Newest Review: ... that brings together the Wales/Shropshire/Liverpool routes, and is ¼ of a mile from the motorway junction. From the aforementioned r... more
Pubs, and lots of them
Member Name: aratherbadusername
Date: 12/09/02, updated on 12/09/02 (2453 review reads)
Advantages: Booze, Booze, More Booze
Disadvantages: Cost, Cost, More Cost
I'll be honest, this is a review of Pubs in Chester, not Loaf. There is no section for a general Review, and I have already ued the Chester in General so can't put this there.
Well, prior to me becoming a University student this seemed to escape my attention. Yet after setting sail to Uni and returning home, something became very apparent to myself. It would not surprise me if Chester has the most alcohol-related deaths per head of population. What makes me think this? There appear to be a copious amount of alcoholic beverage dispensers within the city. Well that was a long-winded way to say that Chester has a lot of Boozers, but hopefully it made for exciting reading. It didn?t? Oh, sorry, I?ll get on with it then.
After conducting a search of 'Bars' in 'Chester' on 'http://www.yell.co.uk' I discovered that there are 60 listings for Chester. Granted not all of these are going to be within the City Centre or within reasonable walking distance. However, after viewing the locations I estimated that of the 60 there were 22 that were within sensible walking distance of the town centre, but around 10 I know of were not listed. It is my intention to summarise these within this opinion to the best of my abilities regarding matters such as; Prices, entertainment, cleanliness, and last but not least atmosphere. If I quote a rough distance in any review it is estimated to the Bus Station, for those that know Chester but are unsure of the location, it is next to Town Hall, or Tourist Information. It must also be noted, that unless otherwise stated, the research for this opinion was carried out on a Friday Night
Easily this pub would have to be the furthest away from the town centre (around a little over one mile). However it is worthy of being listed here. Bottles cost around £2 here, lager is priced around £1.90. They offer a good selection of all types of alcoholic drinks. I did
n?t see many snack items
on sale, but I am not saying they were not on offer. The reason I never saw them might have been due to the fact I was not actually looking for them.
Entertainment wise there are two fruit machines, which both vend at 25p a spin and jackpots being around £15 ? not brilliant value on a stand-alone basis, but fairly good by general standards. There is also a pool table and a dartboard. There were no darts available to use, so I assume you had to bring your own. The pool table was of good quality, and priced very reasonably at only 50p a game. Especially good considering the quality of the table and cues. The one thing that is against it is the location. The pool table is almost right in the corner ? this would be fine if it were not the corner that the TV was located in. Also, in true pub style, although I am unaware of the price or variety, the pub also possesses a jukebox.
Another point in favour of the pub is it atmosphere. Lighting is excellent, dim lights, but not too dark. Cleanliness was also of a high standard, and that also goes for the toilets. While they were not as clean as toilets that you find in private residences they were in a very good condition when you bear in mind how many people must use them each day.
If you are through Chester, and on the right side of town, and happen to be looking for somewhere to pull in for a bit of a rest, and the passengers in your car are after some liquid refreshment then I strongly urge you to stop here. Located near the ?Sainsbury?s roundabout?, which is the roundabout that brings together the Wales/Shropshire/Liverpool routes, and is ¼ of a mile from the motorway junction. From the aforementioned roundabout take the Town Centre exit, and the pub is about half a mile away on your right, and has car-parking provisions.
The Gardeners Arms
An amazingly cheap pub. Bottles only £1.90, a bag of salted nuts and a flake chocolate bar only 75
p, Spirits £1.20 a single (OK
so that is not too wonderful), lager was £1.80 for the pint. Don?t know the price of bitter as none of the group were drinking the stuff (obviously I am not the only person to detest this foul substance).
This pub has only one machine in the way of gaming machines, a bandit again at the price of 25p a spin. It does have a dartboard, and a pool table. The pool table is priced at 50p a game and, just like the Cherry Orchard, it is in excellent condition. Unfortunately this is located at the back of the pub it what looks like a specific Games room. This area of the pub, atmosphere wise, can only be described as dead. On initial entrance to the pub it seemed very cosy, the sort of place where everyone knows each other, this suspicion was given some backing when it emerged the barman was actually sitting at a table chatting with customers. If it were possible to have the same sort of atmosphere in the pool table area then the pub would rank highly for me, however this is not the case. To my knowledge there was no TV or Jukebox.
The pub was by no means untidy, décor was reasonable, but the games area was fairly dull, and lacked any decorating to speak of. The toilets were far from impressive, quite small, and not the cleanest I have seen. And I wish I could think of a slightly more pleasant thing to end the little bit about this pub on, but I can?t. Sorry.
Ye Olde Queens Head (By Argos ? Foregate Street)
Well firstly, do not be fooled by the sign for this pub. You could be forgiven for thinking the giant neon lights on the outside make this place cheesy and tacky, this is not the case. In my personal preference, I would say that this pub only requires a well-placed, good quality pool table to make it the best in Chester.
The drinks here are a little on the expensive side, with bottles coming in at around the £2.55 mark, and lager costing more here than the two previously listed estab
lishments, £2.05. But these can bo
th be overlooked by the layout and entertainment facilities. The tables are both in open plan, and closed bays. It doesn?t go as far to include a door, but you can still get away from the glare of people glancing around the pub, or get into a quiet spot if that is how you feel with the mood you are in at the time.
The pub is also the proud owner of a large screen TV, great for watching all the major sporting events, and this is cleverly located where the open-plan seated area is. As you must have gathered earlier there is no pool table here, and the same goes for darts. Yet it does have four gaming machines dotted around the pub. 3 of these are bandits, I am unsure of the price of one of them, but the other 2 cost 30p a spin. The remaining machine, may infuriate or delight. Personally I think it is good. It is a ?Weakest Link? quiz machine. The price being only 50p a game it is well worth the little expense for a good bit of fun.
Another thing that works in favour of this establishment is that they serve food. Don?t know what cost, or to what quality, or even what hours it is on offer at, but they sill offer it so there must be some demand, I can only assume this to mean it is good value.
Every time I have been in the place there seems to be a good few people in there, this helps with the atmosphere, and the pub is very popular later on in the evenings/at night. It is probably this that creates the positive feeling I have for the pub. That and it always seems, without being unbearable, damn warm inside.
Coach and Horses (Near Town Hall)
Unfortunately I only have statistics on the evidence of prices of alcopop bottles for this pub (NB. When referring to bottle prices, unless otherwise stated this is the drink I am talking about, more often that not, it is a WKD). The bottles weighed in at an acceptable, although not fabulous £2.30. The pub has two fruit machines, each at 25p
a spin, and of £15 jackpot, this is ra
pidly appearing to be the norm, in future reviews I shall only state if there is a differentiation from what I am now classifying as the norm. In addition to the two fruit machines, it has one trivia machine costing 50p a go. Due to this machine being occupied for the entire time (20 or so minutes) I was in the pub I can not give any comment as to whether or not is was a good deal to play.
It was Friday evening, approximately 6pm when I was in this pub and at that current time it was serving hot meals to customers. Prices and variety are unknown, the only reason I know of food being served is overhearing bar staff asking ?how would you like your stake? to a customer.
A Jukebox was present, and being played at a pleasant noise level, just about right for you to be able to listen to, and take part in a conversation without having to raise your voice. However, the pub has no pool table.
RESULTS DAY PUB (Down an alley off Lower Bridge Street)
Again the price of pints is unknown. And bottles come in at £2.50. One of the main reasons we keep going to this pub is that we knew it had a pool table, now after this research I doubt we will make the effort to walk to this pub. Although it is considerably less distance than the ?Gardeners Arms? it does require an uphill walk to head back towards the Town Centre. OK so it is only about half a mile tops, but when drunk half a mile on an even gradient is tough enough.
With two fruit machines, one trivia quiz machine, a pool table (again from now on take the price to be 50p unless specified otherwise), a jukebox and a large screen TV, this pub is way up there with the best of them on the entertainment provisions. Having said that though, the trivia quiz machine at 50p a go has a very poor jackpot of £5, which is also very hard to win. Toilets are small, and not that clean, sort of ?hold it all in till you really have to go so you only
have to go once? type cleanliness. But (and
welcome to a new addition to my reviews) if you are feeling lucky, or horny, there is not one, but TWO condom machines in the toilets. Perhaps they feel this somewhat makes up for the lack of cleansing that they appear to receive.
The TV, each and every time I have been in, is always on a music/music video channel. And although the music is of ?good? quality it is normally quite loud, not idea for having a conversation if you are in that half of the pub. Also, when I say ?good? I do not mean my personal choice and favourite bands. Rather, it is the type of music that you can listen too, without especially liking it ? it doesn?t include the modern cheesy, teenybopper pop bands like Steps /Five /Westlife and so on. Oh, and this is the pub we went to on A-Level results day, haven?t the faintest idea what it is actually called.
Dublin Packet (Near Town Hall)
Contrary to what the name suggests, this is not excessively Irish themed. OK, so on entering we were greeted by ?traditional Irish? music, but there were not hundreds of different types of bitters on sale or anything like that. The only drink purchased in here was Vodka lemonade for the price of £1.65, but the offer of quantity of lemonade was given. Although not bought, there was a drink advertised, and that was a double Vodka and Red Bull, this would have cost £2.95, having never purchased such a drink I can not say if this is good or not.
The pub was cozy, OK, I?ll tell the truth, it wasn?t the biggest establishment I have visited, it was quite thin, but reasonably long. Part of the pub had areas that were partially bays. It may not have been the only pub with a public telephone, but it certainly was the only pub with a public telephone that was visible, and for that the pub does deserve some credit.
Toilets were very clean and pleasant, one cubical, four urinals (am I going into too much detail here?) and one
condom machine. Back to the pub area itself there
was one fruit machine (price and jackpot unknown). No jukebox of note.
Joe?s Wine Bar (Near Cathedral We burgh Street)
Not technically a pub, but it does serve alcohol. This is somewhat of a rarity in the review, in that the pub was reviewed on a Monday night. I must advise you that unless you happen to be a professional footballer earning many pounds a week then a visit here on Friday night will burn a hole in your pocket. Alcohol comes in at £2.20 a pint, £3.30 a bottle, and £4 for 100ml of Baileys. However, for four days a week (Sunday, Monday for certain, and I think Wednesday and Thursday), at varying times all drinks are half price. The time period for Mondays is after 8pm to close (I am not sure if it is a late night license or not). Being a wine bar, it would suggest wine is on offer, and it is. Can?t recall the price of a single glass, but with around 30 or so bottles on offer for £10 each. No fruit machines, jukebox or pool table. Very poor on the disabled access front as well, women?s toilets are up a flight of stairs, and men?s are down a flight of stairs. All in all I would recommend that this should be avoided; there are better places to go even before you account for prices.
Oldfellows Arms (Tesco?s road entrance - Frodsham Street)
A quaint little pub here that has the feel of it could be a small local in the suburbs, despite being in the city centre. Only drink purchased here was a bottle and it cost £2. No pool table but there was a television and a fruit machine. I think there was a jukebox but can?t be certain. However, there was a RISK trivia game! Was going great on that until it decided to go wrong and reset so you?ve been warned. Not a lot of people in here, but then again it was a Tuesday night so wouldn?t expect too many. Very nice pub even though I have not wrote that much about it.
Check back for updates, they'll appear wh
en I have visited other establishments.