On Friday night my friend Ken and I ventured into Gloucester to try out some of the city’s fine pubs. During the course of the evening we covered a lot of ground and ventured into some very different pubs, which nicely demonstrated the wide range of choice available in the city.
I pride myself in having visited every pub in the city, but there is one that I had not been to: The Treddy in Tredworth Road. I visited during my research for The Story of Gloucester’s Pubs, but then it was the Golden Heart. Since then it closed in 2011 and re-opened following a considerable re-vamp in 2013, so a visit was long overdue.
Although the pub is now much smarter and more modern looking than it was when I last visited, the clientele remain much the same. The people who use it appear to be locals and regulars. It remains a community pub for working class people.
It is this type of pub that seems to have borne the brunt of the impact of pub closures, and the Tredworth area has suffered badly in this respect: since my initial visit in the name of research in 2009, the Duke of Wellington, Little Vic and India House have all gone. It was therefore good to see The Treddy open and thriving.
We followed this ‘first’ with a long walk and another first: a visit to TANK, Gloucester Brewery’s new craft ale pub at the Docks, which only opened on Wednesday.
This couldn’t have been more different.
TANK is the epitome of modern drinking, riding the wave of popularity for craft ales. The decor is a superb mix of post industrial chic and steam punk, but craft ales are not cheap: I suspect many might baulk at paying in excess of £5 for a pint, which is what some of the beers cost (although some of the more traditional cask ales come in at under £4). Consequently, on the whole, the drinkers appeared more affluent: young professionals and ‘hipsters’ mingling with beer enthusiasts and a few curious tourists.
Finally we dragged ourselves away, heading back into the city to the Dick Whittington in Westgate Street. This was definitely not a first, being a firm favourite since Martyn has been installed behind the bar.
Once again this is a very different proposition, somewhere between the previous two pubs. The Dick Whittington provides a good range of beer – traditional hand-pulled real ales rather than craft beers. Whereas TANK offers high quality charcuterie, cheeses and artisan pizzas, here you can find a superb ham or cheese roll available behind the bar, a welcome snack after a few beers (a full menu is also available earlier in the day).
The clientele here also fall somewhere between the two previous pubs, but punters from either might feel equally at home. And a major reason for our visit on this particular night was live music courtesy of the Worried Men, which was also excellent.
So that was my Friday night: a great reminder that variety in pubs is a very good thing. Next time you are out and about, why not try somewhere different for a change – you might find you like it!