The Waterloo Inn

Bangor, North Wales:

We’d set off into town in search of lunch and a few drinks. Either our pub mojo was playing up, we gave up too soon due to hunger, or Bangor’s city centre has no decent pubs (unless you’re after lager, cheap). We’d walked past The Skerries, and the closed White Lion, and dropped in here in the hope of food and a decent drink. Thankfully there was no food. There was no cask ale either, and my Kronenbourg wasn’t pleasant, as wasn’t the pitch-black interior (pubs should be atmospheric, but this was darker than a Goth’s wardrobe), or the sticky tables and floor. We left, and had a sausage roll in the High St, returning to The Boatyard.

The Boatyard Inn

Garth, Bangor, North Wales:

Just around the corner. This was in many ways lovely: the staff were great, the beer great, the food great: but this had just gone a bit too far towards restaurant to be great; in fact, I considered not allowing it into PubBlog, but it redeened itself the next day with a great beer garden (and the surrounding competition, apart from the Tap & Spile being awful).

The Tap & Spile

Garth, Bangor, North Wales:

Overlooking the pier, and next to our hotel, this was the obvious place for lunch, and we weren’t disappointed: decent beer, great food, and a friendly barman made this the best pub of our trip, and potentially the best in Bangor, given the competition we saw. Traditional pub inside and out, food available but not subtracting from the pub.

The Queens Head

Wednesbury:

Close to all the delights of the border between Walsall and Wednesbury: M6 Junction 9, Ikea, a surplus of nice old houses that have become care homes.

That’s sounding quite negative. In actual fact, where the pub is situated is a surprisingly quiet resdential street that wraps around Brunswick Park, with a mix of old and new housing. We sat outside, next to the street, in the sun, and it was nice. I’d not been here before, and my better half hadn’t been here since college days over 20 years ago, when Sandwell College was just the other side of the A461. The pub itself is a traditional one, almost certainly Victorian given the name and the history of the park. It’s had a fairly typical makeover, but it hasn’t removed the character (and it looks fresh and tidy), and while food is a big part of the business, that hasn’t destroyed that this is a pub.

Very friendly staff, decent beer, good food.

The Crystal Fountain

Cannock:

Been meaning to come here for a while: it’s a big, 1937 pub in a minor road close to Cannock town centre, and the interior is on CAMRA’s inventory with good reason: it was carefully restored in 2012 by Black Country Inns, and the inside is now tidy, smart, but still authentic to the age. Really friendly landlord, great beer, lovely beer garden, and a Arriva 2 Sapphire stops outside the door…

Offshore

Torquay:

Was unsure about including this, as it calls itself a bar/cafe/restaurant, but stood at the bar it felt pubish, more so than some places claiming to be pubs. It’s food-centric, but there was ale, and the outside space is lovely. Staff friendly enough considering the tourist overload.

In Ur Pubz, Drinkin Ur Beerz