Friday, April 29, 2011

No. 41 Ye Olde King's Head

Visited on 28/4/11. Just as we were beginning to think Lower Bridge St. had been transformed into some sort of real ale El Dorado, we arrived at this place. Again it's a 17th century half timbered building - older in fact than the Bear and Billet, but there the comparisons end. Inside the ancient structure, cheaply upholstered 70s style bench seating surrounds the central space which is covered by a minty 70s style floral carpet. The lot needs ripping out, the original floor needs restoring and the owner needs to buy some decent furniture. Real ale is served (Wychwood Hobgoblin & Timothy Taylor's Landlord), but in such poor condition as to be barely drinkable. In addition when the barmaid was politely requested to top the glasses up, she complied, but returned an expression which suggested she'd just been asked to eat a fried dog turd or summat. What a waste - the potential of this place is enormous, but it's woefully under-performing. No surprise it was practically empty.

1 comment:

  1. During the course of one of my guided walks a few years back,

    I went in there with a lad who now lives in Texas and runs a company called 'Cestrian Carpentry' (even though he only has one arm) but who was brought up in Grosvenor Place across the road and used to drink in the King's Head. He was absolutely aghast at what had happened to the place. The last time he'd been in there, it was all small rooms and snugs. He wanted to show me the 'skeleton mouse'- the creature had, at some time in the distant past, apparently got jammed in a large crack in one of the structural beams and its bones remained there for all to see. But no more, we found, as even this had been done away with.
    Last year, I was showing a large group- an Australian male voice choir- around the town. Despite being late morning, it was decided that a pint was called for. Why I'm not sure, but I stuck my head in the door of the King's and declared, "I've got thirty Aussies with a thirst on out here. Can you cope?" "We're not open" came the brusque response. Up the steps to the Brewery tap next door and we were made very welcome indeed, the chairs were down off the tables in a flash and all were served and happy almost as quickly. More than one was consumed and the Tap must have taken an unexpected extra few bob that day to say the least. I always take my groups there now.
    What with, as you observe, Lower Bridge Street having become an oasis of drinking excellence, there seems little excuse for the King's to remain in the shocking state is is now.