Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Travellers Rest, Front Street, Witton Gilbert, Durham, DH7 6TQ. Tel: 0191 3710458.


The Travellers Rest at Witton Gilbert, a village a few miles outside Durham, is not the prettiest pub to look at, but the interior does make up for it. Enter from the car park at the rear and your into an extremely comfortable and inviting bar and restaurant area.
The 4 steps at the back were a bit difficult for me by the way.

The real ale selection of permanent Black Sheep Bitter with 2 changing guest ales, which were St Austell Tribute and Caledonian Auld Acquaintance on this occasion, was superb. Particularly the dark and delicious Auld Acquaintance.

A good real ale pub and well worth a visit.

New Board Inn, Hill Top Esh, Co. Durham, DH7 9RL. Tel.0191 3736914.


The New Board Inn was introduced to me about 3 years ago when I had an al fresco meal and a pint there on a beautiful summers day. The view from up there is terrific. Across Bobby Robson's village Langley Park and beyond.

Cask Task decided to sample the hospitality under its new management and was not disappointed. Except for the dull weather and only one real ale hand pull on. Still, the welcome was good and so was the Courage Best Bitter. A well kept real ale which I hope is to be added to in the near future.

The comfortable interior of the New Board Inn has not changed and the place has still got its good name for food.
Without a doubt worth a visit.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

The Royal Oak, 7 Manor Road, Medomsley, Consett,Co Durham. DH8 6QN. Tel:01207 560336.


What an attractive pub the (Royal) Oak is.
A good, comfortable and inviting place, although only two real ales on offer. Not to worry as they were both in good order. Theakston's Best Bitter and Mordues Five Bridge Bitter didn't let us down and the staff were friendly.
A warm and relaxing pub for an enjoyable couple of pints. Certainly worth a visit.

The Golden Lion, Spa Well Road, Winlaton Mill, Tyne & Wear, NE21 6RV. Tel:0191 4145840.


Cask Task had passed the Golden Lion a week previous and it appeared to be closed. The place was open this time but did not look very inviting. In we ventured any way.
To say the pub looked run down would be an understatement. No atmosphere. No customers. A feeling that the place was on its last legs.
A pint of Directors or Old Speckled Hen were the two alternatives but that feeling, and I hope I'm wrong, of impending doom, could not be shaken off.
Good luck to anyone who takes the pub on. They'll need it!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Marquis of Granby, Streetgate, Sunniside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE16 5ES.Tel:0191 4880954.


It had been donkeys years, about thirty I think, since my last pint in the Marquis of Granby, but what a pleasant surprise the current visit turned out to be (or was it a wasp?)

A good atmosphere, and welcoming surroundings, made Cask Task wish they'd not left it so long. The place felt relaxing and having a pint or two should be the thing to do. So naturally we did.

Although, disappointingly, only a choice of two real ales, Titanic Iceberg? and the loverly Brains SA Gold, were on offer, the place made up for this. The warmth and 'lived in' feeling about the pub gave a good impression.
I hope its not as long before our next jar in the Marquis of Granby.

The Skiff Inn, Derwenthaugh Road, Swalwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE163BJ. Tel:0191 4141834.


Some essential shopping at the Metro Centre brought Cask Task, by chance, to the Skiff Inn. It turned out to be an interesting hour or so. The pint of Directors went down well too!

Established around 1800, just off the banks of the Tyne, the Skiff (an ancient full size racing skiff row boat hangs from the ceiling) is certainly worth a visit. The Italian owner, 'Papa Joe', entertained us with much of the history of the place and its association with the early days of skiff racing dominated nationally by a Geordie skiff fellow called Harry Clasper. Apparently crowds turned out in their thousands on both sides of the 'big river' to watch the races.

The Skiff Inn was welcoming, busy and comfortable for both drinkers and diners.
The Courage Directors was accompanied by Marston's Pedigree. Both real ales in excellent nick. A pity there's only the two on.

Given the chance we'd certainly call again.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Mile Castle, Westgate Road & Grainger Street Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne and Wear NE1 5XU Phone 0191 211 1160


Our quest continues with another gem. The Mile Castle on the corner of Westgate Road and Grainger Street. Just look at that building! Believe it or not it's another beauty housing a Wetherspoons pub!
The interior alone, with its huge sweeping staircases and magnificent decor, is worth a look, never mind a taste of the superb range of magnificent real ales. Although The Mile Castle had Witherspoon's usual real ale choices, I couldn't get past the Ruddles pump at 90p, yes 90p, a pint!!
Someone helped me in, as access is not good. I'm so pleased they did!

Well worth a visit. Magnificent!

The Union Rooms, 48 Westgate Road Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1TT, 0191 261 5718


Cask Task was on a mission to bring the pub photos up to date when we stumbled upon two gems in Newcastle. The Union Rooms on Westgate Road was the first. Look at that building!

The last thing we thought was that this had become a Wetherspoon's pub, but it has, and what a beaut! Cask Task has been rather critical of much of Wetherspoon's acquired buildings but The Union Rooms is smashing. Made up obviously, of separate rooms, each with its separate character and use.

As usual the real ale choice was superb and the prices amazingly LOW. A choice of six, comprising of Maxim's Maximus, Marston's Pedigree, Daleside's Winter Jewel, Ruddle's Best, High House Farm's Cyril the Magnificent and my choice, a delicious stout of Black Grouse from Allendale Brewery. It almost matched the building in its majesty!

Go and try it, but watch you don't walk straight by thinking its the library or something!

Access can be a problem at the front, but don't be put off as the entrance at the lefthand side is ok.