The Stag Hotel

Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway:

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Actually a hotel, but the bar felt pub-like, and the distincton blurs north of the border. Deuchar’s IPA on a hand pull, and a reasonable beer garden in the sunshine made this a nice place to be at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, rather than at work. Friendly staff and locals, decent beer. There was food available in the adjoining restaurant, but we visited too early for that.

Revisits: The Royal Exchange

Original post here.

A while ago, the pub had a half-hearted makeover that made it worse: it felt even more like a clubhouse. I’m glad to say that’s been fixed: the pub looks smart and feels modern and welcoming, and there’s new outside furniture too. It’s also gained real ale, which is very welcome, and food.

…which is where I was disappointed.

At time of writing, the website says food is served 12:00-20:00, and I’m told if you view on an iPad, it says light bites available up to 14:30. The sign outside says “food every day”.

Either way, having settled down with an (to be fair, excellent) pint, it was dissapointing to be told the kitchen had closed when I tried to order food at 14:01, so we drank up and went back down to the bustling centre of Walsall Wood and the Boatman’s Rest. Shame really, we’d have been set up for the afternoon…

The Claremont Vaults


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We had a walk up the seafont, and it started pissing down, and this pub came into sight.

Decent beer (ale, but can’t remember what). Decor bit odd: quite dated, but in fairly decent order, and a great view out to sea. Seemed to be highly geared up for food, but we were welcomed for just a drink, and their website (which didn’t appear when I googled) lists entertainment. Not the plushest place I’ve been, but clean and a pleasant place to sit for a while.

The Cabot Court Hotel


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A ‘spoons, so you konow the drill. Cheap food and beer (though food was notably a little inflated above the nearby Dragon Inn, and noticeably inflated over The Avion. Still reasonable though.

This is an actual hotel you can stay in, but the pub still feels like a typical Wetherspoon, but a fairly good one. Beer was decent, as was the food and service, and despite the price hike for the seaside, good value.

Captain Jack’s Bar


On the pier

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A tough one this, but it just about felt publike enough.

No real ale, but decent lager (Kronenbourg) and cider (Thatchers), so they were forgiven. Inside, outside, and semi-outside (sheltered with a cracking view) space. Friendly barman, prices OK, plus it’s a bar on a pier, which is always a good point. Music was present, but tolerable and not over-loud.

The Church


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I’m not often in church, but…

Just down the road from The Lord Clifden, another pleasant surprise. If you read the website:

Come and kneel at the high altar of culinary decadence. Nestled in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, sits a pub with a twist

You might start to think, that along with the location (Hockley is a bit too hipster, really) that you’re in for full-on wankery. but it’s actually very pleasant. Odd decoration- a mix of modern, 50′s Americana, and traditional, but here it works. Everards beer, in good condition, and, so I’m informed, decent wine too. Food looks interesting too, and the staff were pleasant. I’d argue about “heart of the jewellery quarter”, if I’m being picky, as that’s Vyse St for me, but it’s a nice pub.