Pub 7 – Red House, Longton. 19/12/17
In attendance – DJT, Kate, Po, Bram, Chloe, Amy
I’ve noticed that when I start writing these reviews, I tend to sit for a while to get some inspiration. Sometimes, it comes to me fairly quickly whilst typing away at the computer, and sometimes it seems to take a while longer. Unfortunately, following our visit to the Red House in Longton I have been left scratching my head for a while. Not a good sign.
I always try to be positive about pubs, and give credit where it is due. With this in mind, I’d say that the Red House is definitely a pub that has potential and has probably had a bit of money spent on it at some point in the last 10 years. It’s a pretty standard “neighbourhood pub” looking establishment, with fairly minimal parking facilities. As you walk in, to the right is a large lounge that has some nice seating areas and the seats themselves have a fairly pleasant stripy décor to them, although the bar itself is a little dated. However, this area seemed generally clean and was certainly spacious. Once we’d sat down, it was nice and warm. Not a bad start.
Then we move onto the beer choice. In a word – disappointing. Carling and Coors for you lager drinkers, Boddington and Worthington if you want something less fizzy. There’s also Strongbow and Guinness if that’s your bag. No real ales and definitely no Fruli. We had a pint of Boddington and half a lager shandy, which came to £4 something. The Boddingtons was OK, nothing to write home about but not unpleasant. Beer-wise, I imagine the pub caters for its regular customers and gives them what they’ve always had. I think a couple of real ales or a nice continental lager would illicit feelings of fear & confusion. The pork scratchings were from “Prestige Pork Scratchings” and were actually properly decent pork scratchings, it’s just a shame that the bag is so small. I think they retailed at about the standard £1 level. As locals were going out to vape, I’d assume that you cannot do so inside. There was no evidence that food was served, highlighted by the range of takeaway menus near the exit which I think is actually a pretty nice touch.
On our visit, there were a couple of other people in the lounge area, and although they weren’t causing any trouble, I don’t think they would go out of their way to be overly accommodating. Saying this, the service at the bar was quick and was friendly enough. The pub was decorated with Christmas paraphernalia, and the tinsel looked like it was from 30 years ago that you can imagine is kept in the loft in a box marked “Xmas 87”. There was a large TV playing that well known pub channel “ITV4” without any sound. I imagine that this was because we were being treated to a plethora of 70’s disco hits/wedding music which was at a decent volume. This added to the impression that this pub is the kind of place where you’d go for a council estate wedding reception. The small stage area, big enough for a DJ (with his built in light roadshow) is ideal for this purpose. There’d be a buffet set out in the back room and it’d be a decent spread. I bet there’s been a few scotch eggs eaten in this pub over the years.
The other room in more of a bar area, although there were no people in there and indeed no lights turned on either. This has a standard pool table, dart board, fruit machine plus a juke box and looks like a decent area with its tiled floor. So, not too bad if you want a few frames of pool or darts. There is also a beer garden/smoking area to the rear of the pub with a couple of benches and murals of old Stoke players on the wall (which are starting to fade) but overall the feel is a bit drab, and there aren’t any heaters.
In the dimly lit gents toilets there are white tiles aplenty, a long porcelain urinal, singular small sink and 1 cubicle (minus a toilet seat). The toilets reminded me of the latrines at a campsite, both in feel and smell. The dryer was a “Blowmotion”. Great name, below par performance. Overall, not the best toilets but they are functional and you’re not going to go in there to eat your Sunday dinner, are you? In the ladies toilets there are 3 cubicles, a magic mirror (whatever that is) and some fairly dire cleanliness issues. Although I cannot verify this information.
Overall then, there are some good things about this pub but some more negative points too. I think with some investment, getting a good range of beers in and a bit of a spruce up it could be a decent boozer. Unfortunately, the “to let” sign on the outside doesn’t bode well, and if the pub does end up closing down it would be a shame.
Beer choice/range – 1/5
Ambience – 1/5
Facilities – 4/5
Location – 2.5/5
Locals/Safeness – 3/5
Pork scratchings – 3.5/5
Fruli – 0/1
Toilets – 2/5
Other – 0/5
Random Attendee Comments –
“This pub reminded me of a typical neighbourhood pub but didn’t have much of an atmosphere. It did however have a small dance stage so I’d like to imagine that this would go down quite well if there was a local celebration happening” – Kate
“The Phoenix Nights that Peter Kay couldn’t be arsed to write” – Po
“Gritty & Real! Not the best range of any drinks particularly and though the décor was quite tired, felt welcome & comfortable there” – Bram