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.