The Crown

Codsall:

Over the road to here. Outside looks a little tatty- nothing too bad, but peeling paint- and inside we’re confronted by a GK beer selection, and one of the standard family feedbag menus.

I chose Golden Hen, which was wise, as my companions chose GK IPA, which is never the most inspiring beer, but especially if (as in this case) it has a whiff of vinegar- but to be fair, it was changed by the barman.

Not an awful pub, but not wonderful either, nothing actually wrong, but I wouldn’t rush back.

The Bull

Codsall:

A short walk into the village from the station (and The Station).

Surprisingly large, and while this did have a bit of Codsall’s affluence about it, it wasn’t up itself. Pleasant enough, nice staff, good beer. Only minus point was TVs- but hey were muted: so this would be the one pub in Codsall I’d choose to return to.

The Station

Codsall:

The good people of Codsall won’t thank me for this, but screw em.

The Station could be lovely. It was however, just good.

The beer was fine, the outside magnificent, the staff friendly. It was, in this case, the clientele. Just a bit too middle-class. Token white-bloke-with-dreadlocks (sure sign of privilege), slightly-posh parensts with kids.

Some will love it. Inside, it’s railway-themed- but as it is the actual station buildings, that’s allowed, but The Great Western back down in Wolverhampton carries it off so much better, and less plastically. To be fair, there was little to complain about- food looked good, beer was fine- but it just didn’t gel for me. Maybe it was just the dreadlocks.

The Tap and Tanner

Walsall:

We were at the beer festival at the town hall, and this was the nearest place to watch the Grand national. It’s typical town centre pub with a sports bias- loud, crowded, but it served the purpose- I’d usually avoid it. Service with a scowl too- the young lady serving me was verging on hostile, but I’d guess a day of serving beer to hordes of pissed-up people might do that (along with being asked to top mine up…). Beer was decent and cheap though.

The Glassworks

Cardiff:

Busy Greene King pub in the entertainment area, it’s a kind of posher attempt at ‘spoons, with a typical slightly posher pubfood menu, and a good beer selection (including the wonderful Goose Island IPA as a welcome alternative to GK’s own). Staff friendly, but it was a little soulless, I felt: bright lights, stripped floor, modern furniture, but one colleague loved it.

The Packet Hotel

Cardiff Bay:

Pleasant traditional pub: a lot of the surrounding area is modern, and a little plastic, but The Packet is a delightful, well, packet of traditional pub in it’s midst. It was rammed when we visited with some of my colleagues, late on Good Friday afternoon, and hence noisy, but a prior visit by stymistress saw it quiet and refined. Staff and beer were both fine, the building lovely.

The Golden Cross

Cardiff:

We’d seen this near our hotel, and dropped in. Not that it matters, or we noticed, this is apparently a gay pub. Outside is a lovely listed building, the inside decor is a bit of an 80s disaster, and there was terrible pop at high volumes in one area, which spilled through to the bar. No ale, but decent lager, and the staff were friendly enough and the prices OK..

The Vine Tavern

Norwich:

Tiny pub/restaurant in a pedestrianised street: downstairs feels like a pub with food tables, upstairs more restauranty: whatever; the food and beer is sublime, up to that at The Bartons Arms, maybe even slightly better. Nothing like as opulent, but clean, pleasant, and nice staff too. In some ways it owuld be easy to say “not a pub”, but there’s a proper bar, barstools, and it’s in the good beer guide– we were lead here by a local CAMRA guide.

The Lamb Inn

Norwich:

The most interesting thing here was the tiled/painted alley off the street leading to it: the pub itself was pleasant, but a by-the-numbers modern, slightly upmarket food pub with la-di-dah pretensions. I’m not being very fair her: it was nice enough, comfortable, the beer was fine, and the staff pleasant, it’s just this type of place bores me a little. There’s a nice courtyard for if the weather’s good, too.