A mile or two outside the city. We were heading further afield, but the weather turned for the worse, so we turned off the A51 and dropped in.
It’s a Vintage Inn, M&B’s “traditional” brand. Pretty standard, very-slighty-upmarket pub food, drinks to match, reasonable ale choice (Dizzy Blonde, Pedigree, and Doom Bore, the first two of which were in good order), popular with the Lichfield set for lunch. Hotel on site (Innkeepers Lodge), standard pubco decor. Decent enough food without charging the earth, and a nice building.
Whatever M&B think, this place is The Turf. The island, at the junction of the B4154 and A5 is The Turf island, the pub is The Turf, even if it’s just another Toby Carvery now.
I didn’t actually go inside. Unusually, we arrived by car; my dear other half drove as I’d only just had knee surgery. We needed lunch, it was a bit late for lunch timing, we knew from experience that Toby carveries did carvery sandwiches, there’s a big car park, and we were fairly nearby.
No cask ale apart from Doom Bore, so lager it was, and we sat outside on a hot Saturday afternoon. The food was good, the lager OK, and the prices reasonable. The location on the A5 probably keeps it busy.
A big (inter-war?, maybe post WW2) pub, in many ways similar to The Church Tavern. Another Sizzling pub, another without cask ale, another good bit of outside space. I’ve been past this pub hundreds of time in a car or on a bus, having worked in Wednesbury when I was just a lad, and we tend to drink in the town once in a while.
It really wasn’t bad. The locals were friendly, the staff really pleasant, the food was OK, prices not bad at all (the food, particularly), and the 13 bus stops outside.
A ‘spoons. Not a bad ‘spoons, by any means, modern, always busy, but not bad, with a great location on the seafront by the ferry terminal.
We had high hopes, as this was a sister pub to The Station, but it didin’t quite hit the mark. Advertised as a traditional pub, it had too much of a food bias to hit that note for us, and the barman made us feel as welcome as a dose of the clap, so we didn’t stay long. It wasn’t awful, by any means, but just didn’t feel great.
A bit of a ‘spoons-a-like, this, unsurpising, given The Palladium nearby. Part of the Stonegate pubco chain.
Cheap pub food and beer, and an opened-out interior of what seems to be quite an old pub. Friendly staff, Ok beer (limited choice, but in good order), locals who tolerated us sitting in “their” seats until we left!
A ‘spoons. A spoons in a very grand building, and on a grand scale, but still a ‘spoons, so you know what you’ll get: the standard food menu (albeit with some nice-looking Welsh additions), cheap, decentish wine and beer.
As it happened, the beer was great, the food as per usual, and the staff pleasant. You could do worse.
A ‘spoons. But a nice spoons. In what was a Conservative club, so it has to be an improvement. The interior is impressive, with wood paneling and a grand staircase. Very friendly staff, and quite a civilised atmosphere for a ‘spoons; trackie bottoms not required.
Bury St Edmunds:
Busy town-centre pub, with good outside space, which went well with the weather when we visited. Popular for food, but not overwhelmed, and though Greene King again, it had some guest beer on. Good beer choice, secent wine, friendly staff, and a real Friday/Saturday lively buzz without loud music, which was nice. Inside is standard Greene King refresh, but inoffensive.
Bury St Edmunds:
This was the first pub we found walking into town from our hotel, and we needed lunch, having been up early that morning. Outside looks traditional, inside is a modern Greene King (who else, that close to the brewery?) pubco makeover, so stripped boards and green paint.
I was ready to not be keen, because there was a bit of a hipster air about the place too, so that coupled with decor and GK beer wasn’t encouraging, but in the event it was fine: the sandwiches were nice, there was guest beer, the music wasn’t too loud and the staff were really pleasant. We visited again that evening, and the food wasn’t bad then, and the music wasn’t deafening, so overall, pretty good. There’s romms here too, and they seemed to be in a seperate building to the pub.