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BITE user comments - barlick

Comments by barlick

Ring 'O' Bells, West Kirby

Took us a while to visit this place for the first time, but now we have we'll be back a few more times methinks. It's a very smart looking place on three levels with plenty of seating. There is also a large garden. Food seems a big thing, and a lot of folk on our visit were eating the usual pub meals.

But the beer is very good and from the Green King range, though they do have a bespoke bitter on brewed for the pub. The IPA dispenser has the 'switch' which enables your pint to be poured in the 'southern' or 'northern' tradition - that is with the creamy head or not. As a northerner who spent too long in the south, I like my ale served in the southern style now and so this is a good thing.

Well worth a visit.

20 May 2013 14:24

The Wro, West Kirby

I don't think this place was on this website for an age and now it's appeared I think I'll give a review as it is one of our frequent places for a snifter - it is a particular favourite with Mrs Barlick - and indeed we shall be there tonight.

It's a really good bar. There's no ale as noted below, but there's plenty of everything else and you can get yourself draught Urquell and Kosel which are decent enough Czech beers. They have a really good wine list and small bottles of Prosecco for my Mrs. Food is imaginative and generally good. They often have bands on, and loads of other events - I think there's a book club. What really marks it out though are the staff. They are really, really well trained and efficient and many of them have been there all the time we've been going in - over 3 years. It's a deserved winner of Merseyside Bar of the Year a few times recently, beating off the cream of Liverpool's over the water.

There's also Wro Terrace over the road - slightly different range of drinks and probably more of a place for food but it's just as good for a drink.

Shame about the license - I wasn't aware there'd been a campaign but I guess we are in West Kirby, a notoriously conservative spot

12 Oct 2012 11:46

La Bodega, Hoylake

It's a cafe bar, rather than a full blown restaurant. No real ale, just lagers and keg stuff. We had a couple of glasses of wine the other week, rose but it was more or less undrinkable (and it was changed for us). But...

It does have music on, and open mic sessions. Comedy too, I'm sure. It plays a role on recent parish events - notably the Festival of Firsts. On the decking, it has a raised bed where IncredibleEdibleHoylake have planted herbs for the community to nourish and pick.

For these reasons I'm happy to wish it every success.

19 Sep 2012 14:38

The Fosters Arms, Barnoldswick

Shut. Now a private residence

19 Sep 2012 14:17

The Railway, Barnoldswick

Now shut. And won't reopen. Think it's becoming flats and shops

19 Sep 2012 14:16

The Greyhound, Barnoldswick

Known as the 'Dog'. This too (like The Fountain down the road) has been bought, this time by folk who used to manage it and is going from strength to strength.

Now brews its own beer via the Barlick Brewery (brews include the likes of Hair of the Dog). It tends to sell out in no time, but I think there are plans to slowly up capacity. Has been comprehensively overhauled externally, and there are plans also I think to upgrade the interior. As well as the aforementioned Barlick Brewery ales, there is a comprehensibe Moorhouses range, and the odd one from Copper Dragon if I recall. On my recent visit there were no Barlick brews (sold out!), but the Moorhouses was superb. Is deservedly racking up the CAMRA awards. Another extremely welcome development in the Barnoldswick drinking scene.

19 Sep 2012 14:15

The Barlick Hotel, Barnoldswick

This has been bought out and subjected to a major refurbishment and is now called The Fountain. It is in my humble opinion a great improvement and the people running it are to congratulated. As you enter, the room to the left is for dining, the rest being predominantly for drinkers. And the beer is great. Three or four from Taylors and others from Copper Dragon and I think Moorhouses. I had a pint of Taylors Golden Best - a light mild - and a Taylors Bitter, and they were both superb. I hope this place does well as Barnoldswick needs a place like this

19 Sep 2012 14:08

The Britannia, Kensington

I can well imagine this as a classic Youngs pub of old, tucked away down its little side street. I think some folk are being fair when they note the refurb has perhaps not done it any favours and whilst I'm not for everything being pickled in aspic, you have to marvel at the way much of the Youngs estate has gone. Still, that said, my pint was perfectly acceptable and the place was certainly busy with a well-healed crowd. Some of whom would benefit from a crash course in pub etiquette. You do not march up to the bar, card in hand, and on arriving immediately bark out your order to the bar staff whilst the person they are serving is making their choice.

19 Sep 2012 14:01

The Greyhound, Kensington

This is a nice pub in the rather upmarket surroundings of Kensington Square. Popped in of an afternoon the other week and the place was bustling along nicely with a decent mix of customers - office workers, shoppers, folk simply having a pint, like me. Very comfortable area by the bar with comfy sofas and a larger, open plan type area to the rear. A range of beers if a little uninspiring, but the Doom Bar I had was in good nick.

19 Sep 2012 13:53

The Prince of Wales, Kensington

On my way back to Ken High Street from the Churchill up the road I popped in here. You could describe this as a mistake. Two of the real ales were off, including the ubiquitous Black Sheep. 'But we do have another excellent Yorkshire beer, Tim Taylor's Landlord'. OK, I'll have one of them.

4.25. Yes that's right, 4.25. Read that and weep............

It's a disgrace that is. Sorry, but it is.

The pub doesn't really have much to recommend it despite the promise of a rather charming exterior. In particular the front bit is about the most ridiculously furnished section you could come across in a pub. It's just a load of tables and chairs, of varying heights, jammed in there. As other have noted, likely a transient place. Certainly was for me; I'll not be back to be fleeced of the best part of a fiver for a pretty average pint of Landlord

19 Sep 2012 13:40

The Churchill Arms, Kensington

Popped in here the week before last.

You can see why this place gets itself in most of the pub and beer guides. It's a cracking little spot with a justifiably renowned outdoor floral display in summer (you'll spot this from a 100yds) leading to a pretty unspoilt, curio-festooned interior. Good mix of customers from a group of 6 young 'uns drinking Champers to a group of 'Tradesmen' propping up the bar. Fullers beer. I had 2 excellent pints of Chiswick, probably the best I've had for some time.


19 Sep 2012 13:31

Green Lodge Hotel, Hoylake

Probably worth an update.

This place has been given a nice lick of paint and a general, all-over spruce up, and is now looking very spick n'span. Popped in last Friday and the place was quite buzzy and the beer was excellent - Jennings Bitter and a pint of Pedigree both tip-top. A few weeks ago we went on a sunny Saturday afternoon and the beer garden in front was full with happy punters and once again the beer was excellent. I think prices may have dropped too as my Jennings the other night was 2.65 - as good a price these days as any round these parts.

I think it worth revising my comment below and note that this is a place I may very well like as my local. We shall no doubt be popping in more often.

19 Sep 2012 13:25

The Mitre, Paddington

Was staying at a nearby hotel and popped in here the other night. I've been witness to many a Youngs makeover in my time and this doesn't seem to have gone the way of some others. This at least still looks like the pub it was, and much of the impressive architecture and woodwork remains. Bit of a warren inside, what appear once to have been separate rooms now merging into one.

My Ordinary was fine and the staff too were fine and seemed to know what they were doing. This is not an area of London I know well, but if you are in these parts this is certainly recommended as a place to have a quiet snifter

11 Nov 2011 12:41

The Speaker, Westminster

Meeting finished early, had some time to kill and popped in here yesterday lunch. Never been in before. I was quite impressed. Basic but comfortable, with four ales on - T Taylors and Youngs Ordinary, plus two guest beers which I think is the norm. The guests were a stout from the Deeside brewery up in Aberdeen and a fruit ale from a brewery I forget. Over the next few days and weeks the guests will be stouts and fruit beers, and they have a sheet with the 20-odd that'll be on offer. Lunchtime, so I stuck with the Ordinary which was pretty good. Seems that the focus is firmly on the beer here and most punters were tucking into one of the ales.

It was busy with folk from a Remembrance event at the Abbey nearby and it seemed many of the old serviceman and woman make this a regular call after the service. Certainly the engaging barman, I suspect landlord, treated them like old friends, noting as one group left 'see you next year!'

Well worth a stop. A good, proper pub which has things just about right.

11 Nov 2011 12:35

La Bodega, Hoylake

'Closed due to an electrical fault' apparently. This is ominous, as a 'to let' sign has been on the place for a while...

16 May 2011 14:54

Irby Mill, Greasby

Excellent pub in the heart of Wirral. Very well run by an experienced (the landlord used to work for Youngs) and enthusistic team, this is gaining an excellent reputation for imaginative real ales and freshly made, locally sourced food (note the suppliers of their meat, 'Muffs'. No sniggering at the back). A building of some note, it is in the red sandstone of the area and note particularly the tiny stained glass window set in the enormous stones. Essentially four small areas that run into each other inside, there is a 'snug' type area containing a wood-burning stove which is by the car park entrance; two 'drinking' areas either side of the split bar, which are by the roadside entrance, and then a room at the back mainly used by diners, but by no means exclusively so. There are tables outside, next to the road and in a very pleasant (unenclosed, save for a small wall) sloping garden. A few tables are also by the entrance from the car park. There are, mercifully, no slot machines. There is a TV, but it has never been on during one of my visits, and I suspect that it only does come on for a major event - something like the Open Golf no doubt, in these parts.

It's the beer that merits comment here and the pub is a deserved recent CAMRA pub-of-the-season winner. There are up to 6 ales on offer and the range is broad, both in sourcing as well as strength. Highlights for me were seeing the Palmers range on over a couple of weeks the other month. This old, established Dorset independant is a rare sight in these parts. Other beers recently sourced included less well-known brews from Adnams and Everards, as well as Moorhouses and Hook Norton. It seems that generally there is a Welsh ale on too.

I cannot praise this pub highly enough, and it shows just what can be done in today's difficult times for the licensed trade. Trade seems brisk every time we are in (sometimes it has been exceptionally brisk) and the punters are an excellent mix of Wirral residents rubbing along together nicely. Top marks to the team here.

10 May 2011 14:07

Harp Inn, Little Neston

Excellent pub on the Dee Marshes with great views out over Wales and up the estuary to Liverpool Bay. Converted from a couple of mining cottages years back (note the Davy lamps, and pit axes etc), the interior is a classic of its unspoilt type. There are no outstanding architectural features, no long forgotten brewery signs/leaded windows etc. Rather, it has the perfectly functional stone floor, simple tables, and bar. In the 30s/40s/50s etc, pubs all over were like this. It is a brilliant throwback to a more simple, functional age - a 'public' house you went to to have a drink and a chat. I am really glad I've found this place.

Plenty of ales on when we popped in Saturday - beers from Holts, a couple from Peerless (formerly Betwixt), Tim Taylors, 6X. Holts bitter was excellent, as was the Peerless Dark Matter. We shall be popping back here quite a bit methinks.

10 May 2010 14:29

The Porter Cottage, Sheffield

There used to be a time I'd settle down in here when it threw its doors open of a Friday night and they'd have to tip me out the same door at closing a gallon of Tetley's later. Yes, I'm afraid I get all nostalgic whenever I return to this place. Used to have a separate back room then - notorious as the place for getting anything you wanted off 'the back of a lorry'. That's long gone and there have been a number of makeovers over the years but essentially the front bit is just the same.

Always been a student pub and always had one of the best juke boxes I've come across. No way can you come here for a quiet drink most evenings, and certainly years back it could get seriously raucous in a decent, non-threatening, non-violent way (though I guess that's subjective, before anyone starts), and the 'smoke fug' was something else. Blimey, I've had some nights in here.

Now, it's just as busy, the music is just as loud, the fug has gone, the beer range is broader and the raucousness tempered and I guess that's no bad thing. Whenever I come back to Sheffield I come here, and I always have a good time - it's like bumping into an old friend that you realise you'll always be fond of (as opposed to those you bump into that remind you why you lost touch in the first place).

21 Apr 2010 14:08

Champs, Sheffield

Now isn't this an interesting one isn't it. A sports bar. God, I hate them. Just as I was leaving Sheffield for London back in the day, Champs opened down the road, the first 'American-style' sports bar in the UK apparently, and I though blimey, couldn't we have better than that?

Now? Oh it's still a 'sports bar' for sure given the teles (must be 30 or more), but instead of tasteless fizzy rubbish for folk who know no better, it has 12 different real ales on from the likes of Abbeydale, Thornbridge, Kelham Island and so on. Nothing of architectural merit at all, but if you're going to watch Ingerlund in the World Cup in a pub, then do it here and drink proper English beer. I had four pints on my last visit and aside from a slightly insipid and tired Moonshine, they were all in very good shape.

I might argue with the claim that at the time it was the first American-style sports bar in the UK, but I wager it's the only, local brewery-supporting real ale sports bar.

21 Apr 2010 13:51

Sheffield Tap, Sheffield

Ermmmm, 'Thornbridge' of course. Yes, the Jaipur was a bit good...........

21 Apr 2010 13:39

Sheffield Tap, Sheffield

Just missed the train yesterday and so had an hour to kill. Thought I'd spend it in The Tap. I lived in Sheffield for 12 years, and never realised this buffet existed on the station. One must congratulate folk on opening this up and getting it back to something approaching what it was like.

Original tiling appears to be all present and correct, though it's not as ornate as some tiling you'll find in pubs, but worth a look all the same. The floors pretty good too and the original woodwork. On the beer front I have to say it's pretty magnificent, and this is in a city which has a ridiculous number of drinking pubs serving up cracking real beer. Yesterday, there were four on from Thorncliffe and four from Marble brewed at the Marble Arch in Manchester - an organic, vegetarian brewery (look, it's in Chorlton, OK?). I think ever changing beers from Thorncliffe are always on, and then the rest get changed, but it appears they want to give you a taste of a brewery's range rather than one-offs from several breweries, given some comments below re Brewdog and the large number from Marble on my visit? This is an interesting not to say unusual way of doing things, and I'm quite supportive of it.

My Jaipur was as good as ever and the Marble beer, unless my eyes had gone after the Jaipur (it's strong stuff, that), was simply called 'Brew 4.5'. And this was mighty fine too, though I found it a little too sharp to the palate for it to be one I might have two or three of in a session.

It was 3.45 when I popped in, and busy. By half four it was rammed. I imagine, given it's on the station, you could turn up and simply not get in as there's nowhere to spill out onto. Still, never mind, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I really liked this place and what's been achieved here.

21 Apr 2010 13:36

The Devon Doorway, Heswall

This is part of a chain - M&B's Premium Country Dining Group.

I think this place is pretty good actually. The two ales on the other day - the predictable Taylors Landlord and Adnams Broadside - were both very good, though of course Taylors anywhere outside of Keighley to someone like me who grew up drinking it on home soil, is not the same. There is also a wider selection of imported draft beers, standard lagers and stout, plus a comprehensive wine list.

Pub is thatched and sits rather incongrously on a massive roundabout just south of Heswall - getting out the car park can be a nightmare. There is a drinking area outside and as you enter, though it has to be said that unlike say Harts Boatyard (another in the group near where we used to live in the Surbiton area), this place has more tables for diners. The food is good - we had lunch - and a cut above the usual fare to a degree. My wife's whole lemon sole was lovely; my veal OK, but I wish I'd had the sole! We found the staff chatty, very pleasant, well-trained and efficient. It's the sort of place for a 'lazy lunch'. Couple of sharpeners to start you off, two or three courses with a bottle or two, a stiffener for the walk home and that's 4 hours well spent.

Yes, I rather like it here

12 Apr 2010 16:03

Tides, Hoylake

Does what it says on the tin. It's a bar, not a pub, and it's a perfectly serviceable bar like hundreds more the length and breadth of the country. Fancy a coffee? Check. Glass of wine? Check. Glass of lager with a foreign name? Check. The decor is fine, the seats are cosy, the mood is chilled, you can pop in, have a drink, have a chat and toddle off. Part of the Hoylake 'bar' crawl - there are seven (yes, seven!) within less than half a mile, in a town of 5,000 pop. tops.

For us it will always be known as 'Tids' as when we moved to Hoylake the 'e' had dropped off. Mind you, it wasn't as bad as the 'County Hall' sign down the road, where the fallen letters had led to a very disconcerting outcome. Seriously. Happily both now fixed.

23 Mar 2010 14:29

The Cross Gaits Inn, Blacko

Popped in recently after many, many years. Back in the day, this used to be a regular spot for me where a few pints of an evening would be soaked up by pie n' peas, with pickled onion slices and vinegar, all in a bowl. Still very much the same pub, with two distinct drinking areas and a really cosy feel. Worth noting the plaque outside above the main entrance: 'Goode ale tomorrow for nothing', dating from the early 17th century. It's an old place this, set in magnificent countryside. Had an excellent pint of Cumberland Ale from Jennings.

Has a good reputation for food, especially grills, where pork, lamb and chicken complement the usual steaks. It's also the 'home of real chips' - you can get a sticker for your car - and I can vouch that these fresh, hand-cut masterpieces or varying shape and size are things of beauty.

A photograph on the wall shows the view from the front door during the severe winter of 1962/63. The snow is so heavy you can't make out the road down from the pub, which makes in at least 8ft deep.


17 Mar 2010 14:59

The Cross Keys, East Marton

Popped in here Saturday just gone for a quick pint with the wife on the way to the parents. Haven't been in for at least 20 years, probably more. What enticed me back in was that the pub sign, from which it appears this is a Copper Dragon house. I'm a big fan of this Skipton Brewery's beers.

Encouragingly, the main drinking area inside hasn't changed much at all - the inglenook's still there and it still has that not quite right 'just thrown together' look. What I mean by this, is that from the outside you'd think it all little rooms, nooks and crannies - but it's not as it's largely open plan. What was new was the emphasis on food and an attached large dining area entranced via the main bar. Most folk were dining, just us and another couple drinking.

Had a pint of Copper Dragon Best and Scott's 1816 and both were, as usual in my experience with this brewery, excellent.

Summing up, I quite enjoyed it. They had the full range of beers from CD and they were well looked after. They make a play on food, but it seemed pretty good from the look of it and the satisfied murmurings of the punters. We might have been in the minority being just drinkers that late afternoon but the way it's set up, 'eaters and drinkers' are catered for fine. We all know pubs where drinkers can feel unwelcome with respect to diners (never t'other way round), and it's good to see the balance right. In this day and age, and for a pub in it's locale, that's good.

17 Mar 2010 14:12

The Jolly Brewmaster, Cheltenham

Used to be a right dump this place years ago, but GBG in hand we popped in after a long, long time the night before Xmas Eve. What an excellent transformation, and what a great place it is now. The place was rammed with folk from all ages, family groups, locals and Uncle Tom Cobberley and all.

Excellent choice of ales, many from small regional breweries, and non of them overly strong. I had one from the Arbor Brewery in Bristol, a single hop beer Motueka, made unsurprisingly from the New Zealand Motueka hop. Excellent crisp, clean, citrusy beer. The pub is also big on craft ciders and cider's undeservedly lesser cousin, perrys. I think there were at least five different choices on offer here. Run by a young and enthusiastic team, this place shows just what can be done with a little love and attention for your craft.


6 Jan 2010 13:50

Royal Oak, Cardington

Popped in for lunch the day before Xmas Eve just gone, taking a detour off the A49 on our way south to the family. Lovely country pub in a picture-perfect English village. My pint of Hobson's was top notch (never had this beer before) and served in a barreled jug - a major plus in my book. Lunch was good too. An ancient building, with little of immediate curiosity internally, short of a splendid inglenook with roaring fire on the go. Seems to be very much at the hub of the community if the flyers were anything to go by - rather incongruously, over the festive season a number of karaoke sessions were on. I imagine they are rather more along the sing-a-long lines.

The pub specialises in Fidget Pie - a Shropshire speciality pie of gammon, cooked apples, potatoes and onions. The recipe is handed down from landlord to landlord. Quite why then, they have to advertise it as 'Shropshire speciality, as eaten by Prince Edward 20 years ago', is beyond me.

All in all, a really good spot

6 Jan 2010 13:29

Blue Anchor, Hoylake

Popped in of a lunchtime last week. Normally, I'm pretty verbose in reviewing.

But this place is not very nice at all.

I shall leave it at that.

20 Nov 2009 13:55

Vernon Arms, Liverpool

Last stop on Friday's initial exploration of Liverpool's boozers. Quirky sort of place, with a sloping main bar (a bit disconcerting after a few) and great big pillars. Place continues with a room out the back. Stand-up drinking predominates in the front bit, where there is plenty of space, and that's fine by me. Yet another place in Liverpool for decent and less frequently encountered beer. Good mix of customers (a group of five blokes in black leather jackets, roll-tops and thick glasses, were straight out of Shoreditch central casting) and efficient staff. A bit pissed by this time, I found enormous interest in the huge map of Liverpool's docks on the wall under the TV screen......

Well worth a visit

2 Nov 2009 10:38

The Ship and Mitre, Liverpool

To have one temple to beer in a city of Liverpool's size is excellent; to find two is taking the mick a bit isn't it? Following on from the Fly in the Loaf, we went on recommendation to this place.

Rough around the edges with respect to the decor, with multiple drinking areas and a vast range of both British real ale and other European offerings, this is right up our street. There are foreign beers in here you'd have to travel a long way to find and importantly, all are served in the correct glasses. A testament to how seriously they take their beer here. I love my real ale me, but in a place like this, I love to try a Belgian or Austrian brew I'll not come across elsewhere.

Another highly recommended Liverpool pub

2 Nov 2009 09:54

The Fly in the Loaf, Liverpool

Best described as a temple to beer, this is a simply magnificent place to explore all things hoppy. Okells beers are on, along with ever changing others, but for me, the real treat sits in the fridge - Chicago's Goose Island Brewery's Honkers Ale and IPA. Both of these are splendid beers and the IPA surely has to rank as one of the world's finest, an explosion of hops. Go steady on it as it's knocking on 6%, but boy is it good. A rare treat to find this beer.

A great find for us having recently moved to the Merseyside area. As others have noted, the staff here know their stuff and were on my visit, a busy Friday night, super-efficient. The wife liked her red wine too - recommened by the staff and served (sensibly as default at 175ml) in a nice oversized goblet to help with the nose (apparently, this matters to her!).

Highly recommended.

2 Nov 2009 09:40

Peter Kavanaghs, Liverpool

Visited for the first time on Friday. Nothing to add to the architectural merit this pub has in abundance and which others have mentioned at length. In addition, the 'curios' have to be seen to be believed.

However, rarely have I felt so uncomfortable in a pub. Whether it was what seemed to be the barman, wandering around 'houseside' knocking back the lagers whilst popping 'barside' to annotate what seemed to be the locals' slate and not bothering to serve folk waiting; or the woman wandering round offering drinkers doughnuts from a bag; or the couple with a child effing and jeffing whilst debating whether to have another Guiness on tick; or the 'tumbleweed looks' that greeted our entrance to the room on the left from what can best be described as 80's casualties, I do not know.

Now I'm all for 'public' houses, actively search them out, but this place just struck me as weird. Oh, and my Northern Spellbinder was cloudy.

I shall visit again though and maybe it will grow on me.

2 Nov 2009 09:14

The Bull At Broughton, Broughton

This is now a 'Ribble Valley Inn', one of I think four Nigel Howarth (he of the Great British Menu, professional Lancastrian and Michelin-starred chef) has and the first 'over the border' in Yorkshire.

Look, this is a place for really, really good food so is it a pub or a restaurant? Well, you know what? The beer is excellent in all the RVIs, local brews from micros where possible. Here it's Copper Dragon beers, Saltaire, Dark Horse (what was Wharfedale) and of course as it's down the road, Timothy Taylors.

So, really good seasonal food, from local suppliers and smashing real ale from local breweries. I like to drink beer in pubs me, but if you're going to have a meal too, then this is the place. I think it's bang on.

Anyone who's been popping in 'the Bull' for years will notice a sharp change inside - essentially the same layout but much brighter and two fireplaces have been found. Nice decked area out the back, which in good weather will be lovely and I wager popular with those who want to drink just the splendid beers. But don't feel you have to eat if you want to drink inside.

15 Oct 2009 13:41

The Wheatsheaf, Raby Mere

Whitewashed thatched pub with a weathered sign on the front of the place, the smell of muck-spreading and a farm up the road, you'd think you'd got lost in darkest Devon. But no, you are on the Wirral and in a very pleasant spot indeed. Reputedly an ancient place it certainly seems that inside. Stone floors, low ceilings, snob-screened sections and larger rooms around whopping fireplaces. Dark and lived in. My type of place.

Good beer, very good beer actually. Lovely on a summer's evening to sit outside on benches in front of the pub and listen to the birds and the tractors.

Just to think, New Ferry is only up the road. What a contrast the Wirral is.

2 Oct 2009 15:51

Fox and Hounds, Barnston

I would echo the posters below. This is a simply magnificent pub and a regular watering hole for us having just moved to the Wirral. The snug must be one of the finest of its type in the country, and still has working push buttons on the seats to call the barmaid. Talking of which, everytime we've been in it has always been all female bar staff. And being as delicate as I can, mature bar staff at that. Many years ago, that's the only place you'd have seen a woman in most pubs, behind the bar. Thankfully, things have moved on.

Beautifully situated, with a large car park and entranced via a splendid lived in external courtyard/pergola area brimming with flowers in summer, the real treat is inside. I could spend all afternoon in here looking at the curios and artefacts, admiring the architecture and still not see it all. I know, I've tried!

I'm knocking on now, and I took my old dad in the other month. He managed 3 pints of spectacularly good Trapper's Hat from Brimstage down the road and he said it took him back 50 years - proper tasty beer in a proper drinking pub, he said.

2 Oct 2009 15:19

The Lake Inn, Hoylake

The first and last time I popped in here, the chap on the seat next to my wife lifted his left buttock and fired off a rasper. Which he found amusing. And to be honest so did the wife. But in the sense that the village idiot can on occasions provoke embarassed amusement. A very odd place - smack bang in the middle of the bar folk were playing a giant Jenga game with a cue for mad scattering when it fell.

You know, I'll drink anywhere me and have done. But this was one of the very few pubs that have made me feel uncomfortable and it wasn't just the trumping.

2 Oct 2009 15:06

The Three Stags, Lambeth

Popped in the other night, as I was staying at the hotel over the road. A nicely done out place, with a decent range of beers and wines.

But good grief the cost! For a pint of Morland (very nice by the way), a session bitter, I was charged 3.50. This strikes me as extraordinarily expensive for a pub in its location no matter how nice it is. That's 60p more than the Tim Taylors I had earlier, at The Thameside, right overlooking the river in the Borough Market area. I hope to goodness I wasn't ripped off as some sort of Northern novice in London knowing no better. But the alternative, that indeed 3.50 is the cost of a bog standard bitter here, strikes me as outrageous.

25 Sep 2009 08:28

Green Lodge Hotel, Hoylake

A Marston's 'Two for One' pub. So it goes big on the food. Not the reason I visit pubs, so I can't comment on it.

Still you can get the Marston's range of ales, and they aren't bad here. The staff are pretty good too, seem well-trained and work as a team. Rambling place inside with the feel of a hotel reception. Lots of golfing memorabilia (it's very near the Royal Liverpool Course). Nice garden out the front. Can get very busy. Hence my comment on the good staff.

Not the place I'd like as a local but for a quite drink early doors in the garden or inside it'll do.

14 Sep 2009 12:01

Ship Inn, Hoylake

Looks like they took note of my comments on the garden furniture - all new benches now to complement a general sprucing up out there. Very pleasant last week of a lunch when the weather was great and my Copper Dragon Best, Thwaites Wainwright and Betwixt Dark Matter beers were all very good.

I'm wondering whether the pub has changed hands given that the marketing seems different?

14 Sep 2009 11:50

La Bodega, Hoylake

What it does, it does well so we'll give it that. Sat outside on the terrace of a hot evening, it's actually quite pleasant cooling down over a half of Peroni or something (which is as much as as I can take, 'till I switch to the vino...)

But crikey, it needs a lick of paint inside!

3 Jul 2009 13:18

Ship Inn, Hoylake

Very decent pub on the main street. Up to 10 (maybe more?) different real ales, with several ever-presents (Pride, Bombardier, Thwaites etc), but guests like Brimstage's brews and Betwixt. Essentially one big, rambling room inside.

However, I have had the odd sour pint as the range offered is large as mentioned and quite a few punters don't go big on the real ale, so it lies around a bit. This shouldn't put folk off though, as it will be changed, but perhaps drop the range a little and guarantee consistency?

Nice garden with a lovely lived in feel (the benches have about 12months left in them, I wager) with about 50 or more carp in a pond.

Does food too

3 Jul 2009 13:13

Plasterers Arms, Hoylake

Good, traditional backstreet local, with a pleasant outdoor drinking area out the door and across the little side street. Looks like an old fishing inn outside and in - the main bar has a stone-flagged area round the bar and a carpeted area with tables. Lovely traditional, separate snug with small serving hatch. Lots of photos of the place over the years, old pictures of fishermen etc and of course being Hoylake, lots of the various lifeboats. Hard to find if you're passing through as it's in the warren of streets that's marketed as 'old Hoylake', between the main drag and the beach.

Real ale pub and only Hoylake pub in the current GBG. Bombardier and Spitting Feathers ever-present, Copper Dragon, Tim Taylors, Betwixt recent guests. Lots of real ale drunk here. But for those of a certain age, seeing keg Trophy is a blast from the past!

A very nice pub indeed, a genuine local where all the community drinks.

Oh, and it does food with the Sunday lunch being popular

Note: during Mon-Fri it doesn't open 'till 2.00pm (stays open 'till 12 midnight mind....)

3 Jul 2009 13:03

The Ferry , Thames Ditton

Shut. Didn't last long.

8 Oct 2008 13:17

Ye Olde Swan Inn, Thames Ditton

Errr, think Loch Fyne may now not have bought this, if the shiny flyer for the pub's Xmas menu popped through my letter box last night is anything to go by!

8 Oct 2008 13:16

Ye Olde Swan Inn, Thames Ditton

Think Loch Fyne have bought this. They're OK Loch Fyne, but bang goes another pub......

2 Oct 2008 10:07

Harts Boatyard, Surbiton

Just to add, the food as noted when it arrives is actually good, but oh dear me the service.

Blistering hot weekend just gone, soon as seated for a meal asked for a jug of iced tap water for the four of us (alcoholic drinks would be ordered once we'd had a look at the menu etc). 'Errm, we can only do jugs for groups of 6 or more', came the reply, as they are needed for 'the bar trade'. So they don't have enough jugs for what they want to be. Maybe buy a few? Can't cost more than a quid each.

So we're offered glasses of iced tap water - which arrives after 15mins, is a scratty half pint, after much chasing, because 'the bar is really busy'. Too busy to turn the cold tap on? I tell you now, if we'd asked for bottled water at god knows how much a bottle, it'd be delivered sharpish.....

I keep going despite all this, because it's the best place for a drink by the river for miles, and the food's actually very good. I just think they are operating right on the wire with the number of staff. The bar sometimes will have at least a 20min wait.

29 Jul 2008 15:33

The New Inn, Thames Ditton

Continues downhill. 'Gentleman's Evening' coming up soon - complete with comedian and well, strippers to be frank. Great. For God's sake, you have a lovely garden, you're a traditional pub, in a really smart area. 'Gentleman's Evening'? Get a grip

11 Jun 2008 15:47

The Albany, Thames Ditton

At the risk of coming across as a wine bore, Shiraz is a grape; Cote du Rhone is an area. And guess what? Shiraz is one of the most common grapes in the Cote du Rhone area. If you got a bottle from the producer Guigal say, then you would have a Cote du Rhone Shiraz.

So they are right in one sense.

Still doesn't make this pub (is it actually a pub?) a pleasant place.

30 May 2008 13:05

The Ferry , Thames Ditton

Has reopened as The Cornerhouse. Popped in the other week. Layout is exactly the same, but all the old carpets and whatnot have gone and it now all wood floors, cream wood tables, comfy sofas and the like. You get the drift. Think there were teething issues - one real ale - Youngs Ordinary - was off, the other - Pride - was insipid and warm, and was then taken off as I was mid-way through my pint. Barman was laid back shall we say. Number of flat screens in there, so it's going for the sports market I wager. I don't think I'll rush back

2 Jan 2008 14:04

The Red Lion, Thames Ditton

Popped in for the first time since it reopened over the weekend at a lunchtime. Not bad, but I'm not sure what it's trying to be. There are 3 large HD screens, which were showing a film(!), and the colour scheme and lighting is a bit odd - gave it a strange luminescent feel. Beer was pretty good, but not exactly an exciting range given that it says 'locally brewed ales' outside - usual Green King stuff plus Fullers but well kept and perfectly drinkable, as mentioned. Was hoping perhaps for some of the Twickenham beers or Pilgrim. I wish the folk well. mind.

31 Dec 2007 09:39

The New Inn, Thames Ditton

The previous landlord and landlady ran a good house. They got rid of the miscreants who had a tendency to come here by standing for no nonsence and banning them. The new landlords were warned about the 'problems' with the druggies shall we say, but don't seem to be doing anything. I don't go in here anymore, and that's a shame as it was really good in here 5/6 months back, and the 2/3 years previous - a proper local.

I give it 6 months and it'll be shut.

4 Dec 2007 15:38

The Griffin, Claygate

Cracking pub. Former Surrey CAMRA Pub of the Year (not long ago), so you know you're going to get a really good pint - had a cracking pint of Oakham's JHB in here once. Probably the 2nd best pint I've ever had. Room to the right has the tele for the sport, one to the left is a lounge type room straight out of the 60s/70s. Classic. Two rooms completely separate so you can sit, chat and sup in the lounge without being bothered by the sport. Check out the old brewery windows - these should be listed. With here, the Foley Arms and the very different Hare and Hounds, Claygate has got some decent pubs.

27 Apr 2007 13:46

The Canbury Arms, Kingston Upon Thames

Can I just say that I have a lot of sympathy with the review below. There is nothing wrong with this place - it has interesting beer, very interesting wines and really very good food. But it looks like so many other places these days that replace traditional boozers. The old Canbury certainly fell a little on hard times, but in the late 90s it was a beer drinker's heaven, making a point of sourcing really unusual brews from the micros - and generally the strong ones. It even each year had a cider festival - what about that! There aren't many places now where I can go and sit with my Guardian crossword, smoke my fags and sup proper beer in the absence of fishcakes, toddlers, and their 30-something parents.

This place caters to that demographic fine, and it's right there should be good places, like here, for folk to visit. But the way it's going we might as well write out of our social history the role of the English boozer.

26 Apr 2007 14:47

The George and Dragon, Thames Ditton

Popped in the other Friday night not having been in here for a long time. Packed with locals having a pint after a long week - the small of beer, fags and cigars. Great pint of MasterBrew meant I had three and wandered off home with the wife a happy chap. Plenty of seats but the regulars tend to stand and so you have to fight your way through them, but there's nothing wrong with standing anyway. It's also a rugby pub if the fact they had a macth between the Borders and the Ospreys on the tele, which is another plus point in my book. I'll go back more often now as any pub where the emphasis is on drinking and chat - with rugby in the background - is OK in my book.

25 Apr 2007 13:02

Marneys Village Inn, Weston Green

It would help if 'anonymous' below puts their name to the review so we can see where else they've reviewed and whether this outburst is the norm. I do not recognise this pub from that review one jot.

So, this place is an old-fashioned village inn (as it's name makes clear) with a small bar and side room, larger rectangular room to the left, seeting outside to the front and in a large garden at the rear side. It overlooks a village pond. Not that this interests me, but food is served and this has a Scandanavian slant - cured fish, frikadellen and the like. Three proper ales on tap (could do with more imagination here than Courage Best, Pride, and Spitfire); the usual lagers and wines. Gets rammed a lot in good weather, but service is OK so long as you understand the bar is tiny for such a large place, but then it is a 'village inn' and in times gone, would probably have had a small serving hatch there. Clientele is upmarket as you'd expect from the Esher/Thames Ditton hinterland, which can lead to 'look at my car/frock/jacket etc' displays on occasions, and now and again ostentatious braying from the chaps.

So, as I said I do not recognise the description below one jot, and have never had anything other than decent service and a decent pint.

25 Apr 2007 12:42

The Free Trade Inn, Byker

What a pub. Went for the first time last week on a visit to Newcastle. Looks like a dump outside, isn't much better inside. But so what? Cracking beer, amazing view down the Tyne at sunset. Great chat. And best of all, the sign above the bar, big letters: 'drink beer, smoke tabs'. Enjoy it while you can. Pubs like this were once 2-a-penny; now they are all gastro-ed up, and full of children. Brilliant boozer for doing what you should do in a pub - drinking beer; and what you soon won't be able to do - smoking tabs. Wish it was my local.

24 Apr 2007 13:36

Ye Olde Swan Inn, Thames Ditton

The hidden outdoor seating referred to below, is down some steps right on the river bank. I'd been there loads of times before I found this. This is quite a good pub actually and a notch above The Albany up the way which can be unpleasant at times - the Manager and the clientelle. Don't take your car though as you'll likely not be able to park. Jump on the 514/515, or walk, and have a few snifters, which will be served promptly by pleasant staff. Better in winter when it reeks of a real log fire.

24 Apr 2007 13:13

The New Inn, Thames Ditton

I love this place, me - well OK it is my local. But it is what a true 'public' house is all about. Everyone drinks in here: the chap on his own doing the cryptic crossword; the geezer reading his book; the women have a chat over a few wines; the couples after work; the philosophisers at the bar; the odd group of students and all the loud lads after their day at work spent painting, plumbing, sparking and roofing playing pool. Never any bother in here. Youngs beer generally OK - often tip-top; often another guest ale plus the usual lagers and wines. Oh, and it has a great 70s-style wood panelled bar and a decent garden. Thing is, it's hard to find - you'd never stumble across it. Well worth a detour for a relaxing snifter.

28 Jul 2005 14:02

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