300 Beers To Try Bef… on 300 Beers – The Lis…
27, HighStreet, Leigh (old town), SS9 2EN
A pub where they are trying to get everything right and succeeding. It’s in an old building with a modern makeover, situated just a few yards from the River Thames. It manages the great trick of feeling warm and comfortable even in the wintriest conditions despite having an open aspect on the river.
The view from inside the Peterboat’s restaurant area.
Everyone is really helpful, friendly and professional and they create a create atmosphere. The whole pub has been very carefully furnished in a nautical style including the bar, which has been cleverly designed to resemble the hull of a boat.
The bar resembling a boat.
There are eight handpumps which on our last visit were serving five different beers. The Winter Warmer was one of the finest tasted this year.
On top of this, the food is exemplary (though arrive early if you hope to be seated in the restaurant area). Particular recommendations are the Cockle Chowder and the Moules. Oh and the Onion Rings need to be seen to be believed.
Last Visited: November 2015
Parsons Corner, North Shoebury Rd, Shoebury, Essex SS3 8UD
This pub is one of just a handful of genuinely old buildings in the area and to see it you might think that it had always been a pub. It is however a recent conversion. The building dates back to the 17th century and its former use was as a post office and blacksmiths shop.
There are four hand pumps. Two are reserved for Greene King beers; one for Abbot, which is obviously good and one for IPA, which is obviously bad. The other two are for guest ales, which do seem to be chosen quite wisely. As well as these, a couple of times a year the back room plays host to a pub beer festival where a dozen or so additional beers are on offer.
For many, the main attraction will be the food which is well cooked, and reasonably priced.
All in all, you have to be pretty picky to find anything wrong with The Angel, a pub that’s always worth a visit.
Last visited: November 2015
Yr Hen Orsaf
Alexandra Road, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1LN
Yr Hen Orsaf translates from the Welsh as ‘The Old Station’. True to Wetherspoons style it is a converted corner of the town’s railway station. Sadly, the name and the building aren’t the only old things about it. The piles of used crockery that litter the table are pretty old, as are the sticky table tops themselves. Even you will be quite a bit older by the time you’ve finished queuing at the bar.
This is a pub that on our last visits has been understaffed and the service has suffered badly. Instead of being the usual Wetherspoons cheap and cheerful pub, it is a dirty and frustrating place that is best avoided.
Last visit: October 2015
Map: Not necessary
Here’s 23 beers to look out for from the hundreds available at this year’s Rochford Beer Festival:
And here’s a map to find The Freighthouse.
12 Leigh Broadway, Leigh-on-Sea, SS9 8UT
The sign above the door states that this is a ‘Traditional Inn’. Not that traditional though or they would have called it The Carlton; a name that it has carried for the most part since it was built in the 1890s. Still, I suppose we should be grateful that it has re-opened after standing idle for a while, and isn’t wasting away half derelict like it’s great rival The Grand Hotel, just down the road.
The Broadway is owned by pubco, Enterprise Inns. The second you walk in you can tell it’s owned by a pubco. It’s full of little contradictions. Things that suggest that someone has tried to make a place that’s nice, but that that someone is now sitting in an office many miles away thinking job done. There’s masses of woodwork, but it’s all that light coloured wood that never quite looks authentic in a a pub. There’s music, but it’s the stifling dirge of a middle of the road radio station. Someone has put up lots of Christmas decorations, but they serve chiefly to remind us that the only choices of ale on offer are two summer ales.
It’s a large pub, looks well kept now that it’s had a makeover, and is just about the only proper boozer amongst the poncey cafes and wine bars that have sprouted along the Broadway. Our recent visits have been at lunchtimes and you’d have to say that the atomsphere is lacking somewhat. It would be nice to think that there’s a livelier atmosphere in the evenings, but we haven’t really seen enough to make us come back at that time of day.
Verdict: It’s better than being caught in the rain whilst out shopping on the Broadway, but the more intrepid of our young drinkers will find far superior establishments if they are prepared to venture down the hill to Old Leigh.
Last visited: November 2015
Frobisher Way, Shoebury, SS3 8UT
As you walk in the door, the smell of fried food hits you. Then you look around and try to find a table; usually no mean feat despite the fact it’s a large pub on two levels. Then you start the long queue at the bar. This is the routine that anyone wishing to drink in the Parsons Barn has to go through.
It’s always crowded in there, which is probably more of a testament to Witherspoon’s planners than anything else. Placing it next door to ASDA (to be fair the Barn was there first, but not as a Wetherspoons), they are right in the heartland of their key demographic. The people that want low prices in their supermarket are the same ones who want low prices in their pub. They have to compromise a little on quality, but in terms of VFM they’re probably doing alright.
On the plus side there is always a range of real ales and they are always well kept. The pub is a bit rough and ready, but everyone is ok. The food is typical Whetherspoons faire, though the cooking seems a little greasier than in some and our Young Drinkers have had occasion to complain about portion control. For the most part though, you can get a whole day’s worth of calories for the price of a sandwich in normal pubs.
One nice thing. Wetherspoons always try to furnish their pubs with a little local history. On the wall is a display in tribute to Lt Col Henry Shrapnel of the nearby Shoebury Garrison who gave his name to pocket-change after inventing an horrific weapon of war.
Verdict: As a place where you can get a half decent pint whilst loading up on carbs, it’s ok. As a place to go out for a nice drink, it’s probably best avoided.
Last Visited: January 2016