Pub 30. Black Horse, Chesterton. 04/07/2018
In attendance – DJT, Po
This week’s adventure took us to Chesterton, a part of Newcastle where I’ve never actually been for a beer. Well, not that I can remember, anyway. I wasn’t fully sure what we had in store, although since this was the 30th pub that we’ve been to so far, something that I’ve realised is that I’ve certainly become a lot braver with entering a random establishment than I was when we first started. The Black Horse then, is a pub that, unless you are from the area, you probably wouldn’t know about. It’s basically up a one way terraced street, some way off a main road that goes from Chesterton to I’m not sure where. There appears to be an alright amount of parking on the road outside, but there is actually a fairly decent sized carpark to the rear. How you get to it is a bit of a mystery for someone who hasn’t got a knowledge of the area. It doesn’t look too bad from the outside, pretty similar in some ways to the Park Inn in Burslem that we visited previously.
As you enter through the front, you are faced with the choice to turn left, into what appeared to be the bar, or right into the lounge. I use the word lounge fairly loosely for reasons you will gather as you read on. As the bar seemed deserted, also due to the fact that there were no lights on in there, we headed right. The thing you notice is that this is not a lounge, in fact in 99% of pubs this would be the bar all day. The décor does seem a bit dated, with carpet on the floor and a couple of brick fireplaces but there were a few people in this area and they didn’t seem too perturbed about two handsome non-Chestertonian men entering their domain. There are various seats around the outside of the room, and some stools at the bar, which itself appears to have been carved out of an old oak tree. This room actually goes back pretty far, and features a pool table (with free pool o Thursdays), a flat screen TV that was turned off, a fruit machine and a jukebox which was playing a variety of music throughout our visit, making the pub fairly lively. The seats had a kind of red vinyl, working men’s club-esque style to them, and had probably seen better days. An interesting item on show was a sign advertising the Meat Raffle, which is a rarity these days. Meat Raffles, that is, not signs. Although, you’d question the quality of meat that you’d be lumped with if you won one of these. I didn’t see anything to suggest that they did food though, and I didn’t think vaping would have been allowed inside but you never know. A bit of advice for if you decide to have a pint here. There is a severed mannequin’s head above the bar. His name is Bob, and apparently you have to buy him a pint.
Beer choice is adequate, without being spectacular with Abbot Ale, Hobgoblin, Bass and Guinness. For lager drinkers you can get a Carling, Coors Light or San Miguel. If a cider is more your bag, it’s either Strongbow or Carling Fruity Cider. As always, there was no Fruli. I opted for an Abbot Ale, which were actually a fairly decent pint and went down pretty well, in addition to being reasonably priced.
Outside is a large beer garden, which has 7 or so benches, and features a combination of grass and paving, with a covered area, a singular parasol although I didn’t see any heaters. There is, however, a children’s swing and indeed, a child was swinging on it. It was a pleasant evening so there were quite a few people in the beer garden, by all accounts some had been here longer than others but the vibe was fine, there was no trouble, the people were in good spirits and a few dogs were running around, enjoying the sun. Pork Scratchings were the familiar M&S Pork Scratchings, and retailed at the usual £1.
The gent’s toilets were not the greatest, and were actually a bit of a strange shape. There are 3 individual urinals, one sink and two cubicles, although one of these was either broken or seemed to be permanently engaged, which got us thinking about whether someone had actually died in there whilst doing their business. Any toilets with a hole in the wall are maybe a place that you don’t want to linger in for longer than is necessary. As has become traditional over the last few months, there were once again no female attendees so I cannot relay any information regarding the ladies toilets.
So, The Black Horse then. If this had been the first pub we went to, I may have had second thoughts about going in, and maybe have chosen a safer option. However, I think I’d have probably missed out. The pub has a few issues, it’s definitely a pub for locals, it’s a bit rough around the edges, a bit “spit and sawdust” in places but this belies the fact that there a decent beer garden, it’s friendly enough and there’s enough beer choice that you don’t have to just drink Carling. There are better pubs, in fact there are a lot of better pubs. Saying that, there are probably a lot worse pubs. I’d have no issues with going again, I just don’t think that I’d ever really need to.
Beer choice/range – 2.5/5
Ambience – 3.5/5
Facilities – 3/5
Location – 2/5
Locals/Safeness – 3.5/5
Pork scratchings – 3/5
Fruli – 0/1
Toilets – 2/5
Other – 1/5
Overall – 20.5/41
Random Attendee Comments –
“Pretty lively for a school night. There was also a dog in attendance with a pretty serious pork scratching addition. I think that might be all dogs. And some humans” – Po