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BITE user comments - SotonAleDrinker

Comments by SotonAleDrinker

The Duke of York, Salisbury

Matt the new landlord tells me he plans to open the end of June.

13 Jun 2011 20:00

The Duke of York, Salisbury

Being refurbished to become a straight pub serving real ales and unusual lagers, the Landlord tells me he hopes to reopen in June.

24 May 2011 15:50

The Anchor Hotel, Warminster

Spit and sawdust style but tidy pub opposite the Old Bell, this pub also has a circular bar, sky and music! No real ale on during my visit (Deuchars IPA and the excellent Wessex Brewery Best had both sold out) but Kronenbourg was fine and cheap at £3.30. Free wifi, live entertainment and rooms (I imagine not at the top end of the Market) but overall an indifferent pub 5/10.

15 Feb 2011 20:01

Old Bell, Warminster

Located in the heart of Warminster High Street, the Old Bell is an unusual pub internally with a horseshoe bar serving what were once a series of rooms. 3 Wadworth real ales were on during my visit (6X, IPA and Wadworth Strong in the Arm which was a distinctive Amber coloured bitter but quite hoppy). Sky sports rather dominates pub on TVs but quite a few local lads and contractors in, most eating off the cheap and cheerful pub menu. 6/10. Mainly a younger crowd but everyone was pleasant and well behaved. 6/10

15 Feb 2011 19:44

The Hyde Tavern, Winchester

Really very pleasant but small old pub just off Winchester's main drag. Serves an ever changing collection of cask ales from microbreweries locally. In generally good order, I don't really recognise Chavez Man's criticisms other than to note it is a pub that isn't really geared to his market. Scores a very high (and rare for me) 9/10.

15 Feb 2011 19:37

Safari Garden, Salisbury

Now completely gutted on the ground floor with a modern shop frontage, the property is advertised for let by agents Midleton & Major. Unrecognisable from the BITE photos!

15 Feb 2011 02:05

The Organ Inn, Warminster

A very pleasant refurbished former grocers shop that pre- first world war was actually a boozer, this is one of only 2 decent pubs that I have been able to discover in the town. On my Sunday evening visit there were 4 beers on, the Batemans was excellent and being sold at £2.40. Two of the locals were tucking into the cheese board that clearly has a following. The pub is very clean and tidy but perhaps is a little Spartan in terms of decor some. 8/10.

14 Feb 2011 21:55

The Masons Arms, Warminster

Happened to pop in as I was waiting for my train connection and the pub was a revelation! Excellent real ale served on gravity dispense, sympathetically restored pub decor, pleasant locals and a friendly outgoing landlord. I was really impressed. 9/10.

14 Feb 2011 21:42

Deacons, Salisbury

Fantastically busy on a Sat eve the first week in Jan 2011 when I visited.
2 Hop Back beers and Doom Bar on when I was in, beer in good condition.

14 Jan 2011 20:49

Bar 44, Salisbury

Still closed, Punch are still trying to let the pub.

14 Jan 2011 20:46

The Victoria Hotel, Salisbury

Seemed fairly busy with a somewhat earthy clientel as I waited for the last train back to Soton after my Salisbury Sat night pub crawl but no problems and no really pissed customers.
No cask ale.

14 Jan 2011 20:45

The Cat Tavern, Salisbury

A 'spit and sawdust' basic, wet led boozer, this pub is normally friendly with a decent real ale or two on but most locals drink cider. however late at night some of the customers do get very pissed which can be a little intimidating...

14 Jan 2011 20:42

The Village, Salisbury

I haven't been to this pub for a very long time as I now live in Southampton but in its hey day of the mid 1990s it was extraordinarily busy, atmospheric pub, full of character with some interesting railway memorabilia..

Unfortunately, the first thing to hit be when I walked in last week was the reek of damp, it was pretty bad.

The décor is unchanged which means that it now is really, really tired and although the beer choice was good (from memory, 5 on hand pull, and one on gravity) the Timothy Taylor Landlord was past its best.

Rightly, The Village is probably not the best place to go for fashion tips but I was slightly amused to note the middle aged bar man who finished his shift was wearing a shirt and tie with blue jeans was replaced by middle aged bar man who finished his shift was wearing a shirt and tie with blue jeans!

Trading on past glories, this pub is seriously over rated.
It scores just 3/10 for me not just because the pub is no longer competitive in the market it wants (and should be in) i.e. a nice, real ale led pub.

14 Jan 2011 20:39

The Coronation, Bedminster

Walked here from the Orchard as part of a pub crawl from Hotwells on the 27 Dec 2010 and despite the rain I was glad that I had made the effort.
Internally a single bar operation, this is a pleasant but unremarkable pub, a little tired. 5 out of a possible 6 beers were on from Hopback Brewery plus Bounds Scrumpy from Westons on handpull and Wersteiner lager.
The locals and the lad behind the bar were friendly and the beer was in good condition on my visit on the 27th Dec 2010.
Will someone buy the pub a new carpet?!!!

14 Jan 2011 20:16

The Orchard Inn, Bristol

The Orchard looks a bit naff from the outside but is clean, warm and friendly even with it's naff decor in this single rectangular room pub.
Thatcher's Chedar Valley, trad and Black Rat on handpull plus Sheppys and Thatch gold on keg cider plus Pride, Otter, Bellringer and Bath Ales Festivity were available on my visit in the main room. However the revelation was that they had 17 (yes 17) further different polypins of cider that were avaliable from pollypins they draw off in a chilled cellar room behind the bar!
The pub was quite busy on my visit on the 27 Dec 2010 (20 plus in).
Filled rolls excellent. Selling lots of pasties but can't vouch for these!
As it is a bit dark it can be an intimidating walk from the Cottage at night for those that brave the harbour path! (ish!)
7/10 (10/10 for the choice)

14 Jan 2011 19:54

The Plume of Feathers, Bristol

Open with a new, young manager who apparently works for the proprietor of The Apple Tree cider house.The pub is very basic but traditional with real potential. A few nice pictures on the walls wouldn’t go amiss but nonetheless it is an pleasant unpretentious local. On my visit on 27th Dec 2010 there were 2 Abor ales on (I drank the Honey beer which was good) and then left via the harbour path which is a pleasant walk if you are on a crawl towards the Nova Scotia, the Cottage & the Pump House.

14 Jan 2011 19:47

The Cottage Inn, Bristol

Very pleasant Butcome pub with 3 Butcombe Brewery beers on when I visited on the 27th December 2010.
Keg and cask Ashton Press ciders plus keg Butcombe blonde and Veltin’s lager were noteworthy by being unusual and available. The pub was very busy, I had the pub curry which was quite good in a cheap and cheerful pub grub sort of way.
Worth a visit if on a crawl in the area, summer or winter.
7/10, or maybe even an 8.

14 Jan 2011 19:41

The Nova Scotia, Bristol

Visited 27 Dec 2010.
Worryingly a board outside pronounced the pub was up for sale, but actually it was very much open on my visit.
I thought this pub was charming with it's low beams and pleasant olde worlde decor (albeit perhaps a little faded). With the main bar and what they describe as the ‘Captains Cabin' snug there were a total of 3 beers on ( out of a poss 5) Courage Best, GWB Classic Gold and Bankers Draft from Wickwar Brewery plus four draught ciders, all from Thatchers. The Bankers Draft was excellent, the pub being fairly busy for mid afternoon. Blackboard pronounced 'no food'. Good range of spirits. A nice pub.

14 Jan 2011 19:37

The Printer's Devil, Bristol

On a pub crawl on the 28th Dec, I was really sorry to see this nice old pub closed and looking very vunerable. As TalbotHill has written below, the offices next door have been demolished meaning that the pub has had to be held up from its front elevation using props and scafolding. I am surprised that this is acceptable to the Local Authority as the pub is grade 2 listed and the scafolding spills into the highway- and it is now an eyesore.
Although it was managed by County Estates (who have now themselves gone into administration), the pub's freehold is owned by the UK pension fund.
Offers anyone? It should be a gem...

14 Jan 2011 19:10

The Stag & Hounds, Bristol

Shut with sign announcing pub up to let by Enterprise when I was on a crawl in the area on 28th Dec 2010.

14 Jan 2011 19:02

The Honest Lawyer, Southampton

Now refurbished and renamed 'Lime'.

3 Dec 2010 21:13

The Wine Vaults, Southsea

I went here for the first time on Saturday and to be honest was a bit disappointed at this near legendary pub. It was busy and the beer was fine but it needs a massive clean up- the pub is filthy and the furniture knackered!!!

17 Aug 2010 20:55

Leopold Tavern, Southsea

I went here for the first time on Saturday evening and it was heaving, one of the most busy pubs I have seen in years so congratulations to the staff for that. I was surprised at how contemporary the decor was but while it wasn't to my tastes, it wasn't over the top. Beer was excellent.
NB George East based his book 'A Year Behind Bars' partially on this pub!
Good but perhaps not worth its near legendary reputation.

17 Aug 2010 20:53

The Drummond Arms, Southampton

2 new guys have taken the pub over and seem to be doing quite well. 3 real ales on, Spitfire has always been good. Pub is very clean & tidy- a pleasant boozer.

23 Jul 2010 18:09

The Pitcher and Piano, Fulham

Now badly in need of refurbishment the P&P on Fulham Road was the first of the brand to open in the country in 1986.
Sadly it has fallen into massive decline and has gone from being one of the busiest pubs on the strip to the quietest. Rumoured to be closing a fortnight today, how the mightly have fallen.

9 Jul 2010 17:35

The Rose and Crown, Trowbridge

Now shut and pub sold by Enterprise.

9 Jul 2010 12:51

The Green Man, Winchester

Sadly still shut.

4 Jul 2010 15:28

The Horse and Jockey, Reading

is this pub now called 120 Castle Street?

4 Jul 2010 13:56

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

Went into the pub in late May with my family after the funeral of my 100 year old great Aunt having not been in for about 5 years. It was busy but had a really good atmosphere and great range of beer which was of fantastic quality while the interior decor is quirky and interesting.
We were going to stay for a couple but ended up eating there, the food was upmarket pub grub style, very good. We ended up staying the rest of the evening.
Brighton's best pub? 9/10. Maybe even 10?

4 Jul 2010 13:21

The St Denys Hotel, St Denys

After a fire from a fat fryer in the kitchen on 30th Dec 2009, Admiral Taverns took the decision to close the pub arguing it is uneconomic to repair the building. It is now boarded up and up for sael, unlikely to reopen as a pub.

27 Jun 2010 19:44

The Bridge Inn, St Denys

In 2005 this was a nice pub. In about 1995 this was a really really nice pub that had just been done up in the style of a traditional London boozer. It was selling good food & Marston’s beer.
Now owned by Greene King, it is a disaster- the pub changed hands in the beginning of 2010 but now features yellow walls, a really loud jukebox while intimidating young yobs and raging alcoholics seem to be the core customer base. The only good news is that while it serves them, the Bridge keeps the yobs out of the nearby other pubs in St Denys- namely the Junction, the South Western & Dolphin.
It is grim.

27 Jun 2010 19:36

The South Western, St Denys

Excellent choice of real ale- normally 8 or 9 with a bias towards Hants & Dorset plus one draught cider, always in my experience in excellent condition. Nice garden at real with fantasticly organised beer festivals. Toilets fine. That said, a deep clean of the floor and brickwork and a paint up of the woodwork wouldn't go amiss as it is looking quite tired now.

27 Jun 2010 19:21

The Dolphin, St Denys

Now reopened and fully redecorated, the pub now looks and smells clean. 4 real ales on, the 2 I tried (Bowman & Triple fff) were in good nick but pub was very quiet for a Sat eve.

27 Jun 2010 19:17

The Junction Inn, St Denys

Baxterfish is missing the point in his post- this might be a Greene King pub but it sells all their seasonal beers and guests- which have included Tom Woods, Bath Ales, Black Sheep, Wadworths to name a few & the beer is always in excellent condition
The interior of the pub is excellent, always spotlessly clean with many original period Victorian features; there is a also a fantastic beer garden. Run by a charming couple, Dawn & Martin who have been here for about 7 years. The food is average but cheap.
On balance, the best pub in St Denys- not the best for sheer choice in terms of different beers (that honour goes to The South Western Arms) but the best all rounder.

27 Jun 2010 19:12

The Eagle, Southampton

Shut since April 2010. Currently the builders are in, turning it into a convenience store; the freehold has been bought by the Asian family who used to run Lodge Road post office in Southampton.

27 Jun 2010 19:02

The Ferryman and Firkin, Southampton

This former banking hall is still closed with a sign saying it is to let.

27 Jun 2010 17:02

WAHOO, Southampton

WAHOO is the name of the brand created when a management buy out saved some of the Walkabout chain when Regent Inns went bust in October 2009. Now run by Cavendish Bars Ltd, the Southampton site is apparently the 2nd best performing outlet in the group but my spy's told me that the vultures are once again circling...

27 Jun 2010 17:01

The Anchor, Southampton

This old, brewers Tudor style pub in East Street was a Whitbread managed house when I first moved to Southampton and then was run by a great old ex-marine called Rob with his wife and son for many years.
Punch Taverns bought the pub and jacked the rent up to almost stratospheric levels so Rob & his family have gone and now the pub is up for sale, in dire need of a huge refurb and doing no business.
When I last went in there (June 2010), there was a holding company running the pub and they only had draught guiness and cider on as they had run out of anything else.
If things don't improve, this pub may be yet another casualty...which would be a real shame. 3/10

27 Jun 2010 16:43

The Three Guineas, Reading

I am amazed that drinkers_paradise thinks this is the best bub in Reading as whatever you are into (music, spirits, dancing, real ale, DJs, cheap beer, food etc. etc.) their are pubs, bars and clubs that do it better.
The pub has been redecorated since my last visit (2008) but appears to have lost quite a lot of the railway memrobillia in the process which is a shame. I would describe it now as being very much in the JD Waetherspoons style (in fact it may even be a JDW pub as they run some unbranded pubs such as the one at London Waterloo) but with the addition on the Sat evening that I went in of loud drum and base. The pub was virtually empty and I didn't linger...

27 Jun 2010 16:24

The Three Guineas, Reading

I am amazed that drinkers_paradise thinks this is the best bub in Reading as whatever you are into (music, spirits, dancing, real ale, DJs, cheap beer, food etc. etc.) their are pubs, bars and clubs that do it better.
The pub has been redecorated since my last visit (2008) but appears to have lost quite a lot of the railway memrobillia in the process which is the same. I would describe it now as being very much in the JD Waetherspoons style (in fact it may even be a JDW pub as they run some unbranded pubs such as the one at London Waterloo) but with the addition on the Sat evening that I went in of loud drum and base. The pub was virtually empty and I didn't linger...

27 Jun 2010 16:22

The Bent Brief, Southampton

Very friendly pub with really good live music (blues and jazz) most of the week plus cheap pool but the pub is really really dirty which really spoils it.

27 Jun 2010 16:12

The Red Lion, Southampton

Very grubby with beer poor which is sad as The Red Lion is a historic old pub in the heart of town. 2/10

27 Jun 2010 16:03

The Endeavour, Southampton

Once knows as The Antlantic Queen, this pub was renamed by one of its former landlords and ex-marine Ray Rose in tribute the ship HMS Endeavour.
Formally the pub was known as the Atlantic Queen.

27 Jun 2010 16:01

The Endeavour, Southampton

Pleasant backstreet boozer situated in the Bugle Street conservation area. Usually 2-3 real ales on from the Greene King stable (Ruddles, IPA, Abbot etc.) the pub is always spotlessly clean and nicely done up. Run by a chap well known on the gay scene David Moss, the pub attracts an n eclectic mix of clientele including staff from the nearby council offices, local residents, shoppers and unsurprisingly given the landlords leanings, a few left footers!

27 Jun 2010 15:55

The Wagon Works, Eastleigh

Quite upmarket and well run by Weatherspoons standards, this pub has badly hurt the others in the town but perhaps that is because by and large that is because Eastleigh's pubs are generally a tired and uninspiring bunch.
On the plus side, on the last occassion I went in 'The Wagon Works', my visit was brightened up by quite a good looking girl coming to sit by me who happened to have the most enormous boobs! Sadly, I had to leave to get the train to nearby Southampton!!!

27 Jun 2010 15:50

The Guide Dog, Bevois Valley

Still consistently good- in fact, still consistently excellent.

27 Jun 2010 15:45

The New Inn, Southampton

Now called The Inferno, this pub is truly rough and ready- selling cheap beer to definitely non-student types of a very uncosmopolitan nature. Now seemingly quite busy but rough.
As different from the gentile, real ale and unusual bottled beer pub the New Inn was as it is possible to imagine which is a shame...

27 Jun 2010 15:43

The Rockstone, Southampton

Pub shut since early May which is a shame as this used to be a good local when Dave & Sandy had the pub.

27 Jun 2010 15:39

The Allied Arms, Reading

Went in on Sat 26th June 2010 as part of a one man pub crawl around Reading. The 2 room Pub was nice and clean with a good range of real ales and many people sat in the garden. Nice, olde worlde building.
Juke box was on but not obtrusive as was the TV (showing the tennis) but disappointingly the beer was flat and very slightly warm- and I tried 2 different beers. It was in the "just about OK/ shall I take it back" category.
The toilets desperately need a tidy up so despite being a nice pub with a nice garden with seemingly nice locals (who all drink London Pride or lager so thats what I will be drinking on my next visit) I would put it in the 'could be much better with minimal effort section. Oh well...6/10.

27 Jun 2010 15:20

Coopers Arms, Reading

Was still shut on my visit to Reading of Sat 26th June 2010. Looking through the window, most of the old pub furniture appears to still be in situ at the boozer with no sign of any building work or indeed any other activity going on.

27 Jun 2010 15:11

3Bs, Reading

Like nearby Chronicles and also The Bugle, 3Bs was shut on my visit Saturday afternoon.

27 Jun 2010 15:06

Chronicles Bar and Restaurant, Reading

Closed on my visit Saturday afternoon (yesterday) but looks like it would be open in the evening.

27 Jun 2010 15:03

The Blagrave Arms, Reading

Pub outside has now been painted black but looks fine, in keeping with the building.
Went in here for the first time on Saturday afternoon as part of a one man pub crawl around Reading. The pub was clean & tidy but needs some nice pictures to make the most of the mostly intact and pleasing Victorian interior as well as someone handy with the brasso and the pledge polish. I decided to give the lonely real ale pump a miss (Wadworth 6X) and have a pint of larger which was fine. Served by an older pleasant guy in his 50's, I noticed with envy that he had virtually finished the full Times crossword but as there were only 2 other people in, he obviously hadn't been too busy serving! I walked over to the jukebox and put £1 in but was then told by the barman not to play any music as the football was on- to his credit he gave me my money back without hesitation. While I was there a couple and two individuals seperately walked in and ordered- all pleasant enough people aged 40 to 60.
A good landlord, a bit of commercial creativity and some nice pictures and lighting could turn this from a fairly ordinary, down at heal pub into a really nice boozer. LikeThe Bugle, nearby, a sign outside announces the 'Trust Inns' have this as a 'Community Pub to let...

27 Jun 2010 15:01

The Bugle, Reading

Shut on Saturday night at 8pm but The Bugle seems to still be opening as a pub sporadically though. With a 'To Let' sign above the door, surely this boozer is now in the 'at risk' category...

27 Jun 2010 14:28

The Bugle, Reading

Very very tired...

20 Jun 2010 21:59

The Bear, Bradford on Avon

Apparently the pub is to reopen this summer as a real ale and cider inn after undergoing a full refurbishment over seven months of renovation by Blindman’s Brewery of Leighton, Frome. The brewery, which also runs The Lamb pub in Frome, is apparently going for a very traditional look with local beers & ciders, food and no music.
I never thought I would see it reopen after Trust Inns sold it.

20 Jun 2010 20:48

Bakers Arms, Dorchester

Really excellent traditional local. Run by a friendly older couple (Ray & Kay) who are ex-Eldridge Pope tenants, The pub is now badged as a Ringwood Freehouse. The pub sold 5 excellent cask ales and a traditional cider on my visit. The pub serves good (but basic) pub grub type food and has some interesting memrobilia on the walls as well as the original bakers ovens from when it was a working bakery. Closed Mondays.
Worth a visit if in Dorchester.

20 Jun 2010 19:34

The Bunch of Grapes, Bradford on Avon

Last visited in May 2010 and what was once the best pub in Bradford has been ruined by a totally inappropriate refurb. The wooden panelling (that former landlord Clive got from a former girls school that was up for demolition) remains but the walls are now adorned by silver and gold wallpaper that looks totally out of keeping. White glass (or plastic?) chandeliers hang down obtrusively while there is clutter everywhere but nothing of any interest or discernable theme. Despite this act of recent redecorative vandalism, the pub was dirty and dusty.
Inexplicably the pub now sells over 50 brands of tea yet the real ale was indifferent on my visit and the staff bored and disinterested.
This pub used to be buzzing and had people from all social stations in life mingling and drinking. On my last visit, the only people in the pub were me, my mother and father.
What a sad decline for a once great boozer.

20 Jun 2010 19:25

The Kings Arms, Bradford on Avon

Popped in here May 2010 but pub under new ownership as a Greene King tenancy. The pub had had a bit of a clean up and is apparently now going to focus on food but will face some stiff competition from the excellent Castle at the top of the hill and the nearby Grapes. Decor is very minimalist but maybe the owners are in the process of buying pictures, nic nacs etc. The signage outside the pub has been replaced and is in the usual Greene King house style. The jury is out but I think they are going to have to work very hard to make a success of it based on this formula. Good luck!
Meanwhile, in Bradford on Avon pub related news, The Bear is apparently going to re open this summer after a long period of closure (3 years?).

20 Jun 2010 19:11

The Honest Lawyer, Southampton

Went in on Xmas Eve- few in but not busy. Pub very clean and tidy with nice open fire.
Timothy Taylor Landlord excellent.

26 Dec 2009 00:25

The Cricketers, Southampton

Nice pub but looking a bit tired now. Beer usually very good.
Food ok at lunchtimes. Busy at night with students.

7 Mar 2009 19:42

The Admiral Sir Lucius Curtis, Southampton

Grim. Ringwoood beer dreadful; seemed like it had gone off.
Green King IPA was alright. Pretty rough clientele.
Not good.

7 Mar 2009 19:40

The Wellington Arms, Southampton

Had a pint of Palmers that wasn't right; turned out it was the end of the barrel and was changed happily and without fuss; next pint was good. Real atmosphere, a really good pub.

7 Mar 2009 19:32

The Rover, Southampton

Really surprised to read the last quote; nice bunch in when I visited, beer excellent with unusual range from about 3 small breweries. Teetopmetz obviously visited on a bad day.

7 Mar 2009 19:29

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