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BITE user comments - Stamfordian

Comments by Stamfordian

The Masons Arms, Kendal

now refurbished to a high standard and reopened as Masons Yard 24. Wide range of beers, good brasserie menu and has already won the accolade of Local CAMRA Pub of the year 2018 as well as a place in the 2018 Good Beer Guide. Well worth a visit.

3 Nov 2018 13:42

The Castle Inn, Kendal

After a period of closure following flood damage caused by Storm Desmond this nice little local was reopened a year ago by a couple from London who made a great effort to make a go of it. Unfortunately it was reported in this week's Gazette that they are calling it a day, hinting that people would rather patronise the likes of Wetherspoon's than support a friendly community local and pay a bit more for their beer. It will only reopen if and when a new licensee can be found.

3 Nov 2018 13:35

Burgundys Wine Bar, Kendal

Sold a few months ago by the former long-term owner, closed, refurbished and recently reopened. Looks OK: one day soon I will make the effort to carry on past the excellent Fell Brewery bar a few doors closer to the town centre and give it a try.

3 Nov 2018 13:25

Ye Olde Fleece Inn, Kendal

Has closed and reopened several times in the last few years and has now been closed for several months with signs in the windows advising of the company responsible for security. Hopefully will reopen again soon but there's no sign of this happening.

7 Sep 2018 23:15

Bridge Hotel, Kendal

Still closed and the deadline for offers passed about 6 months ago according the board outside. Nothing appears to have happened since: the structure continues to deteriorate.

7 Sep 2018 23:03

Black Swan Hotel, Kendal

Another Kendal pub now closed and according to the planning application fixed outside to be converted into flats, the same fate which has befallen at least 4 other pubs in the town during the last few years.

7 Sep 2018 22:59

The Drapers Arms, Peterborough

I call in every couple of weeks and have still never been disappointed by the quality and condition of any real ale I have tried. Apparently there are only a couple of Wetherspoons in the country which have a higher turnover of real ale than here. There are now plans to build a roof garden terrace which should increase this still further. Even if you are not a fan of Wetherspoons the Drapers is well worth a visit.

23 Aug 2018 23:08

The Green Ayre, Lancaster

The last several times I have visited Lancaster over the last 18 months or so the Green Ayre has been closed and boarded up with the message that it is "Closed for refurbishment". When I passed by a few weeks ago it was up for sale as one of Wetherspoons' recent disposals.

28 Jun 2018 20:13

The Punch Bowl Inn, Kirkstone Pass

This pub is several miles west of Kendal and, at a guess, about 15 miles south of the Kirkstone Pass, where the only pub is the Kirkstone Pass Inn. There appear to be some crossed wires somewhere.

9 Jul 2017 17:55

The Rainbow Tavern, Kendal

Has undergone some refurbishment and is now called the "Horse and Rainbow" for some reason.

9 Jul 2017 17:37

The Dun Horse, Kendal

Has undergone an expensive refurbishment and has now reopened as "THE GATE of Kendal". It has been reported in the local press that it offers a fine menu and includes in its offer a good selection of ales and craft beers. From outside it looks good but more like a restaurant than a pub (it was closed when I walked past yesterday morning). Maybe I will give it a try, but it doesn't look like the kind of place I would normally pop in for a quick pint.

9 Jul 2017 17:32

Bridge Hotel, Kendal

Has had a board up advertising for new tenants for months, and now closed.

9 Jul 2017 17:23

Moo Bar, Carlisle

I had heard good things about this place and finally made it this evening to find it still shut with a legal notice in the window. Doesn't look like it will reopen now, at least under its present identity. I suppose Carlisle is more of a Wetherspoon and kids' bar kind of city, although I have always enjoyed my drinking experiences here and still remember the historic Carlisle State Brewery's products.

23 Mar 2017 00:03

The Periwig, Stamford

Has been closed for several months but apparently this is for refurbishment and the place will eventually reopen. Some external work has been carried out with modern signage etc. removed and the carved name of former owners Patens exposed. There has been no sign of further progress for some time, though.

22 Dec 2016 01:02

The Otters Pocket, Stamford

Still closed with whitewashed front windows. The sign is still there but I cannot see the place reopening as a pub after such a long period of closure.

22 Dec 2016 00:53

The Jolly Brewer, Stamford

The landlord and landlady are planning to move on to concentrate on further developing his Baker's Dozen brewery. Hopefully their replacements will maintain the same high standards and the pub will continue to thrive.

22 Dec 2016 00:50

Hit or Miss, Stamford

The houses built on the site are now fully occupied.

22 Dec 2016 00:45

The Drum and Monkey, Stamford

The first houses are almost ready for occupation. Oddly, the pub sign is still standing. Pity it's a characterless modern sign and not the former beautifully-painted one of a monkey dancing on a drum.

22 Dec 2016 00:43

Wigan Central, Wigan

I also cannot fault Lezford's review as it entirely reflects our experience yesterday at the same time of day as his visit. Excellent ale choice, efficient staff, good prices, an unusual building and so handy for North Western station that I managed a very quick pint in the ten minutes between my arrival at the pub and departure time of my train. I will certainly be back as I regard Wigan as an ever-improving town for the beer drinker.

6 Mar 2016 18:13

John Bull Chophouse, Wigan

Not too busy when we dropped in at around one, but quickly became busier. The juke box indeed has an excellent choice of good rock, but despite the high volume of same this interesting pub appears to be popular with all ages and we found the customers friendly and chatty, the bar staff helpful and efficient and the ale choice sufficient and of good quality. Well worth a visit.

6 Mar 2016 18:04

Anvil, Wigan

Still an excellent pub with good quick service even when as busy as it was on Saturday lunch time: plenty of efficient friendly barmaids and a very good choice of ales, all of those we tried very well kept. The large flat screen TV on the wall of the main bar was showing the Spurs-Arsenal match resulting in something of a crush of viewers, most of whom were cheery and good-natured but a few less-well mannered were barging their way through the crowd. Inevitable on a matchday, I suppose: not the fault of the pub and I always enjoy my visits at any time of day.

6 Mar 2016 17:53

Union Tavern, Kendal

Remarkably has just reopened as the New Union, in the hands of a couple who previously ran the Jolly Anglers at Burneside. Ales on the bar are Loweswater Gold and several from Bowness Bay. I wish them every success for the future and look forward to visiting soon.

6 Mar 2016 01:08

Wetherspoons, Leeds

Very handy place for a quick one when there is little time between trains, which is why I am a frequent visitor (there are pubs I prefer to visit not far from the station when time permits). However, the ale here is always in good condition in my experience, and I enjoyed a quick pint of Saltaire Elderflower Blonde on Saturday evening. The place was very busy as usual.

8 Feb 2016 01:02

Portland Hotel, Chesterfield

Dropped in to try the local Spire Brewery ale as this was new to me; enjoyed a well-kept pint of Whiter Shade. A chat with a couple of regulars informed me that the beer in general is well looked after here, and the place was certainly very busy on Saturday lunchtime. An above-average example of the Wetherspoon chain, I would say, but I did notice the tables cluttered with uncollected glassware and plates mentioned by others, although the bar itself was surprisingly well-staffed.

8 Feb 2016 00:53

The Market, Chesterfield

Nice enough town centre pub, somewhat food-oriented but with a good selection of ales to choose from. My pint of 4% ABV blonde beer was pleasant enough if unremarkable: at £3.60 a pint it seemed pricey by Chesterfield standards but the place was buzzing and clearly popular. Pleasant enough, but I would not rush back, there are other pubs in the town which I prefer.

8 Feb 2016 00:45

Chesterfield Alehouse, Chesterfield

Ex-furniture shop, now a micropub with a choice of 6 ales on handpump and a beer menu for bottles. It seems small, but there is apparently an upstairs area where live football can be watched. Only half a dozen customers in when I called not long after Saturday opening but within a couple of minutes I was involved in the general conversation and given good advice about other suitable Chesterfield drinking establishments. A fine pint of Cameron's Northern Line Milk Stout was enjoyed and I was sorry to leave.

8 Feb 2016 00:38

The Sheaf View, Heeley

Despite no recent reviews this is still an excellent pub with an extensive range of ales and beers and decorated with a great deal of breweriana such as bottles and brewery publicity (even a framed advertisement for Joseph Phillips' Celebrated Ales and Stout from the St.Martin's Brewery, Stamford which I had never seen before). Pictish Porter for £2.70, other local ales, friendly staff and customers even though most were Blades supporters drowning their sorrows. To be added to the already extensive list of essential pubs to visit when in Sheffield.

3 Jan 2016 15:32

Gaffers Row, Crewe

Bog standard smaller Wetherspoons with a reasonable range of ales: the Slaters Green Hop was fine and at £1.55 + a Wspoon voucher who can complain?

23 Nov 2015 00:17

Hops, Crewe

Still a top pub with an excellent selection of ales, a couple of which were new to me, as well as ciders and continental bottles. Barman very friendly and knowledgeable about his products as well as decent fellow drinkers. Can't decide whether I prefer the Borough Arms or not - they are both cracking pubs.

23 Nov 2015 00:13

The British Lion (the Pig), Crewe

Called in yesterday for a quick one before my train - they had Joules Blonde (which was OK if not brilliant) and Slumbering Monk with a third handpump not in use. I would call again if I did not have enough time between trains to make it to the Borough Arms or Hops and back.

23 Nov 2015 00:07

The Borough Arms, Crewe

Visited yesterday and found it still as per my previous review - busy with all bar stools occupied, friendly East European barmaids and a good selection of ales in fine condition. This and the Hops will remain my regular ports of call when in Crewe although both are a fair walk (15 minute or so) from the station.

23 Nov 2015 00:02

The Golden Rule, Ambleside

Have to agree with yesterday's review by TonyMitch - I have been an occasional visitor (several times a year) for about 40 years now and the Golden Rule has always been an excellent and very well run pub throughout that time. I called in for a pint this afternoon and at 17.00 on a November Monday there were 17 mostly local people in the main bar and more in the other rooms, with customers coming and going all the while, giving the place a warm and friendly atmosphere. My beer (Robinson's Blonde) was on top form. The pub was a GBG regular when it belonged to Hartley's and for many years thereafter and if I had my way it would be a fixture now; I would have no argument with a second GBG pub in this busy holiday town (the Lily or Queen's for example) but unless there is radical change the Rule will always be Number One for me.

2 Nov 2015 22:30

The Lily Bar, Ambleside

Yes indeed, this is a nice modern place for a drink: the beer is always good in my experience, local ales are always available and when I have eaten here the food has been good too. It is in the 2015 Good Beer Guide but not in the 2016 GBG (the Queen's Hotel has replaced it). It is not the cheapest place in town but in my opinion the prices are fair enough. The Golden Rule would always be my first choice for a pint in Ambleside though.

2 Nov 2015 22:09

The Drum and Monkey, Stamford

Demolition team in this morning: the roof's gone already.

20 Aug 2015 12:51

Wheatsheaf Hotel, Kendal

Another Kendal pub closed - apparently to be converted for residential use like so many others.

8 Aug 2015 00:10

Sawyers Arms Hotel, Kendal

Closed and the signage has been removed. I would be surprised if it re-opens as a pub: hope so though, too many of Kendal's pubs have gone in recent years.

8 Aug 2015 00:08

Last Orders, Kendal

Now re-branded as "Last Orders at the Clocktower" for some reason. Still looks the same, and I doubt the new name will improve the rating.

8 Aug 2015 00:03

The Northfields, Stamford

Large 50s council estate pub which used to belong to Home Ales and was always busy when the local engineering companies (especially Blackstone's) were open for business and equally busy, as a large number of their employees lived on the estate.

The fortunes of the pub declined with the closure of the Home Brewery and the engineering factories. In recent years it has changed hands on a regular basis. It is currently closed and boarded up. The site with its car park is big enough for quite a few houses/flats, but it would be nice to think it can continue asd a pub.

3 Jul 2015 12:34

The Queens Head Hotel, Troutbeck

I have passed by several times recently and although the adjacent road is still single lane and controlled by traffic lights there appears to be no recent progress made at all. Nobody seems to be working on the building and I have seen no workmen's vans there at any time. According to the notice outside it should be reopening in early Summer 2015 but they seem to have got the year wrong. Such a shame, but I suppose the Mortal Man's takings must have rocketed in the last year or so.

26 May 2015 21:38

The Drum and Monkey, Stamford

Indeed, soon to become a housing development. 4 houses apparently. Presumably this means demolition of the pub itself as already happened with the Hit or Miss.

17 May 2015 00:48

The Dog and Partridge, Preston

Well-worn but friendly pub with cheerful barmaid and decent choice of ales. I was thinking of drinking Weetwood Cheshire Cat but then noticed Holt's Bitter and not having drunk this for some time I chose than instead. It was fine, whilst at £3.10 it was the dearest pint I had in Preston yesterday.

I was impressed when an obviously well-known customer entered clearly the worse for wear and, whilst treated very nicely, was refused further alcohol and then politely but firmly escorted outside by another customer. This pub is clearly run as it should be.

18 Mar 2015 14:23

The Grey Friar, Preston

Very busy early evening on St. Patrick's day - the Wetherspoon beer festival had started and I enjoyed a pint of Bateman's Lincolnshire Red; at £1.70 after the 50P voucher deduction it was a real bargain as well if not particularly distinguished..

18 Mar 2015 14:15

The Black Horse Hotel, Preston

Larger inside than I expected, and very pleasant. Friendly knowledgeable bar staff (although a request from a rather odd youth for "the blood of the leprechaun" was met with mystification - it was St. Patrick's day though). A very well-kept pint of 5% ABV stout from a new brewery in Southport - the name escapes me at the moment, but I had not seen it before - and there was plenty of other choice of ale including a house bitter. Very reasonably priced, too.

18 Mar 2015 14:11

The Leopard, Doncaster

Open again last Saturday (only closed briefly apparently) and is now a little smarter than it was, having enjoyed a bit of a refurbishment. I can't say I am a fan of the fake bookshelves though. Five ales on although the previously regular Glentworth offering was not available. A good but not exceptional pint of Deuchar's was swiftly drunk in order to make the train home.

18 Mar 2015 14:04

Gatehouse, Doncaster

Very busy when we called on on Saturday morning - a good selection of ales and a fine pint of Acorn porter was enjoyed. Arrived just in time to order breakfast and although obviously standard Wetherspoons fare it was a well-cooked and presented example of its kind.

18 Mar 2015 13:59

Cask Corner, Doncaster

Still the same when we called last Saturday - friendly knowledgeable barmaid and a good selection of ales, a good few of them local-ish. We enjoyed a pint of Wentworth PA which was in very good condition. We will call again when next in Doncaster.

18 Mar 2015 13:56

The Drum and Monkey, Stamford

Has been closed more often than open over the last ten years or so, despite several optimists' attempts to make a go of it. One couple seemed to have succeeded in the short term by focussing on good food, but were beaten by opportunistic rent increases. This was formerly one of the town's foremost sports pubs with several darts, crib, dominoes and pushpenny teams but is now being advertised for sale as a "currently licensed premises" and with its adjoining car park and a recent visit from "men with theodolites" it seems destined to follow the Hit or Miss in becoming yet another housing development. Another victim of changing local demographics.

14 Mar 2015 00:16

The Dolphin, Stamford

Now being converted into flats. Another sad loss for the Stamford drinker.

14 Mar 2015 00:02

The Queens Head Hotel, Troutbeck

After standing empty for months it is now finally being restored and is presently covered in a cocoon of scaffolding and plastic sheeting to protect what is obviously a sensitive and complex building project. I understand that the downstairs public areas including the four poster bar etc. were left relatively intact and hope that the phoenix will truly rise again in its old image. Having visited many times over the years, in my experience the ales and food were always top class and the service friendly and efficient. I look forward to walking over Wansfell from Ambleside and stopping there for my lunchbreak again before too long.

22 Feb 2015 02:05

Gateway Inn, Kendal

I have never been in, mainly because it is a couple of miles out of town, but according to the local press it has just reopened after a refurbishment costing half a million. I'll make a point of giving it a try soon and see if it was worth it.

22 Feb 2015 01:36

The New Inn, Manaccan

Sounds like another victim of the wealth of London and the South East, the desire of the rich to acquire "property" and the inevitable outcome, i.e. the gradual collapse of the local community.

I remember the place from several decades past, when as a visitor I was made welcome and the pub served "outsiders" and the locals equally well. The Ruperts and Henriettas will no doubt be disappointed, but they are unlikely to appreciate their role in its instability. Perhaps they could pool their pocket money and save it? I hope it survives as the loss of any historic pub is very sad.

6 Jul 2014 12:05

The Glebe, Stoke on Trent

Only my second visit - the first was about 15 years ago, since when it has been closed several times and undergone a number of reincarnations which did not appeal to the ale-loving passer by seeking a good pint. Now it is once again an interesting port of call with a pleasant atmosphere and although the Joules range may be limited, the ales are fine examples of their type and very well kept here. A good drop-in point on the way to or back from the White Star.l

13 Jun 2014 10:30

The Alexandra Hotel, Derby

Seems to be back to its best again. Plenty of ale choice, beer very well kept, extended choice of continenental and other foreign beers available, good atmosphere and welcome. With the Brunswick next door, and also currently on good form, there can be few more rewarding 5-minute walks from any railway station.

13 Jun 2014 10:25

Hit or Miss, Stamford

...................And demolished.

13 Jun 2014 10:21

The Grafton Hotel, Worksop

A good find when I called in last week - friendly welcome for a stranger and a good atmosphere all round. 12 handpumps of which 10 were in use. A choice of own-brewed ales, one at 3.8% and the other 4.5%, priced at two pounds a pint. The barmaid (landlady?) actually asked if I was a CAMRA member and in the affirmative gave a 10P discount on a tasty, well-kept and already very cheap pint. I will return when next in the area. Within 5 minutes walk of the Mallard.

12 Jun 2014 10:30

Corner Pin Inn, Doncaster

Called in yesterday evening, passing the currently closed Leopard, expecting to find the usual selection of well-kept ales. Only one ale available (York Guzzler had just gone off) which was brewed by the new Doncaster Brewery and was OK-ish though not really to my taste. Despite showing my CAMRA card the barman did not deduct the advertised discount for CAMRA members. I hope this is just a blip, as I have previously very much enjoyed the warm welcome and selection of ales in this establishment.

11 Jun 2014 11:21

The Leopard, Doncaster

I have been complimentary in the past as although I called in only a couple of times a year I had always found friendly service and ale kept in very good condition. Since my last review I have found a steady deterioration in the quality of the ale, although the general atmosphere remained fine. Yesterday I passed the pub and found it closed, with a large "to let" sign affixed.

This is a once excellent pub, featuring live music, which has steadily gone downhill over a number of years. To be honest, I am not surprised that it is currently closed. However, I really hope that it is reopened soon and enjoys a renaissance since it is a superb tiled building, a purpose-built Warwicks and Richardsons pub and is currently a sad loss to the Doncaster drinking scene and has done a great deal for the local live music afficionado in the past. It would be as sad to see it demolished or converted to other use as it is currently to see it shut amid a number of similarly closed and in some cases boarded-up buildings.

11 Jun 2014 11:14

Golden Fleece, Stamford

Still selling well-kept Everard's ales and still very busy despite the opening of the horribly-named Cosy Club in the old Post Office sorting office next door and the reopening of the extended London Inn across the way. Wetherspoons indeed will also be opening across the road in a week or so, so the future will be challenging.

18 May 2014 02:49

Hit or Miss, Stamford

As I feared (and expected) the place soon closed again. Bateman's had permission to build 3 houses on the car park and convert the historic centuries-old pub building itself into a fourth house. Then they sold it to another property developer who is apparently demolishing the pub to make way for a further new build: this seems to be the case as when I passed a couple of weeks ago the valuable Collyweston slates had already been stripped from the roof - no doubt these will prove to be "a nice little earner". RIP the Hit or Miss.

18 May 2014 02:40

The Green Ayre, Lancaster

Called in for a quick pint while waiting for a bus, the bus station being very close. If anything, the place seemed rather better than I remembered it, and is certainly an above-average Wetherspoons. I had a pint of Hawkshead Drystone Stout which was in very good condition and a bargain at £2.15. At 18.00 there were several tables of women enjoying a drink after shopping, which was good to see.

22 Feb 2014 21:41

The Borough, Lancaster

Since I last visited, the Borough has acquired its own brewery and serves 3 own-branded beers, the Dark being a tasty 5% stout which, at £2.35 a pint with CAMRA discount, is a bargain. I was served by a very nice, friendly barmaid as well. The place is indeed a bit on the posh side but still one of my favourite Lancaster pubs.

22 Feb 2014 21:34

Smugglers Den, Morecambe

This is a nice little pub, apparently the oldest in Morecambe, with a real fire, plenty of brassware and other pubby knick-knacks and a decent selection of ales. The Lancaster Blonde was OK if not brilliant. I was the first customer at 13.30 and although a few more arrived before I left I felt that the place suffers from its backstreet location some way from the activity of the town and promenade. The barmaid (landlady?) informed me that she had just taken over the pub. I hope it survives in the longer term - it deserves to.

22 Feb 2014 21:21

The Palatine, Morecambe

Good choice of cask beers including 4 of Lancaster Brewery's offerings (Amber, Blonde, Black and Red). Impressed that when a customer indicated that the Amber was below par it was instantly taken off and the barrel changed; the complainant's beer was changed for the stronger and more expensive Red without surcharge, at which another customer requested (and received) a similar replacement (fair enough). The man in charge was Daniel Lambert (his namesake was the fattest man in England and is buried in Stamford). Well worth a visit.

22 Feb 2014 21:14

The Ostrich Inn, Peterborough

Some of the customers may be a bit rough and ready but in my experience (and I am a frequent visitor) they are on the whole friendly and no trouble if a bit loud and boisterous at times. Friendly and efficient landlord and staff and always 5 mainly local ales on handpump which are unfailingly well kept. Nice little beer garden out the back which is particularly pleasant on sunny days. For my money, one of the best if not the best pub in the city centre.

16 Oct 2013 21:49

The Eight Bells, Peterborough

Was knocked down years ago, apparently for the construction of a new shopping centre. A little premature, as it is now just an empty concreted space. Luckily the Brewery Tap is a few yards away.

16 Oct 2013 21:38

The Post Office Vaults, Burslem

Yes, it is small but bustling and friendly and it sells good beer so an all-round enjoyable experience. The Oakham beer was Bishop's Farewell today, and was rated highly by those who drink it regularly in the Brewery Tap, so they are doing a fine job looking after their ales. My Butty Bach was also in good condition.

12 Oct 2013 23:55

The Bulls Head, Burslem

Good pub with good beer and a good atmosphere. There was a mini beer festival out the back today so plenty of choice. Titanic beers were on fine form and the food being sold from the hut out back while basic burgers, hot dogs, bacon rolls etc.was both good and cheap. Well worth a visit.

12 Oct 2013 23:49

The Masons Arms, Kendal

Seems to be closed again. Certainly was not open last Saturday evening. Not that I wanted to go in, was just walking past on my way to a decent pub.

16 Sep 2013 00:20

The Great Western, Wolverhampton

Judging by his previous positive reviews I'm sure that DNADAVE means that this pub never disappoints. I have only been in once, but the Great Western certainly features highly in my list of the hundred best pubs I've ever visited and I'm looking forward to being back soon.

13 Sep 2013 13:15

Gaffers Row, Crewe

Not easy to find for a Wetherspoon pub being on the Northern edge of the town centre, and a pretty standard one of its type; not particularly good or bad. My pint of bitter was fine, and the breakfast pretty good as well, so all in all a satisfactory experience. Normal Wetherspoon early lunchtime clientele.

8 Sep 2013 00:43

Hops, Crewe

Very busy today, and deservedly so. A good choice of ales and a huge choice of continental draught and bottled beers, some of which were new to me. The place has been very professionally set up and is well run by efficient and friendly bar staff. My pint of 4.5% dark mild was tasty and in very good condition.

8 Sep 2013 00:36

The Crown, Crewe

Was going to go in but noticed that the lease is up for sale so went elsewhere.

8 Sep 2013 00:31

The Angel, Crewe

No change since the previous review.

8 Sep 2013 00:29

The British Lion (the Pig), Crewe

No change since the previous review.

8 Sep 2013 00:28

The Borough Arms, Crewe

A good selection of well-priced and well-kept ales to choose from and plenty of other options in terms of European draught and bottled beers. All the bar stools were indeed in use - I assume that they are the preserve of the first regulars to arrive and I was one of the only two customers to sit elsewhere. But the atmosphere was fine and the two barmaids, one of them Polish, were pleasant and efficient. All in all a good experience.

8 Sep 2013 00:27

The Barrel, Crewe

Was open today but did not look like my kind of place.A gang of rowdy youths were heading inside as I passed.

8 Sep 2013 00:20

The Otters Pocket, Stamford

Another formerly bustling Stamford pub which is currently closed. I recently spoke with a local licensed trade businessman who told me he had made enquiries but the quoted costs of taking on and running the place were prohibitive.

4 Sep 2013 22:58

Hit or Miss, Stamford

This has been a superb local in the past, run by locals for locals and where many years ago my late grandfather and his pals were regulars and my late grandmother used to play the piano for the annual Christmas carol evening. In recent years it has changed hands a number of times, and the owning brewery, Bateman's, now has planning permission to convert it to housing and build on the car park. It was recently taken over by another new tenant who has pledged to make a go of it, but it has been frequented by few in recent years (it is only a hundred yards or so from the excellent Jolly Brewer) and it will be a soul-destroying task to increase trade to a sustainable level. I wish them luck, and will visit when next in town, but fear the worst.

28 Aug 2013 19:04

The Dolphin, Stamford

Currently closed. In view of its popularity over the years both as a place for a choice of well-kept ales and a successful food operation, this is either an indictment of the way the owners/licensees have been operating it in recent times or a sad indication of how even one of the better town pubs is not safe in today's economic conditions. Whilst I have not visited myself for a few years now, I cannot imagine that it will not reopen - unless the owners have other nefarious plans.

28 Aug 2013 18:51

The Kendal Arms, Kendal

Popped into Romneys as it now is for a quick pint after a long walk in bright sunshine. They are selling their own branded "Ghost Blonde" at £2.50 a pint throughout July, and a nice pint it is too. Also another 4 local-ish ales on handpump. Obviously a lot of money has been spent on recent refurbishment, for example the island bar being constructed from a sliced-up age-old (imported) oak tree which is depicted in photographs on the wall and there are other "quirky" furnishings in evidence, but the place is seemingly more geared towards the food and tourist trade than the casual drinker. Friendly service. Overall more a place for the chap drinking Fosters because he "don't like ale, it's flat and not fizzy", regaling the barman and other bystanders about the two pubs he owned, than for the likes of me. I would still drop in again for the beer selection and quality though.

11 Jul 2013 00:46

Union Tavern, Kendal

Up for auction and apparently has planning permission for conversion to social housing i.e. flats for the disabled.

8 Jul 2013 00:02

Cock and Dolphin, Kendal

Now converted to housing with rows of small mainly terraced houses crammed in at the back, all now sold and mostly occupied. The old pub itself is a fine building; pity it closed before I could try it.

7 Jul 2013 23:10

Merchants, Lancaster

Called in yesterday evening for the first time having passed many times in the past without visiting. It is an interesting building inside, like a series of tunnels or vaults, which provide a pleasant environment for a drink or a meal. Presently offering two main courses from the menu with a bottle of wine for £22 on a Monday or Tuesday evening. Also has a good range of ales on handpump (the one I tried was in good condition) as well as some interesting bottles, including some from a local microbrewery. Pleasant service as well. Worth a visit any time.

13 Jun 2013 00:59

The Ginger Goose, Bradford

Popped in for a quick one last Sunday as I was walking from Forster Square to Interchange and the place is in this year's GBG. Very Wetherspoon-like but with even more tv screens. The service was quick and friendly, the beer was in good condition and two pounds fifty a pint: it's not really my preferred type of pub but I have no complaints at all and would gladly visit again.

12 Jun 2013 00:32

The Furness Railway, Barrow In Furness

I would agree that this is a pretty good example of the Wetherspoons chain; the beer was well-kept, the barman friendly and competent and the atmosphere pleasant.

8 Jun 2013 01:17

The Cavens Arms, Dumfries

Paid a flying visit today, as I had a train to catch, and only had time for a swift pint. I was a little disconcerted to be asked if I was eating and then firmly led to the back of the pub where I was allocated a seat: I hadn't expected that at a pub with the accolade of the local CAMRA branch Pub of the Year for 2012.

In retrospect and having given my experience a little thought, since the beer was very good, it was tea time so a few people were eating, the pub itself was immaculate and the plentiful staff were friendly, polite and clearly very busy (although I was only there 15 minutes 5 different staff spoke with me) I can see why the rating is so high and would like to return with enough time to eat (the food indeed did look good) whilst knowing what to expect.

8 Jun 2013 01:13

The Penny Bank, Lancaster

OK but not the best pub in Lancaster by a good margin. The 3.7%v ABV Tirrill ale seemed rather pricy at £3.40 and was similarly undistinguished. Unusually, the gents' toilet was "out of order" so had to use the disabled one instead.

10 May 2013 23:39

George and Dragon, Kendal

Presumably only opens at weekends since this is another Kendal pub I have never seen open despite passing on many occasions.

1 May 2013 13:14

The Dun Horse, Kendal

Interesting case of assault of the landlord here reported in the local press recently. I have not been able to try the place for myself since I have never seen it open.

1 May 2013 13:12

Last Orders, Kendal

No real ale, cheap lagers, racing on the telly and so patronised chiefly by people I don't want to drink with. At least I tried it, but won't be visiting again.

1 May 2013 13:07

The Wheatsheaf, Brigsteer

Currently closed.

It was reported in the local press a couple of months ago that the Wheatsheaf had been acquired by the people who run the Masons Arms at Strawberry Bank. No sign of this at the moment, though.

1 May 2013 13:02

The Wheatsheaf, Brigsteer

Currently closed.

It was reported in the local press a couple of months ago that the Wheatsheaf had been acquired by the people who run the Masons Arms at Strawberry Bank. No sign of this at the moment, though.

1 May 2013 13:01

The Daniel Lambert, Stamford

Now a beauty salon.

24 Apr 2013 16:33

Ye Olde Dolphin Inn, Derby

A fine establishment with a good range of ales and those we tried in excellent condition. We particularly enjoyed the opportunity to choose between the pump and the jug for Bass and Pedigree but were still undecided on the best method of serving these when we moved on: the jug for me but others disagreed. Next time we are in Derby we may make a beeline for Ye Olde Dolphin and drink until a final decision is made. Which may mean a very long stay. But we are prepared to suffer for our art.

24 Apr 2013 16:30

Station Inn, Derby

Finally managed to gain access and found the landlord a decent character and his pint of Bass as good as any I've drunk over the years. My visit was well worth the wait, and I'll try to have another top pint when next in the area.

24 Apr 2013 16:25

The Old Silk Mill, Derby

Just out the back of Ye Olde Dolphin, so very handy on our travels. The place was almost empty when we arrived, but was bustling when we left three quarters of an hour later. There was an extensive range of ales, including 2 from barrels behind the bar and another dozen or so mostly untapped at the end of the bar (must have been a beer festival pending), but those on offer were in good form and there was plenty of variety. I suppose the local branch of CAMRA has to give every good pub a chance, but on balance we considered the place worthy of its 2012 Derby Pub of the Year award. There are just too many good pubs in the city.

24 Apr 2013 16:21

The Flowerpot, Derby

Still one of the best pub experiences in Derby, now with its own brewery and as usual an excellent range of ales at reasonable prices. Nice to sit in the sun outside, as well, and the one way system to and from the toilets is a good idea.

24 Apr 2013 16:09

Five Lamps, Derby

First time for all of our party, and we found the pub as we expected from its entry in the GBG. A top range of ales, including the excellent Titanic chocolate and vanilla (sound horrible but it somehow works, but I couldn't drink 2) and Ratliffe's stout as well. Helpful and knowledgable staff who took the trouble to organise taxis for our return to the centre. We will be back.

24 Apr 2013 16:07

The Brunswick Inn, Derby

Still well worth our visit last Saturday. I can't say that I have ever found a real problem here over many visits since the place reopened, although it can be a little idiosyncratic at times. Until I do, I shall continue to call each time I am in Derby, especially as it is only a few minutes' walk to the train home.

24 Apr 2013 16:02

The Babington Arms, Derby

Another fine range of ales sampled although the Wetherspoons beer festival was on so there was nothing unexpected to try. Another good breakfast enjoyed by all of us. Always worth a visit.

24 Apr 2013 15:58

The Alexandra Hotel, Derby

Another excellent visit last Saturday, usual selection of ales all of those we tried being in top condition and friendly service from knowledgeable staff. Also a good range of European bottled beers which I never get round to drinking these days but most of which I have tried at some point in the past. The Bavarian smoked beer is highly recommended, as an earlier comment mentions.

It seems the reason the second counter on the platform clock is inoperative is that a loud click every second would drive everyone barmy, especially the staff.

24 Apr 2013 15:56

The Vulcan, Huddersfield

Surprised that the overall rating is not higher - we found a good range of mainly local beers in good condition at very fair prices and a friendly welcome. A locals' pub maybe, but we were made to feel at home. Another good Huddersfield experience, one of several on the day.

7 Apr 2013 23:33

Sportsman, Huddersfield

Yet another good experience as we sought the best pub in Huddersfield. We have not yet decided on a winner, so will have to return. Another very good range of ales, reasonably priced and in good condition, including plenty of local offerings. Friendly service too. It was hard to leave, but needs must.

7 Apr 2013 23:28

The Rat and Ratchet, Huddersfield

First visit for some years - last time there was a wide range of ales from several breweries which have been replaced with a wide range of ales from their on-site brewery, but none the worse for that. All the beers we tried were in good condition, and the names of several amused. There was a good atmosphere about the place and the pub is yet another good reason to visit the town.

7 Apr 2013 23:24

The King's Head, Huddersfield

Last Huddersfield pub we visited as we had a train to catch and a few minutes to spare. Good range of well-priced ales - some might say it is a bit open and waiting-room-like but we found it fine.

7 Apr 2013 23:17

The Grove Inn, Huddersfield

Excellent - very good range of beers, warm atmosphere, good conversation and friendly, knowledgeable staff. We were sorry to have to leave, but had other pubs, all of them good, to visit. Huddersfield is certainly a good town for a drink or three.

7 Apr 2013 23:12

The Postal Order, Blackburn

Indeed, a very standard Wetherspoon's albeit with a good range of ales at very good prices. It was very busy on a Saturday early evening and is a handy stopoff for a quick pint before catching a train from the nearby station.

3 Mar 2013 14:51

Peel Park Hotel, Accrington

We went to see a bit of football history - the original Accrington Stanley ground is directly opposite, complete with red brick changing room block (?) with stone plaque recording that it was built by the supporters'club in 1937. The playing surface is marked out for football, albeit without goalposts, and it is clear to see how it was. However, not possible to access the ground directly from this side.

The pub itself has some old photographs of the ground during a match, filled with supporters around the touchlines. A good range of ales, well-kept and served by friendly staff. Clearly very much modernised since the days when it would be filled with supporters before and after the match, but well worth a visit.

3 Mar 2013 14:46

Thomas Drummond, Fleetwood

A good Wetherspoon's, plenty of ales on tap, busy and bustling and friendly service. A good pint of Dent T'Owd Tup, which was a bargain at £1.89 for a 6.0 ABV pint. A minute's walk from the London Street tram stop.

28 Jan 2013 12:25

Strawberry Gardens, Fleetwood

Very busy on Saturday lunchtime, with 14 ales on, plenty of bar staff and a 20P discount for CAMRA members on most of the well-kept ales. Buzzing with local football supporters looking forward to the match. A good friendly atmosphere and a pub well worth seeking out, not far from the Fisherman's Walk tram stop.

28 Jan 2013 12:23

Mount Hotel, Fleetwood

Nice enough big old hotel bar, maybe a little shabby in places. Friendly enough, although when I called on Saturday lunchtime there seemed to be more staff than customers. 3 handpumps, and I enjoyed a well-kept pint of Wainwright's. Overall though, I preferred the Strawberry Gardens which is a 10-minute walk away.

28 Jan 2013 12:21

The Hand and Heart, Nottingham

Lovely little place with an excellent choice of ales kept in good condition, a welcoming atmosphere and a rather posh barmaid who was not only helpful and friendly but also knowledgeable about what she was selling and very good at the process of pulling and serving pints. This was a first visit, but won't be the last.

14 Jan 2013 15:15

The Cask, Pimlico

Decent pub with a well-selected range of ales including the more unusual such as stouts and porters as well as a choice of cider. Perhaps a little pricy, but £3.80 for a very nice pint of 5.0 abv porter seems reasonable to me given the location. Knowledgeable staff as well, and everyone seemed to be enjoying their visit.

14 Jan 2013 15:10

The Jugged Hare, Pimlico

Nice enough pub for another converted bank-type place, typical for a Fullers' ale and pie shop. (Fullers) beer range good, beer well-kept, reasonably priced and pleasantly served. Did not eat here, but it's nice to know that the hare for the jugged hare pie is sustainably sourced. I do wonder how many pies each of these ethically-reared hares provides. Middle-class liberal elitist London never fails to amuse.

14 Jan 2013 15:06

The Posada, Wolverhampton

A bit old-fashioned and shabby but none the worse for that. Absolutely packed on Boxing Day as Wolves were at home, so not too comfortable a drinking experience but the beer was fine and the atmosphere OK. The exterior reminded us of the Cottage in Cardiff and the John O'Gaunt in Lancaster, a nice if dated style which leads into a deep interior much bigger inside than expected.

28 Dec 2012 14:05

Moon Under Water, Wolverhampton

Very busy on boxing day, but a good atmosphere, very quick food service despite the throng, a fine pint of Wood's Shropshire Lad for £2.09 and a very tasty dish of faggots, peas and chips for £4.09. On this occasion Wetherspoon's provided a better experience than might be expected. Well worth the visit.

28 Dec 2012 14:00

Hogshead, Wolverhampton

We couldn't get past the door staff on Boxing Day as we were told that entry was for "home supporters only". Will give it another go when next in Wolverhampton.

28 Dec 2012 13:55

The Great Western, Wolverhampton

I've wanted to visit this pub for years and finally had the opportunity on Boxing Day. Not too easy to find now - I remember seeing it when calling at the old Low Level station in the early sixties, but now practically surrounded by dereliction. But how good that it has survived. Plenty of relevant railwayana, a good buzzing atmosphere at midday, the kitchen was shut but the selection of ales was excellent and those we tried were in top condition. The bar staff were keen, knowledgeable and hardworking. We particularly enjoyed the Holdens mild and bitter, will try the special next time (not the best strength to start on). It won't be long before we are back.

28 Dec 2012 13:52

Zerodegrees, Cardiff

Not really my kind of place - very modern and up-to-date complete with greeter and a large number of attractive female customers on a Saturday lunchtime. Lots of stainless steel and the feeling of being in a converted garage, which it is. To be fair, the beers we tried were good and there is a very interesting range, all brewed and stored on the premises. I preferred the City Arms round the corner, but Zerodegrees is well worth the visit, and a different experience.

18 Dec 2012 13:06

The Rummer Tavern, Cardiff

Busy although we were here early in the day - food selling well and looked good, and there was a good range of ales on offer. Those we tried were all in good condition. Friendly efficient service. The pub is well situated close to the castle and just round the corner from the Goat Major.

18 Dec 2012 13:01

The Goat Major, Cardiff

Have to agree with the last poster - we found the staff efficient, friendly, welcoming and very competent. The beer was also very well kept, and we could happily have stayed much longer, but had other ports of call to visit.

18 Dec 2012 12:58

The City Arms, Cardiff

So good we had to call twice on Saturday - the stout and porter festival and a cancelled train helped the decision. We tried all the stouts and porters on offer, and they were all in good condition. Locals friendly and chatty, including the Crystal Palace supporter from Sarf Landon married to a local girl. Would be one of my first stops next time in Cardiff.

18 Dec 2012 12:55

The Cardiff Cottage, Cardiff

Good city centre pub, clean, tidy and bustling on Saturday evening. Well-kept Brains ales and a nice atmosphere. Well worth a visit and not far from Central station.

18 Dec 2012 12:52

Trafford Arms, Norwich

A pub which fully deserves the praise it is getting - a large interior with good old-fashioned service and a mixture of customers from youngsters to pensioners, many partaking of what looked like very good and varied food. The large selection of ales available were mostly local and my pint of Wherry was very well kept. A number of future events of various kinds were being advertised and the overall good-humoured atmosphere and pleasant ambience indicates that the people who run it really know how to please a wide range of customers.

4 Dec 2012 12:31

Take 5, Norwich

Was just opening when I passed last Thursday, but I was heading elsewhere. Certainly on my list for a future occasion - it looks worth a visit and is in the 2013 Good Beer Guide.

4 Dec 2012 12:23

The White Lion, Norwich

Very quiet last Thursday afternoon, just a handful of customers, but although Milton beers are not one of my favourites my pint was tasty and in good condition. Nice to see so many proper ciders including local offerings on sale as well. Well worth a visit, and also a return visit or two if it stays in the same hands. A good experience even without a busy atmosphere.

4 Dec 2012 12:18

The Kings Head, Norwich

Looks like a small pub from outside but has a surprisingly large room behind the front bar. A very good selection of ales which were in fine condition. Obviously frequented by those who like their beer, and run by people who know how to keep a proper pub. It would be a serious contender for a regular haunt if I lived in Norwich.

1 Dec 2012 11:39

Glasshouse, Norwich

Called in for a quick pint and breakfast last Thursday - the food was as good as I have had in any Wetherspoon's, and the beer (Woodforde's Once Bittern) was £2.09 and very nice. The staff were very friendly and pleasant, but then again the place was relatively quiet. One or two lone Ruddles drinkers were beginning to assemble by 9.45 a.m. but by the time I left the only disturbance had been caused by a rather loud and posh-sounding young woman with 2 small kids who were allowed to run around squawking and take over the area of the pub where I was sitting. Otherwise, everything fine.

1 Dec 2012 11:34

Gardeners Arms, Norwich

It's a pub with a bit of history and a pleasant old-fashioned interior despite the obvious alterations/modernisations over the years. Even for a (small) city centre £3.40 for an OK pint of Wherry did seem a little steep to me, though.

1 Dec 2012 11:27

The Ketts Tavern, Norwich

Called in for a quick one before catching the train - ten minutes walk from the station.

A good selection of well-kept ales - 4 from Norwich Bear together with guests. Quiet in the early evening, but nevertheless a good feel about the place.

1 Dec 2012 11:21

West Herts Sports and Social Club, Watford

Annual visit on Saturday lunchtime and a good pint provided by a hard-pressed but friendly barman, which was drunk outside due to the large number of drinkers enjoying the facilities. Can't judge the attitude of the steward(s) as this will only be noticed when the place is less busy. For the likes of me it is a beer oasis in a town with no publicised alternatives and 2 Wetherspoon outlets in the town centre where the wait to get served was not worth the bother.

22 Oct 2012 11:27

The Queens Head, St Pancras

A good find only a few minutes' walk from King's Cross and the train home. Quite quiet when I called on Saturday evening, but a good atmosphere and a fine pint of Hophead for 3. Two other ales on handpump as well as a proper cider, and 3 more ciders on gravity behind the bar. Friendly and knowledgeable bar staff. The first time I have been served a pint in a "handle" for many years. Only downside was the very smelly gents - surely this could be fixed to match the rest of the place.

22 Oct 2012 11:21

The Ribs of Beef, Norwich

Had not been in here for many years, but it still seems a perfectly good place for a beer, with what struck me a good choice of ales. Took the opportunity for a pint of Adnams Diamond Ale as it seemed topical, and it was very enjoyable. The price for two drinks seemed rather high, but the lager was the real culprit (2.20 for a half of Heineken) and I have to say that the recent succession of price increase in pubs seems pretty general and will surely lead to many more closures in the next few months and years.

6 Jun 2012 11:18

The Fat Cat, Norwich

As ever, a really good experience with a fine ambience and plenty of like-minded ale drinkers both local and from around the country to discuss the finer things in life and learn of new developments in the beer and pub world. The Fat Cat bitter, at 2.30 a pint, is as fine a pint of good old-fashioned bitter as I've tasted in years. So many possible choices, though! Although I'm not complaining and will be back soon.

6 Jun 2012 11:12

Glasshouse, Norwich

Yes, some foul-mouthed pissed elderly-chav-type locals in evidence but the beer was fine (pint of Loddon for 1.99) and the food (not sampled) looked good. Since we never intended going here in the first place, this is a reasonable Wetherspoons and seems a perfectly good place to stop off for a pint as long as you are not offended by foul language.

6 Jun 2012 11:07

Take 5, Norwich

Was going to call here yesterday evening but, despite a banner proclaiming its participation in the present (City of Ale) festivities, it appeared very closed, especially in view of the board inside the window with "CLOSED" in large chalked letters. So went in the Glasshouse across the road, where the beer was fine as well as cheap.

6 Jun 2012 11:00

Station Inn, Derby

Have tried to get a pint here several times over the years but have yet to gain access. Last Saturday at around tea time the pub was full with doors locked. Thinking that this was due to an earlier football match, we knocked and the landlord opened the door to tell us he had just called "last orders". Judging by earlier attempts and the current experience it appears that the place is run to suit the landlord rather than the customer and the profit motive; however, in view of the positive comments of others we will continue to seek the holy grail of "the ultimate pint of Bass" and hope to find out one day if it is as good as they say.

3 May 2012 16:41

The Brewery Tap, Derby

The Exeter Arms was packed, so we called here instead and left the Exeter for a future occasion. There was a decent selection of ales as usual, and those we tried were in good condition. Maybe some people find it too modern inside, but it was fine by us.

3 May 2012 16:29

The Brewery Tap, Derby

The Exeter Arms was packed, so we called here instead and left the Exeter for a future occasion. There was a decent selection of ales as usual, and those we tried were in good condition. Maybe some people find it too modern inside, but it was fine by us.

3 May 2012 16:28

The Brunswick Inn, Derby

I first visited during the year it reopened and have called in regularly several times a year ever since. This is a proper pub which has never disappointed and did not change for the worse when taken over by Everards - the in-house brewery still produces the same beers with the same tastes and there is always a good choice of guest ales (Everards is so low key their own beers appear also to be "guests"). I cannot imagine visiting Derby without calling in here, especially as the station is so close.

3 May 2012 16:24

The Babington Arms, Derby

Yes, it has its faults in standard Wetherspoon style but its reputation as probably the best W'spoons in the country for real ale is justified - a large selection, many local, generally stout/porter/mild are available and I have never been served a bad pint over many visits. A good breakfast is available and served with a smile. There is an on-screen beer menu giving all the necessary information on the beers available which makes a choice simple and the place is always worth a visit, especially when seeking out unusual ales.

3 May 2012 16:19

The Alexandra Hotel, Derby

Now returned to the very good pub it has been in the past, with friendly service, a good range of decent ales served in fine condition and a warm atmosphere created by the mix of customers. Now a must visit together with its close neighbour.

3 May 2012 16:11

The Grove Inn, Holbeck

For me this is a serious contender for the title of "Best Pub in Leeds". Since it is within a few minutes walk of the station I call whenever an opportunity arises, and the staff are unfailingly friendly and knowledgeable, the ale choice is always extensive, well-chosen and in top condition and the building itself, a true survivor in its incongruous position, is a piece of unspoiled drinking history which is perfectly serving its purpose today.

16 Apr 2012 12:53

Whitelocks, Leeds

Rather hard to find at the moment due to the building work going on in the vicinity, despite being a regular port of call when we are in Leeds. For my money this is one of the best city pubs, with a good range of ales, friendly service and a buzzing atmosphere. Always worth the effort, an oasis in the city centre and long may it remain so!

16 Apr 2012 12:46

Palace, Leeds

Not too busy on Saturday morning, with most customers seemingly groups of young men eating breakfast, so I had no trouble getting served: indeed, the service was quick and cheerful and staff generally friendly. There was a good choice of ales and overall it was a pleasant place to sit in the window with a pint whilst waiting for the rain to stop.

16 Apr 2012 12:40

Mr Foley's Cask Ale House, Leeds

Nice enough pub and the name gives it away - a large range of mainly local ales, including some from small, newer breweries and those we drank all being in good condition. The offer of 4 third pints of any cask ales for 3.70 was very welcome. Pleasant staff, friendly customers and a good atmosphere so we will certainly be back.

16 Apr 2012 12:36

The Midnight Bell, Leeds

Dropped in for the second time for a quick one on Saturday. The place seems clean and bright and the beer has been good both times, but the clientele is a little upwardly mobile, trendy and fashionably pretentious for my taste. Too much vacuous talk and too many sprogs in posh buggies! Still, I did see a prat drinking Liefman's Kriek from the bottle complete with paper wrapping, which was a first.

16 Apr 2012 12:31

Becketts Bank, Leeds

Externally and internally what you would expect from one of the bigger Wetherspoon's venues, in this case a former bank as the name implies. I had a well-cooked breakfast and a pint in good condition: the ale selection was particularly interesting, mainly local and it was unfortunate I only had time for the one. Staff pleasant and friendly, although the place was not very busy. Well worth the visit and a better than average advertisement for the JDW chain.

16 Apr 2012 12:20

The Fernandes Brewery Tap and Bier Keller, Wakefield

Dived in whilst walking from Kirkgate rail station to Westgate, and only had time for a quick pint. Busy for a Saturday tea time, and with an excellent selection of predominantly local ales upstairs. Mainly continental beers on offer downstairs but a pint of Ossett ale also available here. Well worth another and longer visit, now I know where it is.

28 Mar 2012 10:46

The Silkstone Inn, Barnsley

Quite small and dark inside for a Wetherspoons outlet, but a reasonable choice of ales and plenty of customers enjoying the usual W'spoon fare. Based on the local coalmining history and with plenty of local custom, we had an interesting chat with an ex-miner keen to discuss and recommend the local hostelries and his hobby of travelling the towns and cities of the UK, mainly for beer drinking purposes.

28 Mar 2012 10:42

The Joseph Bramah, Barnsley

Larger than you expect from outside, one of the better Wetherspoons outlets with a good choice of ales including a good local selection from such breweries as Acorn. A well-cooked breakfast served. Good mix of customers on a Saturday morning.

28 Mar 2012 10:37

The Dove Inn, Barnsley

Bustling with football supporters on Saturday, and a good atmosphere, but I have drunk Old Mill ales in much better condition. In fairness, it must be said that the amount being drunk meant that both barrels had to be changed more than once, although this could not have caught them by surprise, the new ale should have been ready to serve. Pie and peas advertised for 2.

28 Mar 2012 10:34

Robert Ransome, Ipswich

I had wondered what I would find here in view of previous negative reviews. Arrived around ten, ordered an OK pint of bitter and a breakfast which was substantial and well-cooked, cost 4.20 and arrived within a few minutes. Not gourmet fare, but this is a Wetherspoons pub. I called in for a pint and a breakfast and left satisifed on all counts, having received exactly what I had paid for (and expect).

19 Mar 2012 12:42

The Plough, Ipswich

Very busy on Saturday evening, with the England-Ireland rugby on a number of screens and a fair few St. Patrick's Day revellers necking the Guinness. If any of them were Irish, they would have been disappointed by the result! Ale was OK but not brilliant. Scampi and chips available for 2.49 and a number of other meals (pies etc.) available for a few pounds more, including a drink from an uninspired list.

19 Mar 2012 12:34

Mannings, Ipswich

According to the Good Beer Guide this pub opens at 11 - but there must have been 60 or 70 customers when I arrived at twenty past on Saturday. Busy town-centre bar with a good atmosphere, obviously popular with the locals who seemed to be partial to coffee and chips for breakfast. Almost a full range of Adnams' ales available, with London Pride as a guest, but my pint of Southwold bitter although drinkable could have been in better condition.

19 Mar 2012 12:29

The Greyhound, Ipswich

Nice pub a little way from the town centre, relatively quiet on a Saturday lunchtime but a good atmosphere. Beer was in good condition, if not cheap, and we enjoyed some excellent Oyster Stout. From the description of the food and the prices on the blackboards the place is something of a gastropub, but on this occasion we had no time to eat although we had the impression it would be a good place to do so another time.

19 Mar 2012 11:31

The Dove, Ipswich

Good bustling pub with plenty of ale choice, not only from the pumps on the bar but also from the taproom from which we got an excellent pint of Blackadder. Good basic pub food - a (really) large pork pie with pickle or mustard for 3.50 and a half pint of local pork scratchings for a quid. Rugby on a large screen in the covered backyard. Only downside was one of our party having difficulty convincing one of the barstaff that his drink was "off" after another had already had his changed without question (6 of us had tried it and agreed it was not good) - in an ale-oriented pub surely better to take it off sale straight away Must be said though that all the other ales drunk were in good condition.

19 Mar 2012 11:25

Mabel's Tavern, Euston

Always busy when I have called, and Tuesday was no exception (but it was 6 in the evening and buzzing with after-work drinkers enjoying, like us, a couple before the train home. In my experience the beer has always been served in good condition, although it is unusual to find a full set of SN ales available. Well worth a visit every time.

15 Mar 2012 11:30

The Charles Dickens, Southwark

Quiet when we called on Tuesday afternoon, but I'm sure that the place is much more convivial when there is a bit of a crowd in. Decent selection of ales from around the country, and served in good condition. Did not eat here, but the food advertised on the board looked to be staple pub dishes and well-priced. Excellent view of the nearby Shard from the street outside. Nice drawings of Dickens characters on the walls.

15 Mar 2012 11:26

Euston Tap, Euston

Have called in several times for a last pint before the train back. This is a worthy place always with a good selection of draught real ales as well as a larger selection of draught beers and bottled beers from around the world to keep the wife as happy as me. Not too crowded on Tuesday evening, a good mix of clients (if rather a lot of after-work suits) and helpful staff who know their wares. Although very small, there were more customers paying by card than I have ever seen anywhere.

15 Mar 2012 11:20

The Black Bull, Stamford

Presently being converted into shops downstairs and a guest house upstairs.

9 Mar 2012 11:16

William Stanley, South Norwood

Decent enough Wetherspoons crowded with football supporters during our visit, but they were a friendly bunch and the ales were good. Handy for the station, and worth a call: everything you expect from what I consider on the basis of one visit a slightly above average pub of its kind.

8 Mar 2012 13:20

Wheatsheaf, Southwark

Not open on Saturday lunchtime, so we returned later in the day to find a large cellar pub doing good business, serving a range of mainly local ales. Those we tried were in good condition. Staff were also pleasant and friendly, so it was worth the effort in the end.

8 Mar 2012 13:13

The Brew Wharf, London Bridge

Like much of London a great deal of money has been spent on this place to make a great deal more money and it is clearly popular among the trendies with more money than sense. It does have an excellent view of the Shard, and I must concede that the ales - a 4.2% ABV mild and a 6.5% ABV IPA were very good - if 4 a pint. For me it was worth the visit and experience but I wouldn't hurry back. Interesting, but not my kind of place.

5 Mar 2012 12:08

The Rake, London Bridge

Not my usual kind of preferred pub - very busy and cramped for such a small place with a small outside drinking area and a gate open to the market's gents. However, this was compensated for by the quality and range of the ales available (there was a festival of Welsh beers taking place outside) and the overall experience was very good. The staff were knowledgable and friendly despite the pressure, and the pub is well worth a visit.

5 Mar 2012 11:57

The Tut 'N' Shive, Doncaster

Large pub next door to the Plough, busy and bustling at half past 12 on Saturday. A good selection of ales of which the Black Sheep and Moonshine were tried and found good. A mixed clientele, and a friendly atmosphere meant that we all enjoyed our stop here.

28 Feb 2012 10:51

The Salutation, Doncaster

Smart pub with a good selection of ales: those we tried were well-kept and enjoyable. Due to time constraints we did not eat here, but the food looked good and worth calling again on a future occasion.

28 Feb 2012 10:47

The Plough, Doncaster

Always a good experience, a proper pub with good, well-priced ales, friendly service and a good crowd of regulars. The Barnsley bitter and Black Sheep were in good condition, although some of our group found it a bit cold for their liking. For some reason, there were a bunch of Cockneys there last Saturday sining loudy and drinking a mixture of port and blue WKD at half past 11 in the morning, but they soon staggered off bellowing down the road and we did not see them again. I hope this pub remains relatively unchanged, as it has in the years I have been visiting.

28 Feb 2012 10:43

The Old Angel, Doncaster

Called for breakfast just after ten on Saturday morning. Breakfast fine and enjoyed with a nice pint of Acorn stout. The lad serving apologised twice for the wait for the food, which was no longer than 10 minutes. The only downside was that, despite all 10 handpumps having clips, several displayed the all-too-frequent "Coming Soon", and my first choice of Barnsley Bitter was simply not on despite the presence of the clip. Still, all in all a good start to the day.

28 Feb 2012 10:36

Gatehouse, Doncaster

OK Wetherspoons with large areas of glazing opposite shopping centre, busier than the nearby Old Angel. Some of our party oddly had breakfasts delivered with no bacon, which was however brought later following complaint. We did not stay long as the range of ales consisted of 4 above 5% ABV, one stout and one porter: as we were on a bit of a session we sought more standard bitters elsewhere.

28 Feb 2012 10:30

Corner Pin Inn, Doncaster

Busy after the Rovers football match and deservedly so. Nice range of mostly local ales, and a friendly ambience. I recognised the landlord from an earlier visit; he informed me that he has run this pub for the last 4 years, but has now given up the Railway round the corner. Recent visits to the Leopard have disappointed after many years of former satisfaction, so I'll be walking a little further from the station more regularly in future.

28 Feb 2012 10:25

Cask Corner, Doncaster

A little quiet when we arrived at around 13.00 on Saturdal lunchtime but busier when we left an hour later. Signs were that when the stage is in use it is well patronised. An excellent range of real ales and other draught offerings as well as bottles from around the world. All the ales as well as the stout and porter we tried were in fine condition and reasonably priced (especially after the 15% discount for CAMRA members). A very friendly and efficient young barman added to the enjoyment of our visit.

28 Feb 2012 10:18

Kay's Bar, Edinburgh

Last comment mentions the Banker's Draft - should read the Standing Order of course!

24 Jan 2012 14:22

Mitre, Edinburgh

Well kept and tidy pub with a decent selection of ales which appeared to be equally well kept. A very good place for a lunchtime pint, especially taking into account its proximity to the tourist trail and the station. Well worth a visit.

24 Jan 2012 14:07

Kay's Bar, Edinburgh

Excellent little pub which if anything gets better each time I visit. A good choice of ales, some local and most Scottish, a warm fire in the winter, friendly staff and a great variety of customers, most seemingly living or working locally and a lot of them professionals. The beer is a bit pricy - on one occasion I noticed the Deuchar's was exactly double the price charged in the Banker's Draft - but it says a lot about the place that I did not resent paying their price.

24 Jan 2012 14:00

The Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

Always a good experience. I have also always found a very good selection of mainly Scottish ales on offer, with only the occasional clipless handpump, and they are in good condition too. The place is usually buzzing with good-natured conversation, between the varied customers and the barstaff as well. A place where the stranger is made to feel welcome.

24 Jan 2012 13:50

The Diggers (Athletic Arms), Edinburgh

Bustling on a Wednesday evening, excellent atmosphere. Nice to see an old lady in a wheelchair being well looked after by her much younger relatives. Televised football was being avidly watched by most of the customers present. Some ales served by traditional air pressure, others by handpump. All in fine condition. This is a very good pub well worth a slight detour to visit.

20 Jan 2012 16:27

The Cask and Barrel, Edinburgh

OK for a cask ale pub, but for me no more than that. I think it is probably a better experience in the evening since I have only called in at lunchtimes when there are few customers and the atmosphere is rather lacking. The beer always seems OK though. Food is cheap, basic and is tasty and good value.

20 Jan 2012 16:22

The Caledonian Sample Room, Edinburgh

A bit large and modern for a "brewery tap" and very popular with the young trendies but not bad for all that. Plenty of ales on offer, as you would expect, and those sampled were in good condition. I got the impression of a few pretensions foodwise, with prices to match, but plenty of customers were eating and I did not so food must be OK.

20 Jan 2012 16:17

Cafe Royal, Edinburgh

Called in yesterday and I can't add much to TWG's appraisal. This is a place I always visit when in Edinburgh, albeit only a couple of times a year, and it never disappoints. I likewise will make a point of eating here one day, when I have a bit more time on my hands. One of the best.

20 Jan 2012 16:12

The Star, Middlesbrough

Large pub with modern appearance and good local beer choice; it was busy with Boro supporters at the time, two ales being changed within a short period. All beers sampled were in good condition and the service was quick and friendly. Although strangers, we enjoyed a warm atmosphere and found the place a fine stop for a few beers before the match.

7 Jan 2012 13:20

The Tapas Bar, Darlington

Only dropped in for a quick pint whilst the place was quiet, but the beer was good and the service friendly. Obviously a place where everyone feels comfortable regardless of age or background. Toilets (and plenty more tables for eating) upstairs, and one of the staff informed a telephone caller that the place was fully booked for New Year's Eve, which is also a good sign. Well worth a visit if you like a nice beer in pleasant surroundings.

7 Jan 2012 13:12

Tanners Hall, Darlington

Called mainly to get a quick breakfast which was fine if standard Wetherspoon fare, and the beer was also good in terms of choice and quality. Better than average experience for this chain.

7 Jan 2012 13:08

The Quaker Coffee House, Darlington

Proper pub with good ale choice, including plenty of local brews, and a warm atmosphere. Beer was in fine condition and altogether the best experience of the day's drinking activities.

7 Jan 2012 13:05

Number 22 Alehouse and Canteen, Darlington

Pleasant well-kept and well-run pub with more than enough smartly uniformed and friendly staff at lunch time on New Year's eve. Beer was good both in terms of choice and quality and food looked good as well.

7 Jan 2012 13:02

West Herts Sports and Social Club, Watford

The only Watford "pub" in the 2012 Good Beer Guide, and CAMRA members are welcome to visit on production of a membership card or the GBG. Very busy on a match day, they serve a good number of mainly local ales which in my experience are very well kept. A friendly place to be, and it certainly deserves its place in the Guide.

21 Nov 2011 11:34

The Estcourt Tavern, Watford

Called in recently and enjoyed a pint of Hook Norton gold. The pub was busy with a football match being watched by most of the clientele. It's a perfectly nice place to be although I am not very keen on Greene King's policies as a company - Ruddles used to be my local brewery and the beers brewed under the Ruddles brand are nothing like those from the unfortunate original brewery.

21 Nov 2011 11:31

The Spotted Dog, Digbeth

When we called on Saturday evening the pub was very busy with the post-football crowd and we were struck by the wide variety of customers as well as their, and the staff's, general good nature. It's a very friendly place to be, even for we strangers who were invited to dip into a large bag of excellent local pork scratchings. I have to agree with a couple of other comments - a greater ale range would be nice but the Ansell's mild was the first I had tried for many years, and was very good. There is an extensive and unusually pleasant smoking area. For me, this is a top place for a beer or three, only slightly let down by the limited choice.

21 Nov 2011 11:25

The White Swan, Digbeth

We called on Saturday and enjoyed well-kept Banks' Bitter and Jennings' Cocker Hoop efficiently served by professional bar staff. We left with no complaints to visit the nearby Anchor which is my preferred of the two pubs, mainly for the greater ale selection. But we would certainly call again when in the area.

21 Nov 2011 11:16

, Digbeth

Excellent architecturally interesting pub, both inside and out, with a very good selection of ales; those we drank were all well kept. Hopefully the place can continue to survive in an area where most other buildings have been demolished - there is a gap between the Anchor and the White Swan - another good corner drinking venue - a couple of hundred yards long. Well worth a visit.

21 Nov 2011 11:13

The Lamp Tavern, Birmingham

A treat to visit such a good pub which has survived here despite the odds, and long may it do so. The landlord opened up for us when we arrived at 12.00, declaring that he did not expect any custom until 13.00. By the time we left an hour later, the pub was busy with a real mix of customers. 5 mainly local ales on tap, and the 2 we tried were in good condition. The landlord proved to be a mine of information regarding the history of local brewing, reeling off the ownership history of a number of breweries, many of which are now defunct. A top place to drink for those to whom good beer matters. Looking forward to another visit.

21 Nov 2011 11:07

The Wellington, Birmingham

Called in on Saturday lunchtime and again in the evening. Busy both times, first with the football crowd and later buzzing with the Saturday night beer enthusiasts. We drank a variety of pints all in good condition and served quickly and efficiently. As it was a long day, we avoided the 12% ABV ale at 7.40 a pint; although we calculated that two pints of this would have had more effect than 5 of a "standard" ale and cost less, we were not in that kind of a hurry. Remains one of my first points of call when in the city. Also sells a good variety of snuffs.

21 Nov 2011 10:59

The Briar Rose, Birmingham

Convenient Wetherspoons for New Street station and a quick breakfast (which could have been served quicker so that it was still hot). Good pint, but several of the handpumps bore the too frequently seen "coming soon" tag - as usual those I would have most liked to try. Not one of the best of its kind, but just OK (and very handy for the Wellington).

21 Nov 2011 10:51

The Barley Mow, Bristol

Nice well-kept little pub, not too easy to find if your map is not up to date (although an older building, the area has many recently erected and large hotels and other residential and business buildings). Owned by the Bristol Beer Factory it was of course serving a good choice of their ales (our choices were on fine form) and we were immediately offered a loyalty card which as non-locals we declined. Nice to be offered, though. A good choice of leaflets, booklets, timetables etc. were available and there was a good collection of local mainly pub photographs on the walls. Probably the best of a good bunch of Bristol pubs we visited on the day.

17 Oct 2011 12:38

The Old Fish Market, Bristol

Very busy on Saturday lunchtime with many watching the Liverpool-Man U match. Very much like being in a big Fuller's pub in London, although at 3.25 a pint I have drunk a lot of cheaper London Pride in the capital in recent times (it was a fair pint though). This is a good place for those who like to drink in a bustling but friendly atmosphere.

17 Oct 2011 12:27

Knights Templar, Bristol

Good Wetherspoons as they go. Close to Temple Meads station, so called twice, just after arrival and just before departure. Food (breakfast bloomer, scampi, curry etc.) well-presented and perfectly edible as W'spoons food goes and due to the current beer festival I was also able to enjoy two well-kept pints of different porters at 2.35 a time. I would be perfectly happy to do the same again next time I visit Bristol by train.

17 Oct 2011 12:22

The Cornubia, Bristol

Unfortunately closed for refreshment (but open for an art exhibition) when we called on Saturday. A notice in the window informed that due to some problem with a brewery the pub side would not re-open until late October. We hope to make another visit when next in Bristol.

17 Oct 2011 12:15

The Bridge Inn, Bristol

Very friendly although quiet when we called for a pint of well kept Bath ale. The barman was also local and keen to chat, and we found him amusing and informative. A good place to stop, and the first time I had heard "Moving Waves" by Focus for a very long time.

17 Oct 2011 12:06

The Bank, Bristol

Pleasant pub up an alleyway, with friendly helpful staff (called a taxi for us as we were running a bit late) and a good selection of local Bristol and Frome ales as well as handpumped cider. Sunny weather meant we could sit outside to drink. We much enjoyed our albeit brief stop here.

17 Oct 2011 12:02

Sir Richard Owen, Lancaster

Good for a Wetherspoon's - enjoyed a well-kept pint and there was little evidence of the benefits-dependent who frequently congregate in these establishments. Only downside was the time it took to get served, as the bar staff bustled up and down busily whilst avoiding catching my eye. An oasis compared to the previous evening when it had been impossible to reach the bar due to a large and oganised crowd of pissed and squealing new students busily swilling whatever alcohol they could get their hands on.

7 Oct 2011 12:37

The Robert Gillow, Lancaster

Nice enough Hyde's pub with well-kept beer and a pleasant enough ambience. A pub quiz was about to start when I left. A little lacking in atmosphere, for my money, and I wouldn't rush back. OK though.

7 Oct 2011 12:26

The Green Ayre, Lancaster

Nice enough Wetherspoon's with the usual cheap beer and formulaic layout. On Tuesday evening most of the handpump clips were labelled "coming soon" as a beer festival was starting the next day. On the Wednesday the beer I really fancied - a 6.0% ABR Imperial Russian Stout - was still not on. I did have a decent pint each time, which would suggest that the pub is one of the better W'spoon's for beer quality.

7 Oct 2011 12:23

The George and Dragon, Lancaster

Called in on Tuesday evening as this pub is in the 2012 Good Beer Guide. Noticed a certificate from the local CAMRA branch to the effect that it is their most improved pub of 2011. Enjoyed a well-kept pint for 2.25 (happy hour?) and found the American barmaid friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere created by the other customers very pleasant. Some interesting historical photographs of the quayside area on the walls. I will certainly be back when next in Lancaster.

7 Oct 2011 12:18

The Borough, Lancaster

Nice upmarket place with a good selection of ales - very pleasant surroundings and prices to match (3.20 for a pint of 3.7 ABV ale in good condition) which seems to maintain a good class of customers.

7 Oct 2011 12:09

The Miles Thompson, Kendal

CAMRA discount much reduced on a visit in August and yesterday I was informed that "we don't do it any more". However, a nice pint of Hawkshead Red for 2.05 still seemed a worthwhile purchase and it was a handy place to avoid a heavy shower of hail.

7 Oct 2011 12:06

The Evening Star, Brighton

Heaving on Saturday evening after a home match with many drinkers outside. Still a good atmosphere inside although packed. Very good pint of Hophead at a very reasonable price. Another Brighton pub which has not changed for the worse since my previous visit some years earlier. It is indeed good that such hostelries can still be found.

1 Sep 2011 12:09

The Lord Nelson, Brighton

Firsty visit for a good few years, and the pub is still as I remembered it. Bustling with a good atmosphere and just as a pub should be. The only downside was that the Harveys bitter was not as good as previously, and at 3.30 a pint not cheap. Overall, I preferred the Basketmakers on the day.

1 Sep 2011 12:03

The Basketmakers Arms, Brighton

Called in last Saturday lunchtime just after opening time. Within quarter of an hour the place was busy and is deservedly so popular. Good range of ales which are very well kept - we tried 4 and they were all in fine condition. Food looked good although we did not eat (plenty of others were). I remember it previously as a very good Gales pub, and it is just as pleasant an experience today.

1 Sep 2011 11:58

The Black Lion, Plaistow

A good East End pub survivor, with a decent selection of ales on offer at fair prices, two of them from Cornwall, and a pleasant uncrowded atmosphere in the early evening. One or two of the other customers seemed quite posh, but I imagine they were fleeting visitors on the way home from their well-paid jobs, and that the place could become quite crowded and loud later on. Well worth the 5-minute walk from Plaistow tube and a return visit is on the cards.

8 Apr 2011 11:01

The Seven Stars, Chancery Lane

This is one of the London pubs I have intended to visit for years, and finally made it on Tuesday. Having read the reviews beforehand, it was almost exactly as I had expected. The cat was on the bar wearing a ruff round its neck, the staff were OK, the overall ambience was quirky but pleasant, the visit to the gents was vertiginous and the place was full of jolly decent legal types. 3.60 seems quite a lot to pay for a low-gravity ale, but the Hophead was fine. Well worth visiting, but I wouldn't rush back.

8 Apr 2011 10:53

The Knights Templar, Chancery Lane

As Wetherspoons pubs go, this is a very good one. Lovely interior, the toilets are among the best in London and the beer although more expensive than in most W'spoons pubs due to the location is still very much a bargain, as well as generally in good condition. During the current beer festival it has also been changing regularly giving plenty of choice. Pity it no longer opens at 7 a.m. as it used to be a good place for an early coffee.

8 Apr 2011 10:48

The Old Forge Inn, Whitminster

Large pub just off the M5. Choice of 3 ales available, all of which were in fine condition, at 3 a pint. Pleasant and efficient barman who asked if we required further refreshment before last orders. Interesting artefacts on display, including a large collection of spoons. All in all, a good place to break a long motorway journey.

28 Mar 2011 09:50

The Annexe Inn, Bristol

Busy and bustling when we called, this is a largeish pub with a big beer garden, and is indeed an annexe of the Sportsman. There was a good choice of 6 ales on our visit, and our choices were in good condition. There were some rather annoying children apparently unsupervised in the garden, but according to signage they would have to be gone by 20.30. Well worth the short walk from the main A38.

28 Mar 2011 09:45

The Wellington, Horfield

I liked this place - really buzzing with plenty of Rovers supporters both inside and on the pavement outside (plastic glasses were in use). Quick and pleasant service, and the Golden Hare was in fine condition (not surprising given the turnover at the time!). Even programmes were on sale from the bar.

28 Mar 2011 09:38

Inn On The Green, Horfield

Busy on a Friday evening but service still quick, large pub with pleasant atmosphere and car park. Our beer choices were OK but not in top condition. There is indeed a very good choice in terms of variety but if the pub is not regularly so busy then I can see potential problems with the quality of some ales where turnover is not sufficiently constant.

28 Mar 2011 09:36

Ranmoor Inn, Sheffield

The barmaid poured us samples of each of the 4 local ales (and Taylor's Landlord) on tap as soon as we showed interest, and all 5 were on good form. A nice touch was the spotlessly clean glasses used for our choices - not a point you might normally notice but it adds to a good drinking experience. This is a well-kept, neat and tidy pub which deserves its obvious popularity. The guvnor was also present, and he told us a little about the other pubs in his group as well as his history in the drinks trade. A place where things are done properly and I look forward to calling again when in the area.

19 Mar 2011 10:56

Champs, Sheffield

In a student area and also well-frequented by students, there were some enthusiastic punters following the on-screen Cheltenham race meeting when we called. In theory this is not the type of place I like, but in practice the choice of 12 mainly local ales, of which those we tried were in top condition, as well as the generally pleasant atmosphere and friendly service, made our visit well worthwhile

19 Mar 2011 10:46

The New Barrack Tavern, Sheffield

As good a pub as you would expect of one of the Tynemill group. A visit to Hillsborough would not be the same without calling in for a pint or two from their well-kept, well-priced and well-chosen range of ales. Fast and friendly service with a good bustling atmosphere. The Tynemill "1 over the 8" scheme was well in evidence, the stamps being handed out without a request being necesdsary, and I noted that there were even periods when double stamps were distributed (unfortunately not when we called), thus giving a free pint for each 4 purchased.

19 Mar 2011 10:40

The Gardeners Rest, Sheffield

Hard to find without a street map and in a run-down area but a very welcoming pub with a large range and variety of mainly local ales. The barman was a very interesting character having lived and drunk in the area most of his life and he kept us entertained with his extensive knowledge as well as recollections of pub crawls in years gone by and pubs long closed. A place to return to in the future.

19 Mar 2011 10:30

Olde Boars Head, Middleton

Lovely old building, both outside and in, with a number of drinking areas and clearly much history. We arrived just before opening, and were soon enjoying a fine pint of Lees' bitter. Two disappointing aspects were the absence of Brewer's Dark which the GBG indicates should be available, and the barlady's assertion "No food today, we have no chef and I can't do both". Still well worth the visit, however.

7 Mar 2011 10:24

The Rifle Range, Chadderton

The place was buzzing with Oldham Athletic supporters when we called (too late for the pie and peas, unfortunately) - probably the period before a match sees this pub at its busiest. Friendly welcome despite the pressure on the staff to serve quickly - which did mean most pints of Lees' bitter and Brewer's Dark were well short of the correct measure when they had settled. We came away with a positive impression of a decent local providing a good service to the community.

7 Mar 2011 10:18

The Rose of Lancaster, Chadderton

Carlurmston has it right - a large modern pub with plenty of parking space and a good pint of Lees' bitter or Brewer's Dark. Food acceptable if standard pub fare, and not inexpensive. We needed a pint and a meal; everything OK but the word "unremarkable" sums the place up perfectly.

7 Mar 2011 10:12

Robin Hood, Jarrow

Ten minutes walk from Fellgate Metro station. Appears to be closely associated with the Jarrow Brewery, with a good selection of their ales together with guests and two real ciders, one with an ABV of 6%. Although quiet at lunchtime the service was friendly, the locals pleasant and the beer was good too. Signs were that the pub would be popular in the evenings and weekends, pity I was there at 13.30 on a Tuesday! Well worth a(nother) visit.

23 Feb 2011 14:46

The Auld Hoose, Edinburgh

Obvious "younger person's" pub but welcoming nonetheless and clearly popular. A range of Scottish ales and my pint of Brewdog Trashy Blonde was fine and tasted identical to that I drank in London 3 days earlier, which is a rare experience. Posters for events in the City can be found on the walls, from which I discovered, and later visited, an exhibition at the National Gallery. An enjoyable visit and I will return at a later date.

17 Feb 2011 11:00

The Dagda Bar, Edinburgh

Small bar, but comfortable and welcoming although not busy when I called. Beer was fine, and Scottish, and the barman went to some trouble to pull me a pint, having to visit the cellar before completing the job. Well worth the walk.

17 Feb 2011 10:55

The Sheeps Heid Inn, Duddingston

Called in for a beer on Tuesday after strolling over Arthur's Seat. A pub with an interesting history and range of decorative artifacts, pictures and clocks etc. Beer was fine, although I was a little surprised to find 2 ales from Cornwall (Sharp's Cornish Stout - very tasty - and Doom Bar), 1 from Skipton and nothing Scottish. There were locals and regulars eating, which suggests the food must be OK (if not cheap), but since I did not eat I can pass no judgement on this. I will bring the wife next time; she will also like the place.

17 Feb 2011 10:52

The Pelton Arms, Greenwich

Nice enough decor, beer fine, pleasant environment and friendly staff. Not my favourite pub of the day, but certainly OK and no doubt much better than many in the area. Whilst I am not particularly bothered to see a cat casually strolling up and down the bar top, I can understand why others may not be so keen from a hygiene point of view. Otherwise, nothing negative to report.

14 Feb 2011 10:44

The Dog and Bell, Deptford

Excellent. A proper pub run by proper people with a good choice of ales kept in top condition and served with a smile at a very acceptable price. Food may appear to be basic pub stuff, but 8 of us ate and pronounced it as good as the beer both in terms of quality and price. If I lived in London I would be here rather a lot. As it is, I will certainly be back soon.

14 Feb 2011 10:35

The Ship and Shovell, Charing Cross

We were there for opening time on Saturday and were cheerfully served some fine pints of Badger ales which is always good for the "first from the pump". Reasonably priced for London as well. Quite a few more drinkers arrived before we left, so certainly a popular pub. Well worth another visit.

14 Feb 2011 10:29

The Blackfriars, Glasgow

Largeish well-kept corner pub with tables in the windows to watch the world go by. A good selection of ales, mostly but not all Scottish, and an impressive selection of pump clips on display behind the bar to confirm the quantity and variety of ales served in the past, including more from some breweries than I knew they brewed beers! Also an excellent range of foreign draught and bottled beers. A fine pint of Kilburn was enjoyed and then unfortunately had to be off to Central Station (via the Horseshoe) for the train home. Further visits to this fine pub are on the cards.

10 Feb 2011 11:08

The Babbity Bowster, Glasgow

A first visit for me, and I was greeted with and exchanged a bit of banter with a couple of the locals which made me feel immediately welcome. As GBGatelad mentions below, the ales are dispensed by the traditional Scottish air pressure method which allows the customer to observe the whole pint-pulling process and appears to be becoming very rare indeed - more's the pity. My choice was not cheap but in excellent condition. A clean and tidy pub, friendly staff and the warmth of an open fire meant I was reluctant to leave, but the Blackfriars was calling.....

10 Feb 2011 10:58

The Bon Accord, Glasgow

First visit since Glasgow was the European City of Culture and the Bon Accord was one of a very few Glasgow pubs with real ale. Actually better now than I remembered it, with a very good choice of Scottish ales and my selection was in very good condition. Food looked good too. Not the warmest welcome of the day, but a decent atmosphere nevertheless. Well worth another visit.

10 Feb 2011 10:49

Free Trade Inn, Berwick upon Tweed

Being only an occasional visitor to the town, I have made 4 attempts to visit this pub over the last twenty years, and have so far failed - it has been closed every time including on my last try at lunchtime and again in the evening 2 days ago. It featured in CAMRA's 100 Classic Town Pubs published 30-odd years ago and according to local drinkers is still completely unspoilt and, at times, open. If you're planning to visit it would be best to establish opening times in advance, which I will do next time I'm in the area.

5 Feb 2011 11:03

The Pilot Inn, Berwick upon Tweed

Excellent little local in a sidestreet 5 minutes walk from the station. Knowledgeable and friendly local licensee who keeps his ale in very good condition and also dispenses useful advice as to where else in the area to get a pint of the good stuff. He is planning to host the pub's first beer festival later in the year. I'll be back next time I'm in Berwick.

5 Feb 2011 10:56

Leaping Salmon, Berwick upon Tweed

For such a historic and much-visisted town, although the building itself is OK this is a Wetherspoons which should be better than it is. An above average number of terminally unemployed handrollers both inside and in the doorway making it difficult to enter, with the bonus of a whiff of cannabis in passing, but on the positive side an unusual absence of single mothers in trackies with their sprogs in buggies. Two drinkable beers from Northumbrian at 1.29 a pint and the cheapest Wetherspoons meal offers I've seen anywhere seemingly explain its popularity. It does what it says on the tin, but I would not bother to visit again.

5 Feb 2011 10:51

The Barrels Alehouse, Berwick upon Tweed

Interesting pub with plenty of local trade, unusual artifacts such as an old dentist's chair at the end of the bar and most importantly a good range of well-kept ales, some Scottish including an extremely strong offering from Broughton. Deservedly popular and well worth a visit.

5 Feb 2011 10:43

Swim Inn, Sheffield

Fair enough for a Wetherspoons - obviously not a favourite for those who prefer a traditional pub but the beer was good and at 1.70 for a well-served pint of 4.4 Acorn Porter who can complain when my previous pint of 3.8 bitter had cost me 3.00? A cheap but perfectly satisfactory meal was served with a smile within a couple of minutes of ordering. For me, a rather above-average drinking establishment of its type and a worthwhile experience on the day.

6 Jan 2011 12:46

The Old House, Sheffield

Rather geared towards food but still serves a decent if pricy pint of ale. Staffed by good-looking young ladies on my visit, one of whom pounced to ask me if I was eating (I didn't, but the food looked good) before I had time to sit down. Presumably a former shop, it features plate-glass doors, a huge mirror by the downstairs toilets and some interesting objects incorporated in the decor. Worth a visit.

6 Jan 2011 12:38

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

The last two posters seem to have been disappointed, but on my recent visit the place was just as good as always. My Acorn Imperial Stout was excellent, but at 6.0 ABV one had to be enough. The beer range, general good-humoured ambience and cheerful, knowledgeable bar staff clearly provide very well for the needs of most of the mainly local clientele, and if there is a better drinking man's pub in the country I have yet to find it (still searching, though).

6 Jan 2011 12:29

The Fat Cat, Sheffield

Having visited several times a year for the best part of 20 years, the last on New Year's Day, I can vouch for the beer selection, quality and general top-grade pubbyness still being at the level of my first (and every) visit. On the whole the Fat Cat has been patronised over the years by real beer drinkers; this time I was surprised to find the place populated by middle aged, middle class couples discussing the foie gras and white truffle-filled menus they had enjoyed over the festive period. Looking forward to my next visit, to discover whether this was a one-off due to the bank holiday or if the incursion of well-heeled incomers is a regular occurrence.

6 Jan 2011 12:19

The Lord Burghley, Stamford

Indeed, my review was badly worded. Whilst the original pub closed before I was old enough to be a credible drinker, my father often mentions visiting the Rising Sun amongst many other long-closed Stamford drinking establishments when remeniscing about his younger days. My point here was to inform any interested reader that, although the building may seem centuries old, it was in fact demolished and rebuilt from the ground up after a period of closure (although as a listed building the facade at least is identical to that of the previous building on the site). I fully agree with TheGriffin's comments and have myself only visited once, after being something of a regular, since the departure of the landlord in question.

20 Dec 2010 11:39

The Salutation, Hammersmith

Nicely tiled exterior and a warm and modern feel inside. Wecoming bar staff and a very good pint of Pride. Snow and ice meant I could not linger as the tube was badly disrupted and I had a train to catch, but I would certainly call again when in this part of London.

20 Dec 2010 11:23

The Plough and Harrow, Hammersmith

Wetherspoons with a particularly modern feel and with customers from all walks of life. The Abbot Reserve at 2.05 a pint was a real bargain, and well-enough kept if not brilliant. Whilst Wetherspoon's pubs generally are not really my cup of tea, they serve a purpose and I enjoyed my visit, albeit it brief.

20 Dec 2010 11:19

The Royal Oak, Borough

Harveys ales are always welcome, and the Best was in good condition last Saturday afternoon. A well-kept pub with a friendly ambience and a pleasant all-round experience worth repeating.

20 Dec 2010 11:14

The Lord Clyde, Borough

Impressive exterior and equally quality as a pub where you feel at home immediately upon entry even on a first visit. Buzzing on a Saturday afternoon despite or perhaps because of the snow and low temperature outside. True, some of the ales on offer are standard for the area, but the Pride was very much on form and there is also Doom Bar for those requiring something more exotic. Very efficient and busy barmaid who still had time to be pleasant with her customers. A definate place to revisit, the experience is well worth the effort.

20 Dec 2010 11:09

The Prince Edward, Bayswater

Pleasant typical city pub nicely renovated and opened out, with a good atmosphere and friendly service. Downside for me was that it is always disappointing to visit a pub with a reputation for a good choice of ales to find there is only one on. This was a Badger brew (Pickled Partridge) which was very acceptable, but from the reversed pumpclips on the other handpumps it was obvious that I called at a bad time. However, plenty of other pubs can maintain a decent choice on a permanent basis, including many small locals; it only requires planning and a bit of cellarmanship. I would still return for a second visit on the assumption that I would not be unlucky twice.

16 Dec 2010 11:32

The Kings Head, Bayswater

Called for a quick one the other evening before returning home on the train. Good atmosphere with plenty of custom and preparations were underway for what looked like an office Christmas party. There was a good selection of ales available, include Daleside porter, but I settled for a pint of Youngs which was well kept and enjoyable.

16 Dec 2010 11:26

Alexanders (The Castle Green Hotel), Kendal

An aspiring upmarket establishment which however provides a perfectly comfortable and relaxing environment once one discovers that the restaurant-like impression immediately upon entering merely fronts a friendly bar and television viewing area. Friendly staff, the 3 ales on offer were all locally brewed and kept in excellent condition when I called. Well worth another visit when next in the area.

30 Nov 2010 13:08

The Miles Thompson, Kendal

Pretty good for a Wetherspoons, only the second one where I have observed an orderly queue to be served (the other is in Carlisle, so maybe Cumbrians have better manners than most). Beer fine, a selection of mainly local ales which when I called were in pretty good condition. A nice touch is that CAMRA members can get a pint of any of the 4 guest ales for 1.50. The Lancashire hotpot was OK, with large chunks of what appeared to be "proper" mutton rather than lamb. On the downside, it does seem to be pretty much used as a creche by the professionally unemployed - yesterday lunchtime there were more babies than I've ever seen in a pub before, but at least they were all upstairs.

26 Nov 2010 09:54

The Castle Inn, Kendal

Bustling on Tuesday night when I called - dominoes being played in one room, a ladies' darts match ongoing in the bar and a large table of rather posh people having a private quiz in the lounge. Obviously a popular local, with a good atmosphere. I was rather surprised to be charged 2.90 for a pint of locally brewed Jennings ordinary bitter (3.5%) which, whilst the beer was perfectly drinkable, is what I would expect to pay in central London where ales of this strength are often considerably cheaper.

26 Nov 2010 09:46

The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, Prestonpans

Bussed out from Edinburgh to try out a pub which I had wanted to visit for some time. A very interesting interior - this is a big place with a number of rooms - and although I did not eat, the food looked good as it passed by. There are some interesting artefacts in connection with the history of Fowler's Brewery and other local matters. The home-brewed beers available were 70/- and Porter which were well-priced (the former only 1.85 a pint) and pleasant, if a little bland.

10 Nov 2010 10:43

Tiles Cafe Bar, Edinburgh

Worth visiting for the splendid interior. However, the staff and atmosphere were rather cold and impersonal which fits in generally with my experiences of places with no real ale. Luckily I only had a half - of Bitter and Twisted - which gassily rather turned my stomach. It cost 1.80 which, at 3.60 a pint, was a record for me in this city and all the more remarkable in view of its modest strength. I'm obviously too old for this place. Luckily the Cafe Royal and Guildford Arms are just round the corner and provided a gastric recovery before my train home.

10 Nov 2010 10:35

Sandy Bells, Edinburgh

Small, busy, friendly, a good selection of ales in fine condition served with care and respect. Only sorry I could not stay longer, but time was running out.

10 Nov 2010 10:27

Cloisters Bar, Edinburgh

Friendly bar with welcome gas log-effect fire on a cold day. 9 real ales to choose from, the Dark Island was OK but not brilliant. Good interaction and banter between staff and customers. A few loud students, but at least they have already learned to appreciate a good bar and were drinking "proper" beer!

10 Nov 2010 10:11

White Lion, Walsall

Great backstreet pub with a very knowledgable landlady and some well-kept beers. Our visit coincided with the aftermatch of a beer festival which meant that the remaining ales - indcluding some belters like Sarah Hughes' dark ruby, were on offer for two quid a pint. The landlord and brewer of the Price of Wales' Feathers and Castor Ales was also present in the deep end and appeared suitably impressed. Will definitely look forward to another visit.

3 Nov 2010 10:00

Lyndon House Hotel, Walsall

Friendly and helpful bar staff and a good choice of reasonably priced beers made our visit a pleasant experience. A mixed clientele including some members of the Peterborough police force. Would certainly call again when in Walsall.

3 Nov 2010 09:56

The Black Country Arms, Walsall

In the 2011 Good Beer Guide which meant we could "discover" it last night. Indeed an impressive interior and a good range of ales, including quite a few stronger ones including stouts and specialities. Friendly service, and a good all-round experience. It was a Tuesday, so maybe that's why it was so sparsely populated. I hope it is better patronised at other times and can avoid the sad state of the pub opposite .

3 Nov 2010 09:53

The Brewery Tap, Derby

Nicely renovated pub with friendly service, good beer and some original touches like 5 third-pints of their own beer and some cheese for a fiver. Only downside was the presence of one or two loud and foul-mouthed self-opinionated characters who had had more than enough already by the mid-afternoon. A sign of the times which does tend to put a damper on an otherwise decent and enjoyable city crawl. It won't put me off a return visit however.

30 Sep 2010 10:02

The Alexandra Hotel, Derby

One of my favourite Derby pubs, handy for the station. Oddly closed when I called one evening last week, so I called at the busy Brunswick instead, which was hardly a hardship.

30 Sep 2010 09:56

The Globe Inn, Tamworth

Nice interior, pleasant friendly barmaid, obviously popular with the older generation for lunches. Also a pint of excellent Holden's Mild for 2.20. Maybe I called at a good time, but no complaints from me.

30 Sep 2010 09:52

The Crown Hotel, Stamford

The Crown is a better-than-most market town hotel with a nice outdoor suntrap drinking area and a well renovated interior. Food has a good reputation, with much local produce used. Beer selection does not seem as good as previously - Landlord has gone - but the owner obviously likes to promote his own Ufford Ales (Adnams bitter also available). Like the rest of Mr. Thurlby's ever expanding empire prices are rather high, even for Stamford and its surrounds, but his establishments are busy, a great deal of money has been spent on making them a pleasant environment and you gets what you pays for.

28 Aug 2010 10:24

Ye Old Elm Tree, Durham

First visit in early August, and obviously can't compare it to its previous incarnation, but for me this pub was one of the day's best experiences, especially the large range of mainly local ales and the friendly barmaid. Certainly worth the uphill effort. The place seemed pretty popular with many comings and goings from people who, in the main, certainly knew their beer, although I did not visit during a normally busy period.

20 Aug 2010 10:48

The Victoria Hotel, Durham

Superb old-fashioned and unspoilt local with interesting and original interior. The kind of place I began drinking in many moons ago. Friendly landlady, good selection of mainly local ales and I would imagine the place would be at its best on a weekend evening when I suppose it would be very busy. Unfortunately I visited not long after lunchtime opening - but it was still a good experience. A return visit is a cert.

20 Aug 2010 10:41

Market Tavern, Durham

An ideal and well-situated "proper" town pub for the regular pub goer and enthusiast. I felt at ease as soon as I walked through the door. Bustling and busy, the staff were competent and welcoming to a stranger and the beer selection was excellent, focusing on local ales and in particular those brewed in the city. I enjoyed the Hill Island stout and the eclectic music selection, which was very much to my taste (and some of which I had not heard for years) before realising that it was actually the juke box. Probably my first port of call next time I am in Durham.

20 Aug 2010 10:35

The Half Moon, Durham

Big pub, tidy and well modernised. Service and beer were better than I expected on first impression. Certainly worth a call when in this part of the city.

17 Aug 2010 15:54

Dun Cow, Durham

Nice old-fashioned place, very clean and tidy with range of ales in good condition. Friendly barmaid (landlady?) who is interested in her customers, even if they are unfamiliar. She seems to run a tight ship - I'm surprised that it can be full of "iffy" people both from my own experience and the news I overheard in another city pub that "so-and-so" had been barred from the Dub Cow. Well worth a visit.

14 Aug 2010 10:41

The Colpitts Hotel, Durham

Sam Smith's Old Brewery is not my favourite ale, and there is no other choice, but it must be said that it is cheap and the pub itself is a proper old-fashioned boozer with good service and a pleasant atmosphere created by a varied and good humoured clientele who obviously appreciate the place as it is. Clean and tidy, worth a call whenever in Durham. One customer was making great play about eating his "twelve bob packet of crisps" whilst I was there.

14 Aug 2010 10:34

Bridge Hotel, Durham

Doesn't look that prepossessing externally but fine inside with a friendly welcome, a decent if small choice of ales and what looks like an OK menu (didn't try the food). Not by any means the best in Durham, but a good experience and worth a visit. Handy for the station.

14 Aug 2010 10:30

The Water House, Durham

Yes, Wetherspoons are pretty much formulaic but that's what some people like. I prefer a decent old-fashioned boozer myself, but sometimes a W'spoons is handy. Also, CAMRA members have 20 worth of vouchers to use annually! When I called in last week I had a perfectly acceptable pint of Allendale Tar Barrel (don't recall the correct "local dialect" spelling) and found the place fine. Maybe I was lucky, but this company will continue to receive my patronage from time to time.

14 Aug 2010 10:25

Volunteers Arms, Musselburgh

Holbornboy is correct in all respects, the ale choice was different on my visit of course but a different Thornbridge beer was on offer together with a number of Scottish brews. The pub was recommended to me by a local I met in the Cafe Royal and the effort to visit did not disappoint. Not far from perfect as a local, and I wish it was mine.

13 Aug 2010 11:09

The Diggers (Athletic Arms), Edinburgh

Friendly and helpful service, a tidy welcoming pub with a good atmosphere. Choice of 5 or so ales, and mine was in fine condition. Interesting and unusual seating arrangement. Nice clean gents. A bit of a trek from the centre, but not far from Haymarket station and well served by buses.

13 Aug 2010 11:04

Thomson's, Edinburgh

Very good city pub, efficient bar staff, nice plain interior with brewery and distillery ephemera on the walls. Plenty of ale choice, mostly local Scottish beers. Excellent steak pie too. Clearly popular with local office staff at lunchtime. Well worth a walk from the central tourist area, a haven at festival time.

13 Aug 2010 10:56

The Union Rooms, Newcastle

Large Wetherspoons in an interesting building with some history. A number of rooms/floors, and multiple bars. In my experience, one of the best of its kind since it is always bustling, staff and customers are mostly good-natured, the ales are almost always in good condition and the food also seems OK. It is very handy for a quick pint before the trin, as it is only a stone's throw from Central station.

30 Jul 2010 10:58

The Tyne, Newcastle

Nice pub to finish an Ouseburn crawl - at river level. A really good selection of local ales, and plenty of choice if that is not your thing. Friendly staff and a good atmosphere. The Tyne will remain a regular stopping point on my Newcastle/Ouseburn expeditions.

30 Jul 2010 10:54

The Free Trade Inn, Byker

Has an extremely tatty air and the gents' is something else as far as experiences go - I could not find a space for my review - but at least in my experience the overpowering perfume has been of disinfectant rather than urine. There is a pretty good choice of local ales, although I have found the quality variable, and the staff often appear disinterested and are not particularly friendly to the occasional visitor. But I keep returning for the evening view from the beer garden and the occasional excellent pint. A regular port of call when I'm in Toon.

30 Jul 2010 10:48

The Cluny, Ouseburn

Indeed a great place with an excellent choice of ales, many local, as well as Continental beers and lagers, housed in an unusual converted industrial building (seem to remember someone saying it was once a whisky bottling warehouse). Good food available at reasonable prices. Friendly helpful staff and the clientele create a good atmosphere. I left after my last visit with a good-quality souvenir "The Cluny" teeshirt chosen from a range of colours for the princely sum of 2.99, even to fit my slightly generous bulk.

30 Jul 2010 10:39

The Cumberland Arms, Ouseburn

Can only agree with the majority - an excellent pub with good choice of proper beers and a top atmosphere. A good starting point for the 4 Ouseburn pubs on my personal itinery (it's downhill to the Cluny, Free Trade and Tyne) although there are others I have not visited yet as it is difficult to make the train after a day in the Newcastle pubs then a tour of Ouseburn. Best to check opening times as the Cumberland does not open before early evening some days.

30 Jul 2010 10:31

The Bree Louise, Euston

Not such an enjoyable experience as previous visits - my pint of St. Peter's Organic was only just drinkable. We had to drink outside due to the heat, as did many other customers, and our conversation was rather spoilt by a bunch of locals who insisted on running races with children up and down the pavement with total disregard for others and the food bins which were sent flying - anti-social behaviour from those old enough to know better. I'm glad I am not a neighbour. Overall the Bree Louise can be a good experience, so my rating is not based on this one visit.

29 Jul 2010 10:51

The Lamb Tavern, Leadenhall Market

Not my first visit, and I have always enjoyed calling in here and mixing with the well-heeled City workers in the early evening before they commute back home. It is a historic location and there are some nice old artefacts to be seen, particularly some glass panels and the tiled mural inside one entrance. Posh London drunks can often be found here, and their antics can be amusing at times. Unusually my pint of Young's bitter was poor on this occasion.

29 Jul 2010 10:43

Pommelers Rest, Tower Bridge

It's a Wetherspoons so you get what you expect. However, this was a rather better Wetherspoon experience with a friendly and helpful barman, a perfectly acceptable and edible cheap meal and the best pint out of the five I drank on the day (the rest were in relatively well-known pubs where rather more could have been expected).

29 Jul 2010 10:33

The Horniman at Hays, Southwark

This pub has history and therefore some reputation and is included in several pub walk itineries, including those of CAMRA. It seems superficially smart and expensively fitted out and on the face of it a pleasant environment, but on my visit on 27.07.10, after tasting a number of ales, I settled on a pint of Taylor's Landlord which was at least drinkable (the others weren't). Not a place I would revisit.

29 Jul 2010 10:24

The Pot Still, Glasgow

Nice Scottish city pub with interesting interior and good beer - the Deuchar's was very tasty - and overall well worth a quick visit. Next time I will stay to enjoy the atmosphere a bit longer.

23 Jul 2010 11:13

The Station Bar, Glasgow

Have to agree with holydave - I called in last Tuesday for a quick pint before the train home and found a welcoming pub, nicely modernised and populated by helpful competent staff and friendly customers. Only 3 ales on offer, and the one downside was my choice - a lime-flavoured offering from Caledonian (Mexican Bandit if I recall correctly) but I did ask for it and will try anything once. I will call again, but drink something more familiar in future!

23 Jul 2010 11:08

The State Bar, Glasgow

A good choice of Scottish ales - difficult to choose as there were several interesting ones on offer. My eventual choice was very satisfying. This is a proper pub which to the visitor seems like a Glasgow pub should be. Friendly and competent staff, and all round a good experience.

23 Jul 2010 11:02

The Society Rooms, Glasgow

Wetherspoons pubs are not really my cup of tea, but this is one of the better Wetherspoons of my experience, nicely carpeted, clean toilets, apart from one or two of the usual Wetherspoons Wasters a decent clientele (mainly local workers and shoppers in the late afternoon) and I was served a fine pint of Edinburgh Gold by a pleasant and competent young woman for 1.55. Maybe my experience was not par for the course, but I will certainly call again.

23 Jul 2010 10:59

The Horseshoe Bar, Glasgow

First visit since Glasgow was the City of European Culture, and the place has changed little apart from a more commercialised food service (but the simple lunchtime meals at 2.99 were selling like hot cakes and looked good). A pint of Deuchar's at 1.89 was a bargain. Good atmosphere in an excellent city pub full of local people. I'm suprised that it's not in the GBG (I visited due to fond memory). I will certainly call again whenever in Glasgow.

23 Jul 2010 10:33

The Leopard, Doncaster

A little shabby (or well-worn if you prefer), but always a friendly welcome and a good drinking experience. Last time I called, the Glentworth beer (always one available) went off as mine was being pulled, and the barmaid visited the cellar, changed the barrel and served me a pint of the new brew within 3 minutes - a record in my experience. I normally drink the Glentworth choice here, but a few days earlier I had chosen the Old Mill Yorkshire Porter on the next pump - and both were excellent.

17 Jul 2010 10:53

Canal House, Nottingham

A Tynemill house, in this case large and well-fitted out in an old canal warehouse (next door to the Fellows, Morton and Clayton). Less than 5 minutes walk from the railway station. Can get crowded and seems a bit empty when sparsely populated. Friendly and helpful staff, a good if not extensive ale selection (plenty of other choice as well) and always worth a visit. If you have half an hour between trains, a pint here and one at the Vat and Fiddle is easily possible

17 Jul 2010 10:46

The Vat and Fiddle, Nottingham

Dropped in several times last week as it is indeed possible to drink a fine pint during a 15 minutes train change. Always a good selection of ales on top form, both Castle Rock and guests, and at present Bateman's beers are included in the "1 over the 8" loyalty scheme since due to brewery developments not enough Harvest Pale (a personal favourite) is available. This will apparently soon be fixed! Always a warm atmosphere, good mixed clientele and value for money.

17 Jul 2010 10:38

The Keans Head, Nottingham

I called in for the first time last week, and as expected the beer was good - typical Tynemill/Castle Rock quality although the place is smaller than most Tynemill pubs and the beer selection is also smaller. Nothing wrong with that - 5 ales were on and my selection was a very good pint. A friendly atmosphere although I visited at a relatively quiet time (Sunday afternoon). I will certainly call again.

17 Jul 2010 10:32

The Kelham Island Tavern, Sheffield

I can remember regularly passing this place when it seemed permanently boarded up several years ago, and I could not see it reopening with the Fat Cat so close. Nowadays I rarely reach the Fat Cat. The Kelham Island Tavern is as good as its best reviews, the beer is always on good form and it is difficult to choose from the extensive range. Prices are equally good. Last Sunday there was also local folk music to enjoy. The staff and other customers are a knowledgeable crowd - I always look forward to the next opportunity to visit. Why are so few pubs like this - it makes business sense too.

16 Jul 2010 10:46

Sheffield Tap, Sheffield

Called several times in the last week - excellent range of Thornbridge cask as well as continental draught and bottled beers. Knowledgeable staff (except the good-looking girlies on duty on Sunday). The place gets very busy after working hours finish, not surprisingly. Well worth a visit, and a welcome addition to the Sheffield circuit - and always time for either a swift half or preferably pint before catching the train.

16 Jul 2010 10:38

The Tobie Norris, Stamford

I remember this place from 50+ years ago when it was the RAFA club and my dad took me in occasionally for a glass of Dandelion & Burdock. It has undergone an excellent (and very expensive) conversion and deserves the awards and plaudits it has won. One or more of Mick Thurlby's Ufford Ales normally available together with 2 or 3 ever-changing guest beers. Last time I called they were also offering Stamford-produced and bottled cider! Pricy, but never disappoints. If visiting for the first time, it is worth checking out all the drinking areas, including those upstairs, to appreciate the building's finer points.

2 Jul 2010 11:03

The Dolphin, Stamford

Held an outdoor beer festival for the Stamford Festival last weekend - all guest beers 2.60 per pint including a 7.3% effort from Oakham Ales. Beers we tried were fine. Normally only Charles Wells' beers are available, which do not inspire me to visit often. Worth calling in if in the vicinity though - only a few yards from Mama Liz's.

2 Jul 2010 10:54

The Standing Order, Edinburgh

It's a big city Wetherspoons with all that that suggests, but the building has a nice interior and the staff are OK. It has to be said that a good pint of Deuchar's can be purchased for little more than half the price of many "better" Edinburgh pubs. Yesterday we noticed that we were 2 days too early for the CAMRA Scottish ales festival just down the street, which would be followed by a Caledonian Brewery festival in the pub itself - bad timing! Pub was noisy with the South Africa-France World Cup match on the big screen.

23 Jun 2010 10:30

The Oxford Bar, Edinburgh

Fantastically basic, with ales in excellent condition and some nice artistic photographs on the walls. Agreed it is probably best appreciated in the afternoon, and yesterday it was fairly quiet at 16.30. Well worth a visit - a proper pub.

23 Jun 2010 10:24

The Guildford Arms, Edinburgh

Has not been in the GBG for a few years, but still a sound port of call with plenty of real ales on offer, generally on good form. A nice pint of Orkney Raven was enjoyed yesterday as the final pint before the train home. Pricier than the Cafe Royal next door, although to be fair the interior is almost as fine.

23 Jun 2010 10:21

Cafe Royal, Edinburgh

Beautiful interior and always enjoyable for the varied and mainly local clientele as well as the beer. Yesterday evening it was fairly quiet and the Deuchar's was on good form. Handy for a penultimate pint before the train.

23 Jun 2010 10:17

The Boys Head, Oundle Rd

In recent years this pub has closed, re-opened and closed again several times. Currently has been boarded up for some months.

18 Jun 2010 11:08

The Drapers Arms, Peterborough

One of the best Wetherspoons I know, and I regularly visit. Has 5 handpumps for regular beers and 5 for ever-changing guests, so always something interesting to drink. Very rarely does the condition of a pint disappoint. The manager knows what he is doing, and has been here for years - a pointer to how important this function is to such establishments. Other staff are good as well - if at times overworked. Usual Wetherspoons fare as far as food and other drinks are concerned. I will continue to drink here whilst present standards are maintained. A point to mention - it has become the venue for away football supporters who are herded here from the Station by the police, so can be loud and intimidating on occasion, but relegation for Posh should reduce this now.

18 Jun 2010 11:00

The Lord Burghley, Stamford

Not a pub until 30-odd years ago, when it was flattened and rebuilt stone by stone and received its name as it belonged to the Burghley Estate. Subsequently was extended into the next-door house. Before general all-day opening it was one of a few town pubs open all day on Fridays (market day). Has always been a free house with a number of real ales, but few changes and nothing unusual for the area (except Fuller's ESB). In past times a flagship for well-kept ales, but not for the last few years when it has generally disappointed.

18 Jun 2010 10:45

The Daniel Lambert, Stamford

When I passed a couple of days ago it was apparently being gutted. Skip outside gradually filling up with pub paraphernalia and builders' rubble.

I still remember it as the Reindeer, a haunt for under-aged drinkers in my younger days. Then was closed for years before reopening by the late Albert Glover, previously the proprietor of the best fish and chip shop in the town (now, alas, a US fried chicken emporium - no, I've never been in).

18 Jun 2010 10:36

White Hart, Stamford

Part of Mick Thurlby's empire - in Stamford he owns the Periwig and the Tobie Norris, and part-owns the Crown Hotel, but Ufford is a good 6 miles outside the town - and in Cambridgeshire. A well-appointed (and pricey) hostelry nevertheless, and well worth a visit. In my experience the beer has always been good, and I'd rather pay a little extra for a good pint than try to drink cheap vinegar.

18 Jun 2010 10:29

The Otters Pocket, Stamford

Many years ago it was the Albion, an excellent little town-centre boozer with a tiny front bar. Now much bigger, having been opened out, and mainly a younger persons pub, with on-screen sport dominating at times. Has a range of real ales, but not often anything unusual for the area. The last couple of times I have been in, on the last occasion with several friends, the beer has been drinkable but not great. There is also what sems a good selection of international lagers and keg beers for those who like that sort of thing.

18 Jun 2010 10:17

Hit or Miss, Stamford

Changed hands a few weeks ago, now run by a couple with local roots. Bateman's beers were in good form recently, and the welcome was warm. A small local pub which has done well to survive and deserves support. A stone's throw up Foundry Road from the Jolly Brewer, and a minute from the Green Man down the passage almost opposite.

14 Jun 2010 13:28

The Green Man, Stamford

One of my most frequent port of call in the town - an ever-changing choice of 7 real ales with 3 regulars and 4 guests, many from small and micro-breweries. Usually also a selection of several real ciders and perries. Two excellent beer festivals annually, with "inside" beer from handpumps and the cellar and "outside" beers from a bar in the beer garden. Recent news that the long-term landlord Tony Shilling will be leaving soon is a worry - will standards be maintained after his departure?

14 Jun 2010 13:23

Golden Fleece, Stamford

Busy pub with good well-kept Everards beers on offer. Outside tables in the recently-repaved area keep the road traffic at a distance. Also outside is a modern stone sculpture based on the Eleanor Cross (last existing stone of the original can be seen in the town museum): very nice if you like that kind of thing.

14 Jun 2010 13:15

Essendine Hotel, Stamford

Used to be a great little pub, with petrol pumps, where we workers from the Fiat Allis (Allis Chalmers) tractor factory drank at lunchtimes - no elfansafety worries in those days. The factory has been closed much longer than the pub. But both were a good 4 miles from Stamford!

14 Jun 2010 13:09

The Helwith Bridge, Helwith Bridge

Judging by the comments, this place has changed since my only visit some years ago as a regular visitor to the area, which provided me with a unique experience in 45 years of drinking in thousands of pubs. Calling with my wife for a drink and hopefully a meal I was immediately verbally baited by a local, presumably a worker from the nearby quarry. Failing to rise to the bait, I then found him sidling up behind me to deadleg and try to floor me. Barmaid to local: "I thought you were a nice man". We quickly drank up and left. Barmaid to local as we went: "look, you've driven them away". Perhaps I will make another visit, against my better judgement, to check it out again.

11 Jun 2010 11:04

Mama Liz's Soul Food Shack, Stamford

Unusual venue for Stamford, and Peterborough CAMRA Pub of the Year for 2009. Friendly staff, a fair choice of real ale including local brews and a very pleasant outside drinking area for this time of year. Popular with the younger set, especially at the weekend. Currently fighting to keep live music - petition signed on a recent visit; unfortunately incomers from the London area like to move to "England's best stone town", buy expensive town-centre "properties" and then spoil its character by trying to turn it into what they want it to be.

7 Jun 2010 10:35

The Jolly Brewer, Stamford

For years a nondescript and at times struggling pub with regular changes of licensee. The present licensees have turned it into one of the best Stamford pubs for beer drinkers and, in the best way, a local pub for local people (but a warm welcome for all). The excellent Sharp's Doom Bar, unusually, is one of the permanent beers offered, LocAle is fully supported and there are occasional beer festivals. When in Stamford, don't miss it.

22 Apr 2010 15:11

The Black Bull, Stamford

Still closed. It was a good pub once, particularly when it first reopened as the Black Bull, but declined steadily over a number of years and is not particularly missed.

There are regular rumours of reopening, but nothing has materialised yet.

22 Apr 2010 15:05

Tollemache Inn, Grantham

As Wetherspoons pubs go, this is rather a good one. Beer generally well kept, usually a good selection from local breweries, and quite a pleasant atmosphere.

17 Apr 2010 14:27

The Dolphin, Stamford

Blackthorn's second review clearly relates to the Tobie Norris, and not the Dolphin.

17 Apr 2010 14:22

The Daniel Lambert, Stamford

Apparently, according to the local press, will become a shop subject to planning permission. A sad loss.

16 Apr 2010 10:59

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