CAMRA Pub Design Awards 2014

CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) has launched its National Pub Design Awards 2014 in a quest to find the most stunningly designed pubs in the UK. The awards, held in association with English Heritage and the Victorian Society, recognise high standards of architecture in the refurbishment and conservation of existing pubs, and the construction… Read More »

Zetland Arms, South Kensington

After 20 minutes traipsing around the Natural History Museum, my mind began to wander towards the pub. Two hours later, with my legs about to buckle beneath me, I literally stumbled across the Zetland Arms in South Kensington. I was gasping for a pint. In a semi-delirious state I jostled past punters stood outside this… Read More »

Would you ban children from your local?

Okay, so the title of this post may be slightly provocative, but if I gave you a magic wand, would you ban kids from your local? I’m sure if you had possession of a magic wand then you’d probably have better things to wish for, like a jackpot-winning lottery ticket, a villa in Italy or… Read More »

Woodman, Woodmansterne hosts beer festival

The Woodman in Woodmansterne is making history this month by hosting the Surrey village’s first ever official real ale festival. The event takes place from May 23-25 and has plenty on offer beer buffs. The pub, which is owned and operated by the award-winning Stonegate Pub Company, is celebrating locally brewed ales and craft beers… Read More »

The Nell Gwynne, near Covent Garden

Thank god for mobile phones. Without them the barmaids at the Nell Gwynne would have had nothing better to do than admire the pub’s paintwork, watch Russian ice hockey on the tele or worst still, talk to me. I was the only punter in the pub at that point and, while my pint was being… Read More »

Starre Inn, York, Yorkshire

If it wasn’t for a whacking great big sign spanning the width of Stonegate in York then you could easily miss Ye Olde Starre Inn – the oldest licensed venue in the city. Having played it’s part in the English Civil War this pub oozes – or should that be River Ouses – history and… Read More »

Split Crow, Halifax, Nova Scotia

I walked through the doors of the Split Crow in search of a quiet pint. I was in that kind of mood, you see. It was early evening and the place was fairly quiet with just a smattering off diners. I bought a pint of Rickard’s Blonde and went to sit outside. I plonked myself… Read More »

Leamington Spa, Woodland Tavern

Those famous old curmudgeons Waldorf and Statler weren’t the only miserable Muppets in the Woodland Tavern when I sauntered through its doors one sunny Saturday afternoon. There were a couple of dour-looking red-faced old soaks sat directly opposite a model of the puppet pensioners, the irony of which wasn’t lost on me. I ordered a… Read More »

The Little Windsor, Sutton

CLICK HERE FOR AN AUDIO VERSION of the InnSpectre’s visit to the Little Windsor Sutton Let me clarify one thing, I am not a High Street kind of bloke. I find their assortment of pound shops, pawnbrokers and bookmakers too much for my sensitive nature, and don’t get me started on the chavs, neanderthals and… Read More »

White Hart Inn, Canterbury

I was feeling somewhat fragile by the time I stumbled through the doors of the White Hart in Canterbury. I had just shaken off a lingering hangover from the previous day’s trip to Kent Beer Festival and I looked and smelt like I’d spent the night in a skip. On the plus side, I felt… Read More »

The Loose Cannon, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Let’s be honest, we all need a little TLC in our lives – especially us beer drinkers. So, thank crikey then for this little boozer. Depending on the way I feel, I like a my drinking dens dark and dingy, mean and moody but almost always warm and welcoming, and the Loose Cannon (TLC) has… Read More »

Bank Tavern, Keswick, Lake District

There’s nothing quite like confronting a few demons before hitting the boozer, is there? Prior to my pint at the Bank Tavern, Keswick, Lake District I went for a walk around the banks of Derwentwater with the Good Lady InnSpectre. The scene was pleasant; the sun was shining and birds singing, while mothers gently pushed… Read More »

CAMRA’s top 16 pubs in the United Kingdom

Having just recovered from the Great British Beer Festival, beer drinkers around the UK are rejoicing at the release of the latest edition of the Good Beer Guide. To mark the launch of this beer tome, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) has announced the 16 regional finalists of it’s Pub of the Year competition. These… Read More »

The Good Beer Guide 2014, edited by Roger Protz

With the Christmas countdown well and truly underway in the nation’s High Streets, what better way to forget all about it than thumbing through the brand-spanking new edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2014. Yes, that’s right, the nation’s favourite booze bible has hit the streets offering a wealth of knowledge about pubs, beer and… Read More »

The Spread Eagle, Camden, London

After three hours shuffling around Camden Market on a freezing afternoon I was ready for a pint. I’d seen enough spotty teenagers with nose rings, pink hair and quirky attire to last me a lifetime, as well as bags, hats, candles, mirrors, scarves and wood-carved giraffes. I was keen to swap the overwhelming smell of… Read More »

York Tap pub, York station, Yorkshire

I can honestly say that I’ve never had as good a time waiting for a train as I did at the York Tap pub, York station, Yorkshire. With time on my hands and a fine array of ales to choose from I could have happily missed my train home, accidentally on purpose, of course. This… Read More »

Summer Lightning, Hop Back Brewery

If a beer should ever be selected to represent the great British summer by name alone then it has to be Summer Lightning. I’ve lost count how many times during May, June and July I’ve spent an evening at home supping a bottle of this brew while the rain lashes down outside. Us Brits have… Read More »

Elland 1872 Porter crowned Champion Beer of Britain

There’s no greater feeling than being the best you can possibly be. Just ask Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. Well, now you can add Elland 1872 Port to that list – the newly crowned Best Beer in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, Olympia, London. The West Yorkshire brewed… Read More »

The Gladstone, Borough, London

Stuffed owls, spinning glitter balls and rotating musical instruments suspended from the ceiling may not be your cuppa, but if you want a taste of the kitsch and unconventional then this pub will leave you feeling Glad all over. I popped into this colourful Borough boozer late one Friday afternoon to find members of staff… Read More »

The Maxwell’s Plum, Halifax, Nova Scotia

A bubbly barmaid at the Maxwell’s Plum, Halifax, Nova Scotia asked me what I wanted to drink. I don’t normally have a problem answering such a question, but then I don’t normally have to choose one of 60 beers on tap. So, I did what any Englishman would do when faced with making such a… Read More »