Tag Archives: ale

The Tap and Tanner

Walsall:

We were at the beer festival at the town hall, and this was the nearest place to watch the Grand national. It’s typical town centre pub with a sports bias- loud, crowded, but it served the purpose- I’d usually avoid it. Service with a scowl too- the young lady serving me was verging on hostile, but I’d guess a day of serving beer to hordes of pissed-up people might do that (along with being asked to top mine up…). Beer was decent and cheap though.

The Glassworks

Cardiff:

Busy Greene King pub in the entertainment area, it’s a kind of posher attempt at ‘spoons, with a typical slightly posher pubfood menu, and a good beer selection (including the wonderful Goose Island IPA as a welcome alternative to GK’s own). Staff friendly, but it was a little soulless, I felt: bright lights, stripped floor, modern furniture, but one colleague loved it.

The Packet Hotel

Cardiff Bay:

Pleasant traditional pub: a lot of the surrounding area is modern, and a little plastic, but The Packet is a delightful, well, packet of traditional pub in it’s midst. It was rammed when we visited with some of my colleagues, late on Good Friday afternoon, and hence noisy, but a prior visit by stymistress saw it quiet and refined. Staff and beer were both fine, the building lovely.

The Vine Tavern

Norwich:

Tiny pub/restaurant in a pedestrianised street: downstairs feels like a pub with food tables, upstairs more restauranty: whatever; the food and beer is sublime, up to that at The Bartons Arms, maybe even slightly better. Nothing like as opulent, but clean, pleasant, and nice staff too. In some ways it owuld be easy to say “not a pub”, but there’s a proper bar, barstools, and it’s in the good beer guide- we were lead here by a local CAMRA guide.

The Lamb Inn

Norwich:

The most interesting thing here was the tiled/painted alley off the street leading to it: the pub itself was pleasant, but a by-the-numbers modern, slightly upmarket food pub with la-di-dah pretensions. I’m not being very fair her: it was nice enough, comfortable, the beer was fine, and the staff pleasant, it’s just this type of place bores me a little. There’s a nice courtyard for if the weather’s good, too.

The Fat Cat

Norwich:

Comfortably one of my favourite pubs ever, this is notorious enough to take a journey into Norwich (and a 3/4 mile walk out) to visit. Victorian building, very traditional pub interior, no music, cobs on the bar in cling film, and a quite incredible selection of ale and real cider: enough to make choosing difficult for the right reasons. Plus it mentions cats.

From the website:

20+ years later The Fat Cat is renowned as being one of the most successful real ale pubs in Great Britain. Winning many national awards.

A testament to how you can make a pub successful is that this previously run-down backstreet pub, 3/4 of a mile from the city centre, was packed at 4pm on a Thursday afternoon.

The Wildman

Norwich:

Surrounded by students, we’d walked back out of one pub (no ale, stupid high stools, only panini sandwiches on offer) and went in here instead. It was a bit stripped-out and satin paint, and had a typical student nightlife cocktail and snack menu, but was comfortable, the barman was friendly, and the lunchtime food and beer were great: it made a nice stop.

The Prince of Wales

Norwich:

We dropped in late morning, for soft drinks, I hasten to add. The pub was just opening, and we were the only customers, but I suspect this would be busy at night: the road was dominated by pubs, clubs, and takeaways, and the this place was following the spoons/goose model of cheap food and drink. Ale was available, and the food really was cheap, though we didn’t try it. Barman was friendly and helpful too. pat of a chain I’ve not seen before, but it seems the Cat & Fiddle belongs.

The Harbour Inn

Lowestoft:

What looks to be an old pub with a modern, slick, refurb in a style in keeping to the age; but if anything, it lost a little atmosphere: it looks really smart, but a bit fake. It’s also food-led: we visited around 2:30-3pm, to be asked if we wanted lunch the moment we entered. Beer and wine were fine, staff friendly enough, if a little chain-pub training manual.