Mixed impressions here: we visited several times, with different feelings. Trying to sum it up, on the positive side there’s decent enough food, a great location on the seafront, and real ale and decent wine, and the pub is pretty big with different areas, and the staff were pleasant. on the negative side, it’s Greene King, so with GK beer (so I drank Peroni) and the “middle-class green” paintbrush has been out; there’s *awful* piped music- dreadful modern covers of not-that-old pop. It’s a family pub, too [shudder].
Could have been much worse.
Willerby, near Beverly:
There was a slight question on including this: it’s a family feedbad carvery restaurant attached to a chain hotel next to a petrol station on the edges of a town, so not very promising sounding. We stopped as it was about lunchtime and we were running early.
In the event, for a family feedbag, it was nice. The large, noisy carvery area was one side of the pub, and there was a seperate area that still felt like a pub, to a degree that it merits inclusion. Staff were pleasant, beer choice good (can’t comment on quality as driving) and the food good too.
Birmingham City Centre:
In Burlington Arcade, right next to the Burlington Hotel. This made a nice contrast to Purecraft. It’s a little bit themed, but as the theme is Bacchus himself, I think we can excuse it, and generally it’s a pleasant, comfortable place, which we luckily caught just before it got really busy on a Friday evening. Not cheap though; a large wine and a pint was over a tenner.
Birmingham City Centre:
In one way I was tempted to not include this for not being pubby enough, but I couldn’t resist just to lay into it.
I’d been curious for some time. Purity’s beer is great.
The bar is less so. It’s that 90s-reborn exposed cable-tray semi-industrial look that is currently fashionable for some reason (like Brewdog), that just makes it look like you couldn’t afford to finish the job properly.
On top of that, there’s the marketing type idea of quirky: Wine glasses without stems, bike saddles for coathooks, posing tables (and the posers to go with them), “amusing” signs for the toilets. Oh, and 2 quid for a bag of scratchings on a menu without pound signs or figures after the decimal point. Oh, and furthermore, that current fad for re-recording songs of the 80s or 90s with acoustic instruments as a soundtrack. In short, apart from the great beer, pretty dreadful.
Small traditional backstreet locals pub we came across while looking for somewhere to eat. Friendly enough, but a strong smell of dog. The beer was OK though, and we sat in the sun outside.
Large Victorian hotel near the station. Slightly reduced in size with some bits rented out, and a bit faded grandeur (but evidently under refurbishment). The bar was pub-like, and pleasant enough, full of locals on a Friday evening, we came for a drink, then returned for food as the nearby Chinese restaurant was shut. Food and beer both fine, though only 1 ale available, but decent lager as well. Could be absolutely magnificent with investment, and the current people seem to be doing a good job.
This didn’t give a good impression from one side- looking a bit tatty as we walked through town, but later, approaching from the prom it looked better, and in the event was pretty good, with friendly staff, great beer, and decent sandwiches. The place isn’t plush or fancy, but not tatty either, inside.
Just up the road from Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, another Thwaites pub. Traditional-tending-to-modern-gastropub inside, and outside with clever glass screens to shelter you from the wind but not block the view, and heaters, making the outside space very pleasant. Great beer, food looked good (though we didn’t try it), friendly staff.
We wanted a few days away, so we stopped here: it’s a pub with rooms, not a hotel- but it’s both a comfortable place to stay, and a nice pub. Friendly landlord and staff, excellent Thwaites beer, wine, and food, and a great location just minutes from the station and with stunning views over the bay. Our room was pretty good too.
The pub was featured on Four in a Bed a few years ago.
I’d misremembered a friend who’d reccomended the nearby Uxbridge Arms and actually said The Junction was a bit, well, vibrant.
Anyway, The Junction was where we went. Very pleasant it was too- no sign of any trouble, decent beer, somewhere to sit, an old doggie relaxing nearby, and reasonable music you could hear but talk over. Staff and locals pretty decent too. We’ll save The Uxbridge for next time….
 A colleague that lives in Burntwood also rates THe Junction. Perhaps it has improved of late?