Category Archives: British Pubs

Feeling like Stars at The Alchemist

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Feeling like Stars at The Alchemist

Although I’m not keen on singing in public a lot of my friends just love it, so as soon as I found out that one of my favourite pubs in London, The Alchemist, was hosting a Rockaoke Night, I just had to get them down there.

I rang up Elena, the Sales Manager for the pub to book us a table, and I’m glad I did – it was PACKED! Clearly there are a lot of stars on the rise in Houndsditch.  We sat down at our table and ordered some nibbles to start, along with a few gorgeous Cocktails to kick start the night.

Although it’s not my bag, the Rockaoke was awesome!

It was like karaoke, but instead of singing with a pre-prepared song without the words you sang with a LIVE BAND! There were some brilliant acts, as well as some that, let’s just say, should maybe stick with the day job! My friends had a go at the end of the night when the crowds had thinned a little and they said it was just amazing.

I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more Rockaoke nights to check out – if they are anything like the one at The Alchemist they are simply not to be missed!

Nostalgia In Leeds

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Heeeeey!

In a few of my previous entries I have recalled certain venues and places which remind me of my teenage years but there is really only one city which sums up my young princess years – Leeds.

(BTW: When pronouncing Leeds, try and say it in a short, snappy kind of way with a reeeally deep voice with an emphasis on the LE. Leeds, say it again Leeds – Good job!)

So yes Leeds was the first city where I was allowed to go shopping with my Girlfriend’s for the first time. We would get the train, hang around outside the Corn Exchange for a few hours looking super cool (An action that young people still do as it happens – Note to self, they don’t look cool, they look cold and miserable) then we would head to a pub for the remainder of the afternoon.

I have a few friends who went to Uni in Leeds, so we decided to head up to see what the students of 2012 are up to, we hadn’t been for a good 12/13 months and we felt like we were missing out – on what exactly I’m not sure…but oh well. Next stop Leeds!

All the decent pre-club bars in Leeds are about a 10 minute walk away from the train station heading up towards The Light shopping/cinema complex. You have your usual suspects, Wetherspoons, Yates, Woo Woo, and of course what city would be without a Varsity and an Oceana! OOOP and would you look at that, the two just happen to be next to each other. Now that’s what you call convenient!

I tell you what – Varsity has sure changed since the last time we were there. 100% changed for the better, it looked completely different. Loved the different types of lamps over the bar and the leather chairs round a fireplace. Fixed seating had been put on a new terrace and a new dance floor had been put in at the back of the pub.

I liked that there were several different areas, each had a different feel to it and I could get a big group of mates together in one area or have a quiet dinner/drinks with one person in another.

Hands down, my favourite part of the referb is the addition of (what I now call) The Lipstick Bar in the girls toilets. It’s perfect for doing a few touch-ups and the likes.

I ordered a southern fried chicken wrap (minus the chips) which was very yummy, as was the glass of Rose Pinot Grio I washed it down with. Great promotions actually – buy two large glasses and get the rest of the bottle for free. I think that’s a pretty good deal when you spilt the rest of the bottle between two people.  The staff were really attentive and smiley which was a nice change from the grumpy faces from the others on the strip – step it up guys cuz Varsity sure have!

We had a few more drinks before moving on to Oceana, the plan was to move on to another bar but to be honest, we didn’t need to. It was comfy, with good prices and great music too.

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Service with a smile.
Atmosphere and decoration:  Great new décor, really brought it up to date and stood out in comparison to the other bars in that area
Facilities:  Beautifully clean and pretty!
Talent Radar:  Perhaps…….
Fun Factor: Great to re-visit Varsity and catch up with friends
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food,  large parties, small parties too!
In 3 words: Var-Sit-eyyyyy

Walking in a Wunder Sunderland Part Two!

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Hey

So hopefully you have read my previous blog as this one follows on straight from it. If not, I’ll give you a short run down.  I’ve been to Newcastle, then decided to pop up to Sunderland to see what’s goin’ on. So far I’ve been to Chesters on Chester Rd for a bit of dinner and now we are moving on and ready to paint the town! We all up to speed? GOOOOOOD!

So next stop was Chaplins, on the corner of Stockton Road. This pub had a great old fashion feel to it. Very welcoming, warm and a nice row of regulars round the bar. I had the great honour of having a pint and chat with the bar’s oldest regular. For 49 years he has been coming to Chaplins for his weekly pint! 49 YEARS, that’s nuts!!

Gotta' love the locals! x

Great decor

I wouldn’t say Chaplins is a pub for pre-clubbers however I would really recommend it for anyone wanting a pint while watching the game (the pub has 4 different screens) or some good Sunday dinner. The mix grill looked pretty yummy. I came out of this pub feeling all warm and fluffy, like I had been given a big hug (that sounds weird but I’ll explain) The customers and the staff were both so lovely. If I wasn’t up my eye balls in foundation and wearing mile high heels I would have totally stayed!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  very promising
Atmosphere and decoration:  loved the wine bottle display. It almost rivals my own!
Facilities:  Full length mirrors always get thumbs up
Talent Radar:  Not really my type
Fun Factor: Fun little stop
Perfect for: Watching the game, dinner time, drinks with the lads
In 3 words: Bright bubble (of) Happiness!

Next stop on to The Ivy House

When we were hunting around for good pubs to go to, The Ivy House came up a few times. One for its live music, two for its pool and three because it had a great indie music bar theme to it. How can you say no to that!

Most of my friends are smokers (naughty naughty guys, tut tut) so I was forced to sit in the cold beer garden which – to be fair was really cute – filled with fairy lights and posters. Loved the posters round the bar and rocked up just in time to hear the band play their first song.
I Heart Beer Garden

I’m RUBBISH at pool but decided to flaunt my…erm…”skills” with a nice group of boys and alas lost, terribly, but I meant to do that – clearly!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  Pub doesn’t serve food
Atmosphere and decoration:  heavy music theme.
Facilities: great beer garden and pool tables
Talent Radar:  A few floppy haired fitties
Fun Factor: losing to pool is always a fun experience!
Perfect for: Chilling out with a good track, Cheeky JD and Coke in the Sun, live music
In 3 words: Quirky, relaxed atmosphere.

Next stop Varsity Sunderland. As usual Varsity NEVER cease to show me a good time. The crowd was a little older than the other Varsity’s I have been to in the past. I bagged a hottie though. (Massive joke, let’s not annoy the Boyf!) We stayed in Varsity, dancing the night away till the wee early hours of the morning!

I had a great time in Sunderland and feel we picked the best pubs Sunderland had to offer. Do challenge me though if you don’t believe me!

xxPP

Party Princess Meets Geordie Shore

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Hey Guys!

What do TOWIE, Desperate Scousewives, Made in Chelsea and Geordie Shore all have in common? Well despite their obvious production values, complicated characters and deeply layered story lines, they have all created a persona and stereotype about their inhabitants. I’m ashamed to admit that I have given in to the addictive nature of Geordie Shore on a few occasions and when I got an invitation to party in Newcastle I was very excited about meeting the cast and finding our deep and mutual love of Partying.

Its only a matter of time before Im invited to be the newest cast member.

As it happens I didn’t meet Sophie and didn’t make James fall in love with me, Hooooowever, I did have a proper canny night and in an unexpected place – Trillians Rock Bar!

The stage back-drop

In my younger Party Princess days I spent a good deal of my time in various rock/indie music bars trying to be cool drinking pints of cider and battling with the sticky floors but I’m VERY happy to report that none of these party sins have been committed in Trillians.

Quietly hidden behind the main shopping street and opposite the city library is Newcastle’s diamond in the rough bar. Down a short flight of stairs you will be greeted with a deceptively large area with a more than adequate stage, sound system, dance floor and seating all around the edges.

On first glance you may think this was your average rock bar however, look deeper and there were some awesome little touches. The main bar was made up of old LP’s and CDs and the smaller tables were made of varnished old music magazines, photos, CD’s and LP’s.  Very unique, big fan. Several TV screens were showing a Transformer movie (little odd) but later it was showing Hulk, and I love a bit of Ed Norton.

Love this idea, so unique.

On my way to the bathroom I found myself following a long trail and lipstick marks along the wall. Even though the bar staff have tried and failed at removing the marks, I thought it was a really fun and interesting feature. I couldn’t go past without adding my own lips! MMWWWHHHA!

Loved the themed burgers, I didn’t chance to try one but the “Metallica burger” looked pretty kick ass.
I had come to see a band called “This Machine”, a cover band playing proper 80’s rock and roll. They played a great mix of Kiss, ACDC and Guns and Roses.  A pretty decent crowd had formed and the dance floor filled with dancing fans whopping their hair back and forth (Not in a Willow Smith way though!)

And a message to Geordie Shore, Trillians will give you a run for your money any time!

Left overs from the night before! That's quite a collection!

 

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Staff were really cool, very friendly!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Very VERY clean, staff obviously take pride in their pub.
Facilities:  Kissable!
Talent Radar:  Few younger rockers #wink
Fun Factor: Geordie Shore can suck it!
Perfect for: Chill out with mates, quiet drinks, OR LOUD DRINKS!
In 3 words: Kissably Rockin roll!

Party at the Pub – Barracuda Party

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Hey Party Go-ers

I had the MASSIVE honour of being invited to the Party at the Pub (Barracuda) Christmas Party! “A Christmas Party at this time of year?! ” I hear you cry, well to be honest that was my response as well, but the hospitality industry and Christmas kind of go hand in hand and now the streamers, fake snow and baubles have cleared, I guess they can all breathe and cut loose.

I have un-knowingly blogged about a number of Barracuda pubs including the whole Varsity chain, The Alchemist in London, The Albi in Manchester, The Capitol in Bolton and even The Abbey in Liverpool.  So when my invitation for the Barracuda Pub Managers Ball popped up I grabbed it with both hands and ran up to Loughborough.

The party had a Hollywood theme to it and I liked the little touches such as the giant Oscars, casino tables and the film prop statues. You know what else I liked? The nearly free bar, what a result! What with a dedicated Bacardi Mojito bar, a free for all bar and the shot/J-bomb waitresses, I’ve never had so much alcohol in front of me. Surprisingly I took the sensible option and only had a few drinks (HONESTLY, I was actually really good!!).

Fully enjoyed the Barracuda Pub Group Awards, and it was nice to see that everyone’s hard work was being acknowledged and rewarded.

Some bright spark decided a foam machine would be a GREAT idea. Note to self, don’t mix new suede shoes and foam together. I don’t know why I bothered doing my hair, one minute in that stuff was enough to strip nearly half my make – up off and de-fluffed my hair. I have to say I do love a good foam party though, it brought me back to my Uni days!

Me and Ian from I am Vip

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking.

Hello Bacardi Bar!

Winner from the Barracuda Awards 2011

I made a friend! Awwww "Friend"

Im in there somewhere (Middle right-ish)Blurh Jager-Bombs.

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  Handy hot dog stand to soak up the Barcadi
Atmosphere and decoration:  Great fun!!
Facilities:  Great big venue and lots of areas to chat or dance.
Talent Radar:  Can’t name names, they might be reading!!!!
Fun Factor: HUGE servings of fun!
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food, large parties, sports. Would def return for a student night.
In 4 words: PARTY AT THE PUB!

Party Princess and the Psychic! The Maskery – Congleton

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Hey!

As you have probably read from my previous blogs, I normally end up in so called “party” towns such as Cardiff, Plymouth and London, and rightly or wrongly I have snubbed the smaller pubs and clubs in the more remote places of the Country. Well I’m going to change this! Make it a late new year’s resolution perhaps. I will try and say “Yes!” more often.

This change begins in Congleton. First off I would like to express my love for the name “Congleton” what a mouthful! Anyway…I received an interesting invitation for a “Psychic Night” at The Maskery.  Having never been to a psychic night, Congleton or Cheshire for that matter, I thought it high time I do so.

I forget living in London how cold it gets up north and I even forget what ice and frost looks like! WOWZERS it cold! Uggs would have been a better choice than little ballet pumps. Oh well, you live and learn.

So, what can I say about The Maskery, well for starters it has possibly the cuuuetest pub sign I’ve seen. Nice bit of late or premature festivity depends which way you look at it I suppose. Inside, it was your standard pub, nicely decorated with oriental style wallpaper which was a nice change to old yellowy wallpaper, with a nice collection of oldies propping up the bar and creating a little cheeky banter buzz going. Great comment from one of the men when his wife arrive

Cutey Patootie

Man: “Hello love, you want a drink?”
Wife: “Yeah just a cup of tea please”
Man: “You what? Tea? This bloody pub, you’ll a have pint of lager and we’ll say no more about it!
Man walks to bar and speaks to bar man – “She will have a massive pint of Cider please!”

So 7pm rolled around and then it was my turn to see my psychic, will I learn my future, will I find out the winning lottery numbers or learn the love of my life, who knows! I am actually a bit of a sceptic when it comes to these things, I’m more a “what will be, will be” kindda gal, but when in Rome an’ all! I opted for a tarot and palm reading with “Emily Clairvoyant”. There was a mixture of palm reading, crystal ball, tarot card, fairy cards or mediums which you could choose when you booked your turn with the event organiser. A reading is normally £20, however when I mentioned I was writing a blog I got a reading for £15.

So, I placed my £15 on the crystal ball and the reading begins with a palm reading. Apparently, I have a long life line, and I’ll be live and kicking till my 80’s which a nice thing to hear isn’t it! I’m also outgoing, headstrong and very independent (most people who know me will agree with that), and I will have 3 children in the future. Well, I was still feeling a little sceptic, because that was all a little vague really, we moved on to the Tarot cards. I pulled 15 cards from the pile and placed them in front of me. The wheel of fortune card came out which shows that apparently my luck is changing and great things are coming my way and I am already with the man I will marry, ooooooo! (However considering I’m wearing an engagement ring, you’d sorta hope so!!)


So maybe I wasn’t given the winning lottery numbers, I wasn’t really given any particular insight, but hey! The football was showing which attracted a nice little crowd and normally the football and sports are shown on a big projector screen at the back of the pub. A group of 5/6 girls came in with hot chocolate cravings and they did look really yummy topped with cream and chocolate powder, perfect on these wintery nights.

 

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  I had a jacket potatoes and beans must…stay..away..from..the…burgersss
Atmosphere and decoration:  Great northern hospitality, very sweet bar staff  and welcoming manager – Sarah.
Facilities:  Big sofas to squish into.
Talent Radar:  As I said, a tad old, if only I was 50 years older!
Fun Factor: very interesting hearing what my future will bring to me.
Perfect for: Watching the game, cheapy drinks, heart warming dinners.
In 3 words: “Look into my eyes”

Cape Stockton Heath – Cackles in the Cape.

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Hello!

First things first, I would like to announce that Party Princess is expanding! You can now find my blogs on AllAbroadUK and Visityourlocal. Very exicting.

The nights have been getting darker, wetter, colder and overall down right depressing. It got  to the point last week where I declared “Enough is enough, I’m bored of the winter blues, I need some laughs and a glass wine”  A few hours later a very interesting email popped up in my inbox entitled “Comedy night at Cape Bar, Stockton Heath” 3 hours of comedy performed by 4 regulars from  Manchester premier comedy club The Frog and Bucket. Not only that but it was all in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Can’t turn down an offer like that really can I?

Stockton Heath is a cute little town sat closely to Warrington (Nearest train station was Warrington Bank Quay). Very cosy bar, smaller than the other “Cape” bars I’ve been to in the past but had a great warm atmosphere to it. I can say with absolute certainty that the staff were some the of the most attentive, welcoming and fun loving group of people I have witnessed in a pub. The Manager – Mike is a lovely chap and his friendliness and humour really wears off on his staff. Three cheers to him.

Mike (Centre Right) and the gang

Katie Mulgrew - Ex teacher turned funny lass.

8pm rolled around and the comedy acts started arriving. The MC for the night was ex supply teacher Katie Mulgrew, described as “The fairy at the top of the tree” and set the mood and tone of the night. If her opening act was anything to go by, I was in for a great night!

Left to right - Mike, Will, Katie and Macmillan Sponsor

Next up we met Mike Newall and Will Duggan – Both shared their views on life, relationships and current events.

Finally, the cherry on the top was the fabulous Mickey D an Australian born comedian with a unique blend of satire and dark humour and shared his views on living in England and gave us all a lesson on how to deal with drunken hecklers. There always one crowd who think the comedian is there simply to perform to them and them alone.

The night was a huge success for Macmillan cancer support and was a great cure for my winter blues. Would really recommend anyone in the Warrington area to check out Cape and next time in Manchester I will popping into the Frog and bucket if the 4 acts were anything to go by and would return to Cape in a heart beat!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  First class service
Atmosphere and decoration:  Giggly…teee heeee
Facilities:  great big pink mirrors!
Talent Radar:  Will Duggan wasn’t too bad! x
Fun Factor: 100%
Perfect for: Giggles, lots of laughs, large group parties.
In 3 words: Tears of Laughter.

Check out other reviews for Cape at Inapub, Onionring and Stockton Heath visitor centre