Category Archives: Revisits

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.

Revisit: The Anchor

Original Post Here

Digbeth, Birmingham.

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.