Tag Archives: food

The Queens Head

Wednesbury:

Close to all the delights of the border between Walsall and Wednesbury: M6 Junction 9, Ikea, a surplus of nice old houses that have become care homes.

That’s sounding quite negative. In actual fact, where the pub is situated is a surprisingly quiet resdential street that wraps around Brunswick Park, with a mix of old and new housing. We sat outside, next to the street, in the sun, and it was nice. I’d not been here before, and my better half hadn’t been here since college days over 20 years ago, when Sandwell College was just the other side of the A461. The pub itself is a traditional one, almost certainly Victorian given the name and the history of the park. It’s had a fairly typical makeover, but it hasn’t removed the character (and it looks fresh and tidy), and while food is a big part of the business, that hasn’t destroyed that this is a pub.

Very friendly staff, decent beer, good food.

Offshore

Torquay:

Was unsure about including this, as it calls itself a bar/cafe/restaurant, but stood at the bar it felt pubish, more so than some places claiming to be pubs. It’s food-centric, but there was ale, and the outside space is lovely. Staff friendly enough considering the tourist overload.

The Bridge Inn

Topsham:

This was a real find, thanks to my better half and CAMRA’s pub heritage books. A short walk from the station, it’s been in the same family for well over 100 years, and the interior is on CAMRAs national inventory, but after a quick look about we sat outside with a view over the river. Fantastic ale, great food (Ploughmans, sandwiches, pies) and lovely staff: it doesn’t get much better. A word of warning, this pub keeps traditional hours, so you need to time a visit.

The Buccaneer Inn

Babbacombe Downs:

We’d had a loss of bus mojo, so sat for a while on the downs to recover from the resultant walk, then fancied a pint. The Buccaneer was nearest: I didn’t fancy it much as it seemed a bit family feedbag (a sign on the door warned against “foul language and boisterousness”, declaring it a family pub.

In the event it was OK. Redeemed for a start by the presence of Proper Job, and inside was thoughtfully divided into family and adult areas, with children banned from some. As it was, we sat outside in the sun.

The Harbour Inn

Paignton:

Odd one here: half the pub is a Tex-Mex restaurant, and another attached restaurant is just behind, but the bar is still a proper, traditional pub. We sat outside in the sun, though. There was ale, but I drank a soft drink as I was feeling dehydrated. Staff very pleasant, a selection of locals using the bar as they no doubt had for years; it was surprising how well this worked: a model you sometimes see in the Midlands with an Indian restaurant attached.

Henry’s

Paignton:

A short way from the seafront along Paignton’s “Grockle St”, and in the 2016 Good Beer Guide, but missing from the 2017. There was nothing wrong with my ale, to be fair, although it wasn’t one I was keen on, and switched to Staropramen. Good food and wine too, and the atmosphere of a decent, if food-led, pub (and the food was decent, too). Outside seating too, which was good; it was a warm, humid day.

The Castle

Torquay:

We’d had a long (for these days) walk up from the harbour on our way to a Thai restaurant and needed a drink and a sit down, and Google said this was close, so we dropped in. I’m not sure if we caught it at a bad time, but it didn’t hit even my standards. While this review seems over harsh, it was dark inside, seemed to be a professional drinkers pub, and the carvery equipment looked to be unused for some time. There was food though, but it was amusingly non-specific: “sweet and sour” without specifying what might be sweet and sour. No ale- three pumps with the clips reversed, and no drinkable lager either, so bottled Sol it was. The large opening window at the front was nice though, and the barman wasn’t actually hostile… Annoyingly, a much nicer looking boozer was a few yards away.

The Hole in the Wall

Torquay:

Allegedly Torquay’s oldest pub, a claim I’ve got no reason to doubt, this is a cosy, proper pub with the right feel. The floors are cobbled (and listed), there’s low beams for tall people like me to bang their heads on. There’s a large restaurant upstairs, which we didn’t visit- and that probably helps the pub retain it’s pub feel. There’s a small amount of outside space in the little alley the pub sits on, just off Park Lane, very close to the harbour, but handily hidden unless you know it’s there, so the clientele’s a bit better than elsewhere. Great beer, great staff.