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Proper pubs

 

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oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Oct 11, 2018, 11:58 PM

Posts: 4042
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #726 of 728 (1214 views)
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Re: [buncranaboy] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Three good boozers visited in Bristol city centre on Sunday, either side of the hop match at Bristol Telephones FC, starting with...

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer
17~18 King Street
Old City
Bristol

http://navyvolunteer.co.uk/

...GBG-listed with plenty of cask and craft ales from West Country breweries (though I chose a porter from Black Forest Brewery of Ephrata, near Lancaster). The pub exterior is a battered beauty, but inside its all rather too much spotless pine and designer-chique. Good beer choices, though. And it's more of the same next door at...

The Beer Emporium
15 King Street
Old City
Bristol

http://thebeeremporium.net/

...where there's more fancy low-slung settees, pine floorboards and subdued lighting, all tucked into some old (and it has to be said, rather tastefully renovated) underground brick cellars. The over-flow of style was made up for with another fine choice of ale, including a lovely stout called The Devil Made Me Brew It from the local Arbor Brewery. Even better, they have a small shop at street-level selling a wide range of bottles. Both of these pubs stock some gorgeous beers, but just seemed to be a little too trendy for their own good, which meant that the best pub of the day by a country mile has to be...

The Seven Stars
1 Thomas Lane
Redcliffe
Bristol


...across the water in the direction of Temple Meads, and not too far away from that other gem The Cornubia. While those other pubs give lip service to their salty Bristol roots, this place is the real McCoy: down a stinking alley in a grubby little corner surrounded by office blocks, with a filthy stained front, battered furniture thoughout, smelly toilets, dirty windows, a barmaid with excellent taste in music, and four or five taps of imaginative ale. Highlights of this visit were the Kingstone Stout from Tintern, and the point where a bearded hipster gingerly tiptoed through the grime to ask if they served non-alcoholic beer. The barmaid smiled sweetly and said "Definitely no!" Right answer!

I can remember coming to this part of Bristol on a college trip in the spring of 1985, to visit the rusting shell of the SS Great Britain before it was repaired and renovated. A bus-load of thirty or so of us then crowded into an old dock-side pub I think called The Albion somewhere around this stretch of Bristol's quayside. At that time, this area was semi-derelict and a million miles from the trendy boutiques and coffee shops that fill the place now. The Seven Stars, however, must be the last remaining bastion of that old-time Bristol still remaining. A gorgeous pint and an absolute gem of a pub.





oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Oct 12, 2018, 1:24 AM

Posts: 4042
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #727 of 728 (1187 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


In Reply To
Some rural pubs visited while walking the D'Arcy Dalton Way, a 66-mile long-distance footpath that goes from the very northern tip of Oxfordshire at Wormleighton Reservoir to the ancient Wayland's Smithy burial spot on the Ridgeway above Uffington...


More pubs visited on stages 3 and 4 of the D'Arcy Dalton walk though Oxfordshire...

The Sun Inn
High Street
Hook Norton
Oxfordshire


...good, but not as good as the Pear Tree Inn up the road, followed by...

The Kings Head Inn
The Green
Bledington
Gloucestershire

https://thekingsheadinn.net/

...The Kings Head has made headlines recently when supposedly renowned restaurant critic Giles Coren named it in The Times in his top hundred pubs in the country. Oxfordshire received two entries from Giles - the Kings Head (which is actually in Gloucestershire! DOH!), and the Magdalen Arms in Oxford (the last time I went in the Magdalen Arms was in 2004 when it was a smoky pool hall serving little else but Heineken. I can only presume it has gone even further downhill!) I wouldn't normally take much notice of the comments made on the Oxford Mail website, but when this was reported earlier this month, one wag wrote...

"Stick a huge pile of meat and stodge in front of Giles Coren and he's bound to sing your praises. The man is an overblown micro-talent with as much appreciation of good food as a fox going through the bins. The extent of his talent runs to pushing food into his stubbly face like an over-indulged 10-year-old before trotting out gushing, overblown hyperbole about the experience."

When 'Disgusted Of Kidlington' wrote back to point out that said wag had had previous run-ins with Coren, wag replied:

"During my last encounter with Mr.Coren he compared me to a child murderer, so perhaps I've earned the right to show a little iritation in return."

Turns out the wag is Coren's next-door neighbour, about whom Coren tweeted last Christmas...

"Next door have brought their 12-year-old son a drum kit. For f**k's sake! Do I kill him then burn it? Or do I f**k him, kill him, then burn it?"

...and shortly after...

"Child for sale, charred and partially f**ked. Has own drum kit."

Such is the low-level quality of pub-reviewers on other websites! Meanwhile, back at the Kings Head Inn, I had a decent pint of Hooky, but was rather worried by the high proportion of landed-gentry littering the place. Like a common muck-spreader with a bit-part in Downton Abbey, my easily-impressed walking companion couldn't stop tugging his forelock at this lot, forcing me to demand a quick escape to nearby Kingham railway station and the train back to (relative) civilisation.

Better was to come on the next stage, with...

The Fox
Little Barrington
Gloucestershire

https://www.donnington-brewery.com/...ox_inn_broadwell.htm

...just off the A40 to the west of Burford, and stocking the beers of the Donnington Brewery from Stow-On-The-Wold. Despite its attempt at portraying itself as a restaurant, I found it to be refreshingly rural-pub in style, with a couple of yokels talking nonsense at the bar, and plenty of dark and dingy corners to explore. Best pub of the walk so far, however, was the exceptional...

Siege Of Orleans
5 Carters Wlk, Alvescot Road
Carterton
Oxfordshire

http://www.siegeoforleans.co.uk/

...a micropub that opened in May 2015 and has just gained its first entry into the GBG. Some lovely beers, none more so than a fantastic pint of Animal London Stout from the XT Brewery near Thame. Food extends no further than bags of crisps, helping guarantee that Gile Coren won't be showing his face round here in the near future. Also offers the hypnotic view of RAF cargo planes coming in to land at nearby Brize Norton. There admittedly isn't a lot to see and do in Carterton, but a match at Kilkenny Lane and a few pints at the Siege should make the journey well worthwhile for most on this forum.





oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Oct 19, 2018, 10:15 PM

Posts: 4042
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #728 of 728 (50 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Forgot to mention these excellent pubs in Reading, visited earlier this year with TheWavendonian...

Hop Leaf
163 Southampton Street
Reading

https://www.hopback.co.uk/our-pubs/the-hopleaf/

...is another fine pub run by the excellent Hop Back Brewery of Salisbury, with a good range of ales and bottles, and a proper back-street boozer personality. Up a steep hill heading south from the town centre in the direction of Whitley. Further to the west is...

The Nag's Head
5 Russell Street
Reading

http://www.thenagsheadreading.co.uk/

...just off the main A329 Oxford Road heading west of the town centre, and not far from Reading West railway station. A multi-award-winning pub, and probably the best real ale boozer in Reading (with maybe the Alehouse running it a close second). More than a dozen real ale taps on our visit, along with almost as many craft kegs and plenty of choice of real cider - certainly plenty of dark milds, porters and stouts to keep TheWav and me happy for a couple of hours. Plenty of choice but unfussy with it - there are also old photos of Reading FC's old Elm Park ground on the wall. And just a couple of minutes walk south of here is...

The Castle Tap
120 Castle Hill
Reading

http://thecastletap.co.uk/

...with is on the old A4 Bath Road as it heads west from close to the Hexagon Theatre, and another example of so of the great little pubs hidden away on this side of the Reading, with more good choices from Berkshire's micro-breweries. A lovely pub, but easily overlooked what with being so much in the shadow of the nearby Nag's.




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