Chapel St Leonards, Lincs:
Actually on the promenade, this is a real surprise: it’s a beachfront bar with a traditionalish but maritime-themed interior, and an outside area on the beach that is built to resemble a ship, along with clever outside benches with a drink tray built into the railing.
There’s a choice of real ale, food at times (sadly not when we visited), pleasant staff, and a view over the beach and out to the wind farm off the coast.
Right on the prom, overlooking the paddling pool and town on one side, and the sea on another. There’s an enclosed (perhaps too enclosed, legally?) smoking area, and outside benches. They serve food, but only at weekends, I think.
We visited three times: the first visit wouldn’t have qualifiied as we walked out; football was on the TV, loud, and the place was crowded with shouting, braying fans.
We gave it another try, and it was worth it: the seating outside is nice in the sun, and the Pedigree was excellent (often a problem anywhere that isn’t Burton-on-Trent).
Willoughby, near Alford, Lincs:
A lovely lunchtime break: sadly we were in the car, so I missed out on the ale on offer. Wine (so I’m told) and lunch were fine, landlord and landlady friendly, and the view over the village green was lovely.
Sutton-on Sea, Lincs:
It’s a hotel, but the bar feels pub-like, and there’s a microbrewery. The beer and service are great, to be honest, and the food, while not fancy, is good. Prices are OK and there’s good outside space.
Backstreet pub in Mablethorpe. Not plush, but comfortable and friendly, with real ale (very welcome after a day of lager) and a pubcat. No kids in the bar area :-), but allowed elsewhere.
A lunchtime stop. It looked a bit tired and run down from outside (and heading back west, it looks worse- you’d mistake it for being closed), but the appearance was deceptive. Inside is clean, and pleasant. Real ale on offer, but can’t comment on quality as I was driving. Food, wine and staff all great and prices very reasonable.
A ‘spoons in Wednesbury? What could go wrong?
Well, nothing. We gave the Pig and Trumpet (which I recall as the Golden Cross) nearby a miss, as it looked a bit grim, and dropped in here. It was fine: a spoons, for sure, but the beer was good, it was passably clean, and the outside space was nice in late-summer sunshine, and the staff were fine.
The only ale I got on our Blackpool trip. Some way north of the main attractions, but very near a tram stop, this is a lovely thirties pub, with some great features, owned by the Samuel Smith’s chain. I’d class the exterior as a bit more Arts and Crafts than Art Deco, but the inside has strong Art Deco touches.
There’s no music, no TVs, and no kids :-). Added to that, the prices are stunning: a pint of bitter and a half of cider came to £3.27, little more than the pint alone would cost in many places, and not much of an increase over a visit to a Sam Smith’s pub in 2008.
This is the Holdens brewery tap. We only visited because it looked nice and a small child was driving us mad on the bus, but it’s a fine pub- big, outside space, and pleasant staff, together with great beer.
We didn’t try the food, but prices looked good, and the staff were great. Beer, as expected, was great too. The interior was a bit modern chain-pub, but in fact the pub was a good deal more pleasant.
Black Country Living Museum, Dudley:
Originally from Brierly Hill Rd, Brockmore, backing on to the canal, this pub was taken and rebuilt at the museum where it continues to not serve lager “it’s not been invented yet” :-). It’s a nice place, a genuine timewarp (though you can get timewarp without paying for admission), and the beer, cider, and cobs were all fine, and the staff pleasant. No real glasses outside, sadly, but otherwise no complaints. Staff pleasant, prices OK for captive audience, decent outside space on a gorgeous hot day.