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.
Millport, Isle of Cumbrae:
Right next to the bus stop for the ferry, so we dropped in. Technically a hotel, but the bar was very pubby, if a bit grotty and unexceptional. Looked like it may get a bit “vibrant” on a Friday/saturday night. No cask ale, so I was drinking Scottish lout, but the no ale thing is a bit of a feature in Scotland. Staff pleasant enough, and it was OK, but a definite disappointment after Frasers Bar.
Not to be confused with The Old Moseley Arms.
A hotel, really, but the bar feels pubby. Friendly staff, big, opened-out bar area, cheapish food. No ale, but decent lager and wine, probably not a bad place to stay given the price: city centre walkable in around 15 min. TVs playing sport, but not too loud. Quite an old place originally, but no historic features inside, and big modern extension outside.
Technically a hotel again, but the bar feels pubby, and it’s a proper old coaching inn in the High St. Glorious grade-2-listed exterior, pleasant interior, decent staff, and great beer and wine.
Hotel or pub? Well, it describes itself as a pub, so I’ll allow it on the grounds that I allow Scottish hotels that feel “pubby” and it had an enviable real ale selection, and I think it’s more of pub with rooms.
Great staff, great food, great beer. Inside is stripped wood, modern, but hasn’t wrecked the place; it’s quite pleasant, in fact, after a £750k makeover.
Part of a smallish chain, together with The Snowdon and The Cottage Loaf.
Culgarth, Penrith, Cumbria:
An overnight stop. This is a family-run inn in the old sense of the word: a pub you can stay in., and it’s doing a great job. It’s the village pub, and a decent hotel as well. Great food, 2 excellent cask ales on, brilliant staff, and a comfortable place to stay, having got our kicks on the nearby A66.
Best of all the bar is still a bar, and there’s two eating areas (one next to the bar, and a restaurant), and proper demarcation between them, meaning it becomes a “destination pub” for diners and hotel guests, but still does a good job of village pub.
On the edge of town, right next to the railway, this is, again, technically a hotel, but doesn’t serve food, just providing rooms. Outside, it’s a fair-sized stone hotel building, inside, it’s a traditional pub, quite big, and recently refurbished in a pubco kind of way. Friendly staff, good beer, and bargain-priced stay if you don’t mind having to eat out and a 5min walk to town.
Some discussion over if this was a pub or not, and we decided it just scraped it: It *is* a hotel, and even the pub bit feels a bit restauranty, but there *is* a drinking area at the front, which is more can be said for some so-called pubs. It’s very, very gastropub inside- modern, stripped floors etc, but evidently a lot of money has been spent inside and out. Great beer, staff pleasant enough, but we felt a bit pounced-on by the staff all clustered around the bar when we walked in. I think they’re more expecting diners.
A hotel, but the bar felt like a pub, as did the beer garden. We finally got some lunch 🙂 – they were stopping lunch service, but did us a sandwich, which was nice. Traditional, olde-worlde-ish interior, extensive and comfortable beer garden, great, friendly staff, and good beer and food.
I *should* have blogged this in May 2014, when we stopped here en route from Mallaig back home, trying for a cheaper option than Moffat but didn’t: maybe it felt the wrong side of the hotel/pub thing.
I’ll briefly mention the hotel- it’s ace. Great value and comfortable.
Besides that, it’s the village pub. Evidently once on the main Carlisle-Glasgow road, now the A74M passes by a short distance away, making the village quiet, but the proximity of a junction makes this a convenient pause.
In the bar itself, it’s pleasant and welcoming. Pub food, cask ale, a real fire, and friendly staff and locals.