This pub used to be really excellent, with warm friendly lighting, and is still good in terms of the real ales, comfortable settees, wooden panels, and beer garden.
However, recently some changes have been made that are clearly a step in the wrong direction.
When last I visited (2 weeks ago) it had changed in a most unpleasant manner. The lighting was bright and harsh blue-ish white in colour, reminiscent of a police line up.
We did find one snug bit in a corner and sat down, only to find a gigantic TV screen descending onto our heads.
It's such a shame to see a beautiful old-fashioned pub like this being turned into yet another noisy sports pub with tasteless lighting and bright white walls.
I can see that there is a laudable attempt to use low energy lighting, but I would suggest to the owners that they might invest in some lampshades to mute this harsh colour. Fluorescent lighting has no charm at all.
After reading about the high recommendation about this pub I decided to give it a whirl.
As for the landlord always smiling, I have never met such a miserable person in my life. As for the place being clean, the place is dirty and cold. The other review says this a small pub with high prices and I must agree - it is very expensive.
The few customers that do go in seem very pleasant but I cannot understand why they keep going in, as the landlord is so ignorant and as soon as he serves you he just wants to sit down and go to sleep. It seems like he does not want customers, so I will oblige him with that by not returning.
My one and only experience of this pub was a bad one.
Went for a meal with my partner one Friday afternoon and ordered a rare steak. The food arrived and the steak was well done. The only hint of rareness was a bit on the end that probably hung off the end of the griddle. It was totally cooked through. I sent the steak back, and it was returned to me with a message from the chef that it was indeed rare. Whilst the waitress was there I cut into the steak to show her that it was indeed well done. She took it back to the chef who again returned it saying that it was rare! I sent it back and asked to speak to the manager, who wasn't available. My partner at this stage had to send her food back as it was cold, waiting for mine!
Anyway we decided to leave the pub. At no stage did anyone over us compensatory drinks or an apology. We paid for the drinks and the last thing I saw was my steak being thrown at the kitchen door, accompanied by expletives!
It was an utterly disappointing experience and I believe you would receive better food and service from a vending machine.
My girlfriend and friends were left disappointed tonight having sent their desserts back to the kitchen because they were not warm enough, only to be given back the same pudding that had been warmed up in the microwave. And the ice cream was like mousse.
This is a great pub for cheap beer and cheap food. There are a large variety of different beers at low prices and the food is good for the price. It is spacious inside but often gets full at the weekends, as a lot of the younger end of the market go in for a cheap drink before heading into the town centre. Don't let that put you off though, just go in about 9PM and there will be fewer people.
The only problem with this pub is the smokers standing in the doorways smoking. You have to brave a thick wall of smoke and squeeze past the bodies to enter and exit the pub. Not one for the kids!
The regulars in this pub are very friendly. The bar staff are friendly and efficient, which is more than can be said for the landlady who is very impolite to a lot of the customers and swears constantly.
The pub is quite large but is desperately in need of a refit, new decor and unfortunately new management. I would recommend this pub for a drink with the lads as long as you avoid the landlady.
This is a very small pub with high beer prices. The rooms are tiny (one about the size of a large bathroom and one about the size of a medium lounge) but that doesn't make a difference, as on the occasions I have gone in it has been empty anyway. It does have a small outside play area for the kids though!