The Britons Protection, Manchester (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 496)
The Britons Protection is famed for its extensive whiskey collection, ranging from Jim Beam Bourboun to Midleton Very Rare, but it also offers a vast array of local real ales, brandies, wines and champagnes. The pub is located amongst a hub of activity in Manchester, being opposite the Bridgewater Hall, and not far from the Manchester Central Convention complex, Palace Theatre, the O2 Ritz, and a nearby tram connection to Old Trafford and The Lowry. It opened up as a pub in 1806, and found itself bearing witness to the brutality of the Peterloo massacre in 1819, and murals depicting these events can be discovered inside. Gather in the small cosy bar area at the front and admire the whiskey collection, or retreat to the larger rooms at the back of the pub where you’ll find comfy seating and roaring fireplaces. Lunchtime meals served from 11.30am-2pm, including the Grunt, Gobble, Zoom and Coo pie, which consists of wild boar, turkey, hare and pigeon in a brandy sauce. Join in with a pub quiz on the first Monday of each month, or if you’re feeling really jolly, join the Old Time Music Hall sing-along on the first Tuesday of each month. Children can stay until 5pm.
The Grove Inn, Leeds (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 931)
Surrounded by towerblocks, this cosy Leeds pub is the perfect place for escaping modern urbanity. Its interior contains a marble floor, paneling, and original fireplace, which all contribute to the authentic pub feel, and welcoming atmosphere that the pub is known for. There are also plenty of small rooms and a snug off the drinking corridor. where you can relax with a quiet pint and a hearty lunch. Otherwise, with live music events occurring almost every night including a folk club that’s been running since 1962, there’s plenty going on to enjoy here. So treat yourself to a regional ale or a Weston’s cider, grab a seat at a table, or a stool at the bar, let the fire warm you up, and sing the chilly night away.
Lion and Lobster, Brighton (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 802)
After spending a day meandering through Brighton’s lanes, shelter from the chilly sea breeze by heading for the Lion and Lobster, hidden in the quiet backstreets of the city. The pub is spread over three floors including a pub area, regency restaurant, and hidden roof terrace. The combination of soft lighting, dark red walls and wooden paneling, create a cosy atmosphere with a unique twist due to the quirky paintings that line the walls and the interesting pieces of bric-a-brac dotted around the place. There’s a wood-burning stove inside and under-heated awnings outside, and with a choice of big tables or small cubby-holes, there’s somewhere warm for everyone. Enjoy a home-cooked meal, or a real ale from Dark Star or Harvey’s. If you’re seeking some entertainment there are jazz nights, live music nights, Monday quiz nights, and a sports TV. With a late-night menu and open until 2am on a Friday and Saturday night, there’s lots of time to warm up in here.
Jolly Poacher, (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 802)
Located a little way out of the city of Brighton, the Jolly Poacher has a more modern feel, without sacrificing on cosiness and character. The pub consists of a U-shaped bar-cum-dining room with high-backed cushioned wooden chairs around wide board tables. Plenty of windows make for fairly bright daytime dining, and in the evening the grey-green contemporary lights illuminate the modern artwork on the pale walls. Pick a table near one of the fireplaces, and expectantly watch as the owner-chef prepares foods such as rib of beef, mullet, grapefruit and basil risotto or vanilla crème brûlée, in the open kitchen. Drinks include Harvey’s Best and 11 or so wines by the glass, and if you’re feeling a little lavish, there are also a few cocktails to choose from (two-for-one from 4-7pm). Background music, free wifi, and children and dogs welcome. Closed Monday, otherwise open all day.
Blue Blazer, Edinburgh (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 1015)
What is commonly referred to as a ‘proper pub.’ The Blue Blazer has a selection of great Scottish ales, whiskeys and vodkas, and is home to the Edinburgh Rum Club, so there’s plenty to put the fire in your belly here. If you’re overwhelmed by the selection, the knowledgeable staff will point you in the right direction. The classic wooden paneling, high ceilings, and walls lined with black and white photos all contribute to that authentic pub feel. There are no fruit machines or loud music here; the tables are closely spaced but with the energetic and friendly atmosphere and the warm glow emanating from the open fire, you’ll soon forget about the frost outside. Dogs are welcome, and if you fancy a little adventure beforehand, Edinburgh Castle is a short 15 minute walk away.
The Belle, Glasgow (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 1014)
The warmth of this place is not simply down to the roaring log fire; being situated on the Great Western Road, The Belle plays host to a healthy mix of regulars combined with passersby that makes for a very welcoming atmosphere. It is a fairly small pub, furnished with an assortment of leather-topped stools, and modern and traditional chairs around a variety of tables. These combined with the painted and exposed stone walls, stag heads and quirky mirror decorations, create a classic pub feel that is less about chic and more about charm. An inviting place that works just as well for a daytime coffee and a muse over the paper, as it does for as it does for an evening tipple, so either pop in and indulge in a hot drink, or enjoy some American craft beers, ciders and European lagers. Dogs are welcome so feel free to make some canine friends too while you’re at it. If you do feel like venturing outside, you can either watch the world go by on the from the street furniture, or retreat to the tiny leafy back garden.
Ye Olde Mitre, Clerkenwell, London (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 954)
This historic London pub in Ely Court is discreetly tucked away down a narrow alley, where you can be sure no one will stumble across it by accident. There has been a tavern on this site, providing refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life, since 1546. There are even rumours that the pub has hosted royalty in the form of Elizabeth I, and in modern times it known that the pub has provided a set for Guy Ritchie’s cult classic film, Snatch. From the right-hand side of Hatton Garden, follow a discreet sign which points down the alley, to a small opening, where you will discover some beer barrel tables arranged outside the oak paneled front. Inside you’ll find old, dark paneling and settles furnishing numerous little rooms, with old local photos hanging on the walls. They serve a multitude of quality drinks including Adnams Broadside, Fuller’s London Pride, Oliver’s Island, Seafarers, some guest beers on hand pump, eight farm ciders and several wines by the glass. The home-made bar snacks include scotch eggs, pork pies, sausage rolls and really good value toasties. There’s no loud music or TV, but you can enjoy a game of cribbage or dominoes by the fire. There’s a small area for drinking in the yard, which backs onto St Etherelda Church (where Henry VIII was married). Wherever you choose to perch, by experiencing this pub, you can consider yourself part of over a 400 year long tradition of people gathering here to enjoy some good booze and good company. Open Mon-Fri, this is a popular lunch spot, or post-work wind-down. No children.
Spaniards Inn, Hampstead, (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 981)
Take a stroll across Hampstead Heath before settling down for a comforting pint and a burger, or sausages and creamy mash, in this 16th century pub. The pub’s low ceilings, wooden beams, oak paneling and antique winged settles all contribute to the cosy atmosphere. So find a little alcove or warm up by the open fire, or there is also the option of sitting in the upstairs dining room or the pleasant garden. There are at least five real ales to choose from as well as continental draught beers and several wines by the glass. If you are driving, beware that the car park fills up fast, and if you’re walking, this is a welcome retreat for your pup too. Open and serving food all day.
Windsor Castle, West London, (The Good Pub Guide 2017 p. 967)
Wooden-panelled, narrow corridors leading to multiple hide-outs and alcoves, doors so small that they belong in Alice and Wonderland, built-in elm benches, dark oak furnishing, soft lighting and a coal-effect fire all create the cheerful and charming ambience in here. There’s a wide selection of beer on tap including Black Sheep, Fullers London Pride, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Harviestoun Summer Legend, Portobello Bronze Star, Sharps Doom Bar, Slaopian Hop Twister and Wells Bombardier. There are also decent house wines, farm ciders and malt whiskies. Enjoy your drink with a classic beer-battered fish and chips, or something a little more adventurous, such as the sweet chilli and lime-glazed squid. It’s usually quite quiet at lunchtime, but a little more lively in the evenings. Dogs are welcome.