The Duck has changed hands, now being run by Rob, who’s also still in control up at the Shire Oak.
It’s still not plush, but it’s an awful lot cleaner than in recent times… As to be expected, the beer is top-notch: Rob looks after the beer properly, and it shows. There’s usually the jukebox on, but it’s not generally too loud. There’s sometimes entertainment as well, but the size and layout means you can usually find an area quiet enough to drink & talk.
It’s early days there, but very promising, and judging by the amount of customers, should go well.
This is very much a backstreet drinkers pub: it’s very close to the town centre but you’re unlikely to find it unless you know it’s there. By the looks of the place it’s an old building, and is rumoured to be haunted.
The drinkers had been hard at it when we visited, but were friendly enough: rowdy, but friendly. Music was loud (but, to be fair, not shit) beer was acceptable, but no better (no ale, Stella was that 4% rubbish). Allegedly the place was refurbed in 2006, though I’d say “what with” to that. It reminded me of the Duke of Rutland or Shoulder of Mutton in several ways: old, traditional boozers with a local crowd, loud but OK music, and limited drinks range. Very much rough and ready…
This is near enough to be a local, but I’ve not been in for 3 years or so. It’s on the face of it, a by-the-numbers carvery pub, so not really my thing, but an old friend suggested it for a meet, and we needed food, so we went down a bit early. The food itself was predictable, but not bad at all, prices reasonable, and the drink reasonable too- staff very pleasant. There was even real ale, but nothing I fancied. The niff from the landfill over the road doesn’t help the ambience outside though.
An unusual twist is the gaffer from years ago has returned, so live music is featuring again.
This is The Elms renamed, refurbished, and a Crown Carvery. It’s still a pub: the bar area is fairly seperate (and still has the annoying people standing at it so you can’t get a drink), but three quarters of the pub is a carvery restaurant. You get what you’d expect: a large, slightly canteen like bit at the back, but a few quiet corners. Plenty of families and pensioners.
For what it is, it’s not too bad. The food’s OK, the beer drinkable but not fantastic, and the prices are amazingly low. Stunningly low. Just don’t go expecting haute cuisine, fantastic beer, or loads of atmosphere. The staff were pleasant enough, and overall not a bad experience. Basically, it’s a damn sight better than the last time I visited, though being worse would be hard.
Not a pub we visit that often. It’s not that far away, but it seems further than it is.
It’s a open-plan pub now (and has been for as long as I’ve known it), with a conservatory extension at the back, and a sizeable car park/beer garden beyond that. No food besides cobs, and just the usual beers (but at least the Kronenbourg was good), but it’s a pleasant community pub with a pool table that’s been sensibly relocated to the back. The smoking area, for those of you that smoke, is impressive, with shelter and a stove.
It’s always at least OK, and has recently served as a nice bolt-hole for a quiet pint when every other pub has loud music and/or TVs.
High St, Walsall Wood:
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A very local pub, but not one we visit regularly: on occaision it has been a bit rough, but this time it was actually rather good: fewer kids wandering about (and those that were were quiet), TVs were quiet, guest ale good too, and friendly staff. May have to visit more often.
A subsequent visit was fine- early doors (6pm), until someone decided a load of rap-with-a-silent-c music at high volume was appropriate. [sigh]
Another old pub of Brownhills once owned by William Roberts. This is a small, one-room, backstreet local’s pub just off the High St, and is an 19th century building- from the back it still seems to have a disused brewhouse. It’s far from plush, which led us to give it the name of The Slaughtered Lamb, but it is very friendly and a proper pub, which leads me to excuse the limited beer choice. It’s the place I choose to drink in the centre, but the only competition right in the middle is Smithy’s Forge, a pretty dreadful family feedbag type place with few redeeming features.
The top of the three oaks in Brownhills, and enough of a landmark that the nearby A452/A461 junction shares it’s name, which originates from the tree that used to stand at the site.
It’s a long climb up to it from Walsall Wood (not that far, but it’s steep), but it’s a pleasant pub with decent enough beer (there’s usually a guest beer, even if the one on this occasion wasn’t to my taste), and OK if unexceptional food too. The pub is big enough that it has a bar, lounge, and a semi-seperate area to eat.
A revisit 15/5/2010 merirs this edit. The food is now prtty good, but the beer and the welcomd from the landlord is exceptional.
The 3rd very local pub. No food, and the lounge is permanently empty, but a nice local friendly pub with OK beer, good prices and nice staff. Dominated by the local football club, but not annoyingly so.
Previously The Red Lion, this is very much a local for me. In Walsall Wood High St, handily opposite the local Indian restaurant (which is why I visited, to wait for my takeaway with a pint of wife-beater and a magazine).
It’s a nice enough, busy two-room local: no food at the moment, but a couple of guest beers. The staff are friendly and the beer not too expensive. Entertainment, if that’s your thing, on some Fri/Sat nights.