Tag Archives: Staffordshire

The Junction

Chasetown:

I’d misremembered a friend who’d reccomended the nearby Uxbridge Arms and actually said The Junction was a bit, well, vibrant.

Anyway, The Junction was where we went. Very pleasant it was too- no sign of any trouble, decent beer, somewhere to sit, an old doggie relaxing nearby, and reasonable music you could hear but talk over. Staff and locals pretty decent too. We’ll save The Uxbridge for next time….

[edit] A colleague that lives in Burntwood also rates THe Junction. Perhaps it has improved of late?

The Crown

Codsall:

Over the road to here. Outside looks a little tatty- nothing too bad, but peeling paint- and inside we’re confronted by a GK beer selection, and one of the standard family feedbag menus.

I chose Golden Hen, which was wise, as my companions chose GK IPA, which is never the most inspiring beer, but especially if (as in this case) it has a whiff of vinegar- but to be fair, it was changed by the barman.

Not an awful pub, but not wonderful either, nothing actually wrong, but I wouldn’t rush back.

The Station

Codsall:

The good people of Codsall won’t thank me for this, but screw em.

The Station could be lovely. It was however, just good.

The beer was fine, the outside magnificent, the staff friendly. It was, in this case, the clientele. Just a bit too middle-class. Token white-bloke-with-dreadlocks (sure sign of privilege), slightly-posh parensts with kids.

Some will love it. Inside, it’s railway-themed- but as it is the actual station buildings, that’s allowed, but The Great Western back down in Wolverhampton carries it off so much better, and less plastically. To be fair, there was little to complain about- food looked good, beer was fine- but it just didn’t gel for me. Maybe it was just the dreadlocks.

The Fradley Arms

Near Fradley, Lichfield


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Just a few hours after whinging about them, I find myself in a chain-pub “restaurant”. In my defence, it was on the way home; an awkwardly-timed appointment in Burton-upon-Trent saw us heading south back home without having eaten, so we called in. I was last here over 10 years ago, and I think I recall a traditional pub. The old building still looks attractive, but it shares its site with a Premier Inn, has become a behemoth collection of buildings, and is part of the Fayre & Square chain, itself a brand of the Spirit Pub Company. See what they did there? It sells Fayre, at a fair and square price, and *giggle* some of the food is square (the burgers). How very whimsical, I do believe my sides have split.

It was OK, as a better alternative than McDonalds or the chippy, and it was pretty cheap (£17 for 2 meals, a soft drink, and a large wine). There was cask ale, and a good choice of other stuff. There’s a wacky warehouse for kids to run about in, though that didn’t stop some parents letting theirs run about the place (fortunately, as it’s a big place, we went to the other end and escaped them). The food was serviceable, rather than exceptional, and the menu standard family feedbag stuff (PDF, 11MB). Staff were nice enough, but a bit corporate training manual:

“Pint of lime & soda please”

“Is that a large or a small?”

[facepalm]

Overall, you could do worse, but you’re not going to get atmosphere or haute cuisine.

The Uxbridge Arms

Burton-upon-Trent:


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An area that could be described as ‘vibrant’ surrounds this pub:it’s not plush or genteel, more gritty and real. However, it seems Ok to me: lots of takeaways nearby, lots of 19c terraced houses. The pub itself looks very smart- I think it’s been cleaned and repointed. There’s pleasant outside space, and while the lounge seems to not be used in the week when I visisted, the bar was pleasant. Staff and customers pleasant, cask ale on (but I was driving). Thisa was my second visit, and I was dissapointed that the giant furry tarantula was missing from the ceiling, in preparation for the Jubilee decorations. Despite this, a nice place to wait for an hour.