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The best waterside pubs


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#21 Jon

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:23 AM

That'll be the Folly Inn by Folly Bridge. We stopped there a year ago - a cold autumn evening - the fire was good and the beer acceptable but the food was disappointing. It may just have been that it was a quiet mid-week night because I have heard others praise the food.

The Napton Bridge Inn by Napton Bridge has been converted from a pub that did food to a restaurant with a bar (no saloon, public or snug here) and would not need the exacting standards of traditionalists such as Maffi. However, the food is very, very good.

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I went to the Folly Inn during June, and found the food to be great. May be you just had a bad night? Its a nice atmosphere too. When I was there, a group of boaters were gathered in the bar singing along to folk tunes, accopmanied by a guitarist.

I think if you are planning on mooring outside, you need to be there early?

Jon
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#22 jmj

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 08:57 AM

I think he mean Brum, as in Birmingham!

Jon


The Malthouse, Brum

"Attracting a fairly bland but safe crowd during the day, this is the type of place you can take your folks to for a quiet drink. As traditional as this part of town gets, well traditional in that you can see wooden beams, but if you can you should bag a seat by the canal and take it easy over a few pints. Best to get the parents out before the weekend however, unless you want to run the risk of having to watch them throw some shapes to the cheesy disco which takes over the place."

Sounds awful!!

John

(Although I reluctantly agree that pubs with play areas and restaurants with a bar have their place, give me a proper pub any day - can you get a preservation order an a pub (not just the building, but the spirit (no pun intended) as well?))
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#23 John Orentas

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 10:13 AM

Not just one pub but dozens of them. The newly restored Rochdale Canal. Cruise from Soweby Bridge to Toddmorden and beyond, it seems as though there is a pub at every lock and there's a lot of locks, real pubs, real ale no 'Kids eat free'.

When you get the oportunity make a point of cruising the Rocdale it really is worth the effort, it is like no other canal.

John Squeers

Edited by John Orentas, 20 October 2004 - 06:31 PM.

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John Squeers.

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#24 Webchem

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 06:16 PM

I know someone has already voted, but my vote goes to the 'Blue Lias' a fantastic place. We turned up with 19 hungry and thirsty sixth formers (and 3 staff) during the summer, the staff were fantastic!

Not sure it was that expensive (certainly not by Dorset standards), they had Tiger on at 1.50 (nice), there were a few sore heads the following day. Not to mention a few broken hearts as the quality of the girls behind the bar was voted the best out of all teh hostelries we went to!

There are 2 others, 'The Three Magpies' at the bottom of the Caen Hill Flight. After a really wet and miserable day we had a warm welcome and good standard pub food. Also one of the two in Cropredy - not the one by the lock, the other one. Fantastic food - pricey though, and we had to book. They didn't bat an eyelid when we turned up with two small people - respect! Nice to see Wychwood in there too.
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#25 Graham Blott

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:09 PM

After a long days cruising - any pub. But have to agree that the Anchor on the Shroppie is just fantastic. Lots of atmosphere, and beer in a jug from the celler.

One to avoid - the Badger at Church Minshull on the Middlewich link (Shroppie to T & M). Called in their this summer. Beer is OK(no better) but food absolute c**p. After two meals sent back to kitchen (fish raw, etc) they eventually admitted that their "three times award winning chef" was not on duty - on a Saturday night, for God's sake. Instead the food was being heated through in a microwave by the 16 year old waiter. It had a good write up in Nicholson's but has since changed hands.

Also goodis the White Hart at South Kilworth (on thew Leicester branch of the GU. Its a bit of a walk (about a mile) but a charming and friendly family run village pub with good beers and a limited but good unpretentious menu (and no, I'm not on commission).

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#26 John Orentas

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 11:34 PM

The Badger used to be a fantasic pub, 20 years ago everyone used to aim to stop there for the night.

There is a house close by the bridge where you would normally moor for the Badger, there was a fairly convincing but counterfeit BWB sign on his garden wall, instructing 'NO MOORING'. When the somewhat geriatric resident heard a my boat pull up he would appear over his wall and make all kind of insinuations along the lines that boats that moor there tend to get damaged.

I remember discouraging him by saying, that peoples noses tend to suffer the same fate as my boat.

Let us not get into discussing pubs to avoid, the ever increasing list of those will keep us occupied for ever.

John Squeers
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John Squeers.

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#27 Martin

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 02:42 PM

I can vouch for the Bridge at Napton and also the Anchor at High Offley.
The Anchor is known as "Olive's" by those who know - the lady who runs the joint.
It has been in the family for generations I think - look out for travelling boat theatre companies there.

Could I also mention the Four Alls Inn just up the lane from Tyrley Locks near Market Drayton.
Not only do they look after our post for us; they also have four Real Ales all the time (the two regulars being Wood's Shropshire Lad and Well's Bombardier).
The food is very good too - with superb carvery on at lunchtimes (including Sunday).
For those who remember the place four or more years ago - it has changed beyond recognition and been totally refitted and done up.
New owners Sharon and Darrell now have the punters really rolling in.
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#28 Webchem

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 10:22 AM

Has anyone written a book that just looks at Canal Side pubs?

There is lots of info in the guides like Nicholson etc, but I wonder if there is a market there? Something like the First Mate guides, but for pubs.

Another good book would be playgrounds near the cut, as with 2 smalls, its often a good idea to get them out into the playground for a bit. Often they are very close, but difficult to spot.

:rolleyes:
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#29 John Orentas

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 10:42 AM

The problem with pub and restaurant guides is that they are so often out of date as soon as they are published.

Anyway you can have you own 'one to five' pub rating system starting with excellent and ending with superb.

John Squeers
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#30 Bernie

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 10:43 AM

I don't know of any books that list just canalside pubs, but there are quite a few sites that do. One is http://www.rfh.dirco...uk/Pubindex.htm. Now there's an idea write one.
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#31 Paul Evans

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 10:51 AM

Nicholson's used to publish a Real Ale Guide to the canals - I still have my copy but it must be 20 years old. The major problem with it was the speed with which it went out of date. Pubs changed hands or went out of business leading to a number of disappointing lunchtimes and evenings. Posted Image

Many years ago, a friend and I started work on a proposal that, if accepted, would have led to the European Community buying us a narrowboat, paying us to undertake research on behalf of the leisure and brewing industries and funding the production of the definitive guide to pubs and canals. Having recognised that guides quickly went out of date, the EC would, of course, continue the funding for our lifetimes. Unfortunately, we soon recognised that this was pie-in-the-sky and went back to our day jobs. Posted Image

So now, it's cruising and boozing for pleasure!
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#32 Gary Peacock

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 12:03 PM

If you want a plain old fashioned drinking pub with good beer, then you could do a lot worse then the "Navigation Tavern" on the Calder & Hebble in Mirfield between Shepley Bridge and Ledgard Bridge.
Plenty of nearby moorings and its adjacent to a supermarket too!
:rolleyes:

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#33 James Bell

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 12:23 PM

I agree with Paul about the Folly Inn at the foot of the Napton flight. My Nicholson guide gives it praise for the wonderful pies, so perhaps we went there with high expectations, but the pies were a big disappointment. This was four years ago, and we have been past since, but eaten elsewhere.
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#34 Martin

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 01:11 PM

It seems to me that an online guide is the best bet if it is to be kept up to date - and it should feature the opinions of those boaters who have used it and not perhaps CAMRA or Which? who might only update their review every now and then.
Perhaps we could do it here?

If for each new pub, we created a new thread - then we would find the pub we wanted.
Each thread would include the waterway on which the pub was located so that visitors to a waterway wouldn't need to know the pub name to find their beer!
For example:
Shropshire Union - Bridge XX - The Anchor
North Oxford - Bridge XX - The Folly

Any discussion on a particular pub would then follow the appropriate thread.

Just looking at this thread so far, it would be difficult (without reading all posts) to determine where to stop next weekend.

Such would be the sheer size of such a section that Jon might give us a Waterways Pubs section just to keep it seperate from General Boating.
Any other thoughts?
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#35 John Orentas

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 01:37 PM

I think Martin has a very good idea. It would need to be ruthlessly policed and edited by someone to keep it focused.

John Squeers
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#36 Bernie

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 02:13 PM

That is a good idea in principle Martin, but with over 2000 miles of canals and goodness knows how many pubs, the list would be endless taking up I don't know how many pages on the site without the discussions and comments that would inevitably follow.
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#37 Jon

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 04:36 PM

I can set up anther forum in a similar vain to the Links Directory. I like the idea.
Leave it with me for the moment, as I've got some coursework to do, but after thats out the way I'll set it up.

Jon
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#38 Webchem

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Posted 25 October 2004 - 06:44 PM

I think thats a fantastic idea, develop the Canal World Discussion Forum for pubs (and maybe childrens playgrounds - not as exciting, but equally necessary so you can goto the pub pmsl).

I think it would need to be very carefully edited and updated, not sure that a forum is the best kind of medium for this though - but I am not sure what is the best medium.

Its the kind of thing that can get so big that it might need a whole subsite to itself? Maybe running something like postNuke or Xoops or Mambo?

Just some thoughts!

Cheers (as he opens a Londin Pride)

Jools
:B
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#39 dor

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Posted 26 October 2004 - 07:29 AM

QUOTE:

"The Badger used to be a fantasic pub, 20 years ago everyone used to aim to stop there for the night.

There is a house close by the bridge where you would normally moor for the Badger, there was a fairly convincing but counterfeit BWB sign on his garden wall, instructing 'NO MOORING'. When the somewhat geriatric resident heard a my boat pull up he would appear over his wall and make all kind of insinuations along the lines that boats that moor there tend to get damaged."


In view of the comments about how quickly a pub guide goes out of date.....

Re the Badger at Church Minshull. This seems to change hands with alarming regularity. Last month some friends were in there and after ordering their drinks were told that they couldn't do food as the chef had walked out! They got a couple of rounds of free drinks out of it, but had to survive on a couple of packets of crisps for dinner.

A couple of weeks ago it was closed for a while but has now reopened - under new management again.

The old boy in the house by the bridge has moved on, I suspect vertically, - the house is currently being stripped out and renovated.
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#40 jmj

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Posted 12 November 2004 - 11:17 AM

Can I add (mainly for the food, but the beer was OK as well) The Rowbarge, Woolhampton, Kennet and Avon. Good range of food, lots of fresh fruit and veg included, good portions, reasonably priced.
Must be even nicer (but busier) in summer when you can sit in the garden, eat you meal and watch people getting in a tangle opening the bridge and swerving into the lock!
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