All posts by stymaster

The Swan Inn

Fradley Junction, Fradley, near Lichfield:

I’d not been to The Swan for years, mostly because it’s not easy to get to for me- it’s way off public transport, and not the easiest to find without a map. However, I was being chauffeured, as I was unable to walk far or drive, and a family member took pity and got me out of the house for a change.

The Swan Inn is lovely. Very traditional, and by the canalside it has a great location to sit outside and watch the boats pass. The beer was great, and the staff helpful and friendly. About the only disadvantage is that it gets very, very busy at popular times, especially in the summertime.

The Crown

Codsall:

Over the road to here. Outside looks a little tatty- nothing too bad, but peeling paint- and inside we’re confronted by a GK beer selection, and one of the standard family feedbag menus.

I chose Golden Hen, which was wise, as my companions chose GK IPA, which is never the most inspiring beer, but especially if (as in this case) it has a whiff of vinegar- but to be fair, it was changed by the barman.

Not an awful pub, but not wonderful either, nothing actually wrong, but I wouldn’t rush back.

The Bull

Codsall:

A short walk into the village from the station (and The Station).

Surprisingly large, and while this did have a bit of Codsall’s affluence about it, it wasn’t up itself. Pleasant enough, nice staff, good beer. Only minus point was TVs- but hey were muted: so this would be the one pub in Codsall I’d choose to return to.

The Station

Codsall:

The good people of Codsall won’t thank me for this, but screw em.

The Station could be lovely. It was however, just good.

The beer was fine, the outside magnificent, the staff friendly. It was, in this case, the clientele. Just a bit too middle-class. Token white-bloke-with-dreadlocks (sure sign of privilege), slightly-posh parensts with kids.

Some will love it. Inside, it’s railway-themed- but as it is the actual station buildings, that’s allowed, but The Great Western back down in Wolverhampton carries it off so much better, and less plastically. To be fair, there was little to complain about- food looked good, beer was fine- but it just didn’t gel for me. Maybe it was just the dreadlocks.

The Tap and Tanner

Walsall:

We were at the beer festival at the town hall, and this was the nearest place to watch the Grand national. It’s typical town centre pub with a sports bias- loud, crowded, but it served the purpose- I’d usually avoid it. Service with a scowl too- the young lady serving me was verging on hostile, but I’d guess a day of serving beer to hordes of pissed-up people might do that (along with being asked to top mine up…). Beer was decent and cheap though.

The St Fagans Castle Hotel

Penarth:

An afternoon’s break from my work in Cardiff, we’d popped to Penarth to see the pier, then after a quick drink outside the Glandale Hotel (not quite pubby enough for inclusion here), we walked into town, and this was the first pub we passed.

It wasn’t bad. Not plush, but the locals were friendly, and the beer was fine. There was ale, and the wine was OK too.

The Glassworks

Cardiff:

Busy Greene King pub in the entertainment area, it’s a kind of posher attempt at ‘spoons, with a typical slightly posher pubfood menu, and a good beer selection (including the wonderful Goose Island IPA as a welcome alternative to GK’s own). Staff friendly, but it was a little soulless, I felt: bright lights, stripped floor, modern furniture, but one colleague loved it.

The Packet Hotel

Cardiff Bay:

Pleasant traditional pub: a lot of the surrounding area is modern, and a little plastic, but The Packet is a delightful, well, packet of traditional pub in it’s midst. It was rammed when we visited with some of my colleagues, late on Good Friday afternoon, and hence noisy, but a prior visit by stymistress saw it quiet and refined. Staff and beer were both fine, the building lovely.

The Golden Cross

Cardiff:

We’d seen this near our hotel, and dropped in. Not that it matters, or we noticed, this is apparently a gay pub. Outside is a lovely listed building, the inside decor is a bit of an 80s disaster, and there was terrible pop at high volumes in one area, which spilled through to the bar. No ale, but decent lager, and the staff were friendly enough and the prices OK..