A ‘spoons. Pretty standard modern ‘spoons, with all that entails, amplified by the fact that it seems everyone in Corby comes here to get pissed, along with anyone who happens to be at the nearby Rockingham Motor Speedway, though this one seemed particularly poor for service: I was frankly amazed that at 6′ 4″ and over 17st, I was *still* invisible at the bar.
The Crown has been refurbished. Ouside is smartened up, with new plants and seating with sheilding from the A5 (which, even on a cold February night, we used), because….
…It’s even more of a restaurant and less of a pub. In doing that, the canteen like feel has been reduced, but this is very much not a pub, but a family feedbag type restaurant, part of the Martsons empire. If that’s what you’re after, it’s an improvement and not unpleasant. It’s fresh and clean, and very popular, but the beer is pricey and there’s no pub atmosphere. Staff were pleasant, and there’s some real ale, as well as actual decent lager, an increasingly rare thing these days, but we found ourselves missing the small, traditional pub-like area at one end which used to be there.
Reputedly the oldest surviving building in Belfast, this dates from 1711. Inside, it’s a pleasant bar with traditional decor. It’s a music venue at night, and serves food pretty much all day. We visited twice, the second time being marred only by the people with the screaming child. Staff were great, food good, and beer OK (one real ale). Surprisingly, it’s part of a small chain, Botanic Inns, but that doesn’t spoil it.
This is good on this occaision: we wanted breakfast for less than our hotel, and that’s what we got. An excellent Ulster Fry at a bargain price, with, I hasten to add, soft drinks. We also revisted later in the week when I was sick of crappy lagerfizz and wanted actual beer.
Staff friendly, beer top-notch, food good value. On the down side, the tables were typically sticky by the evening, and it was a bit lacking in atmosphere.
Right in the town centre, I was a bit concerned this might be a bit ‘spoons-esque, but it turned out to be another Black Country Taverns house, and not bad at all. Big, open plan, and quite like the Black Country Arms in character. Decent beer, the TVs were on with Olympic coverage, but not too loud.
It’s a Wetherspoon. Not a bad one, by all accounts, and we got decent food on a Sunday evening, along with decent beer. Staff were pleasant, and the place was clean.
Hard to belive this hasn’t made it before given the number of lunchtimes I spent here. The Hogshead in Wolves is a very different animal to it’s short-lived Walsall namesake: The Walsall one seemed to specialise in cattle-market, loud music, and crappy lagerfizz. The lager is here as well, but the pub is a little upmarket. It’s still a chain pub, but there’s a good choice of well-kept real ale, more outside space, and decent staff. the food’s Ok too. That’s why this one is still open, and the Walsall one isn’t.
I had to deliver a friend’s PC back to him, and this was one of the nearest places to go for food. It’s part of the Table Table chain, so I suppose it’s a slightly upmarket chain pub, like The Dilke. As such, it’s OK, but not cheap (while not that expensive either), and the food is OK rather than spectacular. I didin’t try the beer, but the choice was good, and the staff pleasant. The place was pretty busy, but service was still OK.
I pass this pub practically every weekday, but rarely go in. It’s a traditional pub that’s now part of the Sizzling chain. This essentially means cheap but unremarkable food and beer, and a standardised chain experience. This isn’t a bad thing, if that’s what you’re after: the food isn’t bad at all, the beer is drinkable (but no real ale), and it’s a fairly comfortable place to sit.
Large chain pub in the mould of Wetherspoons, but not actually one. In a rather glorious old theatre building, modern and stripped out inside. No real ale, but decent lager at least. Big screen TV, if that’s your thing, and a standard pub-food menu that seemed good value. Friendly barman.