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BITE user comments - Queenslander

Comments by Queenslander

The Roscoe Head, Liverpool

Haven't posted on here for a couple of years, but have to put in a word from down under about this pub. Liverpool is blessed with this old charmer, a pub of the sort rapidly disappearing in Australia & also in your country.
My last visit was August 2018 and I experienced the customary friendly service, a satisfying pint of Tetley's cask & a great chat with random folk. Fingers crossed it will still be there in August 2019.

18 Jan 2019 21:01

Edmunds Bar, Birmingham

My notes call this pub "Edmunds Brewhouse", on Edmund Street. An over the top hipster place, with cooler than cool staff & customers. The staff were attentive & efficient though & the beer choice was wide & varied. My pint of Wye Valley Butty Bach (3.95) was excellent, but I didn''t feel an urge to linger.

17 Sep 2017 22:48

The Old Contemptibles, Birmingham

Revisiting this pub after a two year gap, and in the middle of a Monday afternoon rather than a Saturday. So much quieter then, and I was able to admire the fantastic interior. I had lots of time to admire as it was so quiet the bar staff had nipped off for a smoke. Finally served with a pint of the ubiquitous but adequate Doom Bar (3.75). Points for décor, service let it down a tad.

17 Sep 2017 22:37

The Old Royal, Birmingham

Friendly pub moderately filled with what looked like office workers on a Monday lunch time. A pint of Ilkley Ruby Jane (new to me & very nice) was 3.15, welcome after a few days of London prices.

17 Sep 2017 22:29

The Old Kings Head, Borough

Just about my favourite pub in this part of London, always seems to be buzzing with a mix of workers lunching, bar flys sipping & the odd tourist. Friendly chat, pleasant company & my pint of Doom Bar was only 3.80, cheapest by far on today''s excursion.

14 Sep 2017 22:33

The Shipwrights Arms, London Bridge

Pleasant pub nearly hidden from view, and accordingly hard to access, by building works at London Bridge. Once reached however a friendly lunch time crowd (a mix of high vis & white collar workers) were clearly enjoying the pub, and rightly so. I had a pint of the ubiquitous Doom Bar (4.30), perfectly adequate for me (a dopey colonial), though I note disparaged by beer snobs.

14 Sep 2017 22:28

The Euston Flyer, Euston

I must be the only BITE reader who has sipped in the Euston Flyer. Top 3 posts & 4 of the last 5. Here for the umpteenth year in a row, fresh off Eurostar from Brussels, aching for British beer after lagering & pilsenering around Germany. A pint of London Pride (4.30) was familiar if not spectacular, and the service was up to its usual friendly & efficient standard. And toilets on the same level as the bar, increasingly important as my knees get older, has put my score up a point.

13 Sep 2017 22:44

The Rugby Tavern, Clerkenwell

Visited here after an earlier pint at the crowded Lamb nearby. This pub was pleasantly populated by a quieter, grown up crowd. Nice pint of Spitfire (4.50), and a restful place for a sip.

13 Sep 2017 00:19

The Lamb, Bloomsbury

Charming, attractive pub that was heaving on my Saturday afternoon visit. Efficient & friendly service despite the crowd, which included lots of children. Something to do with the nearby children''s playground? The beer (Lamb''s End, presumably a house brand) was fine, & reasonably priced (4.50) for central London.

13 Sep 2017 00:14

The Harp, Covent Garden

I''ve just arrived back in Australia after another successful tour of UK & European pubs, the 8th since 2009, and the 5th where I''ve launched proceedings at the Harp. Nothing to add from previous posts other than the beer this year was Sambrook Pale Ale, new to me & pretty good. Though I''m not sure you should trust the judgement of someone who had spent the previous 24 hours on a plane.

11 Sep 2017 22:10

Solomon Cutler, Birmingham

Unlike some reviews below I quite enjoyed my brief visit to this Wetherspoon's. Review is biased by personal experience, so a botched order or surly service, however infrequent (or embellished) will colour the overall impression. I happened to have friendly & efficient service of a decent pint of Doom Bar (2.50) in a clean, airy & well lit environment. Unusually for a Wetherspoons I had a lengthy chat with the bar bloke, who recognised my accent & spoke of his desire to visit & work in Australia. So my review is biased by a pleasant experience!

15 Sep 2016 23:00

The Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

There are a few pubs in the UK that I have avoided in the past as their imposing appearance seem (to me) to exude exclusivity. Like Groucho, I refused to join a club that would accept me as a member. This year however I shaved, dressed neatly & decided to enter here. Have to say the interior was splendid & worth the effort but the pint of Pride (4.00) seemed poured under sufferance (even though the place was near empty mid afternoon).

15 Sep 2016 22:48

The Shakespeare Inn, Birmingham

A very good pub in Birmingham's centre. Along with the nearby Trocadero the Shakespeare epitomises what city centre pubs should be: comfortable environment, reasonable prices and good service. In my limited experience (perhaps 6 visits over 4 years, all in daylight) it has ranged between moderately crowded to rammed yet there has always been quick service & a nook to perch in. This visit I enjoyed a pint of Doom Bar (3.30) and pondered the ubiquity of that brand.

15 Sep 2016 22:36

The Crown and Anchor, Manchester

A friendly enough pub but one that had me feeling a bit edgy. Not a fan of pubs as day care centres, and there were a couple of children loose in the bar. With its slightly seedy appearance & some dodgy customers I was surprise to be charged 3.85 for a passable pint of Doom Bar, the most I paid in a pub in Manchester this visit.

12 Sep 2016 23:08

The Ape and Apple, Manchester

My second visit here after swearing never to return after an unpleasant visit in 2014. Not a man of my word then. It really is a pleasant pub when not populated by noisy drunks, with plenty of space and good service, and I had a nice pint of Holt's Mild (2.75) to set up my day.

12 Sep 2016 22:58

The Rising Sun, Manchester

I have not visited the Rising Sun since 2011, usually being waylaid at one or another of the many pubs hereabouts. My impressions on this visit were mixed: good service & a nice pint (Sharp's Atlantic, 3.75), but I had an overall feeling of blandness.

12 Sep 2016 22:48

The Salisbury, Manchester

Another striking pub exterior, coupled with a comfortable but standard interior. A medium size crowd on a Saturday afternoon watching Olympic highlights (spoiler alert: this review is 6 weeks old). A nice pint of Deuchars IPA (3.30), and the bar bloke coupled his efficient bar service with cleaning the prints scattered on the pub walls, spectacular multi-tasking. Not a stand out pub but a comfortable one.

12 Sep 2016 22:27

The Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester

A striking pub externally, and an interesting one internally. Virtually empty on my early Saturday afternoon visit, though going by the décor & remarks of previous reviewers it is plainly a night venue. Friendly enough though, and a pint of Spitting Feathers (3.40, not seen before or since) was more than satisfactory.

12 Sep 2016 22:16

The Society Rooms, Glasgow

As a sole traveller I am a fan of Wetherspoon's pubs: early opening, good beer range, standardised menu & fair prices. I am also aware of its downside reputation as a bar for cheap drunks of a certain age, but as one of that demographic I can hardly complain. This pub is a fine example of a well run 'Spoons: clean, sufficient staff, prompt meal service. I ate here twice on my recent Glasgow visit & enjoyed both meals, & the pints of Doom Bar (2.45) were quite good too.

8 Sep 2016 22:52

The Merchant, Glasgow

A Wetherspoons lookalike, as noted below. Makes the Society Rooms over the road look classy. Family groups seemed to make up the small early evening crowd, and John Smiths (2.49) seemed my only choice, so I necked that and scarpered.

8 Sep 2016 22:44

The Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow

A raucous & jolly session pub, with a long bar & plenty of staff. Despite the crowd & noise service was good, though I chose unwisely (Belhaven Best, 2.90), a liquid which, like John Smiths & Tetleys, poses as beer. There were probably better beers on offer but not immediately visible & speed is important in a crowded bar. That said, I enjoyed this pub & will visit again if I can persuade some of my drinking pals down under to join me, as it is definitely a pub enjoyed in company.

8 Sep 2016 22:39

The Toby Jug, Glasgow

Pleasant pub with no pretensions of grandeur. A revolving door of customers because of its proximity to Central Station, but service was okay. I had a pint of Belhaven Best (2.95) presumably because that was the best on offer, bland is the nicest thing I can say of it.

7 Sep 2016 22:56

The Pot Still, Glasgow

Charming old style pub famous for its whisky range. I don't drink spirits as they makes my brain hurt, but my pint of Red Skye (3.25, not seen before or since) was very nice. An amusement for me was watching a group of 20 something chaps tasting a large range of VERY expensive whiskies that a knowledgeable bar fellow fetched acrobatically from the highest shelves. I imagine there was an expensive puddle of vomit on the Hope Street footpath after their session.

7 Sep 2016 22:43

The Drum and Monkey, Glasgow

An attractive & spacious interior that would probably work better with a crowd. Late on a Monday afternoon there were few customers; perhaps it is an end of week pub as its prices would deter the daily drinker. My pint of Nicholson's Pale Ale was satisfactory but at 3.60 was the 2nd most expensive pint I had in Glasgow.

7 Sep 2016 22:33

Lauders, Glasgow

Very busy pub in a busy part of Glasgow, food, drink & customers coming & going like a MacDonalds. Despite the frantic atmosphere the staff were friendly and efficient and my pint of Deuchars IPA (2.40) tasty & well priced.

7 Sep 2016 22:25

O'Neills, Newcastle

I ate & drank here (when it was an O'Neills's) a couple of years ago & so decided to revisit it in its new guise as the Victoria Comet. First attempt on a late Saturday afternoon was a flop. More than rammed, it was impossible to get in the door let alone reach the bar. Tried again Sunday, much less crowded & I quite enjoyed the place. A nice pint of Black Sheep (3.00) and friendly service, next door to my hotel & across the road from the train station.

6 Sep 2016 22:21

The Duke of Wellington, Newcastle

For reasons born in my misspent youth I have a personal rule to never pass by a pub with "Wellington" in the name, or allusions to the man such as 'Iron Duke", or his most famous battle. So I entered this place and bought a pint of something called Harvest Pale Ale (2.90, and quite nice). Nothing stood out as noteworthy, but I've ticked off another Wello.

6 Sep 2016 22:12

Crown Posada, Newcastle

After all the favourable reviews on this site (and somehow missing out on my previous visit to Newcastle) I was keen to come here. Everything was perfect: I was the sole customer early on a Sunday, so got a potted history of the place from the very friendly & efficient bar bloke, along with my pint of Jennings Pale Ale (3.55). The interior was stunning and the atmosphere palpable despite the lack of customers. A large group eventually arrived & received the same instructive welcome as me; I think the job description for bar staff here includes history lessons.

4 Sep 2016 22:47

Bridge Hotel, Newcastle

A pleasant pub in an enviable position. Not very busy early Sunday afternoon, so service was excellent & my pint of Doom Bar (3.00) very good. On reflection I seem to be choosing Doom Bar a lot on this trip, I must get more adventurous!

4 Sep 2016 22:36

The Quayside, Newcastle

Visited this pub on a pleasant Sunday morning, with markets happening nearby and with the river & bridges looking magnificent. Everyone in northern England agreed with me & were out & about enjoying the day, so the pub was rammed. I managed to find a perch & had a pleasant pint of Doom Bar (2.55), getting served just in front of a big bunch of cyclists (all bulging obscenely in lycra) who hogged the bar & ordered a bewildering range of coffees & soft drinks. Despite the crowds I thought this pub an above average Wetherspoons.

4 Sep 2016 22:30

The Union Rooms, Newcastle

An interesting Wetherspoons, and popular. As I arrived a hen's party tottered out of a mini bus, all tight skirts & super high heels. I predicted tears before bed time as most were staggering & all were shouting. Luckily the pub absorbed them visually & aurally. I had a body contact pint of Doom Bar (2.55), necked it & ran away. I returned to the pub next morning for breakfast & enjoyed the silence.

4 Sep 2016 22:20

The Bodega, Newcastle

Lovely pub to look at, and a nice pint of Almasty(? 3.20), a beer not seen before or since. The ambience was dented somewhat by a group of braying dolts talking over each other as loud as possible, making conversation for the rest of us impossible. Still, that would be a temporary fault & the pub is otherwise marvellous.

4 Sep 2016 22:09

The Centurion, Newcastle

Large & wonderfully decorated pub in the Newcastle Railway Station. As my hotel was over the road (& its bar was dire), the Centurion became a short term local. On both of my visits it was rammed, but the efficient staff coped well. I drank Black Sheep Bitter (3.80) which I have had several times around the country, very tasty.

4 Sep 2016 22:03

The Three Cranes Inn, York

Quite a change from the many tourist template York pubs, this local's place is probably not to all tastes. Very noisy & thirsty patrons, though around lunchtime the wobbly boot factor hadn't kicked in too much. That said I enjoyed my pint of Black Sheep (3.48) and service was friendly.

2 Sep 2016 22:37

The Snickleway Inn, York

A curiously named pub, with the usual olde features, nick nacks ghosts etc. From a beer menu mostly new to me I chose (according to my dodgy diary entry) a pint of Ridgeway Jail Break, (3.40). A pleasant pub but in my current cynical mood, barely above average.

2 Sep 2016 22:26

The Punchbowl, York

Quite liked this old pub; a bit different to the other Punchbowl in York. I'm guessing this one came first so I don't know why Wetherspoons chose the same name. My pint of Yorkshire Terrier was 3.70, a bit north of usual York pricing, but hardly over the top. Service was quick & efficient but the overall impression was average.

2 Sep 2016 22:11

The Last Drop Inn, York

Centrally located and old looking, so many tourists pop their heads in, some even staying. Which means its fills quickly, being fairly small. I had a pint of York Guzzler (3.40), which I enjoyed, but I moved on quickly as the body contact drinking season was beginning.

1 Sep 2016 22:43

The Priory, York

Not as Ye Olde as some York pubs but a friendly local atmosphere and good service (and proximity to my hotel) made it a favourite of mine.
My pints of Doom Bar (3.00) were tasty, as was the food. Unobtrusive sport on the multiple TVs.

1 Sep 2016 22:36

The Hole in the Wall, York

There are plenty of average to above average pubs in York centre; it's almost like a template of averageness. I visited 15 in 2 days and none stood out as outstanding, or indeed the opposite, but all were pleasant enough. The Hole in the Wall was comfortable, staff efficient and my pint of Pedigree (3.50) satisfactory.

1 Sep 2016 22:27

The Speaker, Westminster

After an unpleasant stop at the hopelessly up itself Sanctuary House I was in need of some pub normalcy: this place is as normal as a pub gets. A couple of small groups chatting, a couple of singletons reading newspapers, friendly service. My pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord (4.50) was more than satisfactory. Sanity restored.

1 Sep 2016 22:18

Ye Olde Starre Inn, York

I have visited York a couple of times before but this place was always too busy when I passed. Just the sort of pub you expect to see in central York, hidden & well aged. Despite most customers being tourists (with their usual use of the pub as coffee shop & information bureau) the service was friendly & efficient and my pint of something from Greene King was only 3.55.

31 Aug 2016 22:45

The Golden Fleece, York

Atmospheric old pub that plays up its supposed ghostly connections. Not many in the front bar around noon on a Thursday, though there were many diners out back. My pint of Old Peculiar was 3.80, tasty and a welcome drop in cost after continental & London prices. Service was friendly & efficient.

31 Aug 2016 22:37

The Sanctuary House, Westminster

I have passed this pub several times in the past when doing the tourist rounds but have always made my pit stops at the Westminster Arms & Speaker. Decided to enter this year & instantly regretted it. Pretty to look at, and I had plenty of time to do that as ALL staff were chatting at the opposite end of the bar. One finally noticed me and asked if I was alright. The Pride was 4.40, par for the course but the service was feral, all geared to seated diners.

30 Aug 2016 22:41

The Euston Flyer, Euston

Just like deja vu all over again. Me, Eurostar & the Euston Flyer. Weather this time brilliant on both sides of the channel, & the Pride pint was 4.15, 10p more than last year which I suppose is a reasonable rate of increase. All previous positive comments are still in force. This place is a good example of how a busy pub should work.

30 Aug 2016 22:32

The Coach and Horses, Covent Garden

I always try to find time to visit this little diamond; like many of my favourites it is small, friendly & seemingly out of place in its inner city location. A couple of bantering locals, an efficient & equally bantering bar person & a great pint of Tribute (4.10) made for an enjoyable half hour.

30 Aug 2016 22:25

The Cheshire Cheese, Temple

Small back street pub with friendly staff, landlord & dog. My pint of Tribute @ 4.10 was pleasant. The whole experience was surprising really, more rural local than inner city, and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

29 Aug 2016 23:39

The Harp, Covent Garden

In accordance with tradition I officially launched my 2016 UK & Europe pub crawl in the Harp. Two pints of Sambrook Junction @4.10, very nice. The usual friendly and efficient service was given, and a fairly substantial crowd was gathering. Being a Sunday I had to postpone the visit until after midday & in fact had an unofficial launch in the Wetherspoon's on Kingsway, where the clock was not so punitive. But with no disrespect to Wetherspoon's (great breakfast), the Harp was the first proper pub of the tour and set a high benchmark.

29 Aug 2016 23:27

The Golden Lion, St James's

I picked a very wet day to check out some pubs in the St James's area, not unusual in the 2015 crawl as nearly every day was wet. The problem with wet days is that folk who might not normally use pubs seek shelter in them & the pub fills with steaming ancients/shoppers/tourists looking down their noses at the lower orders while ordering tea & coffee & taking their time doing it. This pub, like the Chequers & Three Crowns nearby were probably quite fine places but it was impossible to assess calmly. I'll try to pick a fine day (if there is one) next year.

21 Nov 2015 22:53

The Still and Star, Aldgate

Sought out this little beauty on the basis of good reviews on this site & elsewhere. Proper pub is the simplest description I can give: prices cheapish (my pint of Pride was 3.80), friendly people on both sides of the bar. A couple of groups of blokes in suits (it is a blokey sort of place) & one or two individuals meant the small bar was pleasantly full on a wet day. A nice pub feel about the place, I'll be back.

21 Nov 2015 22:32

The Bath House, Cambridge

After having my contemplative pint at the Eagle ruined by a tourist plague I scarpered in here. Probably doesn't get many tourists as it is a fairly bog standard place with no obvious pretensions, That said, it seemed popular with folk I assumed were locals, & my pint of Greene King IPA (3.10) was okay. Service was certainly friendlier & banter amongst customers & staff was an improvement on the caterwauling back at the Eagle.

7 Nov 2015 21:30

The Eagle, Cambridge

My late Uncle Bill studied in Cambridge in the 1950s, a bit of an achievement for an Australian in those penny pinching days, so a visit to the town was included in this year's pub crawl to honour his passing. I like to think he would have had a beer or three in this fine old pub but that is unknown. I did however, a Greene King IPA (3.40) which was satisfactory. Service was aloof, & perhaps this can be explained by the arrogant stupidity of a group of tourists (including out of control children) who, without ordering anything, wandered about treating the drinkers, furniture & fittings as objects to be scoffed at. One impertinent brat, rightly refused service when at the bar sans adult, went cyclonic & the missing adult suddenly appeared in high dudgeon. Funny in a train smash kind of way but ruined my solemn sipping.

7 Nov 2015 21:22

The Fox and Hounds, Belgravia

A little gem, and another welcomingly normal pub in one of London's poncier districts. I guess the poncy types don't do pubs because this, and the other 3 Belgravia beauties I sampled on a mid week afternoon, were (thinly) populated by friendly customers & staff, & I would be happy to call any one of them a local. My pint of Young's Bitter was 3.70; I was expecting it to be a pound dearer. Lovely pub.

29 Oct 2015 21:45

The Antelope, Belgravia

A very pleasant pub in a quiet & sober part of town. People dotted about the smallish bar area enjoying themselves quietly & soberly. My pint of Pride (4.05) was served by a friendly bar person, and I enjoyed a half hour of quiet reflection. I noted that the pub had a longstanding cricket competition with the Churchill Arms, and that village-like atmosphere summed up the pub for me.

29 Oct 2015 21:33

Victoria Hotel, Eastbourne

I first visited this pub in 2013, using this website as a guide, after a couple of earlier visits to Eastbourne had left me a bit underwhelmed by the town centre pub offerings. It is now in my top 10 WORLDWIDE pubs, top 5 UK & of course number one in Eastbourne. Each of 3 visits (a year apart) has provided me a warm welcome, courteous & efficient service but most of all a hearty welcome into the local's conversation. My pints of Harvey's Best Bitter (3.45) were fine & the company excellent. Hope to see it again in 2016.

22 Oct 2015 23:29

The Windsor Tavern, Eastbourne

If I lived in Eastbourne I would be torn between this pub & the Victoria as a local. I have rarely been adopted as an honorary regular so swiftly & warmly as I was here. The ribald banter between staff & customers, healthy laughter echoing down the street & a friendly dog made my visit a huge pleasure. Sadly only John Smith's was my only drink choice but the company made up for that. Top pub.

22 Oct 2015 23:15

The Marine, Eastbourne

When I first visited Eastbourne in 2009 this pub was the nearest to my hotel & so became a default local. I have popped in on 3 subsequent visits & can say, hand on heart, that it looks the same to me as on the first time. A blip in the space time continuum? I'm sure its been the same lady & gentlemen behind the bar, & the dignified bar flies have not changed seats. A tad more expensive than most pubs in Eastbourne, my pint of Pride costing 3.80, but that's a small price to pay for the reassurance that some things never change.

22 Oct 2015 23:07

The Duke of Devonshire, Eastbourne

I'm quite fond of Eastbourne as it reminds me of some seaside towns in Australia; minus the sunburn, surf, sand & sharks. A few good pubs too, and although this one is not really top notch it does its job well. Similar to a Wetherspoon's, as someone has previously noted, I usually eat here rather than the nearby Cornfield Garage (or whatever its called this week) because the clientele are just a tad older & quieter. I had a couple of pints of Harvey's Sussex Best Bitter (2.95) and a decent meal served quickly; I got what I came for.

21 Oct 2015 22:38

The Horse and Groom, Great Portland Street

Perhaps not in the same class as some other Samuel Smith's pubs in Marylebone/Fitzrovia but worth a pop in if you like value for money drinking & some peace & quiet to do it in. Friendly & efficient service & 2.90 for a pint of Old Brewery Bitter, its not the worst way to spend some time.

21 Oct 2015 22:10

The Dover Castle, Marylebone

After a pint at the beautiful Angel in the Fields I decided to visit more Sam Smith's venues in the neighbourhood to see if they matched up. The Dover Castle was not as visually striking, but had a place of its own on the podium of pub glory for its sense of serenity. There were few in at around 4pm on a Saturday, but there was just enough of a burble to remind you that it was a pub & not a church, as some Sam Smith's places strike me. A pint of OBB as usual, 2.90 as usual, and a pleasant half hour.

21 Oct 2015 22:00

The Carpenters Arms, Marble Arch

A pleasant old school pub in a fairly up market part of town. Probably the busiest pub of my Saturday afternoon wobble, mostly locals going by the banter. Friendly & efficient service & a nice pint of Adnam's Ghost Ship (3.90) made my brief visit an enjoyable one.

18 Oct 2015 22:43

The Angel in the Fields, Bond Street

Another beautiful Sam Smith's pub, and like many others, nearly deserted on a Saturday afternoon, even though well located for passing trade. The barman told his (few) customers the story of the stained glass, apparently destined for destruction. Thank goodness they were saved, as the sunlight filtering through made the pub very, er, angelic. Nice pint of OBB (2.90) & good service.

18 Oct 2015 22:37

The Uxbridge Arms, Notting Hill

First found this lovely pub a couple of years back & pop in each year to see if I my first & favourable impression was right. Utterly charming & laid back, as a visitor I was made most welcome, even invited to contribute to a local's crossword puzzle. The landlady was friendly & efficient & my pint of Pride (4.25) was fine. Along with the Churchill Arms this pub is in my London top 10.

18 Oct 2015 22:22

The Churchill Arms, Kensington

I've visited this pub several times over the years, admiring its bold floral footprint & the impossible amount of stuff indoors. Along with the Princess Louise & a couple of others I recommend it to first time visitors as a quintessential British pub. I even dragged my son in there once & though he much prefers dark cellar pubs, with booming music & girls, he really liked this one. I've never picked a time when it wasn't rammed but my last visit, pre lunch on a Saturday found it virtually empty. The vast array of stuff was there for me to peruse with no crowd to hinder me. Alas, there is too much so I sat down with the paper & enjoyed a nice pint of Pride (4.05), served with friendliness & efficiency by the young staff.

18 Oct 2015 22:15

The Globe, London Bridge

A very strange pub, not sure whether it was being refurbished or if shambolic was its permanent state. A sort of grot chic: exposed bricks & wires, mismatched & rickety furniture, hammering noises off. I've seen plenty of bars that do the faux industrial look & this one is a gold medallist if that's its intention. My pint of Pride (3.50) was good, service was OK, but the overall impression was not positive.

16 Oct 2015 22:19

The Bunch of Grapes, London Bridge

A new pub for me despite several visits to this area over the years. Fairly basic looking place, the most memorable & colourful aspect of the pub was the bar lady's tattoos. I have a few mid life crisis cartoons about my body but hers were wide screen Technicolour. My pint of Doom Bar was satisfactory, though @ 4.30 was by far the most expensive pint of the six I had south of the river.

16 Oct 2015 22:09

Ship, Monument

One of the dubious benefits of starting the drinking day early is observing the interplay between pub staff & suppliers, maintenance people, council inspectors & such. Such was the case this year at the Ship, which I have visited & admired several times over the years. A managerial lady was bellowing over the phone about some life or death issue, simultaneously berating a tradesman fixing a door, & seeking advice or opinions from junior staff. Excellent multitasking skills, but a pity they weren't put to use dealing with customers. I did get a pint of Pedigree (3.40) from a sullen minion & it was fine, but my overall impression was an unhappy workplace.

14 Oct 2015 23:28

The Ship, Tower Hill

I had not come across this place before, and only put it on my list as I wanted to compare it to the Ship in Talbot Court. I am curious about pub names, & same or similar names within a short distance particularly interest me. I probably should get out more. Glad I popped in though, as it was a happy & comfortable place to shelter from the rain & enjoy a pint of Tribute (3.90).

14 Oct 2015 23:15

The Crosse Keys, Bank

A lot of Wetherspoon's pubs have superb interiors but I was dazzled by this one's beauty, or was it gratitude as it was belting down rain outside & I needed a dry haven. Whatever the reason for my happiness, the pint of Speckled Hen (3.50) was satisfactory & the service very good, as it should have been given there were few in. Worth a pop in for the interior, rain or not.

14 Oct 2015 23:03

The Champion, Fitzrovia

Having dipped my toe into Fitzrovia at the Blue Posts I ventured further & found this lovely place. Beautiful stained glass and timber work. Let down a bit by indifferent service, but that can be overlooked if you are just in for the one.

12 Oct 2015 22:03

The Blue Posts, Fitzrovia

One of the better new pubs I found on this year's trip. Friendly & talkative bar bloke, & chatty customers too. Sam Smith's OBB (2.90) was quite good, though I hardly noticed it as my entire visit was spent listening & laughing to the banter. Not as visually stunning as some other Sam Smith's pubs but attractive in its own way. Top pub.

12 Oct 2015 21:56

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Only visited once on this year's UK crawl, mainly to soak up the beautiful interior. To my mild surprise the Kiwi bar man who served me last year was still there: to my greater surprise he remembered ME! Also surprised by the Brewery Bitter still costing only 2.90, and surprised yet again by the relative lack of customers: the hum of conversation would make the complete pub experience.

9 Oct 2015 23:53

The Blue Posts, Piccadilly

One of the several billion Blue Posts pubs in the part of the world, and maybe the best. Friendly staff and reasonably priced beer, my pint of Truman's Runner was 3.95 compared to 4.65 at the nearby Golden Lion. Though an edgy, hipster looking place the customers on my visit were traditional tourist/shopper demographic & all appeared happy. Good pub.

7 Oct 2015 23:57

Golden Lion, Soho

Never been here before on umpteen wanders around Soho. No idea why as its not hard to find. Bog standard & overpriced, my pint of Truman's Runner was 4.65, 70 pence more than the same beer elsewhere in Soho that day. If you pay 15% extra you should expect more bang for your buck & this pub didn't deliver.

7 Oct 2015 23:45

The Dog and Duck, Soho

Small but perfectly formed. Lovely interior and friendly bar folk. My pint of Pedigree (3.60) was pretty cheap for Soho & was quite good. As usual for me I was there quite early, and found a seat easily. I imagine at peak times it would be body contact drinking.

7 Oct 2015 01:13

The Fountains Abbey, Paddington

I still regard this pub as one the best in this tourist heavy part of London. Nice interior, sport on several televisions, reasonable food. But an annoyance: when I checked my diary after returning to Oz I found their curious pricing policy was again on display. A pint of Pride on my first visit was 4.35, and the second, a few days later, was 4.55, Of course by next year I'll have forgotten about it, and line up to be ripped off again.

7 Oct 2015 01:06

The Salisbury Arms, Salisbury

The Salisbury Arms is probably not my sort of pub as a tourist; too cool by half, hipster staff, artisanal beers. But there was something that got me, maybe the blues music, maybe the witty bar bloke or maybe the beer (Meantime Yakima) though at 4.55 it was close to the dearest pint I had in my 6 week UK tour. Whatever, I found myself enjoying the place.

5 Oct 2015 23:02

The Market Inn, Salisbury

Posh sort of place with seating in the Market Square, if the weather is kind. Hardly a pub, more European café. My pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord (3.80) was excellent however, and service good. One bar bloke had done a gap year in Australia & had worked in parts of the country I was familiar with, so the time was passed pleasantly enough.

4 Oct 2015 23:28

The Haunch of Venison, Salisbury

Atmospheric old pub; steps, nooks & crannies & older folk nursing pints. Supposedly Mr Churchill & General Eisenhower had a few here during the build up to D-Day. Despite its looks & history it struck me as an average sort of pub however. My pint of Courage Best (3.70) was satisfactory & service was efficient, but I was underwhelmed overall.

4 Oct 2015 23:20

The Old Ale House, Salisbury

One of the best pubs experienced on my stay in Salisbury. Many other pubs here have a focus on tour groups & food, naturally enough in a tourism hotspot, but this one is happily normal, and only a stone's throw from the Cathedral. Food available (I think) but I was there for beer, an XPA Golden Ale (3.50) which was quite good. Friendly bar bloke, not many customers so service was prompt. Top pub.

2 Oct 2015 23:15

Cloisters, Salisbury

An interesting looking pub, and much better service than the nearby Queen's Arms. That said, a managerial sort of bloke was fussing about, bemoaning the late arrival of a coachload of tourists. His distress was contagious, and made the few other customers feel a bit superfluous. My pint of Doom Bar (3.90, second dearest pint in Salisbury) was satisfactory, but I yearned for a bit more sociability.

23 Sep 2015 22:38

Queens Arms, Salisbury

Hard to form an impression of this pub. A large table of aged persons happily celebrating something occupied the sole worker's time so much that I nearly left but he spotted me & eventually served me a satisfactory pint of Flack's Double Drop (3.20). His hands were obviously too full & other customers surplus to requirements, at least 2 walking in & out while I was there. I soon followed suit.

23 Sep 2015 22:33

The New Inn, Salisbury

A lot to this pub, rooms here & there & a fantastic garden with views to the cathedral. Service was efficient & cheerful & there was a pleasant vibe amongst the fairly large group of customers. May have been the sunshine, a rare thing on my journey. My pint of Hall & Woodhouse Tanglefoot (3.70) was quite good & my overall impression was positive.

23 Sep 2015 22:21

The Cathedral Hotel, Salisbury

First pub I drank at in Salisbury. Though staying at the Wetherspoon's it was bursting with coffee drinkers and diners every time I looked in. Room was good though. The Cathedral was absolutely fine on all measures: reasonably priced drinks, tasty food & efficient service. Popped in several times during my visit & had pints of Ringwood Best (3.50) & Speckled Hen (3.20), as well as a couple of filling meals.

23 Sep 2015 22:11

The Packet, Cardiff

A very pleasant & unexpected old fashioned pub amongst the OTT modernism of Cardiff bay. The service was excellent, especially as the bar lady managed a conversation with me, another bloke & a loud & loquacious lady, simultaneously. Respect. My pint of Brain's SA (3.00) was satisfactory, as was the whole experience.

22 Sep 2015 03:31

The Goat Major, Cardiff

I quite like this pub. No particular outstanding points but does its business in an solid way. My pint of Brain's SA (3.00) was quite good, & the service was efficient if not effusive. The name gave me some giggles (I'm easily amused) and insertion of a comma & question mark amused my equally easily pleased pals down under.

22 Sep 2015 03:27

Kitty Flynns, Cardiff

Now called the Cambrian Tap, a sort of artisanal brewpub, though I think still a part of the Brain's empire. The bar man was an extremely good spokesman for his pub; he talked me into a pint of something which was jolly good but he yabbered so much that I forgot what it was. Subsequent customers had tastings & similar conversations, and like me seemed to enjoy the whole process. Worth a visit if you like beer & spiel.

17 Sep 2015 23:07

Prince Of Wales, Cardiff

I bookended my first day in Cardiff with Wetherspoon's: Great Western straight off the train as a rain shelter, & this one for dinner, several pubs later. A more usual Wetherspoon's experience, lots of noise & bustle, with several mildly intoxicated folk. My pint was Doom Bar (2.29), not very adventurous but reliable. Dinner was, as usual, good value if not Michelin ranked.

17 Sep 2015 22:51

The Great Western, Cardiff

I usually use Wetherspoon's for dining (with beer on the side), but this is one which I have visited just for beer. And I probably would not have if it wasn't raining heavily as I got off the train, as it seemed to do all through my 2015 journey. However, it was pleasant enough, just a few late breakfasting/early lunchers in, so service was good and a pint of Doom Bar (2.29) hit the spot. Very impressive exterior, indoors a little less barn like than some Wetherspoon's.

17 Sep 2015 22:44

The Old Wellington Inn, Manchester

I've looked at this attractive pub on umpteen visits to Manchester but never been in as it always seemed rammed. But after several empty pubs in Salford I yearned for a bit of a crowd & so dived in. To my surprise, indoors was near empty, though the garden was overflowing in bleak weather. A pint of Doom Bar was 3.60, an understandable price in a tourist trap, and service was friendly enough.

14 Sep 2015 22:45

The Black Lion Hotel, Salford

My third pub in this corner of Salford, & the worst. While the Egerton Arms was bustling & the Rover's Return, though empty, was at least welcoming to its sole customer, this place was grim & business like. A pint of Landlord was 3.50, close to the most expensive pint I had in Manchester. No smiles, no chat, only a couple of folk in, not a pub I will rush back to.

14 Sep 2015 22:31

The Rovers Return, Salford

Strolled in here on a gloomy Sunday afternoon, looked fairly sad outside & ditto indoors. One bored bar woman, & no one else. As I had just left the Egerton Arms, which was fairly full & cheerful, I assumed a Sunday afternoon booze tradition in Salford. Not here though. A pint of Bombardier was only 2 quid and was quite good, the place looked tidy & the bar lady was up for a chat. Not for the first time I wondered why some pubs heave & nearby ones fail.

14 Sep 2015 22:24

The Ape and Apple, Manchester

I'm obviously a forgetful bloke because I swore after last year's visit never to return here. And I nearly didn't, but I was passing & it was open at 11.45am on a Sunday, unusual enough in my experience to give it another go. Much more pleasant than last year, a friendly bar man and a scattering of tourists & regulars quietly enjoying themselves. My pint of Holt's Two Hoots (2.56) was excellent, though the odd pricing is a bit of a worry.

12 Sep 2015 23:12

The Egerton Arms, Salford

Like many tourists my only experience of Salford has been the gaudy Quays area. This year I ventured a bit further & found this lively old boozer near the railway station. Populated entirely by men of a certain age, all chatting loudly about football, horses & other blokey stuff. Polite service from a friendly bar man & a fairly decent pint of Holt's Bitter (2.50). Probably best left to the locals, but if I was one I'd be happy with it.

12 Sep 2015 22:59

The Bank, Manchester

I have passed this place on many previous visits to Manchester & kept walking out of some reverse snobbery I suppose. Too grand for the likes of me! This year I ventured in because it was raining & I was hungry. Glad I did. A pint of Doom Bar @ 3.00 was surprisingly cheap & the food was top notch. Friendly service too. Plenty of space & a wide range of customers: post work drinkers, families, ladies who lunch late & tourists like me.

12 Sep 2015 22:46

The Dispensary, Liverpool

This place certainly arouses the angry brigade, going by some previous postings. I found a very attractive & efficient bar lady & a very attractive & tasty pint of Titanic First Class (3.00). Being early afternoon & mid week there weren't many in but all was peace & goodwill.

10 Sep 2015 22:31

The Roscoe Head, Liverpool

Can only agree with the positive reviews of this charming pub. I have a mate back in Australia named Roscoe, so I had to have a pint here (& at the Roscoe Arms around the corner). Friendly, bantering locals & bar lady and a nice pint of Rev. James (3.30). Not as grand as the nearby Philharmonic but miles ahead as a comfortable water hole.

10 Sep 2015 22:16

The Philharmonic, Liverpool

Another one of England's great pub interiors, with the nicest men's dunny I've seen (bar the Princess Louise). Not many in so I was able to wander the nooks & crannies. My pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord (3.05) was more than satisfactory & the bar people friendly & chatty.

10 Sep 2015 22:10

The Old Post Office, Liverpool

A fairly anonymous little pub tucked up a fairly anonymous little street. Once again, only John Smith's Smooth (2.70) out of a fairly anonymous range of beers. As a pub crawling tourist I shouldn't expect every place to be a marvellous architectural surprise with extrovert bar staff & witty repartee but too many are fairly anonymous. No doubt it has regulars & joyful bantering throngs, but none during my visit.

7 Sep 2015 22:44

Crown, Liverpool

Unlike the empty first couple of pubs I saw on my mid week visit to Liverpool, the Crown was crowded, standing room only for solo tourists but not for a some regulars who took up large tables, covered them with newspapers & shopping bags & strolled back & forth from bar to table to smoking area with the nonchalance of Parisian flaneurs. My stand up pint of Green King IPA (2.50) was satisfactory & service was good considering the crush. Lovely interior, stop & gawk exterior, good location near Lime Street Station. Now if they could just move the slow sipping table hogging bar flies on it would be a good pub.

7 Sep 2015 22:28

Tess Rileys, Liverpool

A big barn of a place, & having few customers around noon on a week day made it seem even bigger. John Smith's Smooth @ 2.50 was the best of what was on offer & as I sipped it I wondered why I move on from wondrous pubs to the less wonderful.

7 Sep 2015 22:15

Central Commercial Hotel, Liverpool

My first pub on this visit to Liverpool & it was a good one to start with. Glorious interior, all glass & dark wood, & a friendly bar lady who allowed me to photograph it all. She also took a snap of me enjoying a pint of Thwaites Wainwright (2.80 and very good) and as a photographer she made a good bar person.

7 Sep 2015 22:08

The General Elliot, Leeds

I'm not surprised there are no reviews yet posted for this place as it would strike a normal observer speechless. I've seen a few pubs in my time good, bad & ugly but this place is unclassifiable; cramped, dirty, customers yelling obscenities at each other or their imaginary enemies, dull eyed bar person ignoring whatever passes for responsible service of alcohol regulation in these parts. All this at 1.00pm, in the city centre. I had a swift pint of Brewery Bitter (1.80); the entertainment provided deserved a purchase, though I swiftly necked it & fled as some unwanted attention turned to me.

6 Sep 2015 23:43

The Scarbrough Hotel, Leeds

A busy but well run Nicholson's pub near the train station, I chose to eat here after wandering the city centre dodging showers & was glad I did. Good food & a discounted pint of their home brand pale ale for 9 quid. Good beer, good food, good service & close to transport equals a good pub.

5 Sep 2015 23:07

Fox & Newt, Leeds

A short walk up a steep hill from my Leed's hotel the Fox & Newt was a pleasant surprise. Very quiet on a mid week mid afternoon visit; the only other customer & bar person seemed pleased to have a fresh face to talk too. A micro brewing hipster place, not that there is anything wrong with that. I had a pint of English Whippet, at 3.65 the dearest pint I had in Leeds. Not bad though & the chat was good.

5 Sep 2015 22:57

The Post Office Vaults, Birmingham

Previous visits to this pub have left me undecided, as its size & popularity make it an uncomfortable body contact drinking den, not my favourite body contact sport. This visit was mid afternoon, on a Monday & apart from a few late liquid lunchers the place was nearly deserted. My pint of Hobson's Champion Mild (2.80) was quite good & the service excellent.

3 Sep 2015 23:24

Cricketers, Worcester

Visiting Worcester for the first time, amongst the things I wished to see was a memorial to the Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, tragically killed in November 2014. He played for Worcestershire a few years previously & has been respectfully honoured by the club. The Cricketers Pub was another destination & they had a bat on display signed by many fine cricketers, including Hughes. With that intro, the pub could have been a dive & I'd still extol it, but it was actually quite fine, friendly & quiet, and I had a reflective pint of Doom Bar (3.20).

3 Sep 2015 23:14

King Charles 11, Worcester

Although I came to Worcester seeking the Cardinal's Hat, sadly dark & deserted, luckily for me Worcester has many fine alternatives. This pub, as ancient as heck, was an absolute diamond. A very informed & chatty bar person, superb beer (Craddock's Saxon Gold, 3.20). I was given a potted history of the place & its role in English history, and could have stayed for hours had I not had other appointments. Brilliant.

3 Sep 2015 23:03

Flying Standard, Coventry

Pretty impressive building, standard Wetherspoon's indoors, a pint of Abbott (2.10) was satisfactory & service was good. A pity the weather was vile on my little tour of Coventry as I might have seen more than the inside of average pubs.

2 Sep 2015 23:04

The Litten Tree, Coventry

Scuttling back to the train station after a wet tour of Coventry, and despairing of finding an open pub other than Wetherspoon's, I came across this place. I probably should have kept walking. Screaming unsupervised children, staff more keen to talk to regulars about the previous night's bender than serving a stranger, and an average pint of Doom Bar (2.50). It beat being wet & cold, but not by much.

2 Sep 2015 22:58

Earl of Mercia, Coventry

Trying to tour Coventry on a wet Sunday meant ducking from pub to pub between being soaked as you admire the cathedral & other sights. The only pubs that appeared open were the Wetherspoon's as far as I could tell, and I won't hear a bad word about this one, as I was cold wet & cranky & it was open before lunch. A pint of Doom Bar was satisfactory & only 2.00. Friendly staff & if the customers were the Wetherspoon's usual demographic, thirsty elder citizens, well so am I.

2 Sep 2015 22:52

Victoria, Birmingham

A wee bit too cool for an oldish bloke but any port in a storm in what passed for summer in these parts. I had a pint of Cloudwater Grizette, apparently a Belgian ale style & quite tasty. At 3.80 it was the dearest pint by miles I had in Birmingham, only approached by that other hipster haunt Sun on the Hill. Suppose you have to pay for artisanal styles but as I was the only one in on a Sunday afternoon I wonder if the range & prices are uber popular.

2 Sep 2015 22:44

The Railway, Birmingham

A fairly basic but nice enough pub, and showing a rugby match of such high quality I stayed for a couple of Pints of Pedigree (2.80). Efficient staff, friendly customers, cheap beer & good rugby; a nice way to end a wet Saturday.

30 Aug 2015 22:29

The Old Contemptibles, Birmingham

Absolutely heaving in the middle of a wet Saturday afternoon so it must be doing something right. The crowd consisted mostly of large partying groups, trying to outdo each other in volume. Not the place for a quiet solo pint then, but I persevered as the glorious interior deserved a bit of a look. Good service despite the crush, a satisfactory pint of Doom Bar (2.70), but I was pleased to return to the wet but quieter outdoors.

30 Aug 2015 22:23

The Wellington, Birmingham

After indifferent experiences further down the hill this place was a diamond. Not a place for the undecided with a billion pumps to choose from. My (Freudian?) choice was the extreme right edge, Wye HPA (3.30) which was very good. In my halcyon days I might have looked left & tried them all, but I'd already had a few elsewhere so limited my intake. Happy punters, knowledgeable bar bloke, a top pub.

29 Aug 2015 23:03

The Sun on the Hill, Birmingham

A buzzing sort of pub, a sort of trendy young rich persons Wetherspoon's. My pint of Ubu Purity (?) was 3.60 which was on the high side for Brimingham, but nice enough. When I finally got it that is. The first bar girl started taking my order, which included food, but was distracted by someone else's problem & forgot me. After a couple of minutes resembling a shag on a rock I got somebody else's attention & was finally served.

29 Aug 2015 22:52

The Trocadero, Birmingham

A very good example of what a pub should be. Near to transport & shops, cheapish, efficient & open before lunch. My satisfactory pint of Pedigree was 2.80, the bar folk coped well with a large crowd (many of them shoppers seeking shelter from the rain); my overall perception was positive.

29 Aug 2015 22:43

Eagle Vaults, Worcester

In Worcester to pursue cricket matters, and to visit the high ranking Cardinal's Hat (sadly not open) I was by thirst driven to find other pubs. This place was solid gold: friendly young bar person, bantering older locals & a smoochy pub dog. Lovely tile & glass work indoors & out, a cheap pint (Bank's Bitter @2.95), open before lunch. In my book a good pub.

29 Aug 2015 22:33

The Cardinals Hat, Worcester

I would have really liked to have seen this pub after such glowing reviews but on my recent trip to Worcester it was shut. I explored the town & a couple of other pubs & returned, still shut & this was well after noon. No indication of opening times that I could discern (a common problem in UK pubs, annoying for time poor tourists). In my humble antipodean opinion if you don't open by lunch time you are not a Pub.

29 Aug 2015 22:26

The Green Man, Soho

As I noted in November 2014 I really like this pub. My 2015 UK pub has just ended & I can only endorse my earlier opinion. I visited on 3 occasions this year, each time the place was reasonably crowded with spots fans (cricket, F1 & football), diners & drinkers and all were getting prompt & polite service. A bearded Irish bloke I took to be the manager took the time to commiserate with me over the cricket. I drank Pride on each visit, 3.35 & quite satisfactory. Top pub

29 Aug 2015 22:14

The Euston Flyer, Euston

Called in here for similar reasons to last year; just off a delayed Eurostar (though this year the wet weather was here, not in France). They really know their business here; efficient & friendly, with most customers dripping wet & having English as a second language. My satisfactory pint of Pride was 4.05, 11 pence more than last year but at least no copper in the change.

28 Aug 2015 23:30

The Rocket, Euston

A bog standard pub with cheaper Pride (4.05) than the nearby Royal George. But frankly I preferred the George for a flimsy personal reason; while attracting the same sort of transient customers, this place seemed to serve on sufferance whereas the George tried to provide a welcome.

28 Aug 2015 23:19

The Royal George, Euston

I had a couple of pints here on a very wet day while waiting for my hotel check in time. It appears this year's fashion is to offer early check in for an extra 10 quid & I figured that 10 quid worth of beer was a better proposition. London Pride @ 4.50, friendly & efficient bar persons in a mildly busy pub. Pint price was a bit high for the location & ambience but at least I was dry & Premier didn't get an extra tenner.

28 Aug 2015 23:13

St Stephens Tavern, Westminster

Popular pub opposite Parliament. Too popular in fact, despite being post lunch & pre knock off the place was rammed & not all were tourists. Public servants dropping a shift? My stand up pint of Sussex Draught (£3.50) was cheap for the location & satisfactory in taste. However the jostling & braying was a bit much so I necked the pint quickly & departed.

5 Aug 2015 07:28

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Always a pleasure to visit this pub. We don't have anything like it in Queensland! As usual I was early & as usual I was the only customer. The bar bloke was friendly, funny & efficient even at 10.30am. My pint of Doombar (£3.75) was refreshing & the ongoing chatter very amusing. Some elderly folk arrived & were treated like royalty. Top pub, top bloke.

5 Aug 2015 07:18

The Harp, Covent Garden

Back again in the Harp to kick off my 2015 UK & Europe pub crawl. Not a noticeable change to this gullible foreigner, the welcome was warm & genuine & the Sambrook Wandle (£3.95) delicious after a long flight. The friendly bar lady kindly a photo of me. Not many in at around 11.00am, but all received great service & good beer at a reasonable price.

3 Aug 2015 07:49

The Two Chairmen, Trafalgar Square

A tiny but comfortable pub, me & a few others enjoying the ambience. Not for long however, a multi national selfie stick wielding mob swarmed in, overwhelming the space but not it seemed the staff. Used to it I suppose. My pint of Truman Swift (£4.00) was not bad but I quickly necked it & scampered.

3 Aug 2015 07:37

Queen of the Iceni, Norwich

This Wetherspoon's pub was the closest to my Norwich Hotel and therefore useful. And that's about it. Nice riverside location, usual menu of beer & food, usual mix of punters. That was day one, the second day was a match day for the local team & it is also the closest to the stadium. A sea of yellow, no chance of being served. Instead of going to one of the many restaurants in the precinct (also rammed but a bit quieter) I went to the Bridge Tavern adjacent to the Iceni, a pub apparently not in your excellent database. It was relatively free of people, probably because it is a poor pub. One table had at least 4 generations of a family, obese & tattooed (except for great grandad, who I think was dead) & the babies. Their language was fruity, to say the least, and the football fans wisely swamped the Wetherspoon's rather than this sorry place.

16 Jan 2015 21:35

Gardeners Arms, Norwich

At last a Norwich pub with a bit of, er, life. An interestingly themed place, not at all ghoulish though I imagine they pull out all stops at Halloween. My diary says I had a pint of Rising Sun, no idea of its origin but I gave it a thumbs up so I guess it was drinkable. It cost 3.75, which was my dearest Norwich pint. Very enjoyable experience, good location, good pub.

4 Jan 2015 22:47

Prince Of Wales, Norwich

Fairly bland & empty pub, at least early on a week day afternoon. My pint was Oak Grain, a local beer apparently, quite nice & well priced at 3.30. The few customers appeared to be locals. I have no idea whether it livens up at night or post work, but it sure seemed comatose to me.

4 Jan 2015 22:21

Compleat Angler, Norwich

Its been 7 months since I visited Norwich so my comments should be seen through that hindsight. Fantastic visual appeal for a first time visitor approaching from the railway station. Not many in around noon on a Thursday, which is normal from my observations around the UK. I had a pint of something called "1730", tasty and only 3.45, which after a week in London was quite cheap. But given its promising location I would have to say the experience was pretty ordinary.

4 Jan 2015 22:05

The Hercules Pillars, Holborn

Bit of a worry when reviewing from the tourist perspective and you realise 5 months have passed since your visit; long enough for pubs to close, and brands & prices to vary. Not to mention seasonal variation. Anyway, it was a fine warm late July day when I went to Hercule's Pillars, and I had a pint of Black Sheep (fondly remembered from some Yorkshire pubs). Tasty, and cheapish for this area @ 3.45. A bloke from Cask Marque was doing a tasting inspection, and seemed satisfied. As I was the only paying customer we chatted about beer & stuff, and I learnt that he had seen more of Australia than me. Cask Marque tasting must pay well. Nice pub, nice pint, friendly bar person, value for money.

12 Dec 2014 22:31

The Nell Gwynne, Covent Garden

Marvellous little pub, not easy to find even if you have been there before. On my first visit in 2013 I was the only customer; the barman & I watched a bit of Ashes cricket. This year there were a few folk scattered about, Commonwealth Games on the flat screen. Contrary to some commentator's opinions, all were, or seemed to be, tourists. We're not all wealthy lemmings flocking the streets gawking at tacky souvenirs, some of us use websites like this to navigate the real London. My pint of Tribute was fine, 3.70, service friendly & efficient; the whole experience was pleasant.

26 Nov 2014 21:56

The Coal Hole, Strand

Another on my list of pubs to drop in to, another where 99% of customers are tourists, and yet it does not overdo the olde stuff. Fantastic interior, well located, and not too expensive. This visit I had a pint of Bombardier for 3.55, and it was fine.

As I slowly work my way through my diary it occurs to me that the prices I paid are probably ancient history, as my visits were in July & August 2014. I include them because they give an indication of value for money, good or bad. In the case of the Coal Hole 3.55 is good value for money.

25 Nov 2014 20:53

The Green Man, Soho

I really like this pub. Came across it a few UK pub crawls ago, and always drop in, more than once, on each visit since. I can think of no outstanding feature; but it has the basics well covered. And its cheap! Pints of Pride for 3.15 on a couple of visits, and a Greene King IPA for 2.75 on another. Well sorted for sport, tasty pub food, cheap beer and only a stone's throw from Oxford Street.

25 Nov 2014 20:38

Halfway II Heaven, Charing Cross

I had previously avoided this pub on the basis that a pub so close to Trafalgar Square would be a tourist nightmare. Very surprised to find a quite decent & friendly little pub and a pint of Doom Bar was 3.55, pretty cheap for central London.

21 Nov 2014 21:50

The Union Jack, Southwark

After a relaxing pint at the Founder's Arms, and an entertaining one at the White Hart, I thought I had discovered pub heaven in this corner of London. This place brought me back to earth. A pint of Pride @ 3.60 was the only redeeming feature. Disinterested bar person, a couple of lunching office workers, no buzz like the other two. Disappointing.

21 Nov 2014 21:38

White Hart, Southwark

After a couple of hours in Tate Modern, & starting the beer day at the Founder's Arms I called in here on my slow walk back to the Tube. Previous reviewers have called it traditional, "proper", and so on. I agree. Bantering but polite locals, efficient bar staff, a nice pint of Pride @ 3.80 which seemed about par for the area. One of my new favourite pubs.

21 Nov 2014 21:34

Founders Arms, Bankside

I popped in here after an exhausting couple of hours in Tate Modern. Being a nice day, even at lunch time on a Tuesday the terrace was packed. Inside was virtually empty. A nice pint of Young's Bitter was 3.99, not bad for a pub in this position. Friendly & efficient staff, working WiFi, a perfectly good pint; a nice place to spend an hour or so when its quiet.

21 Nov 2014 21:22

The Victoria, Victoria

I was told about this pub by an old lady friend in Oz who had visited here for a meal while on a coach tour. She described it as a quintessential English pub. I don't think she saw many. It is a perfectly good pub, with a pint of Doom Bar @ 3.85 being a good 50 pence cheaper than some nearby. Very nice sausage & mash, friendly & efficient bar people; its probably no accident the coach driver chose this pub for his Oz pensioners.

21 Nov 2014 21:15

The Nags Head, Belgravia

Got to this pub before noon on a Monday, and as usual I was the only customer. Had an excellent pint of Adnam's and a fascinating chat with the landlord, who was nursing a hangover from Sunday's exertions, which included horse racing & lots of drink. Marvellous old pub, lovely bloke. Amongst other things, I learnt he was a keen skier. We were joined by his previous day's drinking mate, a local gentleman with impeccable manners. Not sure of the no mobile rule, as the local bloke hopped on his smart phone to check something, with no reaction from the publican. Maybe its just talking on phones which is banned?

4 Nov 2014 22:35

The Cross Keys, Hammersmith

Wandering a part of London not familiar to me I came across this gem. Its was fairly quiet early on a Saturday afternoon, and a plumbing disaster in the male dunny was causing consternation, yet I was welcomed & treated like an old friend. I had an excellent pint of London Pride (3.54) and an interesting conversation about nothing in particular with the bar person. I did not see James May, but if he is indeed a regular he has a cracking pub as his local.

29 Oct 2014 21:36

The Dove Inn, Hammersmith

Sought out this pub on a very hot Saturday in late July. No room on the riverside part but a few seats were left indoors and I enjoyed a pint of Pride (3.94) with several hot & happy pedestrians & cyclists. The pub really delivered as a tourist venue: great location, low ceilings, nooks & crannies, conversation & laughter. Next trip I will try to visit midweek, so I can enjoy the view.

29 Oct 2014 21:26

Ship, Monument

There are several pubs I visit each year on my annual UK crawl, and this is one of them. I like its alley location and quirky indoor layout. The self important suit wearers were well represented, but there was a tourist or two to balance the crowd. The bar people were effective, if not exactly cheerful, and my pint of Pride (3.55) was fine, and remarkably cheap for the location.

20 Oct 2014 22:37

East India Arms, Fenchurch Street

Fantastic old fashioned pub, well filled by lunch time drinkers on a wet Friday. A pint of Spitfire (4.00) was fine, staff were coping well & swapping banter with all & sundry. Visitors to London can have pre-conceived ideas about City pubs, I know I did, but this one could be poked on any high street in the land, or back street for that matter and not be out of place.

20 Oct 2014 22:25

The Britannia, Monument

I'm surprised at the low rating of this pub. Although usually not a fan of basement bars this one is fine. A pint of Greene King IPA cost 3.65, a lot cheaper than most pubs around here, and the atmosphere mid afternoon was cheerful, probably late lunching office workers given the location. Staff were efficient & friendly. I always drop in here at least once on my annual UK pub crawl as its easy to find, easy on the pocket & the punters are easy going. Not your average City pub.

20 Oct 2014 22:14

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

One of my favourite London pubs, not least because it opens at 10am most days. Though I've been here several times I've never seen it crowded, in fact the last visit was notable for me being the only customer. Tourist tip: Monday to Friday, any pub in London, if you want to see people come at lunch time or post work; if you want to see the pub come morning or mid afternoon. A pub like this is best seen in less crowded circumstances, as its décor is its best feature. The beer was fine (London Pride @ 3.60) but the art nouveaux interior is the main reason to visit.

10 Oct 2014 23:36

The Fountains Abbey, Paddington

One of the better pubs in the Paddington rail & tourist hotel conglomeration. I'm betting 95% of the customers are tourists, given the inane questions they ask, and the variable prices charged: I drank London Pride on 3 visits over a 4 week period & was charged 3 different prices. Didn't notice until I collated my diary after returning to Australia. This is not a big complaint as it was only a few pence and I enjoyed each one, but it is a bit cheeky. Lovely interior, big screens for sport, usual pub menu and a few seats outside if you enjoy vehicle exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke & beggars.

7 Oct 2014 22:41

The Leinster Arms, Bayswater

I have been visiting this pub since 1983, though it may have been called something else then. No memories of that time, other than it was up the road from my flea pit hotel. Nowadays wherever I stay in London I still pop in here at least once each trip, as its got a comfort factor that many pubs fail to match. Friendly bar staff, OK beer, TV here & there if you need it. Food too, though I have never eaten there. I have little idea why I like it so much, other than it fits.

7 Oct 2014 22:26

The Mad Bishop and Bear, Paddington

I've been staying in B&Bs in Paddington every summer since 2009 & never visited this pub till now. Don't know why, maybe an aversion to escalators. Anyway, a good pint of Pride (3.99), WiFi that worked, plenty of seats and an almost tranquil atmosphere compared to the pandemonium below. What's not to like?

5 Oct 2014 22:57

The Old Swan, Notting Hill

On my latest UK pub tour I visited over 150 pubs, nearly 100 in London alone. My liver is holding up well, thanks for asking. I mention this in relation to the Old Swan because the pint of Pride I had there on 24 July 2014 at 3.20pm cost four pounds forty five pence, which was to that point the dearest pint I had sipped by a good 25p. For a bog standard pub in an admittedly nice area this is taking the biscuit. The pint by the way was quite fine and the service was OK.

5 Oct 2014 22:44

The Queens Vaults, Cardiff

The first thing to note about this pub was it was open for business. First one I tried had an open door but a surly "not servin' yet" occupant. I'm talking about you, City Arms. I don't give a tinker's cuss if a pub is closed, but an open door is an invitation isn't it? So I gave a tinker's cuss, and more besides. Now, the Queen's Vaults. Large, fairly busy, efficient bar staff & a nice pint of Brain's Peloton (2.99). Extra points for being open.

3 Oct 2014 23:25

Knights Templar, Bristol

A pretty useful pub on my brief visit to Bristol in July, next to Temple Meads and across the creek from my hotel. Usual Wetherspoon's food & beer range, but its customer base seemed more office worker & commuter than hen's party & solo sipper. I had pints of Brains SA (2.50) on my visits, which were fine, and the food was filling if not exciting.

3 Oct 2014 23:11

Hole in the Wall, Bristol

A bland sort of place, plenty of space indoors & out, in fact this was one of the few pubs this trip where I drank al fresco. Usually avoid this practice, not needing more sun, not being a smoker, and not happy being asked for loot by beggars. My pint of Butcombe (3.40) was fine, but I cannot remember anything about the place to make it memorable.

2 Oct 2014 23:29

V Shed, Bristol

Visited on a very hot day in July, which meant the terrace area was mobbed. As a Queenslander the sun is not a rarity to me so I went indoors where it was much cooler, and almost deserted. Big place, spread over a couple of levels. An adequate number of staff meant all were being fed & watered without fuss. I had a pint of something called Gem (2.55), which was perfectly fine. An above average Wetherspoon's.

2 Oct 2014 23:19

Sam Wellers, Bath

Perfectly serviceable pub, which (to my mind) didn't quite hit the heights of some of the other city centre places I sampled. Friendly bar bloke and a scattering of regulars (judging by the conversations). My pint of Bath Best was fine (3.50). If I lived in Bath this could easily be my local, but as a tourist it didn't quite hit the mark.

30 Sep 2014 23:27

The Volunteer Riflemans Arms, Bath

I've got an idea. Why not let customers give their opinions of the pub instead of publishing feuding trolls? I visited this pub on a hot day in late July, and enjoyed the pint (Bellringer @ 3.60) and the company very much. I first visited in 2011 and had a similarly pleasant time. The sort of pub tourists should seek out, as they are a disappearing breed.

30 Sep 2014 23:19

The Coeur de Lion, Bath

Small but perfectly formed pub in a narrow lane near the retail centre of Bath. Visited mainly because of its name, as I'm a bit of a history geek, but I really enjoyed the pub and a pint of Bellringer @ 3.40 was spot on. Friendly people on both sides of the bar. No idea if the customers were tourists or locals, we were all treated with courtesy.

30 Sep 2014 23:11

The Llandoger, Bristol

Have to agree with previous reviewers of this pub. Though a foreigner I have a bit of UK pub experience (visited over 500 in the last 5 years), and this pub is in the bottom half. Splendid to look at, and with history to match, the place is let down with disinterested bar folk, limited range, and a disjointed interior. I have no idea if it is a buzzing night venue but daytime customers pay too and should be treated with a bit of courtesy. Very few in, probably drawn (like me) by its history & looks, but few had more than one drink.

30 Sep 2014 23:04

The King William, Bristol

Lovely pub, but a bored bar person. I quite like Sam Smith's Brewery Bitter, and I love the work they do on interiors, but some of the people they hire need smiling lessons. Very quiet, only 3 or 4 customers including me, and all were hushed, like in church.

23 Sep 2014 23:36

The Shakespeare, Bristol

A decent looking pub adjacent to the waterside precinct, with a busy little sun terrace at the front. Less crowded indoors, & cooler. A pint of Shakespeare (3.10) was pretty good, as was the service. After some adventures in back street Bristol pubs I was happy to sit & sip quietly here even if it was more tourist heavy.

23 Sep 2014 23:28

The Coronation, Bedminster

My local in Ipswich (Queensland) is the Coronation & I promised its publican I would have a beer in namesakes if I came across them. So here I was, boring the bar bloke with my story. He was a patient fellow & served me a pint of Doom Bar (2.80), which was satisfactory. The madness of the Ship a couple of kilometres away had migrated here, with several punters tending to intoxication mid afternoon. What is it with Bristol on Mondays?

23 Sep 2014 23:19

The Ship, Bristol

Stumbled over this pub on my way to another. Fairly well hidden at the back of fine looking church. Though only lunch time on a Monday the majority of punters were well into it, boisterous tending to obnoxious. A problem for solo travellers is being adopted by pub bores, and I copped a beauty here. Amongst details of his health & finances he advised that Monday was mad & I couldn't disagree. My pint of Greene King IPA was swiftly necked & I sprinted to a more sane location.

23 Sep 2014 23:10

The Reckless Engineer, Bristol

After arriving at Temple Meads & finding my hotel I set off for beer. I was aware of this pub from a previous trip to Bristol so I tried it again. Though a bit run down (almost grotty) there was still a nice welcome, and a pint of Butcombe (3.10) was okay. Perhaps not the best advertisement for Bristol for rail arrivals but that could be said for many pubs near stations.

23 Sep 2014 23:01

The Salutation Inn, Nottingham

Not far from Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, and apparently not much younger. A different pub though; not a tourist magnet but a music venue it seems, which usually means in daylight its near empty, as this pub was. Nevertheless, a fine pint of Everard Sun Chaser ((3.40), a friendly bar person and an atmospheric interior rates this pub highly in my opinion.

20 Sep 2014 22:55

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham

I first came here in 2011, was much impressed and that impression has not changed. A stunning location, atmospheric interior, & well filled beer garden . It has long experience as a tourist destination so you have a well run pub, not just a thing to photograph & move on from, though many people do. This person didn't, as he had a fine pint of (what else) Robin Hood, at 3.20 not as expensive as you may expect.

20 Sep 2014 22:44

The Dragon, Nottingham

A quirky pub, seems small but sort of meanders around a bit over several levels. Probably not a middle aged tourist's venue, but the bar bloke was polite & the pint of Black Sheep (3.40) was satisfactory. Hardly any customers at lunch time on Sunday, but there was a carnival in the city square, the weather was fine & warm, which may have drawn the punters away.

20 Sep 2014 22:34

The Gatehouse, Nottingham

A port in a storm for this thirsty traveller on a warm Sunday in July. Publican was suffering from work aversion & only John Smith's (2.60) was available, after all the other stuff was apparently consumed the night before. Whatever, the pint was okay, and the work shy bloke chatty, so a pleasant half hour was had.

20 Sep 2014 22:27

Richard III, Leicester

A real local's atmosphere, without the hostility sometimes felt in such places. A fine pint of Everard's Tiger @ 2.95, friendly bar folk; perhaps not a tourist magnet but worth seeking out for a real English pub experience.

16 Sep 2014 23:37

Barley Mow, Leicester

The best pub I drank in on my short stop over in Leicester. Friendly bar bloke, nice beer (Everard's Web Ellis @ 3.05, first taste for me), and an informative chat with a local who had apparently never met an Australian. Perhaps being a bit more expensive than the nearby chain pubs kept the crowd thin, but I enjoyed my short visit.

16 Sep 2014 23:30

The Unicorn, Manchester

This is the sort of pub I look for all over the UK & rarely find. A pub that does not do much more than provide a venue for mates (& the occasional missus) to meet, banter, laugh & relax. Friendly & efficient bar people & polite, if noisy, customers. I had a pint of John Smith's at 2.50, not sure why as its not a favourite, but it wasn't too bad.

16 Sep 2014 23:09

The City Arms, Manchester

Good old fashioned pub in a office blocky part of central Manchester. Friendly welcome and a nice pint of Titanic (?) for 3.50, and not too squashed mid afternoon. Appears to attract serious beer lovers of a certain age, with the odd late lunching office worker thrown in.

16 Sep 2014 22:55

The Toll Gate Inn, Manchester

My hotel for my first few trips to Manchester was just up the road from here so I can almost call myself a regular. This year I stayed in the city centre but still hopped on a tram to visit and unlike some pubs this trip, everything seemed the same. Efficient service, value for money beer (Pedigree @ 2.65), popular beer garden, in fact the pub was quite busy. As pubs seem thin on the ground around here I guess it gets rammed with cricket & football fans on match days , but otherwise it is a pleasant place. In previous years I have eaten here too, and the food has been good value.

13 Sep 2014 23:20

The Bishop Blaize, Old Trafford

This is one of the few Wetherspoon pubs that I have visited just for beer. A large room with 2 levels and a longish bar, I have visited for the last 4 years & had good service and good value for money beer each time. This year I had an Adnam's (2.20) which was fine. Just around the corner from the Theatre of Dreams, I can only imagine what it is like on game days, but around midday, mid week in mid summer it is a jolly good pub.

13 Sep 2014 23:07

The Ape and Apple, Manchester

Visited last year, liked it & was keen enough to return. What a difference a year makes! Though the bar person was polite & efficient he must have forgotten some aspects of responsible service of alcohol, for most customers were sloshed; some staring into space & others loudly arguing sport/politics/sex. The bar area was quite dark in mid afternoon, but sadly not sound proofed. A pint of Holt's was 2.43 and meant the excursion didn't cost much, but I doubt I'll include this place on the 2015 crawl.

13 Sep 2014 22:57

The Sir Ralph Abercrombie, Manchester

A pleasant all rounder style of pub with large screens for sport, food, beer garden & smart use of interior space. I had a pint of Landlord (3.50) which was very good and the bar people were friendly & efficient. The customers were a mixture of late lunchers, early post workers & solo sippers. That would be me & another bloke watching the cricket.

11 Sep 2014 23:47

The Peveril Of The Peak, Castlefield

First time I have found this pub open in 5 visits to Manchester. The bar bloke said the hours used to be sporadic but were now "normal". Whatever. A glorious looking place,standing out on its little traffic island because of its tile work. I had a pint of Spitfire (3.50) which was okay, but a long way from Kent. The aforesaid bar bloke was pleasant, if not overworked, there being only a few in the sun & me inside.

11 Sep 2014 23:32

The Briton's Protection Hotel, Castlefield

A grand old fashioned pub, narrow front bar and all sorts of nooks & crannies throughout, including a beer garden. A fair crowd was there, banter & laughter, engaged & efficient service. My diary says I had a pint of Briton's Protection, not sure if they had a house brand or I had a brain hiccup. Whatever, it was 3.50 & quite satisfactory. Top pub.

11 Sep 2014 23:23

The Deansgate, Deansgate

Not for the first time I have entered a pub to find myself the only customer. As it was nearly 1pm this was a bit surprising, but it appeared what few customers they had were in the roof garden. A pint of Thwaites something or other (I can only read big words) was fine, and at 3.70 on the high side for Manchester, but reasonable. Bar person was not extended by a crowd so service was fine.

11 Sep 2014 23:16

The White Lion Hotel, Castlefield

This pub is on the fine line between grotty & quaint. I lean to grotty. Looks reasonably flash outside but decayed within. I was charged 4.15 for a pint of Landlord, a good 45p more than any other of the 20 Manchester pubs I visited this trip. Needless to say the service was less than pleasant, as if they were seeking a full suite of black marks.

11 Sep 2014 23:08

The Lost Dene, Deansgate

Popped in early on a warm Thursday in July to check the cricket & wet the whistle. Both accomplished satisfactorily; Greene King IPA @ 2.75 was both reasonably priced & refreshing, and there were many televisions to choose from. Bar person was friendly & efficient.

11 Sep 2014 22:52

The Piccadilly Tavern, Manchester

A sort of Wetherspoon's a few doors away from the real McCoy. Does the same thing at much the same price. I prefer it because it is not a JDW, not that I am a snob (I rather like some of them), but because it seems more pub-like. Wetherspoon's look like pubs but are really McDonald's for grown ups. I had a pint of Bombardier (2.69), quite satisfactory, and found a leaning perch without trouble. Bar was a bit crowded with post work drinkers but the staff coped well.

11 Sep 2014 22:44

The Shakespeare, Manchester

I visit this pub very time I go to Manchester, mainly because it is a fairly normal place in a quiet side street, a block or so from the manic bus, tram & people rammed Piccadilly area. A pint of Greene King IPA @ 3.30 was quite satisfactory. The customers appeared to be a mix of shoppers, tourists & after work drinkers. Bar folk were engaged & efficient, all in all a pretty good pub.

11 Sep 2014 22:27

The City, Manchester

After bolting from the hipster coolness of the Castle down the road I found this place. Not hip & not cool, and not the sort of pub you recommend to your maiden aunt. Customers were mostly sozzled or stoned & those who could talk did so in that loud fashion of the intoxicated, positive the world wants to hear their opinions. And this was around 3pm on a week day. My excursion to view the back blocks of Manchester's centre was eventful, but I was happy to return to more sober zones. A pint of something called Acorn, @ 2.70, was drinkable.

6 Sep 2014 23:53

The Castle Hotel, Manchester

Not a pub that does its best work mid week afternoons, which is when I popped in. Pretentious, too cool, and pretty well empty, apart from the bar person & her dog. She (the young bar person, not the dog) tore herself away from her lap top to serve me a pint of something called Cumbria Way, 3.30, which was OK. I realise I was not the demographic the pub was aimed at, so drank quickly & scooted.

6 Sep 2014 23:38

Mother Macs, Manchester

Despite many visits to Manchester I was unaware of this pub, only a block from Piccadilly Gardens. A fairly desolate location, even in daylight, and quite obviously a local's pub. My fellow drinkers seemed harmless enough, but their loud conversations concerned matters that perhaps should have been whispered and left me with the impression the place was a halfway house for patients, prisoners & bewildered seniors. A pint of Black Sheep @ 3.20 was quite OK, the bar person was polite, but I was happy to move on.

6 Sep 2014 23:26

The Grey Horse Inn, Manchester

Adjacent to the Circus Tavern, I popped in here while waiting for my hotel room to become available. Friendly bar person, not many customers (just as well as its nearly as small as its near neighbour) & a pint of Hyde's something or other for 2.86, which was very reasonable.

5 Sep 2014 23:33

The Circus Tavern, Manchester

A bit spruced up since I first visited this tiny pub, walls stripped of the old photos & painted white. Perhaps the photos are in storage for when the painting is finished? Only a couple in, so plenty of room, actually one room each. A pint of Tetley's, 3.10, not flash, but I have the taste buds of a goat, & will drink any beer at least once. That was my second Tetley's of the journey & probably the last. In summary, not the pub I remembered, beer was mediocre, but the bar person was pleasant.

5 Sep 2014 23:25

The Dolphin, Whitby

On a day trip from Scarborough I did the 199 steps to the Abbey & then sought beer. The few I saw on the way down were either shut (it was around 11am), or laughingly twee. The Dolphin was open, & seemed normal, & so it proved. Not many in & all were tourists, so orders took some time, but my pint of Black Sheep was fine, 3.30 which was around par for Whitby. Now the rant: I travel to the UK & elsewhere every year, and a bit of research before departure helps me tell the difference between pubs, tea rooms, restaurants & tourist information bureaus, so I don't waste my time or that of the serving person, or indeed other customers. I am in the minority.

5 Sep 2014 23:12

Lord Rosebery, Scarborough

A good Wetherspoon's pub within tottering range of my accommodation. Had final pints & dinner on both days I was in Scarborough, Bombardier @ 2.20 on day one to wash down a pretty good hot dog. My notes on day two suggest the pint was "mystery", not sure if that was a brand or a brain fade. Anyhow it was OK with a steak. While I would never consider a session in a Wetherspoon's, their consistent offerings are a boon for tourists without imagination. Like me.

5 Sep 2014 00:35

The Angel Inn, Scarborough

Second pub of the Scarborough visit. Very friendly bar bloke, and Australian car racing on the television. So far so good. A pint of Tetleys was 3.10, a bit higher than the Black Lion down the road but still fair after London. Can't say the pint was great, adequate at best, but the pub itself was probably my favourite of about ten visited in Scarborough.

5 Sep 2014 00:18

The Black Lion, Scarborough

First pub outside of London on the 2014 UK crawl. A block or two away from the main shopping strip, fairly quiet but friendly. I had a pint of Mansfield, whatever that is, dark & wet anyway & only 2.50. A pub for locals but I saw some elderly tourists on a subsequent visit being well looked after.

5 Sep 2014 00:09

The Old Kings Head, Borough

Fantastic old fashioned pub in its own yard just off the High Street. Friendly welcome, a nice pint of Landlord (3.65), and no pressure to order food. Not even sure they served any. Largish square room, solo drinkers dotted around the tables reading newspapers, and some smokers in the yard. After the "here's your hat, what's your hurry" attitude of the Southwark Tavern, I was so relaxed here I had a second pint & pondered a third, but an engagement elsewhere called.

31 Aug 2014 23:11

The Southwark Tavern, London Bridge

First visited this pub in 2009, not impressed then but 5 years is long enough to improve so I tried again. As it was around 1pm on a Sunday lunch was the most important thing on staff's mind & they seemed miffed when I just ordered a pint (Doom Bar, 3.75). I do not like pubs that treat drinkers as optional extras.

31 Aug 2014 23:00

The Kings Arms, Waterloo

Wonderful old pub, one that I have meaning to visit for years as it is highly recommended on this site & some others. Very quiet early on a damp Sunday, I had a pint of Southwolds something or other, 3.70, and pretty good for the first of the day. Friendly young lady serving, another bloke hovering & activity out the back so I expect they have a hefty Sunday lunch crowd. Probably not a tourist pub but it should be as it is the real deal.

31 Aug 2014 22:47

The Lord John Russell, Russell Square

As a visitor to the UK I do my best to debunk myths of Australian behaviour & try to live to the rule of not saying anything if its not complimentary. But this pub tested me. A nice pint of Deuchars IPA, 3.55, and a pleasant if uncommunicative bar person were the good bits. A squarish room, tables & chairs, bog standard pub. But the customers! They all seemed related to each other and included small children who ran rampant indoors & out, perhaps obeying my silent plea to go play in the traffic. Parental control was non existent, then volcanic, and peace only came when electronic pacifiers were issued. I necked the pint & left quickly. Life is too short, and good pubs too plentiful, to dwell on the occasional bad apple.

26 Aug 2014 23:10

The Boot, St Pancras

Found this place a block or so from my hotel. Another back street local's pub, blokes playing cards and bantering solidly. Very pretty barmaid. I had a pint of Golden Hen (I think), 3.70, which was okay. A bit insular compared to McGlynn's nearby, I doubt tourists seek it out.

26 Aug 2014 22:54

McGlynns, Kings Cross

On my recent UK visit I stayed briefly in the King's Cross area & discovered some new (for me) pubs near the hotel. I enjoyed McGlynn's because it seemed that most customers were locals enjoying punting, pints & banter, and the odd tourist (me) was made most welcome. Pride was 3.80, which was pretty reasonable.

26 Aug 2014 22:37

The Euston Flyer, Euston

Eager for an ale after a wet week in France, and open at a civilised time (10:20 am) the Euston Flyer probably was seen through rose coloured glasses. But I couldn't fault it: cheerful staff and quite a few customers for an early hour and a nice pint of Pride at 3.94 (why not 3.95?). As I was staying in the area to catch a north bound train it became an honorary local and I returned for a satisfactory meal later in the day. Plenty of room, sport on the screens, nothing to fault.

23 Aug 2014 23:22

The Sussex Arms, Paddington

As a regular visitor to the UK from Australia I have had many pints in this place, given its proximity to the tourist hotels in Sussex Gardens & Norfolk Square. Best of the pubs on London Street as it does not try to provide a tourist experience; rather it caters to whoever walks in the door, be they construction workers, local residents or indeed tourists. Squarish main bar area, a few tables outside, music videos or sport on the screens. Cheery staff and a pint of Pride for 3.70, a good pub.

23 Aug 2014 23:09

The Bricklayers Arms, Fitzrovia

I had the place to myself at 2.30pm on a Tuesday, so had the undivided attention of the bar person. Being the fifth or sixth pint of the day I was up for a chat, and luckily so was he. Nothing outstanding visually, a clean & basic pub, Brewery Bitter (2.90). It is passing strange to a frequent visitor to London that perfectly good (& some outstanding) pubs, only metres from major shopping streets & tourist sites, are deserted yet others are rammed beyond comfort. Herd mentality?

20 Aug 2014 23:09

The Old Crown, Bloomsbury

Not the best pub I visited on this trip, but not the worst. Jimi Hendrix in the background will always hook me. The young staff served reasonably efficiently, not hard as there were few in, but seemed oblivious to customers & preoccupied with their hair/smartphones/gossip. A pint of something called Country Bitter tasted OK and was 4.10. After a 2.90 pint at the Princess Louise, and an engaged bar person, the comparison was not favourable.

20 Aug 2014 22:55

The Princess Louise, Holborn

Visited this marvellous pub 3 times on my latest UK pub crawl. I was surprised at the lack of customers on each visit this year (and in previous years). Different bar people each time, the last being a friendly Kiwi bloke, who effortlessly coped (& chatted) with the four or so groups who were in, scattered among the snugs & front bar. Glorious interior, Brewery Bitter (2.90) was cheap & tasty; this pub may be swamped at knock off time but is otherwise quiet & and an ideal venue for tourists wanting to see a traditional pub.

20 Aug 2014 22:45

The Newton Arms, Holborn

The Newton Arms is the sort of pub tourists ignore; not near major sites, plain looking, and catering to drinkers rather than eaters & coffee sippers. There is food & it looks tasty, but most punters on my visits over the years have been local workers & sports fans, necking pints & bantering with the bar people. A good pint of Adnams Bitter (3.70); last year's visit I had several of them watching a British Lion's test from Australia with a fantastic crew of rugby fans.

20 Aug 2014 22:33

The Cross Keys, Covent Garden

Enjoyed a quiet pint here early on day 2 of the 2014 UK tour. Great thing about UK pubs is not many are crowded before lunch, so you can check out the surroundings without treading on toes. The beer was London Fields; as a visitor I do not know who made it, or what reputation it or its brewer has, but at 3.40 I was not complaining. Narrow room so probably body contact drinking at peak hour, but quite nice on my visit.

19 Aug 2014 23:20

The Montagu Pyke, Charing Cross Road

As a visitor to the UK I quite like Wetherspoon's pubs, in a MacDonald's sort of way, because a menu in Penzance will be the same as in Newcastle, the price only varies slightly by postcode, and the beer range is wide. Above all they are great value for money. And clean. I have fed & watered myself in the Montagu Puke several times over the last 5 years and never had trouble finding a table (an issue when travelling solo). It does not seem to attract penny counting soaks, or screeching hen's parties, or bellowing sports fans, just wandering tourists & shoppers seeking sustenance.

19 Aug 2014 23:10

The Salisbury, Leicester Square

Third pub of the 2014 northern hemisphere tour. Glorious looking place and well managed, in my limited experience. Last year a bloke who may have been the landlord gave me & the few who were there a history of the place, and this year the same bloke found me a perch at the crowded bar. Class. A pint of Bombardier was 4.05, first four pound plus pint of the trip, but I was soon to pay more, at dumps with nowhere near the attractiveness & ambience of the Salisbury.

19 Aug 2014 22:56

The Chandos, Trafalgar Square

Second pub of the 2014 UK pub crawl, a short stroll from the first (the Harp). Like most Sam Smith's pubs the Chandos is attractively presented, efficiently staffed, and the Brewery Bitter was fine (& cheap, 2.90). It was quiet at noon, a few tourists like me, (maps, head scratching, puzzled expressions) and a couple of thirsty looking punters who may have been locals.

18 Aug 2014 23:42

The Harp, Covent Garden

First pub visited on this year's UK pub crawl. First last year too, and there are a few good reasons: friendly people, good beer and it opens at 10:00am, which is useful when you land at Heathrow after 24 hours cooped in a tube and a thirst you could photograph. Sambrook Junction, 2 pints of, at 3.50 (though the same pint was 3.75 four weeks later when I next called in). Cheap for the location & ambience.

18 Aug 2014 23:23

The Station Inn, Whitby

Best of the Whitby pubs I visited on a warm July day. Had a pint of Thwaites something or other, which was nice enough. I like UK beer but being a thick Aussie can only tell the difference between brown flat & yellow fizzy, and I prefer the brown. Publican was friendly. Highlight for me was a spirited conversation with another drinker, a fully cassocked Catholic priest. We didn't have time to solve all the world's problems but we covered a few.

18 Aug 2014 23:09

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