Wednesday, 5 October 2011
#022 Anchor Inn, Hartshill, Warwickshire : 2000 to 2011
The first time I visited this pub was back in August 1982 on only my third canal trip, but to be honest I can't remember too much about it other than it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere between Atherstone and Nuneaton on the Coventry Canal, but it was a decent stop off for the night.
The next time we stopped there was in 2000.
This photo was taken on 31st May during a lunchtime stop. It is difficult to get a good shot of the pub as it is right by the bridge over the canal and, over the years, the road has been built up to smooth out the humpback bridge leaving the pub a bit obscured.
Our next stop was in 2004, again a lunchtime visit on 30th August.
Very little appears to have changed. I'm not sure why we haven't stopped at the Anchor more often, but I suspect that it is the fear that it may have closed and we'd be stuck in the middle of nowhere without food and, more importantly, drink!
We did visit there again in 2011 and this time it was an evening stop on 31st May (again!).
The exterior has obviously been redecorated and new signage added. They have also taken the trouble to clear out the vegetation making it a more attractive prospect for passers by. The pub has a large garden at the back and inside it is quite cosy, feeling like a proper canalside pub. The food was 'interesting' and it serves Everards beer. This is the Anchor Inn website.
On the night we were there I didn't have a completely wonderful experience, but some of it was my fault! Firstly the food - I ordered Fish & Chips with Mushy Peas. Except they weren't Mushy Peas, they were Puréed Peas! What's the difference I hear you ask? Mushy Peas are made with Marrowfat Peas that are, essentially overcooked until they go mushy. Often they come out of a tin and have a synthetic green colour. I like Mushy Peas. What I got instead were garden peas that had been through a blender with cream! Not nice...and NOT mushy peas!
The faux pas I made with the drink was largely my fault, though. At the other side of the bar I saw someone get a pint of bitter that was straw coloured similar to lager, so I asked the barmaid what it was. "Sunchaser" came the reply. The barmaid then pointed to a hand pump on my side of the bar and I obviously missed most of what she said, but I did hear "special offer" and assumed that was the same beer. So I asked for a pint of that...and got a standard looking bitter...which wasn't what I wanted! I tried to discuss it with the barmaid, but she'd served what I'd ordered and it really was my mistake (getting deaf in my old age!) so I paid for it and drank it. It was only £2.00 and tasted OK, so not really the end of the world! Next pint I did get the Sunchaser which was much better! In the end we had a pleasant evening and it was a very short walk 'home'!