Saturday, 19 October 2013
After being closed for a little over a week, the 'Greyhound' in Hinckley re-opened last night as a significantly improved hostelry.
While it remains up for sale, Marston's finally appear to have realised that no one was going to be interested in buying a dirty pub with undrinkable beer and frequented by alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals. Their answer to this conundrum has been to send the previous management packing and to bring in the tenant of a successful local house together with an experienced temporary manager. After a week of cleaning, including resolving such issues as filthy pipes and a glass washer clogged up with mould and filth, and getting rid of beer so old that it had separated in the barrel, the pub is now back in business and promises to be a much better place than it's been for quite some time. The undesirable element has gone and won't be returning.
Last night, customers were treated to friendly service and good beer, for the first time in a while. Long may it continue.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
After being up for sale since March, the 'Greyhound' in Hinckley is apparently about to be closed, at least for a short time. Exactly what's going on is not yet clear but it seems that Marston's, the owners, have finally had enough of the recent manager and sent her and her family packing. The word is that it will be closed from Wednesday but it's also rumoured that a replacement has been lined up so the doors may well re-open within a day or two.
This used to be a quite popular hostelry but has declined over the years, dramatically so in the last few months. The quality of the beer has been inconsistent to say the least and the overall ambience unappealing; there have even been reports of some less savoury customers snorting drugs from the tables in full public view and one former regular and barman is currently residing 'at Her Majesty's pleasure'. The pub is in a dire state of repair and desperately needs renovation, though the potential costs of this on top of the asking price of £265,000 (unchanged since March), when coupled with the lack of trade, seems to have deterred all potential purchasers.
What will happen to this very old pub is now anyone's guess but if anyone does come along and buy it, they're going to have a big job on their hands trying to restore it to former glories.
Sunday, 6 October 2013
The 'Queen's Head' in Hinckley is, without doubt, the best real pub in the town. While I've had occasional issues with it, what can't be denied is that it looks like and behaves like a proper English pub.
Having been voted the Hinckley and Bosworth CAMRA 'Pub of the Year' for 2013 it has much to live up to but it is doing so very well indeed. The regular turnaround of real ales is a great attraction while its support for the very recently established 'Elliswood Brewery' in the town has already caused excitement.
Phil and Dawn, plus Dawn's mum Shirley, do most of the work and the beer is always superb; it also comes from every corner of the country and is likely to satisfy all but the most pernickety of real ale buffs. If you're in the area, give it a try - you are unlikely to be disappointed.
I recently spotted a review by someone who'd had a bad experience at the 'Sarah Mansfield' and I thought it would be only right to make some more positive comments.
I visited this pub, off the beaten track and in a minute village close to the A5 just north of Rugby, last week to meet some old friends whom I've known for many years. We meet every few months at the same place and have done so for quite some time. Although there have been several changes of management over this period and, it must be said, the odd glitch, what can't be faulted is the quality of the beer, food and general service.
Last week, I had a couple of pints of beautiful 'Abbot ale' and we enjoyed a couple of very nice rib eye steaks plus a well cooked and presented rainbow trout. The service was friendly and efficient, the beer and food very good. Since we were last there, there have been a few enhancements to the furnishings but this remains a quintessentially English village pub; it's a really good place to visit and highly recommended, at least by my friends and I.