I recently visited Hogshead in Altrincham, Cheshire for the first time. We decided to go in because we wanted something to eat and a drink at lunchtime. The layout and style of the pub is very good, it was large and airy and not too busy. The drinks were fairly expensive for the sort of place we were in and there were no good offers on. The food menu looked really nice and I was very impressed until I got my food. The waiter was rude and uninterested and the food was disappointing. I had ordered a BLT on ciabatta bread. When it arrived it had not tomatoe in it (surely a vital ingredient in a blt?!) and no mayonnaise therefore was very dry. I sent it back and it was returned with the missing parts and was ok but nothing special. I have also been to the one in Exeter, Devon recently in the evening and I can say I was more impressed with it. It was very similar to the Altrincham branch and the prices were all the same. The drink I had was a bacardi breezer, it was offer at £1.99 so I thought that was reasonable. The atmosphere in the pub wasn't as good as other places becasue it is so large, unless it is packed it seems too big and cold! I know of people that go there and love it and people that hate it, so I have very mixed opinions on it. I think that the pub is fine as a place to go and have a drink but don't bother paying for the food there - go somewhere else!
They’re just not what it used to be. Pubs in general are not the same as the good old country pub or the boozer on the corner! Nowadays they are all chains that are, quite frankly, a bit too clean. Whilst I understand the logic behind it there is just no originality, no character or qwerkiness with most pubs today. Cleanliness is nice, hygienic, and good lighting makes them female friendly but they are all the same. You go to the Hogshead after work for a swift pint, get home and have dinner only to go out for another pint at – you guessed it – the Hogshead! They are also turning into ‘trendy bars’, all very wine-bar’ish, very smart, and very All Bar One’ish. Personally this is not a problem, the beer still tastes the same and the range of wines have improved. They are also more spacious and will hopefully be staying open later. But you cannot, cannot, cannot, beat that lovely country pub with open fire, old chairs, the Barman’s friendly Labrador, and the ability to get a drink without standing for hours in a crush of people just to get to the bar!
My local Hogshead pub is in Moseley, Birmingham on the corner of the Alcester Road and St Mary's Row. It used to be a TSB bank but is much more fun now, although similar amounts of money seem to pass over the counter. It is a spit and sawdust pub with wooden floors, large windows, and wooden tables and benches. I like it because I find it unpretensious and the cost of beer is reasonable. I also like it because it serves real ale. It features guest beers which are changed every 2 weeks or so and the range is quite large for a chain pub. I know I sound like an old man, but I also appreciate the fact that the music is never so loud that I cannot hold a conversation - bliss! The disadvantages of the Hogs Head seem to be that it is always cold. Due to the large windows I think, but even in the summer, I am freezing.