Friday, 29 October 2010

Border Minstrel, High Gosforth Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 5EJ, Tel:0191 2362002


The Border Minstrel stands right outside the racecourse and opposite the Parklands Golf Course. A large L-shaped room for both drinkers and diners.
It generally has 3 real ales on tap although only 2 available when Cask Task arrived. Both were from the High House Farm Brewery, one of our favourites. Matfen Magic and Nels Best were the two on offer.
The music in the place , however, nearly blew my little grey cells out.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Stonebridge Inn, Nevilles Cross, Durham, Co Durham, DH1 4PJ, Tel:0191 3709422.


The Stonebridge Inn was visited by Cask Task in the early part of 2010, only to draw a blank as far as real ale was concerned. It's only stocked in the summer season we were told. 3 forlorn hand pulls were temporarely redundant.
Cask Task is made of sterner stuff, and did as asked, to find only one in action on the return visit. Spitfire was the one, so a couple of pints were had. The consolation, however, was the accompaniment of some fine sandwiches to go with the beer. One steak sandwich and two exellent lamb sandwiches were served up and despatched with vigour.
Only one real ale choice was a disappointment but the food did make up for it.

The Green Tree, Village Green, Tudhoe, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6LE. Tel:01388 815679.


The Green Tree stands at the side of Tudhoe's village green and is a picturesque little pub.
Although only selling one real ale, I've put it on Cask Task because of its cosy atmosphere and good food.

The beer, Black Sheep, I must say was in excellent condition and the best pint of the stuff I've had for some time.
Certainly, if your in the Spennymoor area it's worth a meal and a pint in The Green Tree at Tudhoe.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The Pollards Inn, 104 Etherley Lane, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, DL14 6TU, Tel:01388 603539.


The Pollards is a little out of the town centre, but believe you me it is a busy and popular eating place.
With good food a priority,the pub was packed with friday lunchtime diners and we, from CaskTask ,couldn't resist the tasty roast beef and gravy sandwiches. They were spot on.
The manager there was an extremely friendly and informative chap and certainly did his pub proud with a fine selection of real ales to accompany his superb grub.
No less than 5 hand pulls in operation, with my Jennings Snecklifter a must. Ringwoods Hufkin, Wychwoods Bountiful, Hobgoblin  and Jennings Cumberland Ale, the regular, all on offer. Lovely stuff.
What a smashing pub.

The Stanley Jefferson, 5 Market Place, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham, DL14 7NJ, Tel:01388 452830.

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The Stanley Jefferson is right in the middle of the town. As usual with a Wetherspoons house, it was busy with friday afternoon meals constantly passing through the place and a 8 real ales on tap.
The name comes from Stanley ( another fine mess you've got me in to ) Laurel who was born here in Bishop.
One of Wetherspoons best, the pub served up Abbot Ale (2 pumps ), Old Peculiar, Spitfire, Ruddles Best ( at £1.59 a pint, I had some of that ), Ringwoods Forty Niner and so on.
A popular and comfortable pub.

The Frog and Ferret, Coulson Street, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 7RS, Tel:01388 818312.


The Frog and Ferret is what I'd call a proper pub!
From the outside it looks very ordinary, but just walk inside and you want to sit down and enjoy a few pints. It just oozes inviting warm and welcoming atmosphere. With its old fireplace and central bar it immediately asks you to relax. The staff help with their friendly service too.
To add to this the real ale choice is plentyful and my Wensleydale Falconer was clean and tasty.
If you get the chance, get youself in there. What a super pub

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Promenade, 1 Queens Parade, Seaburn, Sunderland, SR6 8DA, Tel:0191 5292226.


The Promenade pub is right on the sea front at Seaburn.
I must admit, I walk along the actual promenade here every week, and if the tide's in and a bit unsettled, it can be spectacular. Strange, for me that is, I had never called at The Promenade to sample the ale even though there's a Cask Marque sign at the door. Must be something wrong with my specs I thought! So after a swift visit to the opticians last week, just to check you understand, I called in for a pint.
A pleasant surprise! Two hand pulls on and a friendly and comfortable interior for the coming winter months. Deuchars IPA and a nice pint of Tetleys real ale.
The Promenade has become a regular haunt. 

The White Swan Inn, Prestwick Road, Dinnington, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE13 7AG, Tel:01661 872869.

The White Swan Inn was closed at 3.30pm when I last called, a week or so ago, but it looked so inviting I thought it was worth another go.
Although not what I'd call a real ale pub, just the one pump of Black Sheep on sale, I thought I'd mention the Swan because of its popularity as a good eatery. The place was really busy on the thursday lunchtime Cask Task called for the customary pint.
Very obviously a good place to eat.

Poachers Cottage, Callerton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 1NQ, Tel:0191 2140417.


The Poachers Cottage is a beautiful pub/restaurant on the edge of the village of Callerton.
We caught it on a sunny autumn afternoon and it looked tremendous. The interior was just as attractive. So much so that Cask Task's team of three had to have a delicious roast beef sandwich each. Super.
The Cumberland Ale and the Snecklifter real ale washed it all down.
I must say that I'll be back here again as soon as possible.

Twin Farms, Main Road, Kenton Bank Foot, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 8AB, Tel:0191 2864531.


Twin Farms is a very friendly and welcoming Sir John Fitzgerald place on the edge of Newcastle. I'd had a meal in here, a few months ago, with my son and granddaughter and thought it was about time the beer got a try!
As usual with 'Fitzgeralds' there was plenty to choose from and an ever changing variety from 5 real ale pumps. Black Sheep, Skipton Brewery Copper Dragon, Moonshine from Abbeydale Brewery, Red Car Rocks and Brecon County from the Breconshire Brewery. Down I settled, in a very comfortable armchair, and supped. Marvelous.
Another good pub/restaurant.

Jingling Gate, Stamfordham Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE5 1NL. Tel:0191 2869636.


The Jingling Gate brings back 25years or more memories of big friendly gatherings and meals for special occasions. Obviously the place has changed now and moved up market but still has a pleasant atmosphere.
Always a big eating place, and that hasn't changed, with a good menu to choose from.
The real ales are on sale from 3 hand pulls. Old Speckled Hen, Green King IPA, and a new one on me, Gangly Ghoul from the Westgate Brewery, which I couldn't resist. Very pleasant it turned out to be!
A good pub and eating place.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Pavillion, Hotspur North, Backworth Business Park, Backworth, Tyne & Wear, NE27 0FG. Tel:0191 2680711


The Pavillion Bar and Grill is what you would call 'ultra modern'. So 'ultra modern' we almost drove past it as it looks nothing like a pub!
Extremely comfortable and welcoming once inside. Very swish.
A Sir John Fitzgerald place opened in 2008, it has a good selection of real ales. Red Car Rocks, Hadrian and Borders Tyneside Blonde, Jarrow Brewerys Swinging Gibbet and the customary Black Sheep. My Swinging Gibbet was smashing.
Good food too.
Definitely worth a visit.

The Wheatsheaf Inn, New York, Tyne & Wear, NE29 8EH. Tel:0191 2708277.


The Wheatsheaf Inn is a quite attractive old place which we had some difficulty finding. Not helped by the roadworks upheaval caused by a water leak problem. This had been going on for some time apparently, causing great financial loss and much aggravation to the pub.
We found the place comfortable and homely on our visit. The ales being Courage Best Bitter, which went down very well, Websters Bitter and Mordues IPA.
Lets hope the roadworks problem is sorted quickly.
A good pub.

Shiremoor Farm, Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE29 8DZ. Tel:0191 2576302.


Shiremoor Farm is a beautiful converted farmhouse now almost impossible to recognise as such. This Sir John Fitzgerald establishment is now a huge restaurant and bar with a selection of real ales, wines and reasonably priced food.
The interior is attractively done out with beamed ceilings and comfortable furnishings.
A couple of good real ales are always available. Mordues IPA and Timothy Taylors Landlord were the two when Cask Task called. The IPA washed down a very nice roast beef sandwich.

If you are in the area it is certainly worth a visit.