The next stop on their pub crawl was a pub that I have eulogised about in previous posts - The British Oak in Stirchley - and this is what they thought:
"I must say I was slightly underwhelmed by it all at first, though on reflection I must admit it's a remarkable establishment - above and beyond its period design and fixtures; and mostly to do with the fact that this roadside monster is still standing."
I can't disagree with any of that. I'm glad that it has survived largely intact and is thriving, but I don't go as often as I did 25 - 30 years ago and its not quite the same as it was!
Here it is from earlier this year.
Next on the list was the Prince of Wales in Moseley. This is another pub that I haven't been to for a few years, but frequented a lot about 30 years ago. It certainly didn't have a 'cocktail lounge' in those days, but the write up does make me want to go back and see what it is like now!
Then it was into town for a couple of the lauded city centre pubs. First, the Old Joint Stock, which I visited only a few days ago! It has an impressive interior and considering it is only 16 years old it is a fine addition to Birmingham's collection of pubs. Next was The Wellington, Birmingham's first (I think, in the 'modern' era) pub dedicated to Real Ale. Now as a lager drinker, I'm a bit biased, but as a lover of pubs I've never been impressed with the place - and neither was Doghouse, who put it much more eloquently than I ever could:
"- with the building's lack of character and a weird air of transience that doesn't quite weld you to your seat for longevity. It is perhaps a great beer ticking venue, but much else has to be found elsewhere."
The Doghouse pub crawl then moved on to The Old Contemptibles, another fine example of how tasteful refurbishment can produce a great pub. I also learned from the article that it was originally called The Adelphi Wine Vaults and then the Albion Hotel. I always wondered how it came by its current name and Doghouse didn't disappoint.
They then walked to the Barton's Arms which is a feat in itself as it is quite a stroll from The Old Contemptibles! I've only ever driven past the Barton's Arms and it is a magnificent building that I intend to photograph in the near future.
That was the end of Day One of the Birmingham pub crawl and I'll review the other entries soon. However, I'll just finish with a pub that wasn't visited, but is only just around the corner from The Old Contemptibles and is a place I'm quite fond of.
The Old Royal is one of the most photogenic pubs I know and inside it is still a proper pub. It hasn't been extensively refurbished and does feel like stepping back a few years to how pubs used to be (with added wide-screen TV's!). Hopefully, when the Doghouse team are back in Brum, they can pass their eye over the Old Royal.