Last week I explained that I was writing a book on Gloucester pubs with the unimaginative but accurate working title of The Story of Gloucester Pubs. I also stated that one of the attractions of doing this was the fieldwork: I have decided that I am duty bound to visit every pub currently open within the city.
This is not as easy as it sounds since in the current climate pubs seem to be closing at an alarming rate. At the time of writing, there are around 50 pubs open within my selected area, but with a reported 39 pubs closing each week across the country this number changes on a weekly basis.
To tackle the daunting task of visiting 50 pubs in a reasonable time frame I have divided my area into nine sections and have invited different friends to join me on a pub crawl around each. So far, I have done three areas – the Kingsholm rugby pubs, the Docks and Eastgate Street.
This is definitely something I would recommend to you. Committing to visit all pubs, whatever your pre-conceptions, means that you discover some real unexpected gems. In the areas I have covered so far there are some pubs that are already favourites, such as the Whitesmiths Arms and the Water Poet. However, I have now also discovered gems including Baker Street, Deans Walk and the Kingsholm Inn: pubs I may not otherwise have visited. Doing it with different groups of friends is also good as it keeps things fresh and interesting and gives you a different perspective.
So, overall I have been pleasantly surprised by the pubs of Gloucester and the welcome that I have received in them. Of the 17 pubs so far visited on these pub crawls, plus all of the others that I have frequented on other occasions, there have only been a couple of ‘dogs’ and only one where I have had an experience so bad that I would implore you not to visit.
The pub in question is Butlers Venue Bar – seriously, don’t go there!
The reason for my intense dislike of this bar is that it is the first pub that I have been thrown out of in well over a decade. You could argue that my opinion is therefore hardly impartial, but I feel that the reason for my expulsion was so unreasonable and handled in such an unnecessarily heavy-handed manner that my objection is perfectly reasonable.
I will tell the story and leave you to decide whether my treatment was reasonable or not, but I leave that for my next blog since this one has gone on long enough. Stay tuned….