Birmingham City Centre:
Located within/below Hotel du Vin in what was previously the hotel’s cellar bar.
Felt odd, this one. Trying to appeal to an upmarket audience, but noticeably a bit tatty, though it looked like a refurb of some sort may be imminent. As it’s the cellar bar it’s slightly below street level, and quite dark, but it wasn’t unpleasant. Staff weere nice, beer and prices pretty good for here. Very quiet even for a Thursday though.
Pagham, West Sussex:
Another hotel, another pubby hotel! Inside feels like a country pub, outside looks like one.
Fabulous beer garden, great beer choice, some craft bollocks and some cask, both fine, and great food. Really pleasant staff again too.
Bognor Regis, West Sussex:
Again, a hotel, but sufficiently pubby. Decent food, decent ale, and a seafront terrace/conservatory that’s a great place to sit.
Another hotel, but it feels very pubby. A short walk from the central cross. Stripped floorboards and green paint, but not a Greene King hatchet job; the bar is pleasant, bright and airy. Really friendly staff and pubdog, excellent beer and food.
Elmer, Bognor Regis, West Sussex:
One of three locals for our week’s holiday, and the first we visited,as there was food and a shop next door. It’s an actual hotel, but feels pubby: there’s 3 distinct zones- very pubby at the front, mixed pub/lounge in the middle, restaurant at the back. Good beer (2 Fullers, 1 guest) in good condition, decent wine, and fair prices for the south-east, for both the drink and the (excellent) food. Really, really friendly staff too.
The usual debate of “pub or not” ensued here. It describes iself as
family run à la carte restaurant and bar with accommodation
Just about pub, as there’s a bar that seems to be primarily for drinking, and it looks pubby, in a recently made-over kind of way from outside, but I’m now wondering, especially given that a pretty simple lunch (sandwich and fries, Cullen Skink, 2 drinks each) for 2 ran up a 35 quid bill. Staff were really pleasant, and it wasn’t a bad place to sit, but no cask ale, and food that was good rather than exceptional.
‘spoons. Move along, no surprises here. Decent enough beer and staff, attached hotel. Unusually, toilets on the same floor as the bar.
Well, it’s a hotel really, but the bar feels pubby, and while the beer’s a bit pricey, the food is very reasonable, and it’s a nice place for lunch. We’d popped into la-di-dah Lichfield, taking advantage of the new direct bus, dropped in at The Whippet Inn, and needed lunch.
Pleasant barman, trusting enough of us commoners from Walsall to allow a tab. Backyard Hoard on cask, and in great condition too. Good lunch and a pleasant courtyard with unbrellas to deflect the shower that passed. Right in the middle of Lichvegas, too.
A mile or two outside the city. We were heading further afield, but the weather turned for the worse, so we turned off the A51 and dropped in.
It’s a Vintage Inn, M&B’s “traditional” brand. Pretty standard, very-slighty-upmarket pub food, drinks to match, reasonable ale choice (Dizzy Blonde, Pedigree, and Doom Bore, the first two of which were in good order), popular with the Lichfield set for lunch. Hotel on site (Innkeepers Lodge), standard pubco decor. Decent enough food without charging the earth, and a nice building.
Merchant City, Glasgow:
Again, a stripped-floorboards pub with food, but a bit smaller. Lovely outside space on a sunny afternoon, nice staff, and decent beer, and a remarkable building restoration. It’s actually a hotel and restaurant too, but feels like a upmarket pub, without being up itself- it’d make a nice place to stay in Glasgow.