The Island Inn

West Bromwich:

Whatpub Link

Another Desi pub. Modern building, right on a busy junction of major roads in West Brom. No cask ale, but decent lager. Friendly staff. Impressive-looking menu (but a bit pricier than others). There’s 2 rooms; a big, open bar with multiple TVs showing sport (but the volume was down when we visited), and a separate restaurant room. Again, a laid back, early-doors atmosphere, with people dropping on after work.

The Ivy Bush

Smethwick:

Whatpub Link

Corner pub that extends along Malin St some way; it’s a long, thin building. Nice, old fashioned-layout- bar at the front, multiple lounges stretching back, and toilets that were obviously once outside, but now roofed over.

Another visit on our Desi pub tour, but no food evident when we visited (about 4pm), but very much the proper pub atmosphere- tradesmen dropping in for a pint after work. Friendly landlord. No cask ale, but handpumps on the bar, and at least decent lager.

The Red Cow

Smethwick:

Pub Website
Whatpub Link

Continuing our Desi pub tour, this was one of the more outlying ones, so a day off seemed like a good way to tackle it.

Outside, like some of the other Desi pubs, it’s a huge, inter-war pub, and it’s right on Smethwick High St, with bus stops nearby. Easily spotted by the huge Red Cow statue outside!

Inside is similarly large, and multi roomed- it’s opened out a little, but not completely. Decor is quite basic, but clean. There’s a couple of pool tables, and plenty of seating. Generally, it’s the standard recipe of TVs for sport, really good Indian food (bargain priced), and keg beer (including Cobra, but it was out, so I got Stella). Pleasant staff and customers.

Revisit 2: The Fountain

Previous post here.

Look, I’m probably going to upset people, including myself, here.

I don’t like The Fountain. Often don’t like The Fountain.

There’s so much to love. It’s traditional, it’s Victorian, and it’s a free house now, even if the excellent beers from my favourite brewery still form the base of the range. The beer is excellent, and there’s cobs. The music is OK and usually at a sane volume. The staff are all lovely, and there’s sometimes a pubcat.

So what’s wrong?

The customers.

Every time I visit, unless it’s a very quiet time, there’s one or more group of obnoxious customers. The middle-class closet rascist bar-blocking group, standing in the way all the time. The hipster types talking bollocks about the Spanish revolution, the hipster parents turning the place into a creche-cum-playground.

It ruins it. I think maybe there’s a bit of “victim of it’s own success” here.

The Toad

Colwyn Bay:

At the Rhos-on-Sea end of Colwyn Bay’s prom, a slow amble brought us here. It’s a bit of a gastropub, definitely not a drinkers one. Access was a bit tricky for a family member with us in a wheelchair, but staff were accommodating and helpful. We were only drinking, and prices were a bit on the high side, but it’s a very attractive-looking pub- traditional inside and out. There was ale, but I didn’t try it, but it had every chance of being good, judging by the staff.

In Ur Pubz, Drinkin Ur Beerz