“ Address: 15 Birmingham Rd / Sutton Coldfield B72 1QA / West Midlands „
Located on the edge of Sutton Coldfield town centre The Litten Tree is one of a few pubs I used to visit quite frequently when making my way into Sutton Coldfield for a night out. There are quite a few pubs in the area so we usually tend to visit a few of them on a mini pub crawl before heading to the club.
The pub is easy to find as it is located on the Birmingham Road just before you reach Sutton Coldfield town centre coming from the Birmingham city centre direction.
Inside the Pub
Entering the pub you will see mainly tables and comfy little sofas and chairs, walking past these you will come to the bar area located on, and taking up most of, the far left wall of the pub. Towards the back of the pub is a large dance floor area but this seems to only be in use at the weekends as there have been occasions where I have been in here during the day in the week and the dance floor has been turned into a seating area. The decor in the pub is pretty modern and has one wall taken up entirely with bookshelves and old books, I'm not sure if you are allowed to read these books or if they are simply for decoration.
So, the two main times I have been known to visit this pub are either at lunchtime when I used to work near by and we would go for a 'liquid lunch' or on a Friday and Saturday evening as part of nights out in Sutton Coldfield.
Back in 2009 I was working in Sutton Coldfield and quite often my colleague and I would decide to go for a liquid lunch to relieve the daily stress. Obviously we couldn't drink a lot as we had to work in the afternoon, but it was still nice to head to the pub for a sneaky half a pint of larger and blackcurrant at under £2. At lunchtime The Litten Tree is usually quite quiet and has a nice relaxed atmosphere about it. They have a few TV's placed around the pub which are often showing various sports but unless it is a big match or event they usually have some background music playing instead.
During our lunchtime visits I always found the staff to be quite relaxed and friendly, sometimes too relaxed and into their own conversations to notice you waiting to be served, but as this has only happened a couple of times I'm not complaining.
During the day The Litten Tree offers a food menu with choices of full meals including the usual pub meals of burgers, lasagnes and chicken dishes. As we only used to get 45 minutes for lunch we never ordered more than a plate of chips to share. The chips were always cooked nicely, they were never greasy and the potato inside was always nice and fluffy. I cannot remember exactly how much the chips used to cost us but I do remember it was slightly more than the chippy down the road so it would have been around the £2 mark.
Friday & Saturday Nights Out
Up until quite recently we have always visited The Litten Tree as part of our pre-town drinkage. I say recently as I don't live in Sutton Coldfield any more. The weekend experience is somewhat different to the liquid lunches. To begin with the entrance is guarded by 2 or 3 bouncers who will not only check for ID but also scrutinise it in depth and often ask for your date of birth to check it matches!
Once inside the pub is much darker than in the week and has the flashing lights in time with the music. The music at the weekends can be very hit and miss with everything from remixed recent chart mixes to dance and R&B mixes. Depending on my mood I will either love or hate it. The seating arrangements are generally the same as in the week except the dance floor is now clear of tables and chairs.
As we are usually only here for the 'warm up' drinks we have always tended to find a place to sit and relax. We like to sit close enough to see the dance floor and do a bit of people watching but also far enough from the speakers so that we can still enjoy some kind of conversation. This is possible if we sit in the seating area on the opposite side to the bar.
Getting served at the bar during the weekend can be a bit of a challenge as people tend to hang around the bar so it is hard to tell who is waiting to be served. I generally tend to adopt the rule of first to catch the attention of the bar staff gets served first and this generally seems to work. If I notice someone near me who has been waiting longer I do usually say for the bar staff to serve them first and on one occasion this even got me a free drink from the person who had been waiting! See, it pays to be nice! As I tend to order a few drinks at a time I cannot give you the exact prices but a combination of 2 pints, a WKD and a large glass of wine usually comes in at under £15.
The atmosphere at the weekend can be very hit and miss and really depends on the music and how many people are in here. There have been many occasions where we have stayed only for one drink as the pub was almost empty and the music was rubbish, but then there have also been occasions where we have stayed in here for a few hours because the music was great and more customers made for a better atmosphere.
The Litten Tree regularly advertises on the boards outside the pub that they will be showing various football matches and sometimes rugby on the TV screens and they also have a large projection screen which is located near the dance floor. Personally, I have never been to watch the football here, but I do have a friend who goes on an almost weekly basis during the football season and watches all of the matches while eating a Sunday lunch here. From the fact that she is a repeat customer week after week I would say this is a good sign, but like I said, I have not been here for sports matches so cannot give my personal opinion here.
For those of you who are interested, I am told by my friends who keep trying to et me to go with them for lunch that this Sunday lunch is around £7 - £9 depending on what size you have and you will get the usual choice of meats including beef, lamb and turkey, Yorkshire puddings, roast, mashed, boiled or a combination of all three potatoes and vegetables. I admit it does sound rather nice so I will possibly venture here when I am back visiting family in a few weeks.
The toilets in The Litten Tree are located upstairs, this isn't as bad as it sounds though as the stairs aren't steep and they are very wide so you can pass each other with no problems. The ladies are to the right of the stair case and there are many cubicles to choose from. During my lunchtime visits I have always found the toilets to be clean and have plenty of toilet paper and soap. However, in the evenings during the weekends this is a slightly different story and I seem to have noticed that after only a couple of hours the toilet rolls are in short supply and the soap is dispensed all over the sinks rather than onto peoples hands. Once in this state the toilets seem to stay like this for the rest of the night!
There is a condom machine if you fancy your chances! There is also a machine which sells a variety of products including the "pink and blue pills" which apparently increase your sexual appeal, special wipes which also claim to increase your sex appeal, headache tablets so you have no excuses after you've been so sexy and appealing and a mini vibrator for £5 just in case all those sex appeal products don't actually work and you are going home alone! I have never used this machine but it does always make me smile when I see it!
Personally, I am not a smoker. However for those of you who are, there is no specific smoking area which I know of so people seem to go out to the front of the pub and stand on the street outside where there are a few ashtrays attached to the wall.
With regards to wheelchairs and pushchairs The Litten Tree is great, the main entrance is on a level with the street and the main bar area and seating areas are mainly on the same level. There are disabled toilets downstairs, I think you need to ask staff for the key though.
The Litten Tree doesn't have a car park, so if you want to drive here you will have to park in one of the town centres many pay and display car parks. Unfortunately these come at a bit of a cost so you might be better off getting a taxi if you live nearby.
Overall I would recommend The Litten Tree. Most of the time there is a good atmosphere, although the music can be very hit and miss. The staff are generally good and friendly and while they are rushed off their feet at the weekends they still seem to do their best to maintain order at the bar and serve everyone.
Ideally I would like to give 3 and a half stars because of the hit and miss music and the toilets during the weekends but as I can't I will be rounding it up to 4 out of 5 Stars.
Thanks for reading :)