I've just visited The Bulls Head, Lonsdale Road, Barnes - and I've just found the worst pub in London. How Young's allow the landlord to continue to work for them is beyond me - a rude, arrogant (beard and nylon shirt) and totally uninterested staff member. Has anyone else every been here (don't go now !!). It's a real pity to see this happen to a pub that potentially could be very good. Hopefully they will action this and sort the major problem out.
Those who you have have read some of my opinions will know that I went on a four day trip to Whitby at the beginning of November. I've already written about the "touristy" side of the place, but now I get onto my favourite subject....The PUBS of Whitby. For a smallish town, Whitby has an awful lot of watering holes ~ we managed to take in quite a few of them while we were there! No surprises there then! ~~~THE GRANBY. This was the pub on the same street as our Holiday Flat, so, as you would expect, we spent quite a bit of time in here. The Granby is on Skinner Street, which is on the west side of the town...it's on the way up to the Crescent and the Whale Bone, in the West Cliff area of the town, if you have been to Whitby before. This is a nice comfy pub, serving some rather excellent Camerons Strongarm and a good (though not varied) selection of pub grub. Just watch out if you go in on the night the ladies Darts team is playing ~ thye are bit lethal and none of them seem particularly safe (or good at darts!). This was illustrated when one of the "Home" Team was stepping up to throw ~ "Just aim at the numbers and the board" advised the Captain! We ducked and moved away quickly! It's a really homely pub with very friendly staff and a good atmosphere. ~~~THE DUKE OF YORK. This pub can be found on Church Street, near the bottom of the steps to the Abbey. It's in a good location, near to the Tourist shops and not far from the sea, so consequently it gets quite busy during the tourist season. It was still packed in November so you can see how it could get packed during the summer. They served Black Sheep Ale (though this was off more often than on) and some tasty and reasonably priced Magnet Bitter. The food is the main selling point of this pub ~ there's a good selection that is well presented. The fresh Whitby Crab sandwiches were out of this world! ~~~THE DOL PHIN. This pub has a nice roaring fire that was very welcome when we ventured out on Bonfire night. Unfortunately The Dolphin has been refurbished and has lost some of its original character and charm. The food and drinks were nice, but a little on the expensive side compared to the other pubs around. A pint of Guinness was hideously overpriced at £2.50 and they only had John Smiths Bitter ~ I'm glad it wasn't my round! You will find The Dolphin near the Bridge on the East side of town ~ it IS a nice pub, just not as nice as some of the rest. ~~~THE JOLLY SAILORS. This was our favourite pub because we found a rather nice Samuel Smiths Stout for £1.49 a pint and some really tasty well cooked food too! You will find it down by the Harbour, on the West side of the Bridge. It isn't much to look at the from the outside, in fact we walked past it a couple of times, but if you do venture in the staff are friendly and the service is good. The Stout was heavenly (and tasted of chocolate and liquorice) and my Mushroom Filo Parcels were cooked to perfection! ~~~THE LITTLE ANGEL. Unfortunately we called in at The Little Angel on Flowergate at the end of Goth Week, so they weren't serving food because it was a bit busy. We had some Greene King IPA here that was well kept and poured well. It was bit of a traditional pub ~ they were playing cribbage on dominoes in the corner, and the atmosphere was relaxed, if a little on the smoky side! Flowergate is in the shopping area of the West side of town and is a good location for a pub...consequently you will find quite a few round here ~ we called in some of them, but it was getting a bit late so some of the names escape me; I do remebember The Elsinore though as well as The Little Angel...I thought it was such a pretty name! There you are...it's only a brief selection of the Pubs around this lovely little North Yorkshire town, but it does give you a ta ster of what's on offer. We were only there for four days, so we couldn't visit every pub, but we didn't do too badly. I was very impressed with the wide cross-section of different places to go. Whether from the homely Jolly Sailors to the "posh" Pier Inn, or the expensive restaurant at the Shambles Bar (redeemed only by the pint of Cocker Hoop!), there's a bit of something for everyone! Pay a visit yourself and ENJOY!
Firstly - there are a LOT of pubs in Whitby. The town is built up around a valley and split east to west; each side has its own residents and its own particular public houses. We?ll start with the centre of town; I really deem this as the area around Station Square (the Town Centre really) and through Baxtergate (main shopping street) and towards the pier on the west side of town. Rosie O'Grady's/ The George Hotel: ---------------------------------- The starting point for many a drunken night on the town. When I used to live in Whitby and now when I return and meet the mates when I visit, we always start in Rosie's - It's the most central pub in town, with a pool table and dart board in the back room, live sport on Sky TV and a great range of beers available. This pub is huge (for Whitby) and is usually packed out, prices are no longer the usual cheap range that Whitby used to have and really reflect those found in London. Aside from the prices there's little to put me off Rosie's, the clientele (posh word for a Monday I know) is the usual Whitby schoolboys and lads'/lassies' night out crowd all wanting to let their hair down for the start of the weekend and the atmosphere is great, it?s not a pub I could stay in all night but for the start of a pub crawl it is really a great place - central, good beer, a little expensive but a great atmosphere. This pub is quiet in the week and you can get a good (ish) meal in their restaurant but it really comes into its own over the weekend (although most people get paid on a Thursday so the weekend starts early in Whitby!) This is also a hotel and houses all types above the pub. Don?t know anything about the lodgings I'm afraid - I've got a place to stay in Whitby - but it looks very nice from the outside. Here we move to the next on the way towards the bridge: The Wellington: --------------- A John Smiths Pub - this is a lot smaller than Rosie's and is the logical next stop along the line, a mere 200 yards down the road - along Baxtergate. The beer is great, first and foremost. Love John Smith's beer and will forever be a fan of this little pub as a result. The facilities include a pool table, 2 fruit machines, a dartboard in the lounge (old man's side - sorry - old prejudices die hard) and a wonderful jukebox that will jump whenever you set your beer down on the nearby shelf (the cause of many drunken hysterics and annoyance to other patrons). There's lager, bitter, a good range of spirits (try asking for a Courvoisier after a few - they have it but it's hard to ask for late on at night. The pub is homely, a real fire is in the lounge and their prices are just slightly more reasonable than in Rosie's, a good 2nd place for a beer on a crawl. Daytimes you'll get a meal and they also have lodgings above the pub, a tourist thing really this and the place is often just as full as Rosie's even though it's only half the size. Mind you, this is not always a problem as we are now ready to move along Baxtergate for the next pub on the journey: The Plough: ----------- Not everyone's favourite pub this and, until recently, one I've been known to avoid like the plague when out and about. The Plough is one of Samuel Smith's pubs, not very well known outside of the Northern parts of the country but they produce some fine ales (try the Ruby Red - a taste you'll never forget although it's certainly an acquired taste!) and some peculiarly named lagers (Ayingabrau for one - don't trust me on spelling) which are cheap and very cheerful. Their whole philosophy seems to be one of cheap, good quality bitter and lager and as a result they sell a lot of the wondrous stuff. Featuring a pool table and dartboard (are you seeing a pattern here) alon g with a jukebox full of great oldies, this is a worthwhile stop on your way along the street. It's a good daytime boozer this, you'll get a lot of people talking to you out of nowhere. The pub is a central part of Whitby's folk scene, once folk week hits in, somewhere during August, you can't move in here for accordions and tin whistles. Love it. The Black Swan: --------------- This is merely one I see, I don't really like this pub much at all and it is one I'll only go into if everywhere is too busy to get into. The beer is the normal range as are the prices but the staff are rude and the drinkers have a very unfriendly attitude to those who enter their territory - as a pub it does very little to grab me or to keep me as a punter. Have a look if you're up this way but don't expect to be welcomed in. The Buck: --------- You're now onto St. Anne's Staith, the street with Woolies and a couple of hairdressers on it, you can get a drink in this pub easily through the week and even get near enough to hear the karaoke on some nights. The Buck is an incredibly popular pub and one that is always full. Try the real ales here; they tend to have a guest bitter every week (or at least used to - I've not been in for a few years) and the prices were great. Another John Smith's pub, great drink, great atmosphere and a pool table and dartboard in the back room. This pub is another of the log fire types, you are welcomed into a warm glow of happiness here and you will never go far wrong with The Buck. There's a nice view of the Abbey and Harbour from the window for the tourists too. On to: The Jolly Sailors: ------------------ Sam Smiths again - not a very good pub in my opinion and one which I tend to ignore, I get to The Buck, have a pint and head off over the bridge to better climes. Similar to The Plough but with out the atmosphere, a place to go if you want a change. Over the Bridge we go: The Dolphin: ------------ Oh how they ruined this pub, The Dolph used to be perfect place to drop into for a pint on your way to Church Street and the pubs that welcomed you in with a jolly smile on their faces and a beer in both hands. The Dolph used to be a great pub, they refurbished a few years ago (probably about 6 years ago by now - doesn't time fly?) and tried to add something to Whitby which really was not needed - they turned the boozer into a wine bar styled, soulless, overpriced and overdressed pit of doom! (Think of me as being somewhat unlike the Murphy's here). You could get a pint, a game of pool or darts and a listen to the jukebox with a scenic view of the harbour and west side of town. Now you need to pay £3.00 per pint and get a dodgy feeling that you?re wasting money just by breathing their nice fresh air! Not my recommendation at all. Let's move on before I get too upset, shall we? Church Street: The Duke Of York: ----------------- Now we're cooking with gas! I love this pub and it's by far and away my favourite in Whitby, small, friendly and with a great range of hand pulled ales, both Murphy's and Guinness stout and a huge range of lagers. The place only holds about a hundred people and it is full constantly. I did a Christmas season behind the bar in the Duke; I can quite happily vouch for the quality of beer, food, accommodation and speed of service. The bar is quite small so there can be queues develop the thing is, they diminish rapidly and you get served very quickly indeed. I can't guarantee that you?ll get a seat in the Duke but I can definitely promise a good time for all and a longing to return. Harbour view, dartboard and, in the spirit of individuality, no pool table! Try the Duke of York; you really will not be disappointed! The Board Inn: -------------- Right next door to the Duke and such a huge contrast it is incredible, no soul and no atmosphere, the food is bad and the place is depressing to be in. Not a place to visit. Further along Church Street you've got quite a few little pubs which are really just locals, the Middle Earth, The White Horse and Griffin, The Black Horse and, finally, The Oak Tree - I always tended to stick to the town centre when up North so I feel totally unable to comment on these, as a visitor you probably will not venture this far up Church Street anyway - I don't think you'll be missing out on much. And Finally: The Angel Hotel (Laughtons): ---------------------------- This is the finishing points to the night for just about everyone in town, it's on New Quay Road, the very edge of the harbour. It's the only pub that stays open a little later and it has Whitby's only nightclub above it. For a fiver you will be granted entrance to both the pub and club and will be very pleasantly surprised. The drink is cheap - £1.50 per pint alongside numerous promotions on spirits and mixers, with their recent refurbishment you will appreciate the space and the decorations and you'll be very impressed with the clientele. Just about all of Whitby's locals end up in the club afterwards and you'll find that you've landed in something akin to Hades on earth. Stay away from the nightclub - poor DJs, scrappy décor and a place to be avoided, if you really want a late drink I'd advise buying it in and having it in your hotel or back garden. Not to say though that it's all bad - some people clearly enjoy it here so - maybe best to try it once and see if it?s your cup of tea! Ending bit: There you are, hopefully the comprehensive guide to Whitby?s pubs, I've enjoyed many a pub crawl in Whitby and I'm sure I'll do so again soon. The simples t way to sum the pubs up is that they're mainly full of jovial Northerners and you'll generally be welcomed in with open arms. The pub scene in Whitby is huge, there's really not a lot more to do of an evening. If you're ever in Whitby - Mine's a pint of Ayingabrau! See you in the Plough :)