Proper Pubs

Kirby Knitters

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Betjeman Arms at St Pancras International featured on the old forum and very glad to say that at long last the outside area is now back open going under the name of the Euston Terrace! You have at present got to go in the front entrance for the signing in malarkey but great to have it back.
 

Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
Betjeman Arms at St Pancras International featured on the old forum and very glad to say that at long last the outside area is now back open going under the name of the Euston Terrace! You have at present got to go in the front entrance for the signing in malarkey but great to have it back.
Dare I ask what beer and How much?
 

Kirby Knitters

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Fortunately I wasn't in the chair but I was reliably informed it was Amstel going at £4.60 a pint.
 

Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
Fortunately I wasn't in the chair but I was reliably informed it was Amstel going at £4.60 a pint.
That is unbelievably reasonable for that part of the world, whilst I like the Parcel Yard next door at KIngs X it's always a sharp intake of breath at the price.
 

Oxpete

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Retro pub reviews from August last year, and a ten-day trawl around the East Midlands, taking in a healthy mixture of pubs and football in Nottingham, Oakham, Leicester, Beeston, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Sheffield, Lincoln, Newark-on-Trent, Boston, King's Lynn and Cambridge. Day one was Tuesday 6th August 2019 and an early afternoon arrival in Nottingham, jumping off the train and heading straight for a revisit to one of my very favourite pubs...

The Newshouse
123 Canal Street
Nottingham
CastleRockBrewery


...which is just a five minute walk from the railway station, heading towards the BBC Radio Nottingham building. Not the prettiest pub you're ever likely to stumble across, nor is this a particularly attractive neighbourhood, being dominated by ugly modern office blocks and grubby MOT centres clustered along a thundering spur road off the main A60. However, the Newshouse is tied to the fine nearby Castle Rock Brewery, as well as holding an excellent range of Belgian stuff in bottle. Proper food comes inside a crusty cob or scooped out of a large jar on the counter. On this day, I arrived just in time to hear the nearby radio station announce the signing of Wayne Rooney for Derby County, news that was greeted in the pub with a chorus of groans.

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Oxpete

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After dumping my stuff at the Travelodge on Maid Marian Way, there was enough time to squeeze another couple of pubs in before catching the train up to Alfreton Town v Boston United. Next up was a pub not previously visited before...

The Crafty Crow
102 Friar Lane
Nottingham
MagpieBrewery


...which is a modern bar that acts as the city centre tap house for the city's Magpie Brewery, which itself is located next door to Notts County's Meadow Lane ground (where they have another tap house in the warehouse). They've obviously chucked some serious money at the place, which sits in one of Nottingham's plusher streets across from the gates to Nottingham Castle, and probably captures plenty of passing tourists - inside it was catering for a healthy number of yummy mummies with cash to blow, and you can only imagine the crowds who no doubt come to pose on a Saturday night. Saying that, they certainly mix the style with some substance - twelve hand-pumps of real ales from Magpie and other guests, and another dozen of craft kegs.

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Oxpete

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More local brew, this time just down from Nottingham railway station at...

The Vat & Fiddle
12 Queensbridge Road
Nottingham
CastleRockBrewery


...which sits immediately in front of the Castle Rock Brewery, and is as good and as proper a pub as you would expect to find next to this fine brewery. I first came here a few years ago after watching Notts County play at Meadow Lane - I'm not sure quite how hard-nosed the pubs of Nottingham are when standing either side of the city's football divide, but I did get the feeling that this was much more a County pub than a Forest one, no doubt reinforced by being just up the road from the gritty Meadows estate, which certainly once was a stronghold for County support.

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Oxpete

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From the Vat & Fiddle, it was just a quick two minute walk back up to the railway station and the train to Alfeton, to attend the 1-1 draw between Alfreton Town v Boston United. My hope had been to visit the What's Your Poison micropub at 33 High Street, Alfreton, only to find that Tuesday was its midweek closing day (and I'd somehow missed The Prospect Street micropub at 55 Prospect Street), so instead it was a trip across the road to...

The King Alfred
58 High Street
Alfreton
Derbyshire
KingAlfred


...a free-house with a decent mix of half-a-dozen hand-pumps of real ale, including stuff from The Nottingham Brewery and the Lincoln Green Brewery (of Hucknall), though the place could have done with a lick of paint and a scrub-up.

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Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
From the Vat & Fiddle, it was just a quick two minute walk back up to the railway station and the train to Alfeton, to attend the 1-1 draw between Alfreton Town v Boston United. My hope had been to visit the What's Your Poison micropub at 33 High Street, Alfreton, only to find that Tuesday was its midweek closing day (and I'd somehow missed The Prospect Street micropub at 55 Prospect Street), so instead it was a trip across the road to...

The King Alfred
58 High Street
Alfreton
Derbyshire
KingAlfred


...a free-house with a decent mix of half-a-dozen hand-pumps of real ale, including stuff from The Nottingham Brewery and the Lincoln Green Brewery (of Hucknall), though the place could have done with a lick of paint and a scrub-up.

View attachment 3402
Like this bit of the thread, chances are our paths might have crossed as we moved up to this part of the world in December 2018.
 

Oxpete

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Retro pub time from Wednesday 7th August 2019, and further journeys around the east midlands, this day heading for Oakham in the county of Rutland, starting with...

The Wheatsheaf
2~4 Northgate
Oakham
Rutland


...which is a pretty little pub of character close to the town centre, with a lovely shaded back garden and tied to the independent family-owned Everards Brewery of Leicestershire.

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Oxpete

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Next up, sitting next door to Oakham railway station, was...

The Grainstore Brewery
Station Approach
Oakham
Rutland
GrainstoreOakham


...a well-presented and thought-out brewery tap, with so much more personality than these tin-shed lock-ups and railway arches that seem to be the location of choice for so many breweries these days (however good their brew may be). Set up in 1995, the founder of the Grainstore is Tony Davis, the former head brewer at Ruddles Brewery back in the eighties, back in the days before Ruddles lost its independence and was dragged off to its present home of Bury St.Edmunds (via Abingdon) to be shackled to the Greene King portfolio. Now the beating heart of independent Rutland brewing, the choice of ale was wonderful, the food was good, and there were groups enjoying guided tours of the brewery set-up.

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Oxpete

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A trundle on the train back to Leicester, and a pint in...

The Salmon
19 Butt Close Lane
Leicester
BlackCountryAles


...which is a proper back-street corner old-bloke boozer, about five minutes walk north up Churchgate from the clock tower, and tied to Black Country Ales of Pig On The Wall fame. And I was glad to find that the place was indeed full of old blokes enjoying their pints.

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Oxpete

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Browsing the site, as you do at this time on a Sunday morning. I'm thinking to myself - as well as non-league football there's also threads on railways and proper pubs. What more could anyone want!!

Going through the posts on this there is a reasonably constant comment of "I've been there".

Victoria Hotel, Dovecote Lane, Beeston

This, along with the nearby Crown, has become my latest resting place. Both pubs have an excellent choice of ales and comfortable atmosphere for those of us that like ale and conversation.
That would be this one!

The Victoria Hotel
85 Dovecote Lane
Beeston
Nottinghamshire
VictoriaHotelBeeston


Such a lovely place - a wonderful range, good music, lovely architecture, fantastic staff and people, and a gate that leads from the beer garden directly onto the platform of Beeston railway station! There aren't enough opening hours in the day to do this place justice...

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Oxpete

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Retro pub time for Thursday 8th August 2019. The most famous pub in Nottingham is obviously...

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem
1 Brewhouse Yard
Nottingham


...with plenty of historic claims and stories that might be (but more likely aren't) true - though whatever the real date of its foundation, there's no denying that it really is a very old pub. It has an eye-catching location carved into the base of the foundation rock of Nottingham Castle, and for a Greene King outlet it actually has a darn good selection of east midland guest ales.

The thing I liked best, though, was this pub's old-fashioned 11am opening time. Ever since traditional licencing hours were relaxed, first in 1988 and then in 2005, the old pub opening time of 11am seems to have become increasingly redundant - either moving back to midday (or even later) to adjust for all-day opening, or shunting forward to 8am Spoons-style to cater for the heading-to-work cappuccino crowd. By heading into the Trip at just after 11am, I got to rub shoulders with the handful of other blokes nursing a relaxing opening pint, while at the same time avoiding the start of the lunchtime crush of coach-parties demanding food who begun to pile in at noon. The 11am opening time is something we need to bring back...

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Oxpete

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Heading north on the tram to the suburb of New Basford, next up was...

The Lion Inn
44 Mosley Street
New Basford
Nottingham
LionBasford


...close to the Shipstone Street tram stop. A proper free-house with a dozen real ales always on tap, plus a claim of having dispensed over 500 ales from different micro-breweries during 2019. Live music most nights, and apparently it gets packed in the evenings, but this was a relaxing place to sup away the afternoon.

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Oxpete

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Next up, a little further north in the suburb of Old Basford, was...

The Fox & Crown
33 Church Street
Old Basford
Nottingham
Fox&Crown


...about a five minute stroll up from Basford tram stop, and a brewpub for the Alcazar Brewery, as well as working as a tap house for the local Shipstone Brewery.

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Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
Heading north on the tram to the suburb of New Basford, next up was...

The Lion Inn
44 Mosley Street
New Basford
Nottingham
LionBasford


...close to the Shipstone Street tram stop. A proper free-house with a dozen real ales always on tap, plus a claim of having dispensed over 500 ales from different micro-breweries during 2019. Live music most nights, and apparently it gets packed in the evenings, but this was a relaxing place to sup away the afternoon.

View attachment 3425
It's a shame you can't take dogs on the tram. This place wins dog friendly awards on a regular basis. We've been there a couple of times, without the little white monster.
 

Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
Most of my Western League trips involved using the Southampton - Bristol railway line, notorious for its overcrowding. Indeed, on one occasion it wasn't possible to get on the train at Bath, so GWR put me and another bloke (who was going to Portsmouth) into a taxi all the way to Southampton.

First stop - Warminster. You have to pass through the main street to get to the ground. I gave up on getting served in the Spoons - The Bath Arms after two separate attempts. Across the road is the Old Bell Hotel, a Wadworth pub/hotel. The Horizon was ok (not a great lover of 6X or Henry's IPA) only problem is it was very popular with young women and their uncontrolled children or buggies.

Best bet is:

Fox & Hounds, 6 Deverill Road, Warminster

It's up the hill, past the ground entrance. A GBG regular usually stocking a variety of West Country ales. "Whatpub" describes it as a quiet pub, which suits me fine. There's usually a real ale on in the well appointed clubhouse.

Next up - Westbury. Station and ground are some way out of town. In between is:

Railway Inn, Station Road, Westbury

Aptly named at the end of the station approach, handy to kill time for the train, only 'ale' is Doom Bar.
 

pilgrim46

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With regards to Warminster my favourite pub when we went there December last year was The Organ Inn, 49 High Street. It's well worth the 10-15 minute walk from the ground. When we went they had 5 different ales on draught & sitting next to the log fire was ideal. We also gave up getting served at the Spoons.
 

Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
Next stop - Trowbridge. No suitable football here now, although I did visit to referee in the Southern League in the early 1990s. Stopping off point for the bus to Devizes.

The Rose & Crown
on Stallard Street is handy for the station and has a reasonable selection of ales.

When in Devizes the following is a must:

The British Lion, 9 Estcourt Street, Devizes

A GBG regular on the way from the town centre to the ground. It has a very entertaining Saturday lunchtime quiz, the landlord stands in the bar and poses the questions and everyone shouts out the answers with appropriate banter.

Nothing in Bradford on Avon as the Western Premier was Contributory football (Level 3 referees, Level 4 ARs) in refereeing terms then. From whenever this season starts it's now Supply League (Level 4 referees, Level 5-7 ARs).

Next stop - Avoncliff. Nothing to do with football, but the pub's in my top 10.

Cross Guns, 159-160 Avoncliff

Another GBG regular, get off the train and walk over the aqueduct and you're there. A small interior with gardens that roll down to the river. A true gem.

If you're feeling energetic you can walk across a few fields (don't try and do it after a lot of rain!) to its sister pub:

Inn at Freshford, The Hill, Freshford

Likewise in the GBG, but much more food orientated.
 

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