We visited earlier in the week and discounted it- the hotel bar is a very bland hotel bar. However, we missed the public bar on one side, which is traditionally pub-like, and was a nice place to wait for our restaurant booking just up the street. Good staff and beer, As the Rugby World Cup was on, so was the TV, but not so loud you couldn’t talk.
Some discussion here about whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, or pub, but we’ll go with pub, on the evidence of a dominating bar, a reluctance to serve food after 2:30, and the look and feel as we approached.
The look was “up itself food pub”, and that was borne out when we got in. It would seem Sidmouth is moving upmarket, and Duke’s is going with it. There’s typical modern hotel-pub decor (more green, pastels, and stripped wood!), and a slightly trendy air. Not really our thing, but many would love it. Good beer, outside space, food that looked good.
A stunning building next to the railway station. It’s a hotel, but the bar is very much a pub. Both inside and out are stunning victoriana, and most of the fixtures and fittings are there too.
Beer was fine, and the food looked ok, but the surrounding area would be described as “vibrant”, but the pub itself was fine.
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Just down the street, The Star is another hotel: the narrowest in the world, apparently, at 20ft.
Inside, it’s pleasant and traditional, if a bit dated in places, but the welcome, the food, and the beer were all great and prices reasonable.
Near Fradley, Lichfield
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Just a few hours after whinging about them, I find myself in a chain-pub “restaurant”. In my defence, it was on the way home; an awkwardly-timed appointment in Burton-upon-Trent saw us heading south back home without having eaten, so we called in. I was last here over 10 years ago, and I think I recall a traditional pub. The old building still looks attractive, but it shares its site with a Premier Inn, has become a behemoth collection of buildings, and is part of the Fayre & Square chain, itself a brand of the Spirit Pub Company. See what they did there? It sells Fayre, at a fair and square price, and *giggle* some of the food is square (the burgers). How very whimsical, I do believe my sides have split.
It was OK, as a better alternative than McDonalds or the chippy, and it was pretty cheap (£17 for 2 meals, a soft drink, and a large wine). There was cask ale, and a good choice of other stuff. There’s a wacky warehouse for kids to run about in, though that didn’t stop some parents letting theirs run about the place (fortunately, as it’s a big place, we went to the other end and escaped them). The food was serviceable, rather than exceptional, and the menu standard family feedbag stuff (PDF, 11MB). Staff were nice enough, but a bit corporate training manual:
“Pint of lime & soda please”
“Is that a large or a small?”
Overall, you could do worse, but you’re not going to get atmosphere or haute cuisine.
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It’s a hotel, but the bar felt enough like a pub for inclusion here. We dropped in for lunch, which was pleasant, as was the welcome. Real ale was on offer, but sadly only Hobgoblin on this day, which I’m not keen on. The lager was OK though, and prices were pretty good.