All posts by stymaster

Revisits: The Watering Trough

Revisit of a revisit of a revisit.

I’d been really, really concerned about The Trough. Back, 30 years ago, it was a haven in Walsall: the one rock pub; safe; comfortable, decent music.

Over the years it’s been a bit variable, but overall it’s remained a rock pub.

So the announcement in local press that it was going to be a fun pub with a Peaky Blinders theme filled me with dread.

As it was? Well, there’s a few “Garrison Public House” signs, a few fake B9 signs, and a shitload of Peaky Blinders pictures that could be really awful.

But…

It’s still the same pub. Rock music, the same layout, really friendly staff. No ale now, but decent lager. Happily, it’s still a nice place to go. The architecture of the pub actually fits with the times of the TV series, and happily, you could take all the tat out in five minutes.

The Royal Oak

Wolverhampton:

Outside, it’s very Victorian. Inside, pleasant enough, but it’s had a pubco makeover sometime in the not too distant past. That’s not ruined it, but it’s a bit formulaic, but the beer was fine, the staff were nice, and there was nice outside space. It seems to be a nice community pub, just a short way out of town.

The Chindit Inn

Wolverhampton:

The pub’s page on Whatpub reckons this was built in 1958, which I strongly suspect is bollocks. The pub’s own site reckons it became a pub in 1958, being previously an off-licence, and it looks Victorian to me.

Whatever, it is a wonderful place. Multi-roomed, traditional in feel, great real ale, a friendly landlord, outside space, and cobs behind the bar.

Only minus point? Nappy changing, with running commentary, in the lounge. hopefully, that’s not a regular thing.

Pint Shop

Birmingham City Centre:

Right next door to The Wellington, it’s a bit of a different thing, so they’ll probably co-exist quite happily.

This place is definitely towards the hipster craft beer end of the market, (faux-industrial light fittings, scaffold poles, a la Brewhouse and Kitchen) but it’s still a pretty Ok place to drink, or at least, it was on a Thursday afternoon- I think had it been a busier time I’d have liked it less. Great choice of beer, nice staff, outside space. Only real disadvantage is the (vertical) distance to the toilets, though there is an accessible one on the ground floor.

Pub du Vin

Birmingham City Centre:

Located within/below Hotel du Vin in what was previously the hotel’s cellar bar.

Felt odd, this one. Trying to appeal to an upmarket audience, but noticeably a bit tatty, though it looked like a refurb of some sort may be imminent. As it’s the cellar bar it’s slightly below street level, and quite dark, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Staff weere nice, beer and prices pretty good for here. Very quiet even for a Thursday though.

Revisit: Flan O’Briens (The Borough Arms)

Original post here

Still fabulous outside, still a bit disappointing inside.

It’s under new managment, after a short closure, but it’s been open for a while, so it was a bit disappointing to be presented with the choice of Carling, Fosters, or Coors as draught beers, and nothing else, so I opted for terribly expensive and not-quite-cold-enough Morretti in bottles.

To be fair, it was friendly enough, and tidy inside, though Karaoke was being set up. As noted previosuly, this could be a stunning pub- it is magnificent outside- but once again, it’s a little bit disappointing: with better beer choice and no disco/karaoke it could be wonderful.

Bitter-Suite

Lichfield:

A micropub that almost isn’t! It’s larger than some non-micro pubs, with 2 rooms and proper toilets, and outside space. What did make it feel like a micro was the welcome, the absence of noisy, awful music, the conversation, the shelf of Good Beer Guides, and the excellent beer.

This was a micro that was like pubs were and should be like; a comfortable, welcoming place with great beer, great staff, and social interaction if you wanted it. Very close to the bus station and Lichfield City rail station too.

Revisit: The King’s Head

Lichfield.

Original Post Here

It’s almost 10 years since my original post, which I think suffered from a snapshot effect of the time we visited; a revisit on a Saturday lunchtime saw us sat outside, and the place had a relaxed, pleasant vibe. The bar itslef isn’t that large, but there’s a conservatory, a roofed outside area, and a completely outside area. Pleasant staff, OK food, great pint of Pedigree.

Revisit: The Boatman’s Rest

Previous Revisit Here

Original Post Here

The landlord from the first revisit is still there, but there’s a subtle change: the pub seems to be going Desi.

The kitchen is refurbed, the lager is Cobra, and there’s a fairly typical indian barbecue menu on, which, to be fair, is excellent. The terrible stereo is still present in the bar, and there’s no ale, but the Cobra was fine and the food great, though it remains to be seen if Walsall Wood High St can sustain 3 establishments serving Indian food, even with me living nearby.