La-di-dah Sutton Coldfield:
I don’t like Sutton, or as Google Maps and pretentious twats seem to call it “The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield”. This is the place where residents have been known to paint out the Birmingham coat of arms on street names, declaring the aforementioned Royal status as justification. The place in the Midlands with the highest concentration of new Range Rovers outside Solihull.
If I stop ranting for a moment, there’s stuff to like about Sutton. There’s leafy suburbs (if you’re rich), it’s on the cross-city line. Sutton Park is lovely, there’s some very nice buildings, and there’s decent enough pubs, if you like your pubs in general a little bit too plush and food orientated for me. Shops were OK last time I looked (twenty years ago!), and there are independent restaurants.
The Boot is still very much enough of a pub to be pleasant. It’s clean, tidy, and recently refurbed inside, and big. There’s a strong push for food- it’s taken to callinmg itself The Boot Inn and Kitchen, like other pubs with gastropub pretentions. The food is actually a standard Punch Taverns menu, but looked OK.
I was actually only there to use their (pay and display) car park instead of suffering the inevitable disappointment at Good Hope Hospital, but I was running early so dropped in (for orange juice). Friendly staff, pleasant interior, and no arseholes (in Sutton!), so I wonder if I can engineer a visit without a car?
Part of the Sizzling Pubs brand of M&B. This is a big, between-the-wars “improved public house” typical of Birmingham suburbs, replacing an earlier building. It’s still fulfilling the role of appealing to families, with an outdoor play area (out of action due to flooding), and typical feedbag menu. Like others (say the nearby Tennis Court), it’s huge inside.
No ale (“it doesn’t sell”), but OK lager and wine. Decent outdoor space.
Not to be confused with The Old Moseley Arms.
A hotel, really, but the bar feels pubby. Friendly staff, big, opened-out bar area, cheapish food. No ale, but decent lager and wine, probably not a bad place to stay given the price: city centre walkable in around 15 min. TVs playing sport, but not too loud. Quite an old place originally, but no historic features inside, and big modern extension outside.
Lovely, traditional Birmingham pub. Multi-roomed, so the entertainment at times need not disturb people after a quiet pint. Lovely friendly staff, great beer (Fixed Wheel No Brakes when we visited), good bar snacks, and a nice vibe. Benches out front with a (urban!) view to the city. About the only problem is the limited hours in the week (no lunchtime opening Mon-fri).
Original Post Here
The Anchor has long been one of the go-to pubs in Brum: it’s a typical, magnificent terracotta James & Lister Lea Birmingham pub: traditional, with great beer.
That’s mostly still true. The beer’s great, the staff are friendly, but the creeping gentrification of Digbeth has put a bit of a shine on it (when I preferred it without). There’s some middle-class-green paintwork that looks a bit out of place, and some “quirky” decoration that has the faint whiff of hipster. It’s still a great pub overall though: great staff and beer, OK music, nice outside space. No food now, though.
Birmingham City Centre:
We dropped in here on the way from Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum. Pleasant enough; limited cask but some good keg craft-ish beer, and as we were there before work-kicking-out time, only a few students present (all paying individually, with debit cards or Apple pay). The barman was in good humour despite this, beer and wine fine, not too bad a place to sit, but it rapidly gets busy post work and evening, with it’s location, though it was positively empty compared to the OCs.
Birmingham City Centre:
“Utopia the Country Bar in the City”
I wasn’t seeing what was “country bar” about this at all, and it was a bit questionable about “pub”, but it scraped in.
It was quite nice, to be honest. We dropped in here in desperation as we needed lunch and had mistimed our arrival in the city with everyone else’s lunchtime, and here had space. As it was, the staff were great, be beer OK, and the wine good, and our lunch was very good and surprisingly cheap for the “business district”, and while it wasn’t remotely country, it was comfortable enough.
My better half hadn’t been that enthusiastic about this, imaginiing it was in Moseley itself. Now, there’s at least one fine pub in Moseley, but the place itself is a bit posh brummie, a bit up itself.
Having reassured her, off we went. A slight hiccup finding the bus stop, but then a short ride and 5 minutes walk to a fine, fine traditional pub with great beer, a lovely landlady, decent music, and samosas. Inside is traditional, with open (gas) fires. A office Christmas party was in place in the back half of the room, but we could still hear each other and have enough space. A superb pub.
Big thirties roadhouse-style pub at the side of the A34 in Perry Barr. We dropped in because my better half thought she’d been curious about it for a long tome, but that turned out to be The Towers nearby- both are large, 1930s roadside pubs, and quite near to each other.
Anyway, as we’d already passed The Towers, on the other side of the A34, we got of the 51 and went in. Very friendly barman, cask ale (Greene King Old Golden Hen, but pretty good regardless), and very keen prices. Inside, the place is as big as the sizeable frontage would suggest, and currently in one of the standard pubco eatery themes, and the landlord told me it’s having a refurb soon (with more handpumps). There were a few customers too, which is a good sign on a grey Thursday very early afternoon. Overall a nice pub and worth dropping in to.
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.