The Stackhouse Bar


I often hate “quirky”. Too often it’s an excuse for corporate design fuckwits to do wankery such as this. Here, however, in a small, independent bar it works well, and it’s comfortable. It’s a converted shop unit, with a mix of reclaimed furniture and “stuff”. No food beyond pork pies, no gaming machines or TVs, OK music at a sensible volume, and great wine and beer- both cask ale and craft keg (including Goose Island IPA, tempting me away from the cask) and very pleasant staff and locals. A great place, withe the only complaint being “Dogs Welcome, no cats”, which is just wrong.

The Alexandra


An odd one this, but only in the way of the physical building: it once looked like this, but if you look at streetview (click on the map above) now, the ptched roof and 2nd floor was removed (if rumour is to be believed, for taxation reasons in the 1950s or 60s).

What we’re left with is a truncated building with some nice old features inside, and a proper, traditional local’s pub. Only two cask ales, but one is Tetley’s on cask, which is sublime compared to keg. Friendly staff, decent beer and wine, and very near to our holiday let, which was nice. TVs were on, but you could hear over them, and the locals were friendly too.

The Marine Hotel


Mixed impressions here: we visited several times, with different feelings. Trying to sum it up, on the positive side there’s decent enough food, a great location on the seafront, and real ale and decent wine, and the pub is pretty big with different areas, and the staff were pleasant. on the negative side, it’s Greene King, so with GK beer (so I drank Peroni) and the “middle-class green” paintbrush has been out; there’s *awful* piped music- dreadful modern covers of not-that-old pop. It’s a family pub, too [shudder].

Could have been much worse.

Toby Carvery Willerby

Willerby, near Beverly:

There was a slight question on including this: it’s a family feedbad carvery restaurant attached to a chain hotel next to a petrol station on the edges of a town, so not very promising sounding. We stopped as it was about lunchtime and we were running early.

In the event, for a family feedbag, it was nice. The large, noisy carvery area was one side of the pub, and there was a seperate area that still felt like a pub, to a degree that it merits inclusion. Staff were pleasant, beer choice good (can’t comment on quality as driving) and the food good too.

Bacchus Bar

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.

Purecraft Bar & Kitchen

Birmingham City Centre:

In one way I was tempted to not include this for not being pubby enough, but I couldn’t resist just to lay into it.

I’d been curious for some time. Purity’s beer is great.

The bar is less so. It’s that 90s-reborn exposed cable-tray semi-industrial look that is currently fashionable for some reason (like Brewdog), that just makes it look like you couldn’t afford to finish the job properly.

On top of that, there’s the marketing type idea of quirky: Wine glasses without stems, bike saddles for coathooks, posing tables (and the posers to go with them), “amusing” signs for the toilets. Oh, and 2 quid for a bag of scratchings on a menu without pound signs or figures after the decimal point. Oh, and furthermore, that current fad for re-recording songs of the 80s or 90s with acoustic instruments as a soundtrack. In short, apart from the great beer, pretty dreadful.

The Royal Station Hotel


Large Victorian hotel near the station. Slightly reduced in size with some bits rented out, and a bit faded grandeur (but evidently under refurbishment). The bar was pub-like, and pleasant enough, full of locals on a Friday evening, we came for a drink, then returned for food as the nearby Chinese restaurant was shut. Food and beer both fine, though only 1 ale available, but decent lager as well. Could be absolutely magnificent with investment, and the current people seem to be doing a good job.

In Ur Pubz, Drinkin Ur Beerz