up the enthusiasm shown by the previous landlord, this will be a good starter/finisher for what now is an excellent "crawl" with a potential for around 28 different real ales avaiable in 4 pubs - the G&D., Cross Keys, Blind Jacks and The Mitre. Hopefully the pub will regain its custom and continue with well kept real ales. Best of luck!

28 Nov 2010 14:35

Cross Keys, Knaresborough

This pub re-opened on the weekend of 19th November, 2010. It is another addition to an attractive "crawl" round Knaresborough as it is now an Ossett Brewery tied house, with 4 Ossett beers and 4 guests, which included Roosters and Wensleydale on my visit. There have been structural alterations inside and it is all one room with a side "room" to the left though, which does provide some degree of separation. Very competitive prices and doing a roaring meals trade on the Sunday. Best of luck!

23 Nov 2010 07:24

Muse Ale and Wine Bar, Wetherby

Spent a very pleasant early evening here sampling three of their well kept beers from Moorhouses, Daleside and Leeds breweries. Had an excellent Chicken Liver and Bacon Baguette for 4.95 - great value grub off their specials board. Why this isn't in the Good Beer Guide I don't know - there are some pubs in the Leeds CAMRA area which make the guide that don't hold a candle to this one.

31 Jul 2010 14:40

Har.Low.Gata, Harrogate

With half an hour to kill, popped in here to see the latest episode in the destruction of what used to be the North Eastern. Quite shocked to find that at 8pm on a Friday there was hardly anyone in. Apart from Black Sheep they had Copper Dragon Best Bitter. Fearing the beer might have been sat in the pipes all day, the landlord assured me that it had been used a few minutes before, then going on to explain his enthusiasm for good beer. The pint was indeed spot on, positively top class and we told him so on our way out. I just hope this guy can turn the pub's fortunes around - alas the few inhabitants we saw on the pool table reminded me of people who can scupper someone's best intentions. Anyway, best of luck!!

31 Jul 2010 14:29

The Star Inn, Bath

Wonderful CAMRA National Inventory pub with lots of rooms, nooks and crannies. Abbey Bellringer and gravity Bass were excellent. Staff helpful and lively conversation the order of the day. Splendid!

31 Jul 2010 14:18

The Old Green Tree, Bath

Lovely little CAMRA National Inventory pub with well kept interesting local beers. Staff very welcoming and some interesting extremist conversations to earwig!

31 Jul 2010 14:13

The Salamander, Bath

A very pleasant Bath Ales pub and though not a great fan of their range, enjoyed the Golden Hare. Great place to be entertained by some of the conversations of pompous twonks from hereabouts!!

31 Jul 2010 14:09

The Ship Inn, Mousehole

Delightful location and good beer but I agree with the previous reviewer, the staff could do with a course on how to smile - it costs nothing. Maybe the landlord saves his smiling until he's counting the takings!

31 Jul 2010 14:03

Tolcarne Inn, Penzance

Betty Stoggs was in good nick when we called and the staff and locals welcoming. On the downside, it was the most expensive pint we had in the Penzance area.

31 Jul 2010 13:57

The Turks Head, Penzance

Managed to drop lucky and get a table in the bar as soon as we entered the door, on a busy Saturday evening. Adnams Explorer and Doom Bar were in good fettle, and the bar food very tasty and good value. Staff seem like a well organised team and make it look easy when it's very busy. Well done - consistent through the years.

31 Jul 2010 13:54

Navy Inn, Penzance

Visited this place primarily for a meal as they served a very nice Brill, a particular favourite fish. It was nice but expensive. The beer was good - nice to find a beer other than Doom Bar - Sharp's Own I think it was. Staff seemed pleasant enough when we visited on two occasions bit it is certainly more like an eating house than a pub.

31 Jul 2010 13:38

The Crown Inn, Penzance

Never tried this one before - nice to find a different selection of beers, including Bays from Devon which was new one for me, and very nice. Found it was easy to engage with the locals seated outside in the sun. Nice little bolt hole away from tourist trail.

31 Jul 2010 13:31

The First and Last, Penzance

A cosy little pub just a little further on from the main drag and well worth a visit. Beer was excellent and the banter entertaining!

31 Jul 2010 13:22

The Dolphin, Penzance

Enjoyed the St Austell beers here and the B&B was very good with an excellent breakfast, a good foundation for a "sloppy" rock'n roll trip on the "Vomit Comet" out to the Scilly Isles.

31 Jul 2010 13:18

The Admiral Benbow, Penzance

Every time we visit Penzance we have to come here. The beer was good quality - Sharp's Doom Bar, the daily special Hake was excellent. It seems to be organised chaos in a jumble sale - fascinating to watch the regular bar staff in action! Dick Emery's "Oooh! You are awful - but I like you!" springs to mind. Will keep coming back so don't change it!

31 Jul 2010 13:12

The New Inn, Tresco

The Ales of Scilly Scuppered was ok - nothing special. I don't eat burgers but couldn't resist the beef burger I saw being served to someone else. It turned out to be even better than it looked but then it should have been at 10!! Tresco or Tescos as we call it, is a rather beautiful island, rugged at the northern end and green and lush at the other. It is spoilt by some sort of strict commercial control that gives you the feeling that it exists only to tip you up and empty your pockets - the New Inn is obviously part of that process.

31 Jul 2010 12:54

The Bishop and Wolf, St Marys

This place seems to have improved beer wise since our last visit in 2007. The St. Austell beers were in good nick and the bar staff seemed attentive and on the ball. Nothing special but functional and probably quite cosy on a winter's night. The back yard smokers area turned out to be a good place to listen to the rich kids who were working in restaurants/pubs, slagging off the tourists who were paying their wages! Ok fxxxing Ya! Illuminating!

31 Jul 2010 12:32

The Mermaid Inn, St Mary's

Reasonable pint of Scuppered here and the bar food turned out to be quite interesting, tasty and good value. Having said that I don't like the place (same thoughts back in 2007). Sarcastic comments from locals hogging the bar, when my wife asked for a taster, untidy furniture that nobody could be bothered to deal with, dirty tables and uncollected glasses and when we asked one of three bar staff for a cloth, rather than addressing the fact that at least three tables needed clearing and cleaning, they gave us the cloth and continued their conversation!!! They just watched us do it!! Puts you off a bit - won't be back unless someone says the management has changed.

31 Jul 2010 12:21

The Old Town Inn, St Mary's

A nice little pub hidden away from the "main drag", this place has a landlord who is keen on his beers and serving good quality pints. Fortunately they had the Ales of Scilly "Firebrand" which was just our kind of pint - excellent. We visited around three times and found it to be welcoming with consistent high beer quality. Very pleasant place to exchange banter and while away the hours when one of those rare Scilly downpours occurs!

31 Jul 2010 11:56

Atlantic Inn, St Mary's

Our second visit to the Island and glad this has improved since 2007. Good idea having St. Austell IPA - a new one on us - priced at 2.25 for 3.4% beer. Ideal for a lunchtime snifter if you still want to stay awake! At the other end of the scale was Proper Job - which was a refreshing hoppy bitter of 4+% - very nice. Good mix of locals and tourists, with a lively quiz on a Thursday night. Watch out for locals "George's Corner" who seem rather OCD about winning!! Their atrocious spelling should lose them marks!*!*!

31 Jul 2010 11:47

The Seven Stones Inn, St Martins

After a visit here in 2007 when it was the best pint of the holiday and excellent food, I was a bit worried having seen previous reviews. Didn't notice the vehicles so they might now have been removed. St Austell Tribute was on the handpump which was in pretty good nick - so much so that we missed a boat back for it and had 4 pints!! The crab sandwich wasn't quite as good as last time but still enjoyable. What seems to have changed is that there is an air of dereliction about the place - the outdoor furniture and paintwork really needs a refurb. It is up for sale - I just wish I had the cash to buy this pub with its beautiful view! Please someone give it the TLC it deserves!

31 Jul 2010 11:39

The Turks Head, St Agnes

I really do like this pub's location - cosy little rooms but also seating areas outside with views to die for. Beer was good - St. Austell masquerading as Turks Ale but I think the famous pasty didn't warrant its description and certainly not its price!! Still, everything is dearer in this area - you just have to accept it!

31 Jul 2010 11:29

The Porthcressa Inn, Porthcressa

I believe this is now closed as a pub and converted to holiday flats. However, it does a disco at weekends which could be fun for the holiday residents!!

31 Jul 2010 11:21

The Gunmakers, Clerkenwell

I thought this was a shop converted into a wine bar but it seems the pub has a longer history back into the 19th century. There is an ever changing range of beers apparently - I chose the Mad Goose from Purity which was excellent. The enthusiasm of the cellarman is very apparent and the guy behind the bar was extolling the virtues of the next beer to come on from Saltaire (about 20 miles down the road from me!)

A small criticism was that the smokers stand outside the large windows at the front which were fully open in the hot weather, with smoke drifting into the pub, but can't see how you could remedy that. The train/beer spotters in the front corner could be quite irritating after a while but it takes all sorts!!! But I'll be back! Sample Menu on the website might be useful.

18 Jun 2010 08:25

The Hand and Shears, Barbican

I think this is a typical corner boozer from the mid 19th century, modified in the 1930s, hence the "modern" appearance of the panelling. I agree with previous posts, it is rather scruffy but find the whole place cosy. Being a northerner, the staff do seem a bit surly but once engaged in conversation, were very helpful. I had Adnams which I thought was one of the best pints of that beer I'd ever had but might have been cos it was at the end of a very hot day. Long may this little gem survive.

18 Jun 2010 07:58

The Fox and Anchor, Smithfield

"The Fox and Anchor is the re-birth of the Traditional English Pub" - so the notice reads. I clearly must have got the wrong end of the stick for the last 44 years. The slightly warm and ridiculously expensive Nethergate Fox and Anchor, served in a barrel glass seemed to indicate a reversion to the '70s when real ale was pushed out to be replaced by Double Diamond or Watneys Red Barrel! I was quite hungry but recoiled at the 3.50 for a Pork Pie. Obviously from other comments there are times when the beer is on top form and certainly the building looks like my sort of a pub. However, my overall impression was a deliberate, cynical attempt at trapping tourists for as much dosh as possible. It seems to have worked but I won't be going back. Why is it in the Good Beer Guide?

18 Jun 2010 07:45

Unicorn Inn, Canterbury

Near to the Canterbury West railway station, I found this to be a welcoming pub with chatty barman and locals. Four handpumps had Deuchars, Ringwood, Sheps and Hop Daemon. The Hop Daemon 3.7% was just the job and well kept. Food menu looked good value with interesting daily specials. A quieter bolt hole from the tourists and a handy "waiting room" for a train (you just might be tempted to miss one or two!!)

3 May 2010 10:29

The Bell and Crown, Canterbury

The previous review shows how one person with no inter personal skills (known as a miserable git up north) can put people off a place. I visited the place last week and was bowled over by the quality of the beer, but above all the chatty, knowledgable and welcoming staff behind the pumps. A young bloke and and even younger lady were a good example of how customer service should be - so landlord, ask them to give you some training!!

The Whitstable IPA I particularly enjoyed and was pleased to see a Franziskaner Wheat Beer font (my favourite of the "available" wheat beers over here) though I didn't sample any. Take note abut customer service comments Mr. Landlord!

3 May 2010 10:21

The Kings Head, Bristol

Lovely little National Inventory pub with an unusual feature called the Tram car or something (why don't I write these things down!) which screens off a few tables from the outer bar. We had Butcombe Gold which was very nice, but this was the "offer of the day" with 20p off - and still 3 a pint! Mmmmm......

27 Apr 2010 20:55

The Orchard Inn, Bristol

Although not in the GBG, we found this by accident after visiting Brunel's big ship. Very good welcome, and the Bath beers were on form (including Rare Hare which is rare here!) Interesting food menu reasonably priced including rabbit stew in cider!!

Places like this make me wish I drank cider but I daren't...last time I did I bought my wife an expensive necklace!! (See Forresters Arms, Dunster!)

26 Apr 2010 20:53

The Royal Oak, Clifton

Found this after walking the gorge and climbing up to the Clifton suspension bridge - so very thirsty. We had the Butcombe which was on form, and a very tasty goat's cheese and mushroom sandwich, which I thought was good value. Rest of the menu looked interesting too. Otherwise, decor and beer selection not very inspiring.

26 Apr 2010 20:46

The White Lion, Bristol

Came here in search of Wickwar beers which we enjoyed. Referring to TalbotHill comments, when we arrived a small obnoxious character who had been hogging the bar right in front of the pumps, which we were looking at to chose what beer, returned from having a fag to his drink and started gobbing off that we were in his place!! The barman immediately sent him on his way - no argument!!

Anyway we then settled down to a very pleasant session with the other locals who seemed to have seen a lot of Bristol life!! Entertaining!

26 Apr 2010 20:41

The Seven Stars, Bristol

The upside was that it had some excellent beers we hadn't encountered anywhere else, the barman invited us to tasters before we even asked and the price was a knockout 2.20 (and didn't have to flash my CAMRA card).

The down side was that there wasn't much furniture and what there was, was fairly grubby. Me and my Doris could have done without the swearing from some locals whose vocabulary seemed quite restricted....and I can swear for England. But I do object to abuse of Abuse! Now there's another campaign......

26 Apr 2010 20:33

The Kings Head, Bristol

Lovely little National Inventory pub with an unusual feature called the Tram car or something (why don't I write these things down!) which screens off a few tables from the outer bar. We had Butcombe Gold which was very nice, but this was the "offer of the day" with 20p off - and still 3 a pint! Mmmmm......

26 Apr 2010 20:26

Grain Barge, Bristol

Very welcome coming across this place on one of the few sunny days we've had. Not a great fan of the Bristol range but one of their lighter coloured, not too heavy beers (can't remember the name) was just the ticket whilst sat out in the sun on deck. Pretty basic though - wouldn't fancy it when it gets busy!!

26 Apr 2010 20:13

Colston Yard, Bristol

Very busy on a Thursday night when we called but managed to find a table. Butcombe beers I sampled were very good condition. The food was excellent and generous portions, and the staff seemed on the ball and friendly. Good, slick operation!

26 Apr 2010 20:08

The Barley Mow, Bristol

We were staying at the new Ibis and this place turned out to be a little gem pretty close by, if you want to avoid the 'Spoons. Fairly basic but cosy and had some interesting and well kept Bristol Beers (I think this is one of their tied houses) amongst friendly staff and punters.

18 Apr 2010 15:26

The Bank, Bristol

There were four beers, a cider and a perry when we called. One of the beers turned out to be our Beer of the Trip - Blindman's Blond from Leighton near Frome. The food, which alas is only served from lunchtime to late afternoon, was exceptional value, good quality and very tasty, hence it is a very busy place at that time and deservedly so. Staff were very welcoming and friendly. I got the impression that the false loo thing was to deter callers who wanted a quick pee without buying anything! Excellent place.

18 Apr 2010 15:21

The Bag O' Nails, Bristol

Cracking little bar with a great welcome from staff and locals. We arrived just as a mini-beer exhibition was starting on Thursday afternoon. A couple of west of England brews but mainly a selection from the north for the exhibition - from Sowerby Bridge and Keighley area. Very well kept beer.

18 Apr 2010 15:08

The Flitch Of Bacon, Little Dunmow

Was recommended this place as a short bus ride from Great Dunmow where I was staying prior to an early Stansted flight next day. It opened right on the nail at 1730 on a Monday night as advertised (always gets a point!), the beer was good and the Steak and Kidney pud with three veg, just the ticket. Bus stop right outside the door for return journey.

Pity the bar staff and locals don't try to engage "strangers" in conversation, particularly as it wasn't busy. Maybe that's southerners for you!!

22 Mar 2010 20:59

Swan on the Stray, Harrogate

This is in actual fact the latest venture by Market Town Taverns (hence the appearance of an Old Bell familiar face behind the bar) so expect a good selection of handpulled beers mainly from Yorkshire and the north, plus German, Czech, Belgian, etc beers in bottles and on draught.

The Barngates and Elland beers I sampled were spot on when I visited and I had Confit of Duck leg on a bed of noodles which was extremely tasty. Well done MTT!

22 Mar 2010 20:51

The Ship Inn, Holy Island of Lindisfarne

I first visited this pub as a teenager in the late '60s when the building it is part of, was known as the Northumberland Arms. I have the name "M.O.Luke" as the licensee in my brain somewhere and I can remember, probably his son, talking about Roman Polanski's film Cul-de-Sac filmed in 1966 and the fact that Donald Pleasence, star of the film, said he would love to stay but feared he would become an alcoholic! My sentiments entirely! In those days it sold Newcastle Exhibition albeit on bright new electric thingies.

The son later knocked through into what is now the bar and it looked pretty horrendous in that wonderful era for pub architecture, the '70s.

Fortunately, the end result of all the change over the years, is quite a cosy bar area, with a lower dining room and the old "Northumberland Arms" houses the B&B accommodation. Lots of local memorabilia to keep you occupied but don't pick up and cuddle the toy cat near the stove 'cos' it's stuffed!!

In the last few years, an enterprising gent has taken over and to his credit has brought back handpumps featuring Hadrian & Border beers with local names like Secret Kingdom and Blessed Bitter. These are usually well kept and very quaffable.

One note of warning however - the portion of "hand cut chips" probably got our family's award for "Worst Rip off of the Year" at
5.50. Why spoil "The Ship" for a ha'p'orth of tar!!

21 Feb 2010 20:07

Grey's Inn, Embleton

Having seen this in the Good Beer Guide 2010, we diverted on our annual walk from Low Newton to Craster to sample their hospitality. It was well worth it; the beers were from Hadrian & Border and Jarrow breweries (a relief from the ubiquitous Black Sheep which was also present) and were well kept. Their was one vacant handpump no doubt for busier times. The staff were very welcoming and friendly and the food was good quality and very good value.

Whilst there, we overheard the young landlord going about his business on the 'phone and with dray men; it was clear this was a guy who was dedicated to making a good pub with quality products. Good on yer mate - I wish you every success!!

21 Feb 2010 18:32

Mother Shipton Inn, Knaresborough

This once great Knaresborough pub has suffered down the years from the policies of pubcos, and their disregard of what a little treasure this place was and could be. Several indifferent landlords have come and gone over the last few years. On Saturday 19th December, it re-launched itself and a very pleasant couple are to give it a go. It will still retain pub facilities (as I believe it has to do) but the accent will be on food. Let's hope they get the balance right. Only Theakston Bitter available when I called but it was a well kept pint.

25 Dec 2009 10:56

Castle Vaults, Knaresborough

Nice little town pub near eastern entrance to Castle Yard and its great view. One of the last bastions in the town of handpumped John Smiths which attracts mainly locals. Average sort of pint if you like John's; a nice little haven to escape from the shoppers or engage with some banter with the Knaresbrorians!

25 Dec 2009 10:49

Becketts Bank, Leeds

Probably not fair to judge a pub on an evening when the Christmas party season has started, but as I was dragged in by colleagues, I was quite amazed how quickly we managed to get through the heaving tide of bodies (which in places was quite pleasant!) to the bar and get served. A very good pint of Leeds Pale was produced - we retired to the sidelines to watch the "fun". Was very impressed how quickly a mutant trying disguise himself in a suit, who continually harassed young lasses, was manipulated by a single bouncer to the door and despatched on his way with no trouble. Well managed then and a good pint.

16 Dec 2009 11:18

The Blues Bar, Harrogate

Went to see Green Mac (Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac tribute band) here - was very suprised to get a seat at the front, and fuelled by Jarrow Caulker beer, which was in top form, listenening to those "out of phase" Gibsons (actually Vintage copies), I thought for a while I'd died and gone to heaven. As my head reminded me next day, I was just pissed, in the right place, at the right time!! Brilliant - pity some of the "regulars" don't seem to treat the place and the bands with a bit more respect!*!

16 Dec 2009 11:08

The Coach and Horses, Harrogate

I think "Blackthorns" comment about the food probably refers to the evening; in the day time there is quite an extensive menu of good quality pub grub. Strong support from Landlord for Roosters, Daleside, Copper Dragon, Taylors, etc and beers usually top notch. Varied clientele and friendly bar staff. One of the few proper pubs in Harrogate.

16 Dec 2009 10:50

Tap and Spile, Harrogate

This used to be a Cameron's pub, The Belford, a rare Good Beer Guide entry in the '70s, which went into the Tap and Spile chain, and retained that name and its aims, when that company went up in smoke. I think the quality of the landlord and his beers have deservedly kept the pub in the GBG ever since. Folk sessions on Tuesdays - good boozer!

16 Dec 2009 10:37

Montpellier, Harrogate

Transformed from the cosy John Smith's pub I once remember, this pub seems to cater mainly for the many passing shoppers and visitors looking to stoke up with food. There was Black Sheep, Daleside Legover and Timmy Taylors Landlord on "the sticks" - the Sheep being reasonably kept but nothing wonderful. Friendly landlord and attractive bar staff.

16 Dec 2009 10:13

The Old Bell Tavern, Harrogate

Never had a bad pint in here yet - this is the last call of the Knaresborough Mummers pub tour in Harrogate. Beers are from local and northern breweries, always something to suit all tastes, and a good place to introduce people to real continental beer.

This pub has many faces, it can be a quiet haven to read the paper with a pint, escape from the shoppers, or have a rollocking good time on a night in a place where conversation is the entertainment. You always seem to meet up with old friends from way back, particularly at Christmas. Well done, Fozzy!

16 Dec 2009 10:04

Hales Bar, Harrogate

Called in whilst following the local Mummers team on their tour of Harrogate pubs. An ideal spot for their play - great welcome, plenty of banter, smiles on faces - total contrast to the Muckles (see comments on that "alcohol re-fuelling point"!) Beers were 2 Copper Dragons, Draught Bass and others I couldn't see - but beer was very well kept. Barmaids top notch!

16 Dec 2009 09:49

Muckles, Harrogate

This was once Tetley's flagship pub in Harrogate, one of the few entries in the Good Beer Guide in the '70s. Since then, the brewery and now pubcos, continually demonstrate that they are clueless about what makes a good pub. "Oldboots" has described the interior - I will just describe an encounter last night. I was following the local Folk Mummers on their tour of West Park pubs, where they perform a 4 minute traditional English Mummers play, then collect for Local charities. One of two bar staff, in his black uniform, said they shouldn't be doing it as they had not got permission. Actually they had, but the absentee landlord/manager perhaps hadn't told him. The scene was observed (or not) by a few clumps of blokes with their eyes glued to the football on the large plasma screen, whilst unrelated "music" pumped away in the background. A very sad place indeed.

The Mummers didn't stop for a pint and neither did I.

16 Dec 2009 09:42

Fanny's Ale And Cider House, Saltaire

Early on a winter's Friday evening, the place was full to busting, but we managed to find a seat at the back in the rabbit warren of rooms. The beer was excellent, the venue "vibrant". Total contrast to the larger but sparsely populated Victoria over the road.

6 Dec 2009 14:55

The Shipley Pride, Shipley

On a cold and wet Friday evening this was a welcome haven. The pub has traditional towny decor and perhaps suited more to an older clientele, which suited me - the Saltaire Blonde was on form on this occasion.

6 Dec 2009 14:50

The Brown Cow, Keighley

Would loved to have visited this CAMRA Pub of the Season but it was closed when we went at 3 on a Friday afternoon!

6 Dec 2009 14:46

The Cricketers Arms, Keighley

Couldn't fault the beer but wasn't happy with the kindergarden on a Friday afternoon!!

6 Dec 2009 14:43

The Boltmakers Arms, Keighley

Very cosy with most of the Taylor's range available and very well kept. Also two guests in evidence. Lovely roaring fire and pleasant company.

6 Dec 2009 14:41

Albert, Keighley

Several handpumps with nothing on them, three real ales available, two from Tetleys and Golden Best, which was average. This was early Friday afternoon and although the interior was attractive, some of the inhabitants weren't and we were glad to move on

6 Dec 2009 14:38

The Talbot Hotel, Richmond

Barn-like place at the top of the Market Square, where there is a distinct lack of good pub facilities. Black Sheep (yawn) only on hand pump, which was definitely on its way out. Usual leaded/unleaded, etc., which no doubt caters for the requirements of the "locals".

23 Nov 2009 18:46

The Black Lion, Richmond

One of the few pubs in this wonderful town, that seemed to be making an effort. Black Sheep, Brains Rev. James and John Smiths available on hand pump, and locally sourced pub meals. Barmaid unphased and very welcoming when 11 walkers came in requiring meals and refreshment.

23 Nov 2009 18:42

Ralph FitzRandal, Richmond

In a beautiful town, where to my surprise, I found 3 of the pubs in the Market Place closed and some of the remainder pretty grim, The Wetherspoons was a nice surprise. The manageress seemed pretty much on the ball, chatty and welcoming, whilst the Bath Ales Wheat Beer was top notch. It was also topped up without asking. One of JDWs better hostelries - the other pubs appeared to have given up trying to attract customers. A shame in such a North Yorkshire gem of a place.

23 Nov 2009 18:37

The Halfway House, Edinburgh

A frequent traveller through Edinburgh by rail, I have been visiting this place for many years and put it in my top 10 of pubs in the UK. I called in today, having read some of the recent comments, wondering what I was going to find. Well, the Reiver from Broughton was spot on and I had several pints; also, I found the banter, as ever, was entertaining, with locals mixing with visitors and bringing everyone into the conversation, including a young couple from Alaska! But I too found the haggis lunch not quite up to its previous standard and I noticed that the menu card, which gave details of the previous owner's commitment to quality produce from the borders, was absent. I was also disappointed with the beers as I come here expecting Scottish micros; instead there were two Scottish and two beers from Youngs!!

So, food price up, food quality down, beer was GBG standard but is the change to 50% English stuff policy - I hope not. Think LocAle!! If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!

17 Nov 2009 20:30

The Harp, Covent Garden

Us two Northerners introduced our Southern friends to this gem last weekend when we met up for a re-union. It was a Sunday evening and comfortably full. We had pints from two local brewers whose name escapes me but settled on the Dark Star Hophead which was magnificent. We loved the place and would recommend it to anyone - friendly staff and "locals". I don't know if they do food - it doesn't matter - this is a place for talking and drinking. Even if you are on your own, you can just absorb other peoples' lives and there are always the pictures to look at. Most intriguing - perhaps someone could do a little leaflet telling folk who they are and the history behind them. Recognised t'northern lad from 'Uddersfield though!!

31 Oct 2009 18:13

The White Horse, Oxford

Visited this little gem twice in our 5 day break - sampled beers from Vale and White Horse Breweries. Regretably we didn't think the quality as good as previous visitors and as for the grumpy guy behind the bar, it just took the edge off our visit. I'm sure this place can be excellent with the right attitude behind the "sticks"!

12 Sep 2009 13:24

The Turf Tavern, Oxford

Found the pub by following the buzz of conversation coming from what I thought was a dead end alleyway!! Very impressed when I asked where White Horse beer was from and what sort of beer it was. The young lass gave me a the full run down on it including tasting notes!!

Although this is a GK pub, there is a fair selection of constantly changing beers from other brewers but I did find the St. Edmunds pint just the ticket for a hot summers day. Watched "service" with interest and found it to be well organised - just some of the customers don't seem to know what they want! Visited there about 4 times in 5 days and found it to be consistently good; ate there once and it was good value and good quality. A little bit of a wait but if you want fast food go somewhere else. Actually it was good to find all the rubbish "food" concentrated in one short street in Oxford - easily bypassed!

12 Sep 2009 13:18

The Rose and Crown PH, Oxford

Rather quiet when we visited but drawn into the conversation by the slightly eccentric landlord. The Adnams Bitter was excellent. Didn't get much time here but there was a genuine sherpa in the bar who seemed to be a local and there were pictures of him doing Everest!! Would love to know more about him!

6 Sep 2009 19:48

The Lamb and Flag, Oxford

On an all too brief a visit to Oxford, came here 3 times. Dorset's Palmers of Bridport seem to be a regular and they brew a "Lamb & Flag" beer for the pub. Beer excellent and staff knowledgable and friendly. They also stock lager and wheat beer from the Cotswold Brewing Company, brewed with all the right ingredients - extremely refreshing after a "heavy night".

6 Sep 2009 19:43

The Kings Arms, Oxford

An interesting pub in Young's empire. There seemed to be at least three distinctive areas for drinking of various architectural vintages. The Young's bitter was good and overheard conversation intriguing!!

6 Sep 2009 18:46

The Head of the River, Oxford

Great location but Fullers are taking the piss with their pricing policy. There are so many other pubs in Oxford with better beer between 2.35 and 2.80. The only advantage is that it is so impersonal you can nip in for a quick pee on the way home without buying anything!!

6 Sep 2009 18:39

The Gardeners Arms, Oxford

The Greene King IPA was in good nick in this local - a refuge from the studenty and pretentious establishments of Oxford. Sadly, few people in on a Saturday night but there seemed to be a giant crossword club going on which provided a bit of entertainment!

6 Sep 2009 18:34

Folly Bridge Inn, Oxford

Normally, coming from "up north", all we have seen is Wadworth's 6X so it was a great pleasure to find this pub, not far from our B&B. The various beers we sampled were good, the staff welcoming and locals friendly, inviting us to join in a game of "Aunt Sally".

6 Sep 2009 18:22

The Eagle and Child, Oxford

The place was a bit humid and regretably the little snugs at the front were full. Got a seat in what seemed like a corridor and enjoyed a pint of two of Brakspears. Had a pasta dish which actually wasn't too bad for what I expect was "instant" pub grub - at least the salad with it was tasty and fresh, the whole being not bad for the price. I see it has now dropped out of the GBG for 2010 as there must be places that deserve it more.

3 Sep 2009 20:53

The Bookbinders Ale House, Oxford

Very interesting, though higgledy-piggledy interior. Pleased to find GK Mild for only the second time (the other was the Isle of Wight!) - enjoyed this and also the GK Sun Dance.

If you have a few bevvies, make sure you remember which door you came in - as one leads to a parallel universe!*!

3 Sep 2009 20:45

The Angel and Greyhound, Oxford

Called in on a very hot day and we very much enjoyed pints of Youngs Kew Gold - a perfect summer pint. The pub itself was a bit barn like, with modern wood decor. Worth a visit for the beer though.

3 Sep 2009 20:39

The Half Moon, Durham

An excellent pint of Bass available; also had Silver Moon which was equally good. Tasty toasties available - try the corned beef, peppers and cheese!!

1 Sep 2009 07:46

The Victoria Hotel, Durham

Wonderful National Inventory pub, which had beers from Durham, Wylam, Hexhamshire and Big Lamp when we visited. Beer was excellent. A real gem! Note: it closes in the afternoon.

1 Sep 2009 07:39

Ye Old Elm Tree, Durham

Pleased to see the furniture replaced, looking clean and comfortable. Two Wylam beers, a Durham and Consett Brewery beers available. However, our party of four never got to taste any of these as the bar maid seemed far more interested in the conversation on her mobile; she went deliberately out of her way not to serve us. Left in disgust. Now that the decore has changed it only remains to change the staff!!

1 Sep 2009 07:32

The Old Red Lion, Holmes Chapel

Lots of rooms in this chain pub, very tidy and the staff were very attentive. Hand pulled beers were Banks Bitter, Taylors Landlord and Adnams Explorer - had several pints of the latter which was top notch. Menu was typical chain stuff but reasonably priced and we had no complaints. Will call again.

11 Aug 2009 16:31

The Carew Arms, Crowcombe

The Carew Arms was our objective at the end of a walk on the Quantocks and we found the beer to be excellent - Exmoor Ale and Otter Bright. However, we were lucky to get any beer and so I must write this to complain of what happened and how the attitude of the manager may be destroying a good business. Although the GBG has this pub as open all day, the French manager said they had closed at 1455. I virtually had to plead for a pint - the locals pointing out that the pub shouldn't shut until 1500 with 20 minutes supping up time. Christophe (if that was his name) relented and pulled us a pint each. He then left the building to go elsewhere, after which we talked with the locals about the arrogant, unhelpful attitude of the the manager and wondered if the lease holder knew how punters, locals and visitors alike, were being upset. Whilst we were there it turned out that young bar hand providing assistance, couldn't get home so had to while away the hours until opening time with a book, whereas he could be responding to customers if they called!!

We went back on the Sunday in the hope of encountering the owner but to no avail. We did hear the locals complaining about there being no leftovers after Sunday lunch (roast potatoes) which used to appear on the bar - it transpired that actually they had run out of them even for the paying punters! False economy!

Visit this place and give the manager a hard time - this fine old pub cannot be allowed to be destroyed by an arrogant Frenchman!! I should be giving this 8 but a wake up call is demanded - 3.

28 Jul 2009 20:07

The Foresters Arms, Dunster

We called here twice on our weeks holiday at Minehead. It is a bit of a jumble decor and furniture wise, but none of that matters. This pub is why people go to pubs - the interaction between human beings, accompanied by good ale and some potent local cider!! Visitors are made very welcome and, if willing to be drawn in, can be immediately absorbed into conversations with total strangers. True stories, tall stories - whatever - this place is a delight!!

Be warned though - ensure you know the 'bus times and your route home. You might never get away!!

Also, another feature is a parrot in a cage who offers accurate descriptions of politicians, bosses or whoever is getting you down at the moment!! Brilliant!

28 Jul 2009 19:32

The Luttrell Arms, Dunster

The bar at the rear was a delightful place and the Exmoor Fox was spot on. It was also priced less than most pints we had that week in the Minehead area, surprising for what seems an up-market hotel. The staff were also friendly and I would like to eat there having seen the food coming out of the kitchen.

Would love to go there and on wild winter's night! Cozeeee!

28 Jul 2009 19:15

The Stags Head Inn, Dunster

Very busy when we called due to an overflow from a wedding at the Castle! I had a a Cotleigh beer which was ok but wifey had Exmoor which had that farty smell of unclean pipes or "off" beer. We were led to believe it was a good place for food but perhaps they should pay more attention to the quality of the beer.

28 Jul 2009 19:11

The Star Inn, Watchet

Called here three times during our weeks stay in the area. Otter, Exmoor and Cotleigh beers enjoyed in this GBG listed pub. Also had their fish and chips which was good value. The problem here could be balancing the demand for food places with that of the drinkers.

Nice feature made on what was an old spiral staircase, with beer pump clips, bottles, etc - almost a shrine to good beer!! Keep up the good work!

28 Jul 2009 19:06

London Inn, Watchet

"I knew they'd want real ale" was the greeting by the Landlord as he turned the second of two pump clips away from the punters. We persevered and came back another day, having an indifferent half of overpriced Young's Bitter. The landlord was more interested in "Cash in the Attic". A lesson in how the traditional English pub is being destroyed.

28 Jul 2009 19:01

Esplanade Club, Watchet

An excellent location on the Esplanade, this "club" has a range of local real ales and non-members can be signed in by a "Local". It is listed in the GBG but I do have to say I had better pints from other non-listed pubs in the area. The interior was a bit basic for my taste but I can imagine the place "rocking" when the "boat comes in"!!

28 Jul 2009 18:58

The Bell Inn, Watchet

A good selection of local beers and ciders, the left side of the entrance retaining a basic public bar feel, the right side being a lounge for those seeking more comfortable seating and food. We thought the Exmoor Ale to be good quality and when the food we ordered and paid for had sold out, the staff were very attentive and offered us more expensive food for the same price.

28 Jul 2009 18:53

The Anchor Inn, Watchet

Very scruffy place which we had to force ourselves into to sample their ales. Wells Bombardier was indifferent, the other pump turned round - one of the few pubs not to offer local beer in the area. I'm sure this might appeal to people who like to get totally "out of it" with loud music and rubbish lager.

28 Jul 2009 18:38

The Ship Inn Hotel, Porlock

Called in here after walking from Minehead on the coastal path. Otter and Exmoor beers we had were excellent and it lived up to its GBG listing. The day's food special looking particularly enticing but alas the 'bus service on which we were dependant didn't do a service out and back from Minehead in the evening.

I'm sure it welcomes all its visitors but could I ask that some of the visitors do not cuddle and snog their dogs in the public bar!!

28 Jul 2009 18:30

The White Horse Inn, Stogumber

Walked here one lunch time from the railway at Stogumber. We had the 'Orse beer which was moreish - a St. Austell brew for the pub? This was accompanied by a large baguette overflowing with the most beautiful local ham, with mustard. Excellent. The old boy behind the bar was welcoming and we were included in the bar banter with the locals. Worth the effort up the hill! We have never taken dogs or our children to pubs as there is always the potential to upset other users, which is unfair in what is essentially an adult environment.

28 Jul 2009 18:18

The Blue Anchor, Blue Anchor

Called in here whilst walking the coast. The Sharp's Doom Bar was very good. Staff were also welcoming and chatty. Didn't eat here but the "waiter" was a "work experience" lad who was not very communicative which might draw adverse comment. When we asked about the coastal path to Watchet we received correct directions and had a nice chat with the woman behind the bar. As we prefer personal contact to juke boxes we enjoyed the conversation.

The wonderful galleon outside has fallen victim to the coastal erosion (along with the coastal path) and is now fenced off regretably.

28 Jul 2009 18:07

The Queens Head Hotel, Minehead

Drawn here by the entry in the GBG, whilst on holiday in Minehead. The landlord and staff welcoming, and the beers good, with Exmoor, St. Austell and Otter beers alongside Bass and others.

We only paid two visits as when it came to food, the Steak pie appeared to have the steak augmented by lots of symetrical cubes of some meaty tasting substance, which, whilst providing bulk to the meal, didn't appear to come from the same source as the beef!! Mmmmm........not what I expect from a GBG pub.

28 Jul 2009 18:00

The Quay, Minehead

The Sharp's Doom Bar was very good and the staff welcoming and attentive in this tidy little pub, overlooking the Bristol Channel. The food didn't live up to the prices charged I'm afraid but a good place to stop for a pint or three.

28 Jul 2009 17:53

Old Ship Aground, Minehead

It is a shame this pub reflects the pub conversions/destruction of the '70s - the furniture and "beams" seemed to be the originals from that period. There were four real ales but the pint I had was instantly forgetable which I did! The staff appeared dis-interested so we too rapidly lost interest. It was only when we visited the toilets that we realised that there was a cosier part of the pub and that the food looked a bit more wholesome than the shabby menu suggested.

It would suggest that "front of house" needs a refit and a kick up some bottoms so they don't put people off, and they can take advantage of its excellent location.

28 Jul 2009 17:48

The Duke of Wellington, Minehead

Went there several times whilst on holiday in Minehead as quite honestly we weren't too impressed with any of the other pubs in town. Having said that, I did think this was one of the best 'Spoons I had ever been to. The staff smiled, you could have some banter with them and were efficient. There was also enough of them!! Clearly the Wetherspoon pandemic has not reached this outpost yet!

The "extra" beers included Exmoor, Cotleigh, Taunton and Butcombe - the latter's Blond being probably the best pint of the week! The food was the usual stuff but at least the price is realistic - unlike some of the other places in town which serve food of the same standard but at twice the price!

Well done to all the staff there - keep it up if you can!

28 Jul 2009 17:38

The Mitre, Knaresborough

In the late 1960s this pub was two rooms as I recall, the current hole in the wall with steps up being the dividing wall. It might even have been a Cameron's pub - I can't remember (anyone out there that can?) It had the first folk club in Knaresborough in those days and it's good to see live music has returned. It established a good reputation for Real Ale in the '90s with a smashing couple who I think were called Eric and Dawn but this was all knocked on the head when it was put up for sale around 2003. I think the owners hoped it would go for flats but a tax exile son of a previous landlord stepped in and saved it. It remained empty for a while when along came pub champion Ian Fozard who persuaded the owner it should re-appear as a pub.

The decor is a bit modern for some folk but I like to drink in the area just right of the entrance door, which retains old pub tables. The beer has always been top class, in spite of a few managers that have come and gone who have not quite got the message!! Business seems to be increasing and this is another reason to visit Knaresborough for a pub crawl - by train of course!!

27 Jun 2009 20:12

Blind Jacks, Knaresborough

It may look the oldest but it is probably the youngest pub in Knaresborough, being established in an old shop in the 1990s by Ian Fozard (of Market Tavern fame and also the Mitre down the hill by the station.) Now I think it is in the hands of Rooster's as their only tied house (but with the same extensive range of other beers) and they have re-introduced food with a limited range of bar snacks, which seem to be very much appreciated by the punters, particularly the cheese platter. Dedicated to quality - a wonderful pub!

27 Jun 2009 18:38

Mr Foley's Cask Ale House, Leeds

Visit this pub every three months or so to meet up with an ex-colleague. Early doors mid-week you can usually get a pew - beer variety is usually excellent and usually very quaffable. Hot evening on Thursday this week - I did think the beer was a tad on the warm side, even on beers that were being drunk frequently. Haven't eaten there at all but what I saw delivered to an adjacent table looked very nice, with reasonable prices. The only complaint I have, not against the pub, was a group of "business men" - one built like a motorway support, in a cluster stood at the bar right in front of the pumps. There were plenty of seats for them to sit at but instead they preferred to block other punters access to the bar. I'm going to start a consultancy running courses on Spacial Awareness for Dickheads!!

27 Jun 2009 18:25

The Portcullis, Stirling

I posted this wrongly on the Porters Bar - shriek! Too much beer! This is how we found the Portcullis last October half-term 2008.

Having just enjoyed a visit to the excellent castle, what better place to rest your weary legs. The An Teallach beer was spot on and the young lad behind the bar very welcoming and very informed about his beers. I fancy coming back to stay sometime. Well done!

23 Jun 2009 21:26

Ye Old Mail Coach, Conwy

Only one real ale available - Purple Moose Snowdonia 3.6%. Food was good value and locally sourced, the beer was also very good. Seemed to have more atmosphere here than the other Conwy pubs though it is a bit canteen like. Could do with losing the bandits and the telly! The conversation was entertaining enough without them!

23 Jun 2009 21:14

The Castle Hotel, Conwy

I nearly didn't come here so would have missed one of the few places serving local beer!! They had Conwy's Honey Fare 4.5% and Gold 'N Delicious 3.8% which was very nice. It is a posh Hotel Bar and so was surrounded by diners but was glad I had found some local stuff reasonably kept.

23 Jun 2009 21:07

The George and Dragon, Conwy

About 5 beers but from the usual national suspects with the exception of Mordue Workie Ticket! Seemed to be a cosy, pleasant pub - the beer was well kept and certainly didn't make me want to drink - (gulp!) - Carling!!! No accounting for taste I suppose!

23 Jun 2009 21:01

The Liverpool Arms, Conwy

Liked the interior very much - dark and cosy. Only draught Bass available, but well kept and staff were friendly.

23 Jun 2009 20:55

The Bridge Inn, Conwy

Although the beer quality warrants its inclusion in the Good Beer Guide, the range of beers wasn't very adventurous - the promised guest beers probably coming from the same Marston's range. I left when a Scouser was winding up a Welshman (or vice versa) but this could be part of the entertainment!*!

23 Jun 2009 20:52

The Albion Vaults, Conwy

I'm very interested in "unspoilt" pubs which feature in CAMRA's National Inventory so was very disappointed when I arrived at the Albion's very grubby exterior with its closed doors. However, I came back later and found it open. Regretably there were no local ales available - only a warm served Brains Rev. James - just what I didn't need on a very hot day! Got the feeling that it could do with someone more appreciative running the place to make the most of its wonderful interior.

23 Jun 2009 20:47

Crown Hotel, Pateley Bridge

Called in on a circular walk from Scar House reservoir, clockwise on the tops. On a very sunny day, the four handpumps were a very welcome sight - Black Sheep Bitter and their new Golden Sheep, also two Wensleydale Brews, one brewed specially for the Crown and the magnificent Semer Water - just the job on a hot day! Wonderful traditional pub in superb location.

3 Jun 2009 22:07

The Scotch Piper Inn, Lydiate

Wonderful journey back to gentler and more civilised times. Had Banks Bitter and presumably a guest, Everards Blonde which was very nice. Splendid interior listed in CAMRA National Inventory; the buildings and garden at the back need attention however. I went to Maghull station on Merseyrail and was guided by the friendly locals on the bus to this mecca, though the Liverpool to Southport bus 300 passes the door. Sadly I think the service finishes about 2000 so check when planning a trip.

25 May 2009 10:29

The Station Inn, Ribblehead

Called after a round of Whernside in lovely sunshine but a howling gale (common in this gap I understand). Two Taylors Beers, Black Sheep and Old Peculiar on - I had the Taylors Best which was good. I can never make my mind up about this place - it should be somewhere near the top pf my favourite pub list but it isn't! The landlady seemed pre-occupied with the TV and together with the chef, more concerned about when the one armed bandit was going to "drop". Perhaps when they are busy, they are more welcoming but I felt as if I was intruding!

17 May 2009 12:03

The Pot Still, Glasgow

Visited on a Wednesday evening in April - not many people in but I think this is a cracking little pub. 2 pumps had Deuchars which was rather silly but a third had Red Squirrel Scottish Ale which was very nice (but English brewed?) Good crack, good ale and a cosy boozer!

4 May 2009 15:51

The Toby Jug, Glasgow

Not been here for a couple of years but a visit in April confirmed I hadn't missed much. 4 handpumps - 1 of which was turned round. The request for the Stewarts IPA brought the reply that it too was off! Not wanting to have Spitfire, the only choice was the Orkney Dark Island - normally an excellent beer, but average here, although I see it is GBG listed. The barmaid was indifferent and the pub interior tacky and sticky. Glasgow CAMRA must be desperate for lack of GBG quality entries!

4 May 2009 15:44

The Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow

Always try to visit this pub when in Glasgow - superb National Inventory interior. Very busy when I called in at 6pm on a Thursday - but quickly served. They had Caley 80/- and Deuchars IPA, but I went for Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted. Superb and only 2.05! Could do without the 9 televisions screens though, which even if you try to avoid in direct sight, are reflected in the beautiful mirrors!

4 May 2009 15:36

The Wellington Inn, Knaresborough

This used to be a nice little Sam's pub with good beer and good value home cooked food. Alas, it is suffering from the current mis-management by the Brewery hierarchy - we used to have a party of about 20 people gathered there every month but have move on due to the poor quality of beer and non-availability of food. A sad loss.

21 Apr 2009 08:28

The Black Bull, Corbridge

Pleasant enough interior - beer choice limited but Black Sheep (not again!) good. Highlight was local BBC News person Carol Malia dropping in - isn't she wonderful?*! Sorry - nothing to do with this site!!

27 Feb 2009 19:12

Dyvel's, Corbridge

Pity about the limited beer selection but enjoyed the Jennings Cumberland Ale (Deuchars and Spitfire also available). Local sausage from Acomb with bubble and squeak (high class version!) in a lovely gravy set me up a treat. Just near the station so a rail trail possible with Wylam!

27 Feb 2009 19:09

The Salisbury, Leicester Square

What a wonderful building! Bar staff cheerful and helpful, Youngs beer very more-ish (I must be one who prefers the north of London taste) and I enjoyed the sausage of the day. Highly recommended!

27 Feb 2009 19:05

The Ship Inn, Alnwick

I would think if this depended on "locals", it would be shut!! I have come here almost every year for the last 20 years whilst walking the coast from Craster or Beadnell. I always look forward to arriving and never want to leave! Situated in a beautiful location, it serves its purpose - providing sustenance to travellers and holiday makers alike.

The beer is from its own brewery and is perhaps alien to north easterners weaned on the over-rated "newcy brown". I had Hop Ale - which it was - very bitter 4.1% Also Sea Wheat 4.1% which was less bitter and which I could have stayed all afternoon supping. There were two more beers which sadly I had not time to sample. The food is made from local produce - crab, cheese, bacon, bread, etc., with fresh salad.

It was very busy on a Friday lunchtime in February - the staff were right on the ball and orders processed quickly. The guy delivering the food never stopped and I thought Gordon Ramsay would have had nothing to say except "******* brilliant" - good beer, locally sourced produce, good service - spot on.

The only hold up/problem comes when irresponsible "middle clarss" adults let their kids rule their lives and, with a complete lack of spacial awareness and inconsiderate behaviour in such a tiny pub, get to the front of the queue without a clue about what they want to order!

Basic and functional decor - it'll do for me!

22 Feb 2009 16:16

Mizen Head Hotel, Bamburgh

This hotel has re-opened after an absence of a couple of years or so. Although the place definately needed a re-fit, the food used to be good bar fodder at reasonable prices. It is now re-furbished and looks a lot cleaner; good to see they have two hand pumps, though only one beer available - Black Sheep (rather than the more imaginative north east brewerys like Hadrian and Border) in reasonable condition. The food now however is of a lower standard and over priced. But there seems to be another problem. The landlord/owner seems more interested in playing his guitar rather than getting really stuck in managing the place. We left when we couldn't get served - the people behind the bar seemed to be from Royston Vasey!*!

21 Feb 2009 19:38

The Olde Ship Hotel, Seahouses

Walked from Bamburgh on the beach on cold February day - got cosy in a corner by the fire watching the Longstone light in the distance surrounded by all the nautical clutter of the Ship. The Farne Island bitter was excellent, the conversation splendid. This is heaven!

21 Feb 2009 19:27

The Castle Hotel, Bamburgh

Just back from annual visit - good to see two beers on the pumps - the omnipresent Black Sheep and more importantly Mordue Workie Ticket, a brew from a north east brewery (who owns Mordue now as it went into receivership in 2008?) Both beers reasonably kept and the pub has a good atmosphere, unlike the other drinking establishments in the village which are hotels. The pub menu tried to be interesting but was a over-priced and the chef could do with lessons in presentation!

21 Feb 2009 19:08

The Wellington Inn, Darley

This pub has enjoyed mixed fortunes of late and closed for a brief period before Christmas. However, between Christmas and New Year it seemed as busy as ever - the Golden Pippin was excellent. The food trade seemed not to have suffered with plenty of diners. It's a great pub - hopefully the management will get it right this time.

12 Jan 2009 22:31

The Porters Bar, Stirling

Having just enjoyed a visit to the excellent castle, what better place to rest your weary legs. The An Teallach beer was spot on and the young lad behind the bar very welcoming and very informed about his beers. I fancy coming back to stay sometime. Well done!

12 Jan 2009 22:24

The Old Dock Bar, Leith

Searched this one out In October '08. Waste of time - the bank of beer pumps saved from an old Leith pub had no clips on them. No real ale but we were offered John Smiths or Miller!! This pub is in the 2009 Good Beer Guide and the "management" can't be bothered to make sure at least one was available. Neither can they be bothered to train/inform their staff about what the differences are and what might be expected of them.

12 Jan 2009 22:19

Volunteers Arms, Musselburgh

Excellent beer, very friendly staff and customers. A must if visiting Edinburgh - bus ticket great value.

12 Jan 2009 22:10

The Levenhall Arms, Musselburgh

Disapointed this pub was closed at lunchtime, but were re-directed back there by a character in the Volunteer at Musselburgh. Glad we came back because the beer was probably the best we had all week (Stewarts and An Teallach) - and the cheapest!! Very friendly and definately worth a visit.

12 Jan 2009 22:05

The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, Prestonpans

Whilst in Edinburgh in October '08, we went out of our way to visit this pub one lunchtime. No real ale available - though the Stewarts pump clips were still facing the punters. We were offered John Smiths or Lager! We declined and left. One of the "management" heard our conversation with the clueless barmaid and made no attempt to apologise. When CAMRA goes out of its way to publicise pubs like this, why do the pub staff let the whole thing down. Presumably this is already in the 2009 Good Beer Guide.

12 Jan 2009 21:57

The Bonchurch Inn, Bonchurch

Although limited beer choice, very much enjoyed popping in here whilst walking from Ventnor to Bembridge. It made a change to have a well kept "cooking" bitter straight from the wood, than all the heavy, dark, strong beers which we had encountered - totally unsuited to a British Summer. Plenty of people eating outside - food looked enticing. Will come back I'm sure.

9 Aug 2008 13:03

The Volunteer Inn, Ventnor

Splendid little boozer - beer and banter excellent! Made it difficult to complete our walk that day!!

9 Aug 2008 12:58

The Prince of Wales, Freshwater

Very welcoming bar (when you can find it - well worth the effort). Could do with a bit of a repaint inside but beer and banter excellent. Rare Green King Mild as well as local Yates Undercliff.

9 Aug 2008 12:56

The Wheatsheaf Inn, Yarmouth

Ringwood Beer very good but place is very stark - like a canteen. We were lucky to get a table at 7.45pm (this was July '08) and enjoyed having 4 starters to share rather than main courses. Staff seemed efficient and attentive.

9 Aug 2008 12:52

The Ship and Castle, East Cowes

First pint was a Batemans beer we hadn't had but this had to be replaced as it was rancid. The next one a Daleside Blonde (from our neck of the woods) didn't seem to be much better - bear in mind this pub is a Good Beer Guide Entry. We were pushed for time and found nothing here to make us linger.

9 Aug 2008 12:40

The Railway Medina, Newport

Splendid little boozer in a fairly dire town (a pity all the buses have to go through Newport!) Staff and locals very welcoming - beer excellent. A must for rail cranks - it has a detailed map of the old Isle of Wight railway network in a picture frame.

9 Aug 2008 12:33

The Crab and Lobster, Bembridge

Dropped in here unplanned whilst on walking holiday - Goddards Ale of Wight superb and probably the best mussels I've ever had.

9 Aug 2008 12:24

The Crown Inn, Shorwell

Dropped in here whilst on walking holiday and although not in Good Beer Guide, it turned out to be the best pub all week and we came back several times. At last we found a local brew, Goddards Bitter, which was excellent. Food ok but like all West Wight area overpriced.

9 Aug 2008 12:18

The Three Bishops, Brighstone

Called in just for beer on walking day out - usual dominance of heavy, dark, strong ales - just what you don't want on a hot summers day! No wonder lager drinkers don't want to change! Seriously wondered why it was in the Good Beer Guide. The 3.10 for two halves finished it off for us - won't be back.

9 Aug 2008 12:01

Cafe Royal, Edinburgh

I visited the bar in May this year after an absence of many years and was knocked out by the quality of the beer, but above all, the staff on duty. A young lass from Invergordon was in charge and if she wasn't pulling pints or taking orders for food, she was out clearing tables or helping to serve food up. It was only a small team but they worked perfectly together to deal with a very brisk lunchtime trade. Well done!

9 Aug 2008 11:56

The Fat Cat Bar, (Sandpipers Hotel), Freshwater Bay

This tries to be all things to all people but is too small to carry it off successfully. We stayed at the adjacent hotel and I get the impression that the whole place is in financial trouble trying to run on a shoestring. Although the food in the restaurant was good, service left a lot to be desired with inexperienced staff being left to cope on their own with apparently litte instruction. The three areas of the bar were just too close to each other to cater for different user needs and I can well understand some of the comments above. Although the beer was kept in good condition, there seemed to be a dominance of heavy, dark, strong ales - not what you want on hot summers days and will not tempt the lager drinkers on to real ale.

9 Aug 2008 11:47

Locomotion Number One, Heighington

Just visited at lunchtime after doing Shildon Museum with a party of six. Good real beer, splendid real grub - lady on the bar and the man with the food could not have been better. Thoroughly recommended.

13 May 2008 20:16

The Castle Hotel, Bamburgh

Been going to this pub when on holiday every year for last 18 years. The staff seem enthusiastic and it could be a gem but seems to suffer at the moment from a lazy landlord who in February couldn't be bothered to put the handpulled beer on when the previous barrel ran out; also wasn't supporting his staff when really busy. The beer was put on eventually but I get the impression that they regard tourists as a nuisance! Only Black Sheep available - why no Hadrian & Border beers like Farne Bitter?

4 Mar 2008 21:07

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