Pub 28. The Victoria, Newcastle. 13/06/18
In attendance – DJT, Po, Quinny
I’m going to get this out there straight away, and it might be fairly controversial to some. I’m not a fan of pub quizzes. There, I said it. Now bear with me on this one. I imagine, before mobile phones (if you can remember that far back) pub quizzes were a pretty fair deal, pitting your wits against other pub dwellers in a battle to the death. Well, not quite but this is Stoke after all! Unfortunately, with the advancements in technology, it seems to bring out a certain dishonesty in some people. It’s amazing how people seem to remember the answer to “question 6” whilst on their visit to the toilets. Next time you’re in a pub and the quiz is on, you’ll certainly notice this. That’s not the only reason, I mean cheating isn’t great but these people are only cheating themselves. No, staying to “do the quiz” does involve a certain investment in the evening, meaning a quick pint is out of the question and woe betide anyone who is talking when a question gets read out. OK, pub-quiz based rant over.
The Victoria or “Little Vic” as it is known is actually a decent boozer, having frequented this establishment on a few occasions prior I pretty much knew what the vibe was going to be. The pub is situated on one of the main roads into Newcastle, and although there isn’t a dedicated carpark you won’t generally have trouble parking on the road outside. If so, there is a public carpark a short walk away. As you enter, you can tell that it is, what I like to call, a “proper pub”. There isn’t a pool table, but a dart board is present, a piano, varied pictures on the walls, grandfather clock and an impressive collection of brass candlesticks, if that’s your bag. There is a small seating area to your right, and more seats to the left where you head to get to the bar which runs lengthways through the middle of the pub. Beer choice is pretty good, with Estrella, Staropramen, Coors, Carling and Hop House 13 for lager drinkers whilst if you want a real ale there is a bit less choice as only 3 beers are available, these being Bass, Black Grouse and the old favourite Doom Bar. As we ordered our drinks we were asked the dreaded question “are you staying for the quiz?” and unfortunately I was out-voted two to one. The beer was good, and initially we took our drinks outside to the nicely done out smoking/outside area. This features a covered section, with a few benches, tables and plants.
After a short period outside, it was gradually getting busier inside the pub. It seems that the Little Vic Quiz night is fairly popular, and everyone seemed pretty friendly with generally a good vibe in the pub and a mix of ages, sexes and the like. In fact, once the quiz got started, you’d struggle to find a seat, except maybe outside. The pub throughout features some nice plush red seats and stools, we found a seat in the small section to the right, next to a couple of older ladies who were also doing the quiz (and I suspect trying to copy our answers). There is a flat screen TV, but this was obviously not on due to the alternative entertainment. I’m not going to go too much into the pub quiz, but otherwise the pork scratchings were the fairly common “Black Country Proper Pork Scratchings” which, at £1.25, were priced a little above the average but still did the job. An enjoyable feature was the buffet at the half way point of the quiz. Perhaps there are some perks of attending an event as such. Don’t let anyone know I said that though, I do have a reputation as a grumpy bugger to maintain!
The gents’ toilets were pretty small, but not bad overall with a metal trough style urinal, one cubicle and a singular sink. The no-brand hand dryer was surprisingly powerful, showing that looks can sometimes be deceptive. As, once again (there’s a theme here) there were no female attendees I cannot provide any detailed information regarding the facilities available for the fairer sex. I’m fairly certain that you can’t vape inside, and I didn’t see any evidence (other than the half-time buffet) that there are meals available.
Overall though, despite my misgivings about partaking in the quiz, we did have an enjoyable evening in this pub. What it lacks in a pool table, it more than makes up in having a good beer, cracking character and friendly clientele, with a decent outside area and comfortable seats. I will be going again at some point in the not-too-distant future, and you can’t say fairer than that. Perhaps on the next occasion we might convince some women to join us!
Beer choice/range – 3/5
Ambience – 4/5
Facilities – 2.5/5
Location – 3.5/5
Pork scratchings – 3.5/5
Fruli – 0/1
Toilets – 3.5/5
Other – 2/5
Overall – 26.5/41
Random Attendee Comments –
“Any place where you can drink Staropramen then throw inaccurate darts and have a quiz with a pair of old fruits gets my vote” – Po
“Decent little boozer with a friendly vibe only tainted by cheating middle aged pub quiz wankers. I know you’re all old and that you need to empty your bladder frequently but what a coincidence that upon your return you miraculously recalled the answer to a question that previously stumped you. Either you’re using your phone to look up answers or Richard Osman is holed up in a cubicle dispensing trivia” – Quinny