Proper, traditional village pub. We sat outside in the pleasant beer garden- food, beer both great, staff pleasant. Not the cheapest, but by no means a rip off, it was nice to see a proper free house instead of a pubco identikit pub painted in Farrow & Ball middle-class green. A lovely place for Saturday lunch.
Near to the Eyre Court, this was quite slick, modern food pub looking outside, and inside there was a a bit of Victoriana, and bit of old traditional pub, and a bit of modern food pub that didn’t quite sit right, but the staff were great, the beer was great too, and the food was decent and reasonably priced, so it seems churlish to complain about what was, realistically, a very nice pub.
It’s a hotel, but the bar feels like a pub, so it’s included, especially as this was our favourite Seaton hostelery- it feels more like pub-with-rooms than hotel- and I mean that as a complement- it’s a relaxed drinking environment, with a dining room behind (with excellent food), and an outside terrace. Great beer and staff, and good prices too.
Andy’s log here.
A ‘spoons. Standard stuff.
A by-the-numbers family feedbag spoons-a-like. Not too bad considering, with OK beer, and pretty decent food and staff. No atmosphere, of course, but perfectly acceptable.
Andy’s log here.
Original Post Here.
I’d heard good things about The Walsall Arms since it reopened, and finally got there, and the reputation is deserved- a lively atmosphere, nice looking beer garden, and the skittle alley is still there. A great welcome, nice locals, and top-notch beer too- about our only reservation was the slightly bland decor and we preferred the layout before it was opened up, but still a great pub, and deservedly popular.
This was better. Real ale, nice layout, tidy, traditional decor. Cobs and an enviable array of scratchings. As Andy points out, the landlady could have been a bit more welcoming, but otherwise fine.
Just over the road, this is Willenhall’s ‘spoons. It’s been there a while (since 1999), and is, well, a ‘spoons. Not a bad one overall: it was clean, and the beer and staff were fine. Again, bus stop very close, but the opposite direction.
This is a purpose-built Brewers Fayre at the bottom of a Premier Inn, on the edge of the town centre by Town Wharf, and hence right next to The Wharf.
It’s exactly what you’d expect in many ways: bland, lacking in soul, currently-fashionable pubco decor, but for what it is, it is OK. The food was perfectly OK (but, as a note to the world in general, burgers should come on baps, not Ciabatta), there was decent real ale and wine, and the outside seating by the wharfside is pleasant on a sunny day. Staff were pleasant, and the whole place was clean. If you were considering a stop in Walsall, the hotel seems good enough, and the location’s good for the station, shopping, town centre pubs/restaurants, and art gallery.
For some reason, its own website lists it as being near Selly Manor, which is both a bit random, and untrue, as Selly Manor is someway south of Birmingham, so if you were visiting there, there’s many, many hotels closer. Presumably someone at Whitbread HQ searched for historic buildings nearby and randomly picked it.
Fradley Junction, Fradley, near Lichfield:
I’d not been to The Swan for years, mostly because it’s not easy to get to for me- it’s way off public transport, and not the easiest to find without a map. However, I was being chauffeured, as I was unable to walk far or drive, and a family member took pity and got me out of the house for a change.
The Swan Inn is lovely. Very traditional, and by the canalside it has a great location to sit outside and watch the boats pass. The beer was great, and the staff helpful and friendly. About the only disadvantage is that it gets very, very busy at popular times, especially in the summertime.