|St Albans Pub Review|
The Pub Review - Stage Seven
Wednesday 9th May 2007
Pub One - King Harry
The walk from the city centre was quicker than expected and probably took around twenty minutes; straight down Holywell Hill, past the Abbey station and up St Stephens Hill.
I entered the pub around 7pm and was glad to get inside to escape the drizzle. Couldn't see the others so headed straight for the bar.
Two real ales were available, Spitfire and Deuchars IPA, but surprisingly three hand pump ciders were available, two by Westons and one by Addlestones. They also had a good selection of premium lagers and Sleemans honey brown lager that sounded tempting.
I chose Deuchars IPA and wandered around the pub to find a suitable place to sit. Considering it was early in the evening the place was busy with a mixture of people having meals and others who just wanted a beer.
The food menu had a reasonable selection of dishes that was maybe a little more up-market than standard pub food and this was reflected in the prices.
It was quite noticable that the furniture consisted of a mixture of styles that included comfy sofas at the front.
After about twenty minutes Dave, Neil, Stuart and Gaz entered. We ordered food and sat down at the seating area at the back. My Hertford burger and chips for £8 was delicious.
Pub Two - Duke Of Marlborough
Only five minutes to get down St Stephens Hill to the Duke Of Marlborough.
Outside the pub on the opposite side of the road it was great to see Makis waiting for us.
Geoff, Graham and Karen had already made themselves at home in the front bar. I guess they took the very sensible option of starting here rather than climbing up and then back down the hill.
Mark also joined us here so we had a group of ten. We ordered our drinks from the back bar then came round and joined the rest of the gang in the front.
Two real ales were available; Old Speckled Hen and Youngs bitter. Choice of lager was slightly better with a couple of premium lagers including Hoegarden as well as standard lagers being available.
We tried to work out which rugby clubs the framed shirts that hung on the walls represented, actually most were Aussie club sides. The pub was fairly empty at the time of our visit.
Pub three - Fighting Cocks
Dave led the way around the back streets along the south edge of the Abbey park to the Fighting Cocks.
This is a lovely old character pub dating back many hundreds of years and we were surprised to find it empty. I think there was only one couple in the pub before the ten of us arrived.
The weather didn't help. It was drizzling for most of the evening and the Fighting Cocks probably gets most of its customers when the suns out and people are visiting the Abbey or Verulanium Park.
Anyway, service was prompt! Black Sheep or Old Speckled Hen were the choice of real ales on offer. We sat down after getting our beers and admired the character of the building with its low ceilings, original beams etc.
Geoff gave the fireplace a close inspection to see if it was an original log fire or whether it was an imitation - I believe the result was that it is an original fire with chimney stack.
This is a fine pub for a drink and we decided to have an extended stay here and order another pint.
Pub Four - White Hart Hotel
To be completed.