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Home: Non Football Related: General Chat:
Proper pubs

 

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oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Nov 14, 2019, 11:59 PM

Posts: 4544
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #801 of 806 (5903 views)
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Re: [Oxford Stone] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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Outstanding pub of the last few months has to be
https://www.royaloakhooksway.co.uk/ - worth the detour if you are ever in W Sussex, Portsmouth end of things. We were on our way to the Weald and Downland Museum having seen it on Repair Shop and it looked like a good day out. Pubs nearby are all gastropubs (close to Goodwood so you're catering for the horsey / vintage car brigade) and the Royal Oak was much more our sort of place. Down a no through road, lovely beer and food, proper down to earth place.


Believe it or not, Oxford Stone, the Royal Oak at Hooksway is the pub where I had my very last under-age drink before my eighteenth birthday.

Me and some mates of mine were in the habit of hiking and camping in the South Downs, with one of the reasons being that we found it easier to get served drinks out in the countryside than we would going out for a night in Portsmouth. One particular favourite walk was from Petersfield to Chichester across the tops of the downs. One weekend in June 1986, a few days after I'd finished my A levels, some of us did this walk, stopping off at the Royal Oak for an evening session and camping in the woods nearby. The next day we walked on to Chichester, then it was train home to catch Argentina v. England in the 1986 World Cup Quarter-Final on the Sunday night. My eighteenth birthday was the following weekend.

I remember the Royal Oak that night being a damp and dusty little place hidden away in the woods down a dead-end farm track. There were barely three or four other people in there, and they'd most probably have been local farm hands. No music, no pool table, no jukebox, no fruit-machine, but there was a fireplace with wood burning in it (the summer of 1986 was a cold one). In fact the whole place felt like it was unchanged in fifty years or more, and I don't think I'm exaggerating in saying that to our impressionable minds there were elements of the pub scene in 'American Werewolf In London' about it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07FdVcspOfQ

There used to be a whole load of pubs like this that I can remember in that spread of countryside: 'The White Horse' (often called 'The Pub With No Name') and 'The Trooper' at Priors Dean, 'The Harrow' at Steep, 'Queens Head' at Sheet, 'Three Horseshoes' at Elsted (which we also visited that weekend), 'Coach & Horses' at Compton, 'White Horse' at Chilgrove and others at South Harting and in the Marden villages. A surprising number are still going but, as you say, have gone a very long way down the gastro-pub/Goodwood crowd route. The White Horse at Chilgrove (just a mile or so south of Hooksway) is now a boutique hotel and 'dining experience', which sounds hideous to me. It is therefore good to hear that the Royal Oak has still kept a degree of sanity about it.


(This post was edited by oxpete on Nov 15, 2019, 12:03 AM)


LondonBuck
Chelsea Transfer Target

Nov 15, 2019, 6:08 AM

Posts: 4041
Location:
Team(s):

Post #802 of 806 (5881 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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Two establishments visited on that very hot and sunny Easter Saturday in Dorking, while ticking Meadowbank as Dorking Wanderers FC cantered away with the Isthmian title and beat Bognor Regis Town. Pre-match was...

King's Arms
45 West Street
Dorking
Surrey

https://www.kingsarmsdorking.co.uk/

...a Shepherd Neame pub in a rickety 600-year-old building of low beams, loose tiles and uneven floors which just about managed to stay the right side of appearing rather smug with itself. However, the post-match offering was better over the road at...

Cobbett's Beer Shop & Micropub
23 West Street
Dorking
Kent

https://www.cobbettsrealales.com/

...a great little micropub that doubles up as an off-licence too. On a sunny Easter Saturday evening the place was a bit over-packed, not least with the fine folk of Bognor Regis, though there is a larger drinking room further back and a little yard out the back-door.

On arriving at Cobbett's, I saw a bloke in a cream linen suit pacing the pavement outside on his smartphone who I'm pretty darn sure was none other than Terry Venables! He made eye-contact with me but then quickly turned away, perhaps recognising me as that bloke demanding Terry Fenwick's head on a pike following that embarrassing defeat to Charlton back in the 1997~98 season. Using the free wifi, I tried checking his twitter feed to see if he was admitting to being in Dorking that day, but it appears that there are dozens of Terry Venables accounts of variable levels of honesty (not that 'Venables' and 'honesty' are two words with that much in common anyway). One claimed he was by a pool in Malaga, while another was telling Rio Ferdinand that he was an idiot. So no closer the truth.

I did pop into one other pub on West Street - the Old House, next door to Cobbett's - but decided not to bother staying when I saw the barman taking an inordinate length of time to conjure up a gin cocktail in an empty jam-jar. I've heard that such nonsense is fashionable in that London place, but had never yet seen it before my own eyes. Crazy


Brilliant summary of these Dorking establishments Laugh
The Cricketers, a Fullers pub, is the only other decent one in the town in my opinion, but obviously depends whether you like Fullers or not Unsure
If you are prepared for a country walk then the nearest place for quality ale is the Stephan Langton in Friday Street, a place that is loyal to Tillingbourne ales fresh from the brewery up the road Tongue


bakis
Reserve Team Regular

Nov 15, 2019, 11:58 PM

Posts: 609
Location: Worcestershire
Team(s): Kidderminster Harriers

Post #803 of 806 (5703 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Alf Ainger, landlord of the Royal Oak at Hooksway, was a local legend in his lifetime. The story goes that, with his licence in jeopardy at the Brewster Sessions at Midhurst because of the absence of toilet facilities, he stoutly maintained 'I've got two acres, your Worship'. It appears that he kept his licence.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Nov 29, 2019, 2:43 AM

Posts: 4544
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #804 of 806 (3817 views)
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Re: [bakis] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

A bumper month of forty-three pubs visited in the month of November, helped greatly by trips to Manchester and South Wales, brings the running total up to 349 pubs in 334 days...

Visit 365 pubs in 365 days of 2019

...meaning just sixteen new pubs are needed to reach the target by New Year's Eve.

307. Sun Inn, 16 Castle Street, READING
308. Weather Station, 19 Eldon Terrace, READING
309. Rising Sun, Church Hill, STANFORD-LE-HOPE
310. Lobster Smack, Haven Road, CANVEY ISLAND
311. Crown Inn, 154 Heaton Lane, STOCKPORT
312. Swan With Two Necks, 36 Prince's Street, STOCKPORT
313. Bob Inn, Market Place, CHORLEY
314. Shepherds' Hall Ale House, 67 Chapel Street, CHORLEY
315. Racecourse Hotel, Littleton Road, SALFORD
316. Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, SALFORD
317. New Oxford, 11 Bexley Square, SALFORD
318. Britons Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater Street, MANCHESTER
319. Peveril Of The Peak, 127 Great Bridgewater Street, MANCHESTER
320. The Turf, Mold Road, WREXHAM
321. Royal Oak, 35 High Street, WREXHAM
322. Town Crier, City Road, CHESTER
323. Cellar, 19~21 City Road, CHESTER
324. Borough Arms, 33 Earle Street, CREWE
325. Hops, 8~10 Prince Albert Street, CREWE
326. Fighting Cock, 21 Preston Street, BRADFORD
327. Record Cafe, 45~47 North Parade, BRADFORD
328. King's Head, St.George's Square, HUDDERSFIELD
329. Head Of Steam, St.George's Square, HUDDERSFIELD
330. Port Street Beer House, 39 Port Street, MANCHESTER
331. Holmwood Hotel, 65 Queen's Road, COWES
332. Union Inn, Watch House Lane, COWES
333. Royal Standard, 20 Edinburgh Road, PORTSMOUTH
334. Ship Anson, 10 The Hard, PORTSMOUTH
335. Old Custom House, Gunwharf Quays, PORTSMOUTH
336. Golden Eagle, 1 Delamere Road, PORTSMOUTH
337. Huis, 62 Elm Grove, PORTSMOUTH
338. Copper, 38~39 Castle Street, SWANSEA
339. Queen's Hotel, Gloucester Place, SWANSEA
340. Schooner Inn, Bath Lane, SWANSEA
341. Uplands Tavern, 42 Uplands Crescent, SWANSEA
342. Brunswick Arms, 3 Duke Street, SWANSEA
343. No Sign Bar, 56 Wind Street, SWANSEA
344. The Coach, 37 Cowbridge Road, BRIDGEND
345. Crafty Devil's Cellar, 16 Llandaff Road, CARDIFF
346. The Rhyddings, Brynmill Avenue, SWANSEA
347. Tiny Rebel, 25 Westgate Street, CARDIFF
348. Tiny Rebel, 22 High Street, NEWPORT
349. Ye Olde Murenger House, 52~53 High Street, NEWPORT

...and here are the photographs of November's forty-three pubs...

https://www.flickr.com/...ms/72157711981839172

Counties of England ticked in November: 5
Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire and Isle Of Wight.

ALL 48 ENGLISH COUNTIES TICKED!

Counties of Wales ticked in November: 5
Clwyd, West Glamorgan, Mid Glamorgan, South Glamorgan and Gwent.


oxpete
Chelsea Transfer Target


Dec 1, 2019, 2:40 AM

Posts: 4544
Location: Oxford
Team(s): Pompey

Post #805 of 806 (3482 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Plenty of good pubs were visited during the month of November, with great beer ranges and darn fine service. However, the one pub that caught my imagination the most was...

Racecourse Hotel
Littleton Road
Salford


The Racecourse Hotel is tied to Samuel Smith's Brewery of Tadcaster, a brewery that seems to split opinion among people I know - their beers are always at a bargain price (certainly by southern standards - it's always worth keeping an eye out for their pubs when in London if you don't want to bankrupt yourself on a trip to the Smoke), while their range is resolutely independent with Sam Smith's produced ales and lagers and their own branded crisps and soft drinks. On top of that, their owner Humphrey Smith has rather controversially banned the use of mobile phones, ipads and laptops inside his 200 pubs, as well as music (and I think might be in the process of enforcing cash-only sales and doing away with card-payments?) Also, they only actually produce and stock one cask ale, their Old Brewery Bitter, though they make a decent range of good stuff in bottles - I've always liked their 7% Imperial Stout.

However, what makes the Racecourse Hotel a worthwhile visit (other than it's relatively close to Salford City FC's ground) is the remarkable building and its place in sporting history. The pub itself is an enormous marble stone-and-wood building on the banks of the River Irwell, and is in the process of a much-needed renovation. A lot of hard work is obviously taking place - the old decorative oak framing is presently being replaced and repaired, and the stonework is receiving a clean (though the ornamental gardens out front still require some attention). Hopefully at some point in the near future the place will resemble itself in its 1930s heyday, when it was built to serve the old Manchester Racecourse that was across the road (and now forms the grounds of Salford Sports Village - the racecourse closed in 1963).

The inside of the pub is equally eye-catching: a large central bar, wood paneling all the way round in the style of an old mansion house, stained-glass windows, and comfy old bench-seating around the walls. Even if you're not a fan of Samuel Smith's beers, this pub is worth the detour if you're on your way to Salford, and it'll be quite a sight when the renovation is complete.


agamemnon3
Youth Team Sub

Dec 2, 2019, 11:55 PM

Posts: 142
Location: NW7
Team(s):

Post #806 of 806 (3134 views)
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Re: [oxpete] Proper pubs [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

A fine photograph of the Britons Protection, just across the road from the Bridgwater Hall.

When I was working in Manchester in 2008, and again in 2010, I spent a lot of time in the BP. In the main, I'm a spirits drinker, and they have probably the best selection that I've ever seen.

I asked the chap behind the bar if he knew how many different whiskies he had on sale. 'At the last count, I think we had 232'.

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