Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The New Bridge, 2 Argyle Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 6PF. Tel:0191 232 1020

The New Bridge pub, which is situated on the corner of Argyle Street and New Bridge Street in Newcastle is one of the Sir John Fitzgerald group, and like the others, always offers a decent selection of real ales.

 Unlike its neighbour ( The Kings Manor) the New Bridge does afford a carpet for us to spill our beer onto.
With 4 pumps in working order, I ordered the Tyne Bank Monument Bitter and left the Hardknot Infra Red at 6.2 strength for another day.
A good atmosphere.

The Angel View Inn, Low Eighton, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE9 7UB. Tel:0191 4103219.

The Angel View is just off the A1M, as you approach Gateshead and The Angel from the south.
What a beautiful pub/hotel/restaurant it is. Cask Task happened to call on a lovely summer's afternoon and
had a snack and a couple pints of real ale, naturally, and enjoyed the sunshine in the central area pictured above.
Without a doubt worth a visit, Even more so if you can catch it in the sunshine, as we did.

The Forth Hotel, Pink Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5DW. Tel:0191 2326478.

The Forth Hotel is a tidy pub and eating place, tucked away up Pink Lane in the city centre, near Central Station. Very handy really. (There is another good real ale drinking and eating place just opposite. Also in Pink Lane).
With a generous offering of 5 real ales, including Adnams Green Bullet, Lancasters Blonde and others from Somerset and Cornwall, make this a real good jumping off point for shopping in the 'toon'.

The Old Mill Hotel, Metal Bridge, County Durham, DH6 5NX. Tel.01740 652928


The Old Mill is a very pleasant, well appointed, old pub with an extension or two added to give a generous eating area and a reasonable menu to choose from.
 I must admit it is tucked away a little, but maybe that's just me being a bit fussy.
The real ale choice was a little disappointing, there being only two to savour. Bishops Finger and Durham Brewery's Summit Wicked.
Still, not a bad place to visit.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Head of Steam, 3 Reform Place, North Road, Durham, DH1 4RZ. Tel:0191 3832173.

The Head of Steam was not an easy place to find, but worth a look just the same, as the atmosphere was ok  and the choice of real ale was good.
 Tucked away, just off North Road, the Wylam's ( I do like their beer) Gold Tankard and Heddon Bitter and Harviestoun Hoptober Fest  were for sale so I partook. Smashing.
Worth a look and of course a pint or two.   

The Slug and Lettuce, Unit 7, Walkergate, Durham, DH1 1SQ. Tel:0845 1262900.

The Slug and Lettuce in Durham City's Walkergate Leisure was a very modern looking place. Rather large and  very quiet on my late afternoon visit. Two real ales to be had. Ringwoods Boondoggle, my quick choice, and Black Sheep. I say quick because I didn't hang around. The tables were filthy. Maybe they had been busy but thats no excuse.

The Bishop's Mill, Walkergate Leisure, Town Centre, Durham, DH1 1WA. Tel:0191 3708510.

The Bishop's Mill pub is in the Walkergate Leisure, which houses a number of eating and drinking establishments.
This one is a Wetherspoons, and at my late afternoon visit was by far the busiest of the bunch for both eating and drinking.
The usual mamoth choice of 8 real ales was on offer and I couldn't resist the Moorhouse Pendle Porter amongst the multitude. Somerset Broadoak, Abbot, Ruddles, Wadworths etc. etc..
As usual with Wetherspoons the food choice was reasonably priced. If you're out with the kids at lunchtime, this is the place to be.  

Friday, 18 November 2011

The Broad Chare, 25 Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ. Tel:0191 2112144.

The Broad Chare is in Broad Chare! just off the Quayside, near the law courts.(That's not my Merc outside incidentally. My much more desirable Nissan Note is just around the corner)
 I must admit I loved the place as soon as I limped in.
 The Broad Chare, I think, is owned and was opened by a bloke called Terry Laybourne, who, years ago, had a smashing restaurant called 21 Queen Street. I loved that place as well!
4 real ales in spot on condition. Brew Dog's Trashy Blonde, Bass Premium Ale, Wylam's Gold Tankard and my favourite, Writer's Block, specially brewed for the Broad Chare by Wylams. I found the beer excellent and the young barman very knowledgeable and helpful.
 The bar food was excellent but I must admit I've yet to visit the restaurant upstairs. Can't wait.
 I'll report on this at a later date. 

The Kings Manor, 132 New Bridge Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 8AG. Tel:0191 2301190.

The Kings Manor on New Bridge Sreet, appealed to me as an alternative to the horrible 5 o'clock city traffic jam I happened to be stuck in the other evening.
 I don't think the Kings Manor, once the Moot, had been opened until very recently but it is certainly a proper real ale pub. With no less than 10 hand pulls to pick from, I parked up just around the corner in Argyle Street and 'booled' in.
Polished wood floors were the order of the day so I 'plonked' in and ordered  a pint of Hadrian's Tyneside Blonde. Very nice it was too.
 I must come back without the car to sample more of the ale.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Town Wall, Pink Lane, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 5HX. Tel:0191 2323000.

I hadn't realised theTown Wall existed as its that long since I walked up Pink Lane. Another pub sits almost opposite, but  thats for another day.
The Town Wall is quite a sizeable pub which has a decent reputation for food and a substantial  menu. But I digress.
The selection of real ales is marvelous, with some 8 to choose from. A couple of Wylam beers, one permanent called Toon Waal Ale, and the other, Gold Tankard, were acconpanied by Tyne Banks Monument Bitter, Brew Dogs Trashy Blonde and Punk IPA, Harviestouns Bitter and Twisted, Dalesides Blonde and good old Bass Premium Ale.
 Maybe it was the time of day I chose, but the place was sparcely populated and therefore lacked atmosphere. I'll maybe have to call again. Seems like a good idea.                                     

Black Bull, Bridge Street, Blaydon-on-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE21 4JJ. Tel:0191 4142846.

The Black Bull used to have a reputation, some time ago, as a 1st class real ale pub, or so I was led to believe. I don't know what's happened but it now belongs to the Cask Task section of has beens.

We went in, had a cloudy pint of M'Ladys Fancy from the Titanic Brewery, and were completely sunk like the brewery's namesake ship, alas never to be seen again.

M'Ladys Fancy by the Titanic Brewery. Also Deuchers IPA and Black Sheep, were also in the murky depths.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Seven Stars Inn High Street North Shincliffe Durham DH1 2NU Tel:0191 3848454


The Seven Stars, is run by the wife of the boss of the Rose Tree Inn, also in Shincliffe. Like the Rose Tree there are two or three decent real ales on tap, so on this particular beautiful hot afternoon, I decided to have a few pints. I chose a Durham Brewery ale and it was smashing.
The Seven Stars does have a decent food menu on offer and accomodation.

The Rose Tree Inn Low Road West Shincliffe Durham DHI 2LY Tel.0191 3868512

I passed The Rose Tree Inn due to a bit of dodgy information on my Sat Nav and by the time I realised where it was, it was shut! A day later there it was.
Not a bad place, majoring strongly on food. It did however have three real ales on tap, so naturally I tried one. The weather was red hot and I did enjoy that pint in the small bar next to the large eating area.
Apparently the boss here has the Seven Stars Inn, which is further in to Shincliffe and is run by his wife.
Must give that a try,

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Central Hotel, Half Moon Lane, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE8 2AN. Tel:0191 4782543.


The Central Hotel as it is called, although always known as 'the coffin', because of its shape, was always a real traditional old pub. Used on a couple of occasions in the past in movies, The Central was always known as a bit of a rough dive, but always worth a visit because of its character.

It was allowed to fall into abysmal disrepair but the Head of Steam pub group managed to get some help and lottery money, to completely refurbish it, inside and out. A good job they've made of it too, without losing too much of its old ambience.
With live music upstairs and reasonable food served along with some wonderful real ale (about 8 to choose from) downstairs. Its taken about 2 years to get it to its present state, opening a bit at a time.
On Cask Task's 3 visits over the past 18 months or so its been interesting to see its development and sample some of these beers. Wylam Angel, York Brewery Guzzler, Consett Cast Iron, Ossett Brewery Corker, Copper Dragon Brewery Freddie Truman, Black Sheep, Marston Moor Brewery Cromwell and Hadrian and Border Brewery Byker Light.

Walk out of the door, down the bank, and you're on the old Swing Bridge and the Quayside. Marvelous.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Castle Eden Inn, Stockton Road, Castle Eden, Hartlepool, Cleveland, TS27 4SD, Tel:01429 835137.

The Castle Eden Inn is just off the A19 in the little village of Castle Eden in County Durham.

An attractive pub from the outside and the interior doesn't disappoint. It has a welcoming feel to it, with a music/TV lounge to the right, a 'U' shaped bar to the centre and a restaurant to the left. Food and drink is served all day.

The real ales on offer were Deuchars IPA, Old Speckled Hen and the delicious Hobgoblin, a couple of pints of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

A small but inviting lunchtime menu found me well satisfied with the starter and main course I had  and I'll certainly come back again for more.
 I did however have the major embarrasment of being pursued, whilst hobbling to the door, by one of the staff who thought I was absconding without having paid. She was very attractive however, and would certainly be welcome to chase me outside the next time I visit.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Benton Ale House, Front Street, Benton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE7 7XE. Tel:0191 2661512 or 0191 2665588.


The Benton Ale House is, handily, just round the corner from the Four Lane Ends Metro Station. Although there is parking space, the choice of wonderful ales does lend itself to a good session and a rest for the driver! Cask Task did use this facility for the full squad to enjoy a variety of the beers on offer.

Built over 100 years ago and known originally as The Sun, it became the Benton Ale House in 1995 and began promoting real ales and a good name its got for it too.The pub is divided into two rooms with the bar in the middle and the decor is very pleasant throughout.

 The four regular beers being Banks Bitter, Jennings Cumberland Ale, Marstons Pedigree(my delicious choice for the afternoon) and Ringwoods Forty Niner. There are 3 guest ales on offer also.

An extremely enjoyable afternoon was had by all and the Benton Ale House is highly recommended.