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My Happy Place
Pubs / Bars in Alnwick in general
Member Name: Peakly
Pubs / Bars in Alnwick in general
Date: 07/02/01, updated on 07/02/01 (169 review reads)
Advantages: In The Opinion
They tell me I should write to advise, but who am I advising? I suspect the percentage of us here on dooyoo that live in or around my sleepy town of Alnwick is, to say the least, a little small. I can think of four, maybe five of us who may have heard of The Tanners. For this reason, I can’t help thinking I may be wasting my time – these four or five members drink in there already. The thing is though, there is always a chance, albeit a very small one, that one of you may spend sometime up here in Northumberland at some point during you life’s. So for that reason, I’ll proceed to tell you a little a bit about my ‘local’, if you care to listen, so that if anyone does happen to pass through humble Alnwick you won’t drink in the wrong place and get the wrong impression.
Besides, I want to share – you know? I think anyone who lives in a small community will learn to love a certain pub or club – and why not? It’s all part of the nature human desire to ‘belong’. Your local pub, in your local area, will no doubt be as special to you as The Tanners is to myself and my friends. Anyone who lives in a city or as a hermit and isn’t able to draw such a comparison – consider Dooyoo. Isn’t the OpCom chat room a ‘local’ of sorts? Well, anyway, I think I should get on and write what it is I have been trying so hard to justify. The Tanners, Alnwicks finest…
All of you who live in the South – what would you expect from a pub in rural Northumberland? Warm beer? Flat-capped, pipe-smoking old men with small sheep dogs playing dominos? The gentle aroma of horse manure? If so, you would be right. In most cases. The Tanners is Alnwicks golden exception. We have a fair collection of ‘old men’ pubs, the kind you might find in Geordie comic-strips, and we have an even larger collection of ‘young persons’ pub (which
means plenty of alcho-pop and a second-rate disco), but only one pub for those of us who don’t enjoy flat ale or dance music. The Tanners truly is one of those rare breeds of pub, a place where the atmosphere is of the highest quality, and as yet untouched by the ‘less desirables’ drinkers in our small society (by those I mean the angry youth who seek to begin fights, and the coughing old gentlemen who go silent as you walk inside).
It is situated a little way from the town centre, easily near enough to walk to, but equality far away from the ‘rough’ areas. It’s hard to explain if you have no knowledge of the geography. The surrounding pubs are strong, within Alnwick, and so this side of the town is as yet un-effected by the ‘townie masses’ – a huge advantage one can only hope remains intact when and if you visit. The lay-out is bizarre, yet comforting and easy to navigate. It’s tiny, basically, but somehow it holds more or as many bodies as any place else around. The bar runs along the length of the largest wall, with tables and chairs taking up space in front. The toilets are a little cramped, but who cares? The size of the place is vital to maintain the ‘homely’ feel you should learn to enjoy.
The bar is surprisingly well stocked for a place of it’s size, and actually contains the odd drink not available anywhere else in the town – the infamous ‘Absinthe’, for one. For two pounds, a shot of absinthe and coke can be yours, reasonably priced when you consider the strength of this notorious tipple. Absinthe is green, and it rocks – believe me. Also, The Tanners sell jugs of various refreshing drinks for you to chip in and share with friends – for twelve pounds, you can buy a jug of vodka and red bull that will fill roughly four pint glasses. Drinks are priced at roughly the same as everywhere else, but the range of alcohol availa
ble is impressive by all standards.
Now for another crowning glory of The Tanners – the duke-box. While everywhere else in Alnwick insists of playing dance music all night, The Tanners offers an excellent selection of rock and metal, that is updated frequently. The place has gained a reputation for housing the members of Alnwicks ‘rock’ scene, and I suppose this is true. Anything from classic Black Sabbath, to the new Rage Against The Machine album is there to be played. Don’t worry though, everything is keep at a moderate volume, the presence of quality music simply adds to the overall good feel and atmosphere of the pub.
The staff at the Tanners are friendly and fair. It’s not unusual, even on busy nights, for the main barman Dave to engage in some idle chit-chat with us drinkers, and although this may not seem a particularly big deal, it certainly makes a welcome change from the sour-faced waitresses at most other places in the town. The staff run a relaxed but fair system, taking a pretty much ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to fighting (not that there ever is any) yet managing to laugh at genuine accidents and mistakes. I remember a friend of mine who once got a little too drunk, and accidentally knocked over one of the tables – the staff were fine, laughing and clearing up, helping him leave without being aggressive or forceful. The people behind the bar, as much as I hate to say it, are just plain nice. Simple as that.
The best time for you to pop into The Tanners would be on a Saturday night, I think, as that’s when it’s at its busiest and spirits are high. They aren’t overly strict on demanding ID and the like, but don’t go carting in a bunch of children with you – they won’t find a place to sit for one. Smoke is often thick in the air, so if that offends you be warned and prepared. The music could be anything, but it’ll be quiet and it
’ll be good.
I guess what I am trying to say is that IF you come to Alnwick, and IF you decide to go drinking, The Tanners is easily your best choice. All the other pubs in Alnwick are either too loud with crap music or so backwards you’ll be barred for wearing trainers. The Tanners is small, cosy, and the ‘crack’ is superb (that’s slang for ‘chat’, not cocaine). Pull up a chair, order your self an Absinthe and tap your feet to the good music. You may even spot me, wiping the sick from my face and staggering in the corner.