Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Cape of Good Hope, Warwick

Last night I decided to catch the train to Warwick again.  It's easy to get to from Stratford-on-Avon and there are still some pubs I wanted to explore as well as visiting an old favourite.  Tonight my main aim was to visit the Cape of Good Hope.  Leaving the station I turned left past the Wild Boar and the hospital.  It was a good walk up to the pub as it is on the outskirts of town by the canal.  I've always liked waterside pubs.  They have a relaxed feel to them and seem lost in time.  The Cape of Good Hope is a perfect example.

Entering from the canal towpath you enter a small traditional public bar.  It was quiet with a few locals stood around the bar.  There was a dartboard off to the left with a TV screen showing Arsenal's humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.  I walked through into the lounge.  This was a larger room but not excessively so and the tables were laid out for informal dining.  There was a friendly welcome from the landlord as I decided which of the beers to try.  Greene King Abbot, Hook Norton Hooky Gold, Church Farm Porter, Wye Valley Butty Bach and the house beer Two Llocks (brewed by Church End Brewery) made it a difficult choice.  Assuming I could not get it elsewhere I chose the house beer.  It was a very pleasant looking golden ale coming in at 4.0% ABV.  It was well balanced with a nice fruity taste.  A good choice.  I returned to the bar and sat at a vacant table and enjoyed the pint.          

It can be difficult to assess a pub on a quiet Tuesday evening, especially one which is probably very popular in the Summer months with canal users.  However, the choice of beers was excellent and the one I had was very well kept.  There was a very friendly welcome and a lovely relaxed atmosphere.  It was well worth the walk from Warwick station and it is a pub I will surely visit again.  I would strongly recommend that you check it out if you are ever in the area.

Leaving the Cape of Good Hope I headed for the town centre.  In the Market Place I was not surprised to see that The Tilted Wig was closed.  This was given a scathing review in an earlier post and tonight I popped in to the Thomas Lloyd next door, a very poorly kept Wetherspoons.  I chose a pint of Cotswold Best, a beer I have tried before and enjoyed, but it was also very poorly kept.  Wetherspoons pubs can be excellent.  The Golden Bee in Stratford-on-Avon is a perfect example of how good they can be.  The Thomas Lloyd is at the other end of the spectrum.  The staff were more interested in chatting among themselves even when serving.  The pub felt dirty and half of it was closed off with tables on chairs.  The beer selection wasn't great and the one I had was not very good.  Definitely a pub to avoid.

To finish off the evening I stopped off at the fabulous Wild Boar.  The beer was fantastic and the choice was amazing.  Tonight I sat in the snug where I had a perfect view of the pubs microbrewery, used by Slaughterhouse to brew beers in addition to their regular range brewed nearby in a former slaughterhouse (hence the name).  I first tried a pint of Essington Gold (4.4% ABV) from the Morton Brewery.  I'd never heard of this brewery before but it was a very plesant hoppy golden bitter.  There was also time to try the Slaughterhouse Pacific Pale Ale (4.2% ABV) which was a gently hopped  beer with a crisp bitter finish.  Both beers were delightful.  I absolutely love this pub and I can't wait to make another trip here.  It is the best pub in Warwick but along with The Oak, the Cape of Good Hope comes a very close second.  All in all it was an excellent evening.

Happy drinking.

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