Annan, Dumfries & Galloway:
OK, it’s a hotel, but this has to be stretched in Scotland: generally the local hotel is also the pub. There’s several pubs in town in this case, but this isn’t always the case, and the bar felt pubby.
No cask ale, but tolerable lager (Staropramen). Barman friendly enough, atmosphere OK (but marked down for TV showing some third-rate channel), nothing exceptional though.
Lively pub with live music and food. At the time we enjoyed it a lot- pleasant staff, good music, good beer, only a few minutes walk from our hotel (and in Bangkok, walking any distance is not comfortable), but the following day saw me with a case of food poisoning. Whether that was something I’d eat earlier is another question: the food seemed good enough at the time.
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.
Big seafront pub- a huge space downstairs, open plan, and almost as large in the sports bar upstairs. Not my perfect kind of pub, but it does the family feedbag thing quite well (though we didn’t eat) downstairs, and keeps the loud TVs and shouting upstairs, which seems good to me. Staff friendly, beer not bad at all (and well priced), and there’s a good amount of seafront outside seating, which suited us on a sunny day.
Hest Bank, near Morecambe:
We had a walk up here, for beer in the sunshine in the beer garden. It’s a very attractive canalside pub, with slightly posh pub food (very good, and not pretentious) and great beer in good condition. The aforementioned beer garden was lovely too: in fact, this was a very nice pub indeed. They’ve kept the balance between pub and restaurant, with a proper bar with no dining tables in one area.
This was a real find. We were walking around the city, and had a choice of here or another nearby pub, and I thought this looked interesting.
I turned out to be right. A pleasant, relaxed atmosphere, fantastic beer, good wine, and free food for all: the option to buy a “suspended soft drink” for people so that the less fortunate could come in and enjoy a drink, some food, and some music. A landlord who opened his doors to the public during floods, and great music. Drinks reasonably priced too, this was a lovely place to spend a few hours relaxing. The free food, we were told, comes partly from short-date donations from supermarkets, supplemented by the pub, and anyone is encouraged to come in and enjoy- something very unusual these days.
Just up the road, this seemed a better idea for lunch. It reminded me of Birmingham’s Sun on the Hill, and in the same way had a slightly upmarket chainpub feel. Decent food, but my beer (sadly the only Bath Ales beer I got to try) was a bit sad. Food decent though, and not a bad place once you got over the Blade Runner effect of the TV screens advertising, with the back being airy, light, and spacious.
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.
We’d got lost looking for something, and were tired from the previous day’s walking, so a brief pistop with soft drinks. Another Greene King pub that they hadn’t fucked up, which was nice, Pleasant staff, food looked good, nice atmosphere. Can’t comment on the beer.
We just randomly came across this on the walk back down from Clifton, and from the outside it just looked like an average pub; but we were tired from the walk so dropped in.
In fact, it was a close contender with the nearby Bag of Nails for “best pub in Bristol”, losing out because dog, rather than cats. Great pub, good-looking menu, great beer, friendly people.