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.
Back in the town, away from the seafront and tourism, but fairly close to our flat for the week, this looked quite traditional, but was a bit family feedbag, but it wasn’t a bad place to stop for a drink: we were tired after the walk up from the far end of the harbour. For some reason, Google Maps has it as a microbrewery, which is patently untrue, but there were several real ales, and what I had was fine. Food menu pretty standard Marstons, staff friendly. It was busy on a Saturday night, and one nearby family provided the “entertainment”.
Big thirties roadhouse-style pub at the side of the A34 in Perry Barr. We dropped in because my better half thought she’d been curious about it for a long tome, but that turned out to be The Towers nearby- both are large, 1930s roadside pubs, and quite near to each other.
Anyway, as we’d already passed The Towers, on the other side of the A34, we got of the 51 and went in. Very friendly barman, cask ale (Greene King Old Golden Hen, but pretty good regardless), and very keen prices. Inside, the place is as big as the sizeable frontage would suggest, and currently in one of the standard pubco eatery themes, and the landlord told me it’s having a refurb soon (with more handpumps). There were a few customers too, which is a good sign on a grey Thursday very early afternoon. Overall a nice pub and worth dropping in to.
Just about pubby enough.
A wait for a connecting flight saw us with time to kill in Dubai, and this was the only option near our gate. Pleasant enough- pub-like atmosphere, food looked OK in a chainpub way, drink was fine and the staff were great. There’s worse ways to kill an hour or so.
Willerby, near Beverly:
There was a slight question on including this: it’s a family feedbag carvery restaurant attached to a chain hotel next to a petrol station on the edges of a town, so not very promising sounding. We stopped as it was about lunchtime and we were running early.
In the event, for a family feedbag, it was nice. The large, noisy carvery area was one side of the pub, and there was a seperate area that still felt like a pub, to a degree that it merits inclusion. Staff were pleasant, beer choice good (can’t comment on quality as driving) and the food good too.
Birmingham City Centre:
In Burlington Arcade, right next to the Burlington Hotel. This made a nice contrast to Purecraft. It’s a little bit themed, but as the theme is Bacchus himself, I think we can excuse it, and generally it’s a pleasant, comfortable place, which we luckily caught just before it got really busy on a Friday evening. Not cheap though; a large wine and a pint was over a tenner.
Birmingham City Centre:
In one way I was tempted to not include this for not being pubby enough, but I couldn’t resist just to lay into it.
I’d been curious for some time. Purity’s beer is great.
The bar is less so. It’s that 90s-reborn exposed cable-tray semi-industrial look that is currently fashionable for some reason (like Brewdog), that just makes it look like you couldn’t afford to finish the job properly.
On top of that, there’s the marketing type idea of quirky: Wine glasses without stems, bike saddles for coathooks, posing tables (and the posers to go with them), “amusing” signs for the toilets. Oh, and 2 quid for a bag of scratchings on a menu without pound signs or figures after the decimal point. Oh, and furthermore, that current fad for re-recording songs of the 80s or 90s with acoustic instruments as a soundtrack. In short, apart from the great beer, pretty dreadful.
Original post here
A sad visit on our way back home; The Imperial closed later this evening, with J D Wetherspoon citing it as a commercial decision.
The Imperial has been there since 1997 or so, and I remember a bet with my other half that it would be there more than x years, (where x was either five or 10, we cannot recall). It lasted nearly 20 in the end, and despite it being just a ‘spoons, I will be sorry to see it go. handy for the bus station (especially as the toilets there are closed at night 🙂 ), and a little quieter than the nearby St Matthew’s Hall, it always seemed to be doing an OK trade to me. I just hope some new use can be found for the building.
A by-the-numbers chain pub. Nothing awful but nothing great either: typical chainpub menu, cheapish drinks, central location. Staff pleasant, but otherwise nothing of note at all.