Category Archives: Good Pub Guide

Ye Olde Griffin Spiffin.

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Ye Olde Griffin Spiffin.

It is hardly a shock to anyone that I LOVE a good pub. *Gasp!* What I like even more is what my mother calls a ‘Salt and Pepper Pub’, i.e. it goes with everything and it has everything in it! Granted it is a strange saying but actually a ‘Salt and Pepper Pub’ are exactly the right words to describe the latest notch on my party pubbing bed post.

So put your paws together and welcome Ye Olde Griffin in March. This cute pub has everything. Not only do they have 10 B+B en-suite bedrooms upstairs but they also have cracking food, a beer garden,  show sport, have a resident DJ on weekends and they know how to throw one scorcher of a party.



I have actually been invited to this pub on numerous occasions but somehow always got side tracked but I finally got round to visiting last weekend! When I arrived I was greeted by Marina, one half of the Pub Manager / Husband and Wife combo with a smile and was shown to my room upstairs.

The room was spacious, welcoming and clean. What more can you ask for!

After settling in my tummy started rumbling, dinner time!!

. I had lasagne and was SO full I could hardly move.

The bar staff told us very early on that they would be PACKED during the evening but I really believed them when we came back down from my room. That place really was RAMO.

Who fancies a Strawberry Milkshake Shot?

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Monsterly wicked! RAWR!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Very friendly, great atmosphere.
Facilities:  Didn’t use them but gathering from the rest of the pub I’m sure they were fine!
Talent Radar:  Well my partner was there….don’t tell him… but there were some VERY cute cuties.
Fun Factor: Great food, great party, great sleep!
In 3 words: Rocking, foodie, dance-y

Check out Ye Olde Griffin’s Facebook Page for upcoming events etc. 

Vestry, Epsom

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Vestry, Epsom

Howdy Do Dah!

This week’s blog features a newly discovered bar in Epsom of all places! I actually went to The Vestry simply because I had a business meeting/lunch scheduled there.

I had a little whip round and asked everyone beforehand if they had been there and what it’s like (call it research), and the over-riding opinion was that “It’s reet good for Ale and stuff” or “They have a good beer garden so it had better be sunny”. Both pretty good reviews – albeit brief. Ale and beer gardens are a good match anyway.

Tally Ho’ to The Vestry!

A separate area had already been reserved for us which was handy.

My colleagues were right, it does have a nice beer garden.

Looks like they have a good selection of Real Ale available too.

Do I spy 30% off food? I think so! Pass me a menu!

Scores on the (royal) doors: 

Food and service:  Big up to manager Josh! It’s nice to see a happy Pub Manager.
Atmosphere and decoration:  It’s very nice and airy and very very well kept.
Facilities:  Again…shiny, lovely and clean!
Talent Radar:  According to Josh, a real mixture, younger on the weekends.
Fun Factor: Well I was there for a meeting but it has the potential to be a good party spot.
Perfect for: Lunch, Real Ale, sunny beer gardens, meetings
In 3 words: Two thumbs up.

We booked our area through Party at the Pub, if you want to do the same, visit their website.

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

Walking in a Winter Wunder Sunderland (Part 1)

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Another week – Another post!

So moving on from the bright lights of Newcastle, I headed south and towards the seaside to SUNDERLAND!

However it would just happen that I visit Sunderland on a Football Derby Day between Sunderland and Middlesbrough, not a great move on my part.

Sunderland reminded me of my University town of Eastbourne complete with the bracing sea air and high street stores. I was hoping that Sunderland had a nice bit of nightlife as well. We set ourselves a little challenge of visiting as many pubs/clubs as we could in the space of the 24 hours we were there. We decided we would create a mental list whilst having a cheeky little shop, and the locals were brimming with ideas for us, there was certainly NOT a lack of choice of places to go, quite the opposite.

Anyway, soon we had created a nice little list, we were to start at Chesters, up on Chester Road, then to Chaplins on the corner of Stockton Road, saunter over for a game of pool at the Ivy House then trotting over to Sunderland Centre to see what delights awaited us there! It was going to be a late one; Cinderella would be tucked up in her pumpkin by the time we were planning on getting home! Let the Party Princess Royal tour COMMENCE.

ChestersChesters was our first stop and was recommended was a good place to for a spot of dinner followed by several glasses of wine before heading towards the town centre.

My News Years resolution was ruined on January 10th so I sacked off the salad and dived into a Jim Bean Glaze Burger complete with curly fries and shared a pudding taster platter.

Get in ma belllly

(Clockwise) Rhubarb crumble, bread and butter pudding, chocolate fudge cake and cookie cup

The venue was huuuuuge and seemed to cater for everyone and everything. A snooker room at the back had two snooker tables and a few other tables. There were comfier seating areas with big tables on raised platforms, several sports/TV screens and a massive beer garden at the front. I can image the beer garden being choka-block in the summer.

 

There were already lots of groups of larry lads and glammed up girls pre-drinking and planning their nightly strategy. An hour or so later, with our tummies filled and after polishing off a few (THREE!) bottles of wine, we started to wander down to The Ivy House!

#Hick!

Scores on the (royal) doors:  

Food and service:  Jim Bean burger was AMAZING!
Atmosphere and decoration:  Buzzing, everyone was very friendly.
Facilities:  So much choice, can’t fault anything,
Talent Radar:  I’ll say! #Fitties!
Fun Factor: Great starter, now on to the main course!
Perfect for: Pre-clubbing, cheap food, Snooker, large parties, sports.
In 3 words: Big, tasty, whooper!

Part 2 coming up sooooooon!

 

PP XX

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!