Category Archives: Walsall

Pubs in Walsall

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.

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.

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.

Revisit: The Wheatsheaf

Original Post Here

Over 10 years on, it’s time for a repost.

I observed then that it had had a variable past; once part of the Firkin chain, and a succession of landlords, and then short periods of closure. It’s now open, lightly refurbed, and great. It’s still got character, the landlord is friendly (giving us paper towels after we got caught ina rainstorm on the walk up), and the beer is sublime, both in condition and choice. There’s a variety of ages, or at least there was when we visited late afternoon/early evening- I suspect the customer profile would get younger later.

Revisit: The Lamp Tavern

Original Post Here

We’d been to New Invention Brewery Taphouse nearby (which was great, but not a pub!), and mainly went here for the rather nice Indian restaurant which now occupies some of the back buildings.

Inside, it’s had some paint and flooring, but it has lost the Holdens ale, with only keg offerings, but the lager was fine (and went with the curry!) and the staff friendly. I’d have preferred quieter TVs, though….

Revisit 2: The Fountain

Previous post here.

Look, I’m probably going to upset people, including myself, here.

I don’t like The Fountain. Often don’t like The Fountain.

There’s so much to love. It’s traditional, it’s Victorian, and it’s a free house now, even if the excellent beers from my favourite brewery still form the base of the range. The beer is excellent, and there’s cobs. The music is OK and usually at a sane volume. The staff are all lovely, and there’s sometimes a pubcat.

So what’s wrong?

The customers.

Every time I visit, unless it’s a very quiet time, there’s one or more group of obnoxious customers. The middle-class closet rascist bar-blocking group, standing in the way all the time. The hipster types talking bollocks about the Spanish revolution, the hipster parents turning the place into a creche-cum-playground.

It ruins it. I think maybe there’s a bit of “victim of it’s own success” here.

The Old Engine

Darlaston (even if Google thinks Wednesbury):

This was near to our bus, and a friend had suggested we popped in. It’s uninspiring, to be honest, from the outside, looking mostly like a couple of houses knocked through and turned into a pub, but inside is pleasant- not pluch, but clean and tidy. No cask ale, but decent lager served by a friendly Asian barman, and…

The proper Desi pub food experience from an open kitchen at the back. I’d fancied a curry anyway, so to find one almost by accident was a bonus, and the food was great and bargain priced.

Friendly, multicultural locals- the majority white, as it happened, but a significant amount of Asian customers (including the barman when his shift ended). A sign saying “You are respectfully requested not to discuss religion or politics on the premises” didn’t seem to halt conversation. Football was on the TVs, but no-one was shouting and the sound was low enough to hear over.

The Jigger’s Whistle

Brownhills:

Just within sight of Morris Miner and named after his official name, this is a new micropub (it opened a week ago) in a old photography shop on Brownhills High St.

Brownhills does have good pubs, but the only ones right near the centre are the Shoulder of Mutton or Smithy’s Forge. I quite like the Shoulder, but there’s no ale there, and the nearby Smithy’s Forge is a fairly dreadful family feedbag, so the best chance of a decent pint of ale has either been Backyard’s taproom or The Swan. The taproom has limited hours, and the Swan, while excellent, is a walk out of town, so a the new micro is very welcome, being very close to the bus.

Inside, it’s typical micropub, but a bit larger than some. Unsurprisingly there’s Backyard beer on, and I think I overheard the landlord say he’s intending to keep one on permanently. That and the HPA were in excellent condition. There’s music, but it’s bearable and not loud, rather like The Turtle’s Head. No food beyond snacks and cobs.

All in all, very pleasant. I’d held off visiting last week as I thought it might be rammed, and it was just pleasantly busy (but filling up) as I left.