Pub 5 – The Holy Inadequate, Etruria. 4/12/17
In attendance – DJT, Kate, Po, Amy, Hannah
I’m going to start this review with a disclaimer, I should have mentioned before we visited our first pub really. As you are no doubt aware, I’m giving each pub a percentage score based on a few variables. However, this only gives half a story. What a scoring system doesn’t do, is explain when there is something intangible about a place. The wow factor. I believe the French have a phrase for it, but I don’t know what that is. What I’m saying is that the percentage score at the bottom of my reviews could, in most cases, be largely ignored.
So, I’ll get this in early. The Holy Inadequate is a great pub. There, I said it. I’ve got another confession to make. I didn’t actually take that many notes from our visit, on a cold Monday night. I just didn’t want to miss anything by making notes on my phone. The pub is on the corner of a street, a little away from the busy A53 that goes passed Festival Park. There is an adequately sized carpark to the side of the pub, and you enter via a door in the corner of the building. When you arrive, you can immediately tell that this is a proper drinker’s pub by the large number of pumps on display at the bar. I didn’t actually make note of the beers that were available for two main reasons. One: the choice is almost endless. Whether it’s an ale, lager, stout….whatever, you’ll be well catered for and almost spoiled for choice. Two: Fruli. Yes, you read it correctly. This pub has Fruli on draft. It’s nearly a fiver a pint, but it’s Fruli. Beer based strawberry awesomeness at it’s finest. For once, I’m not going to list what beers are available, just take it from me this pub easily scores a 5 for beer choice/range. It’s spot on.
So, about the pub then. You are greeted with a wooden floor, plenty of seating facilities and an L shaped bar. We’ve been on a weekend night before, and although the pub gets busy the service is always quick & extremely friendly. Expect a joke when you order (particularly about the price if you plan on having a Fruli), but prepare a 30p charge to pay on your card. To the right of the bar is more seating next to a log fire which gets pretty toasty, handy for warming yourself up on a cold winter night. There are some, erm, interesting pieces of art dotted about the walls also. Venture towards the back of the pub and you will find the toilets, another seating area and a jukebox which plays music into the pub at a decent volume. On our visit, the music choice was pretty decent, plenty of Pink Floyd, The Doors and so on. Now, there isn’t a dartboard or pool table here. I know that this is a scoring factor but the pub doesn’t suffer from these omissions. So, good ambience, log fire, decent tunes, great beer. So far, so good.
The smoking area outside is clean and well-lit, has a large covered area and music is piped out via a speaker, again at a decent level. There’s plenty of wooden benches to sit at, and although there aren’t any heaters I’d say it’s a pretty pleasant area to be in. What I will say is that if you’re a wooden log aficionado (who isn’t?), you’d be in your element out here. There are a lot of logs.
Otherwise, pork scratchings are 95p and provided by “MS Authentic Black Country Snacks” which were tasty and salty enough although the bag was quite small.
So, we move on to the toilets. I’m not going to sugar coat it, they are a bit on the grim side. The gents, anyway, had the smell of a “proper pub toilet”. There’s just the one cubicle, a trough style urinal and miniscule sink. The “World Dryer” hand dryer looks like it was born to be in a pub toilet and despite giving the impression that it was 50 years old was surprisingly frisky in it’s hand-drying application. The women’s toilets were pretty standard, apparently in better condition than the men’s with two toilets and a long mirror, although it was quite cramped. However, I cannot verify any of this information.
As our visit was on a Monday night, we weren’t expecting the pub to be overly busy but there were about 15 people there at one point. There was a good vibe, the bar staff were friendly and up for a laugh and a joke. We stayed until the closing time of 12am, being allowed to wait by the fire until our taxi came. The pub has a pretty chilled out ambience overall and scores highly on a safeness scale. Just to add a few final points, you do need to go outside to vape and being a drinkers pub they don’t do meals but you can get a (by all accounts) decent pork pie, to supplement the bar snacks that are available.
Finishing up then (as I’ve exhausted my fairly feeble notes). There are a lot of positives. Beer choice is amazing, the welcome is good, decent beer garden (with logs) and a real wood fire if it’s cold out. I’m not bothered that the toilets are a bit grotty, it’s a pretty old building. Therefore, I thoroughly recommend this pub, and (thankfully) the score reflects that.
Plus, they sell Fruli.
Beer choice/range – 5/5
Ambience – 5/5
Facilities – 2.5/5
Location – 4/5
Locals/Safeness – 5/5
Pork scratchings – 3.5/5
Fruli – 1/1
Toilets – 2/5
Other – 1/5
Overall – 29/41