I fully understand Moby's aversion to Spoons pubs, especially as he lives "out in the sticks", I could never imagine going to a far off town and spending all day in a Spoons however good it might be, but in the days when I would travel afar, I would always include the Spoons unless it was miles off route. Having said that, I've visited Derby a couple of times and never ventured past the Brunswick and Alexandra, partly because they are so near the station.
However, if you go to certain parts of London the best bets are only JD pubs. There are so many keg only or mostly keg "Sports Orientated" or simply rubbish pubs. The ones that have only one or two handpumps invariably sell something boring that is badly kept and at a high price. To be honest, I would be happy to never see a London Pride pump clip ever again.
A Spoons pub will never be one of my all time top ten pubs, but I can't think of any London Pubs that would be included. There are many good pubs in Inner London, but the price is a deal breaker for me. There is another factor in that some of the best Central London pubs are quite small and get totally rammed. In my pre-coffin dodger days I might have tolerated this but not any more.
tonight i was in the
snooty fox £3.00
duke of cambridge(islington) -£3.60
earl of essex(isl)-£3.80
wenlock -£3.30 approx
there are still bargains to be had and i would hazard a guess that the beers i had tonight were better than the £4. 10 Otter
old fountain-£3.50 approx
The Gatehouse in Highgate and would have no problem using it again,(shock, horror),Also I would have no aversion to having a look in the Crosse Keysand will pay a visit to The Drum next time I return to the very good King William1V.As Aqualung quite rightly states there are loads of rubbish pubs and bars in central London as well as he also rightly says there are many good ones,I very much take his point regarding high prices and rammed pubs,but I will continue to seek out these small hidden away good pubs avoiding Spoons and the like in general for as long as I am able,something I will be doing tomorrow.
"Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
We have the Drum down for our East End of London trip for Sunday 18 Nov. This thread has been interesting, and we will make sure we take plenty of funds with us. Pubs we hope to get to now are;
Tap East .. King William IV .. Drum .. Olde Rose and Crown .. Pembury Tavern (may or may not) .. Cock Tavern .. Bell.
We were going to include London Fields Brewery, but e-mailed them and they will be closed Sunday.
Those should be enough for us to get to. The train from Chertsey gets into Waterloo, and we seem ok for bus travel around those pubs and back for a decent day out. All bar Pembury will be new for us.
As said earlier, if we want to do the pubs we pay the price, but what is listed above is not that much dearer than we pay around Birmingham anyway.
Alcohol doesn't solve problems .... but then again, neither does milk.
The only one I've been to this year that was rubbish was the one at Potter's Bar.
Prior to that the only one I've had a problem with beer quality is the John Gilpin at Edmonton. There are other issues such as a limited selection of beers or an awful building (the Wood Green one wins my award for that) and the perennial Spoons problem of slow service.
The vast majority of them are pretty soulless as they are not pubs in the old sense of the word, more like a cross between a drinking establishment and a Cafe, and of course almost all of them are much larger than the original Victorian pubs, some alarmingly so. The shop conversion doesn't help either as it means the only natural light is from the doors at the front, although not a problem in the evenings.
I see that the Basingstoke Spoons is currently GBG listed. Is it any good?
I'm going to try a local pub to me that I haven't been to for some 35 years when it was a rubbish keg Truman's house. It's Ye Olde Rose and Crown which is holding a beer festival and the decision to move on will be mainly made on the price issue.
It's been a regulat GBG entry for some years now and is widely regarded as the best pub in Walthamstow. We shall see.
The nearby Bell is still very much WIP, but they seem determined to open in early November. Apparently they have had no end of problems with the refurbishment. There is a website Belle17.com. I'm expecting the prices to be high (over £3 a pint) so there will probably be only one visit by me to see what it's like.
For the last 3 weeks I have been paying £1.50 a pint for guest ales in JDW using vouchers issued to attract the new intake of students in Leeds from nearby universities. The vouchers run to the end of November so I wont be drinking anywhere else for a while. Without the vouchers its £1.99. I don't know how other members of this site can afford some of the crazy prices quoted. Thank goodness for Wetherspoons.
The Central London JDWs (Hamilton Hall) has festival beers FROM £2.99. So no reduction during festival and still expensive for a Spoons.
I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.(Graffiti from The Retreat in Reading)