Pub 1 – Brittania, Bradwell, ST5 8JR.
7th November 2017. In attendance – DJT, Kate, Po, Bram
It was a Tuesday night, the inaugural Pub (could I go as far as to say meeting?) for Two Pint Perspective so anticipation levels were high as we pulled off the main road and onto the carpark of the Brittania in Bradwell, the small white car slotting into a space on the ample sized carpark. I don’t imagine that there would be any issues with parking on a more busy night. Although being more of a “neighbourhood pub”, the exterior of the pub seemed inviting, with entrances to both the side & front. After having a quick vape outside, taking in the front outside area which looked smart with fairly high quality outdoor furniture and fake grass (like you’d find on a butchers counter), we elected to enter via the front (main entrance). Upon entering you are faced with a fairly large bar, the pub appears to be in a C shape, with a more “bar” area to the right, with a couple of fruit machines, pool table & dartboard. To the left is more of a “lounge” or restaurant type scenario. We were served fairly quickly, and there was a pretty decent vibe in the pub. The music was fairly pumping, particularly since it was a Tuesday night. Po commented that it reminded him of early doors in a town centre pub on a Friday – unsure whether this was a good thing or not! There was a good mix of people, more in the bar area where there were a few laddish sorts, they weren’t causing any hassle and overall the pub seems fairly safe for the non-local or casual drinker – although we didn’t have any interaction with locals.
The beer range seemed fairly standard, with a good choice for the lager drinker (Stella, Carling, Carlsberg & San Miguel), there were 4 cask ales available (Bass, Exmoor Gold, Old Speckled Hen & Madog Ale) and a couple of ciders on draft. Although there was no Fruli! I would like to have seen more real ales and perhaps more choice of IPA (but that’s just my personal preference).
For the first round, Bram & I had a Exmoor Gold which was a decent pint of beer. Po had a Stella which he thought tasted like cream soda!?! A pint of Exmoor Gold & a pint of San Miguel Shandy was £6.55 which was reasonably priced.
We went and sat down in the lounge area, where there were a couple of old timers putting the world to rights. There were quite a few large screen TVs around the pub which showed Sky Sports News, whilst a continued stream of the pumping dance music played. This was later combined with some Oasis & Stone Roses style tunes. Although perhaps not to everyone’s taste, the older crowd didn’t appear particularly bothered and it did add to an overall fairly youthful atmosphere. I thought the flowers on the tables in this area was a fairly nice touch, although for obvious reasons they were absent from the bar area! The overall presentation of the pub was good, it was clean & well decorated and I like the combination of wood & carpet on the floor. The carpet was actually a bit trippy, after a few beers it might play havoc with your ability to walk in a straight line! We were able to have a good conversation, and didn’t have to shout to be heard. Menus were on the table and although we didn’t eat the food looks fairly decent, being a pretty standard “harvester” style menu. You can get a burger & fries for £4.99 so you can’t argue really, even if it’s dreadful it’s going to keep you going. Pork scratchings were available from the bar, at 87p a bag. These were from the “Real Pork Crackling Co”. Whilst not the largest bag you’d find, they could have been more salty but overall were not a bad bag of swine.
For my 2nd pint, I opted for a pint of Madog ale which was fine, I reckon it tasted a bit like Hobgoblin which isn’t my usual favourite. The service at the bar on both occasions was pretty good, and the bar staff were fairly friendly. As I don’t think we were able to vape inside, we went outside (at the front again), where there were some neighbourhood kids on the carpark. They weren’t causing any trouble and one of them did pull a sick wheelie on his bike which impressed us all.
The gent’s toilets were fairly pleasant, with 3 urinals, 1 cubicle and 1 sink. They were light & there were no unpleasant smells, however there was some liquid on the floor but this appeared to be from a leaking pipe rather than a leaking penis. I’d imagine that when the pub was rammed on a Friday night, there could be a queue formed to use the facilities. The “Heatstore” hand dryer was impressive, drying my wet paws in mere seconds! For the ladies, the toilets were apparently very nice with a soap dispenser & full length mirror.
Towards the end of our visit, we noticed some double doors at the rear of the pub which led to quite a nice (although fairly dark) smoking/outdoor area, which had a couple of heaters. These were on a fairly short timer so did require the button to be pressed every couple of minutes. This is only a minor point though, I reckon, as the main feature of this area was a friendly large black & white cat, sat on one of the chairs who seemed to enjoy a good fuss. So much so, that one of our party proposed that we take him home with us (we didn’t).
Overall, then I’d say that this was a fairly decent pub to start the adventure. I imagine that at the weekend or on a match day, the pub gets fairly busy and there would be a pretty good atmosphere. I’d probably go again, maybe for a bite to eat. However, there are 448 pubs left to go……..
Beer choice/range – 3/5
Ambience – 3/5
Location – 4/5
Locals/Safeness – 3.5/5
Pork scratchings – 3/5
Fruli – 0/1
Toilets – 4/5
Other – 3/5
Overall – 27.5/41