All posts by stymaster

The Ring o’Bells


This could have been a cracker. Traditional decor, a backstreet drinker’s pub, but it all went a bit wrong. No ale of any description, and no lager you’d actually want to drink, so I plumped for Guiness, which proved to be a can poured and put on one of those ultrasonic surger devices, and the others whatever dreadful keg bitter was about. The pub was busy, but the combination of loud music, shouting and a good proportion of wandering kids meant it wasn’t very pleasant. Pity.

The Prince of Wales


Odd pub this. It looked closed at first, with one entrance locked and the other shut but unlocked, and the light inside was the only clue. Once inside, the landlord was very friendly, and the pub itself pleasant, but looking like it was in need of a refurb. There was ale on, but the landlaord agreed with us it was on the turn, so we settled for Pedigree from keg, which I’ve not seen before, but was OK (rather than the deep joy that a good pint of cask Pedigree provides). As Andy points out, this could be a great pub, with a bit of a tidy and a few more cask ales, but as it is it’s pleasant enough.

The Crown


A pub I’d been meaning to go in for years. Inside was a bit loud, and no ale or decent lager on offer, but the keg Banks’s was OK, and staff and locals friendly- but it has to be said the outside seating improved things greatly so we could actually talk. Nothing special, but an OK place.

The Royal George


Been in here a few times in the past: its proximity to the 529 bus stop means that the need of a slash and/or drink halfway between Wolverhampton & Walsall essentially makes it the best place. In the past it has been….vibrant, with questionable beer choice. The beer choice has definitely been fixed, with ale available and in decent condition, and the pub has had a refurb since, and the atmosphere now is pleasant, but lively- though to be honest, most of our mini-crawl around Willenhall was lively.

Revisit: The Bell

Original post here.

Our original final pub was to be Tinky’s, it being both sublime and next to the bus stops we needed, and still hadn’t been visited as one of #100pubs, but it had adopted its traditional, unpredictable opening schedule, so we went off to The Bell, giving up the quest for the day.

It’s very nice. It’s just been refurbished, with new landlord/landlady, and they haven’t wrecked it. There’s fresh paint, some new outdoor fittings, new handpumps, and new staff, but the basic fabric of this excellent pub remains. Andy’s mild was a bit duff, but replaced without question, and my Sunbeam was excellent, and the place was deservedly popular.

The Spotted Cow

Bloxwich, just up the road from Tinky’s.

I’ve been past The Spotted Cow many times, generally on the way to Tinky’s, but this time we went in, needing to raise the #100pubs count a little.

Owing to the dire selection of beer, we had to resort to Budweiser, and fortunately we found a quiet corner in the place, which was inexplicably crowded. Not exactly awful, but loud, crowded, and with nothing to really wow the place. It could be lovely, though.

Brewers Fayre (Walsall)


This is a purpose-built Brewers Fayre at the bottom of a Premier Inn, on the edge of the town centre by Town Wharf, and hence right next to The Wharf.

It’s exactly what you’d expect in many ways: bland, lacking in soul, currently-fashionable pubco decor, but for what it is, it is OK. The food was perfectly OK (but, as a note to the world in general, burgers should come on baps, not Ciabatta), there was decent real ale and wine, and the outside seating by the wharfside is pleasant on a sunny day. Staff were pleasant, and the whole place was clean. If you were considering a stop in Walsall, the hotel seems good enough, and the location’s good for the station, shopping, town centre pubs/restaurants, and art gallery.

For some reason, its own website lists it as being near Selly Manor, which is both a bit random, and untrue, as Selly Manor is someway south of Birmingham, so if you were visiting there, there’s many, many hotels closer. Presumably someone at Whitbread HQ searched for historic buildings nearby and randomly picked it.