Tag Archives: Staffordshire

Bitter-Suite

Lichfield:

A micropub that almost isn’t! It’s larger than some non-micro pubs, with 2 rooms and proper toilets, and outside space. What did make it feel like a micro was the welcome, the absence of noisy, awful music, the conversation, the shelf of Good Beer Guides, and the excellent beer.

This was a micro that was like pubs were and should be like; a comfortable, welcoming place with great beer, great staff, and social interaction if you wanted it. Very close to the bus station and Lichfield City rail station too.

Heddin’s Ford

Hednesford, Staffs:

Hednesford’s first micropub, in what was previously a sports bar called The Bank, so I’d guess it probably was a bank at some point. It’s got links to Backyard, my favourite local brewery, and unsurprisingly, there’s their beer, along with a few guests on keg and cask.

Inside is pretty typically micropub and also shows the sports bar origins: laminate floor- for example, but everything is clean and fresh, and not clinical. The barman was friendly, helpful, and knew what he was selling. Good range of snacks (sadly no cobs at this time, so we had to go visit the nearby ‘spoons). Music pretty OK, at a volume you could hear over, and the beer and wine were excellent. Given that it’s very close to the station (with a short train ride from Walsall), I’ll be back.

The Red Lion

Rugeley, Staffs;

With me having limited mobility again, Stymistress was driving. We’d had an abortive visit to The Toby Carvery Norton Canes The Turf (full of kids running about), The Railway, and an assortment of other pubs just over the border in Staffs, none of which were serving lunchtime sandwiches, which is what we were after. We’d suffered the traffic calming in Heath Hayes once, so instead of turning round, came back the long way round, aiming for The Hedgehog, but saw this first.

Pretty good too: Marstons foodish pub with a dining area out the back, but pool table and seating for drinkers at the front, so it’s still a pub- comfortable and pleasant, not just a family feedbag. Really, really friendly barmaid (landlady?), decent food, and cask ale. My Wainwright was on the turn, but changed without question for Pedigree which was in great nick- maybe a little cold for some, but that’s being picky. The food was decent, and good value. Overall a great pub; just a shame we’re not likely to visit often, but if you don’t mind driving there’s a decent car park.

The George Hotel

Lichfield:

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.

The Crystal Fountain

Cannock:

Been meaning to come here for a while: it’s a big, 1937 pub in a minor road close to Cannock town centre, and the interior is on CAMRA’s inventory with good reason: it was carefully restored in 2012 by Black Country Inns, and the inside is now tidy, smart, but still authentic to the age. Really friendly landlord, great beer, lovely beer garden, and a Arriva 2 Sapphire stops outside the door…

The Swan With Two Necks

Longdon:

We were actually here for a wake, the last time being for a wedding some 20 years ago. It’s changed a bit, having been closed for a while a few years back, and the current incarnation is obviously moving towards the food-led gastropub- slightly upmarket.

It doesn’t mean it’s just a restaurant with pub pretensions, I’m happy to say, it’s still a pub, and not a bad one at all. We didn’t have the usual menu, as they’d put a buffet on, but everything was decent quality, and the beer and wine were fine, and the staff pleasant. A little bit middle-class staffordshire for me, but just the right side of up itself.