Enjoy Playing Away From Home . . .

Sunday 27 November 2011

Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers

Rob posted on my facebook page that the Lion Tavern, 67 Moorfields, Liverpool, L2 2BP (0151 236 1734), was his ‘pub of the day’ when visiting for an away match up there against Tranmere Rovers on 19th November.
Salopian www.salopianbrewery.co.uk Oracle was his choice for ‘beer of the day’ and he said that the daft thing was it was in a pub that wasn't in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide; the good ones aren’t all in there, though, and Liverpool does have an exceedingly large number of very good public houses!
He added that the ‘Pub of the Weekend’, according to a mate who stayed the weekend in Liverpool, was the Philharmonic, it was “awesome”. The Philharmonic has also been given the thumbs up before by Stephen H, and, indeed, by myself, so fully in agreement.

Not only does the Philharmonic sell a good selection of real ales and good food, but it is architecturally of note.

Indeed, give the gent’s loos a visit; but ask first, if you’re a woman!

Stoke - a reappraisal

Many thanks to Stephen H for sharing this, as an away supporter he travelled to the away fixture at Stoke City on 19th November. On this trip, he and his pals were fortunate enough to be in the company of a couple of Stoke City fans who took them to their local, the Malt ‘n’ Hops, located in King Street, Fenton.

When he first saw the pub and its location his immediate reaction was that he “should have taken note of the Beermeister’s recommendations but I was always taught that you should never judge a book by its cover. Externally not a lot to look at but once inside you realise that you have entered a good pub.”

Photographs were supplied to see the selection of ales, including the above 2, Abbot being a regular and, presumably, the Malt n Hops ale is brewed for the pub, but also, in addition to those pictured, Holden’s Supernova, Toft’s Inn Swinger, Buxton’s Blonde and Wadworth’s Swordfish were on offer.
I have to say, credit to the Stoke fans, sharing a decent pub to enjoy in safety with a good selection of ales, though they may not have been quite so amenable after the match!

The White Hart Inn - Exeter

This was something of a pilgrimage back to an old stomping ground for Steve the Beermeister when I joined him to visit Exeter a couple of summers ago.

(The White Hart Inn, South Street, Exeter)

As is often the case when visiting a former home town, there were plenty of pubs to reacquaint ourselves with and this large former coaching house within the city walls was probably the one that sticks in the memory. Perhaps the reason this was more memorable than others was due to the fact it was one of the first we encountered on that afternoon. A couple of pints of Old Wallop probably wreaked havoc with the memory banks.

The occasion was a 1st Round League Cup encounter between Exeter City and Queens Park Rangers. The result of the game was never really in doubt on that warm evening in Devon with Jim Magilton's men running out deserved 5-0 winners. The Grecians had caused a few first half scares but flagged in the second.

A large yet pleasant pub with a selection of beers and ales available. The bar staff on duty were friendly and didn't mind being regaled with stories of Steve's misspent youth in the City or how far we'd travelled and what we were going to do to their home town team.

"This is only the first St James' Park we'll visit this year!"

The food on offer looked good too.

Precisely the kind of Beermeister pub I've grown accustomed to visiting in the years I've known Steve. A man who is quickly a local wherever he goes.

Next time you're in Exeter give it a look.

(The Beermeister himself, seen here enjoying an Old Wallop)

Recommended for the London Drinker on the Move - Euston Tap - Euston Rd, London

Now I'm not the sort too do anything to excess and I would never dream about jeopardising my journey home of an evening by having "one too many."

However, since moving to Watford a couple of years ago, I've found that travelling home from Euston Station offers a few distractions and contradictions to that principal.

Take The Bree Louise and the The Crown & Anchor as examples, there are also a couple of bars at the Station itself such as The Doric Arch and if you're looking for a cheap and cheerful nightcap then the Rocket down Euston Rd is a reasonably priced venue attracting all manner of groups of visitors to London.

The Euston Tap is a welcome addition to the landscape offering bottled and draught craft beers from around the World and in particular the USA.

Housed in one of the remaining lodge houses of the old station, the pub itself uses the cramped space it has well. Don't expect a seat, although some are available up the narrow spiral staircase to the upper level.

Available beers are displayed on black boards around the bar and you'll find the staff on hand are friendly and happy to make a recommendation should you need one.

The Euston Tap is now celebrating it's 1st Birthday having opened it's doors in November 2010. A "Cider Tap" is planned to open across the road in the other lodge house (may already be open?!).

If you like what you see, then there's a "Tap" at Sheffield Station with another one rumoured to be arriving at Cambridge soon.


Tuesday 15 November 2011

3 Sunday - The Smuggler at Pett Level

Again, last night we visited a couple of other pubs in St Leonards on the way back, the Dripping Spring and the North Star, both good ale houses, and we watched much of the England v Spain match in the Dripping Spring, whilst quaffing Wye Valley HPA an excellent couple of glasses of ale, indeed.
However, on Sunday, we caught the first train of the day to Rye, the inland Cinque Port, and visited the church for a brief spell, as there was a service shortly after our arrival. We then left to begin our trek back to Hastings, first following the Royal Military Canal to Pett Level and The Smuggler, which serves an excellent looking breakfast from 09.30 to 11.30; you guessed it, I'd prepared a packed lunch, so was again envious of those eating here, saving the experience for another day! We had a couple of excellent pints of Ringwood Fortyniner at only £2.50 a pint, whilst sitting outside, looking at the sea, bathing in the warm sun, and eating my delicious sandwiches!
We also experienced another minutes silence at the Lifeboat Station, before finishing our beers and wandering up to the cliff tops and heading west for Hastings, where we drank Dark Star Hophead, yet again, at the Dolphin and also Fullers ESB at the Cinque Port Inn in the early evening.
So an excellent weekend, lots of walking, a few pints here and there in great surroundings, and marvelous weather too, what more could one want from a weekends entertainment, except for a football match of course.

2 Saturday - The Plough at Crowhurst

Having also visited the Dolphin last night, and enjoying live music there, on the Saturday, we ventured, by bus, to Battle, amazingly called because of an important battle there in 1066, not really at Hastings but 5 or 6 miles inland.
Anyway, we had a coffee here and walked back to Hastings via Bexhill again, and then along the coast, calling in, on the way, at The Plough at Crowhurst.
We sat outside whilst eating our packed lunch and enjoying a couple of pints from within, St Austell's Tribute in very good condition again.
This is a pub that sells very good food too, but I'd already made my own, however, was a bit envious of the venison stew... The Plough only opens at lunchtimes until 2.30pm, please take note if visiting, but we did see a little of the F1 qualifying.

Sunny Weekend in East Sussex 1 Friday11-11-11

Not much football for me this weekend past, jealous of those following teams with matches, but walked about 40 miles and had a few pints. I'll only mention 3 of the hostelries visited, as I'll mention others again, no doubt, or have already talked about them here or elsewhere.
First, on Friday, after observing a minutes silence, I met my brother, and walked from Hastings to Bexhill on Sea, and back again, along the coastal path/beaches.
Not a bad walk either, but a fairly new pub for me to visit, the Dripping Well, and a brand new place for Dan.
Aside from the local 'Spoons', the Dripping Well provides the cheapest ale in Hastings, and in very good condition! 3 regular ales, though they do have a 4th pump, but no immediate plans to add to the 3 ales, ie Wadworth's Henry's IPA and Adnams' Southwold, both at £2.60 a pint, and Courage Directors at £2.95 a pint; for comparison, a measure of Jamesons is £2.20, though I didn't check on the size, I'm guessing, at that price, 25mls. We drank the Wadworth's, which was a good beer to start the evening with, light and gently bitter.
Friendly place, with a relatively new owner, longer serving barstaff, and a freehouse to boot!