How to run a gastro-pub / how not to run a pub

Pub 14. The Prince Albert, 23rd December 2011.

Why have a Google and take pics yourself?




I've always quite liked this pub, and always wanted to too. Saved from the brink of closure thankfully (the exterior tiles are gorgeous), it's not too bad a gaff as gastropubs go. Four ales on, which seem to change a lot - although on this occasion consisted of 2 porters and 2 bitters. Not quite something for everyone! I chopped and changed between the Truman's Runner and some Fuller's brew, best bitter I think. The Camra discount they offer always raises eye-brows, but is always given making for £2.95 a pint. Not bad. And a pleasant evening ensued. Until it happened...


The chairs go up, people go out.

About 10.20pm they rang for last orders - how peculiar we thought. But then told us they were closing early because they weren't very busy. ????. Oh for the old licensing laws! Then they started putting chairs on the tables around us. I think we, and another couple of people - who may have just left - were the only people in. Then, about 10.30pm, they came over and asked us if we wanted anymore drinks, they weren't closing yet but just didn't want anyone else coming in as they were quiet. When people started putting chairs on the tables around you it's quite clear they don't want to be there and they don't want to be there either. (Apart from when you know you're getting a lock-in of course...) Now call me a scoundrelous-patriot or a xenosceptit if you like, but the 2 very pleasant barmaids were foreign (one of whom had spent a very boring looking evening 3hours or so, folding napkins in half), and so was the chap who I assume was the manager - all European but not quite sure where. I can't see a 'proper old British publican / landlady' doing such a thing.

Anyways, we upped and left for a more welcoming boozer. Thanks Prince Albert - your unintended rudeness means I won't be going in again. And to make me go off it more, the picture of a regal looking fellow on their chic website isn't even the Prince after whom the pub is named. (Unless I'm mistaken - answers on a postcard...)

I won't miss the pretentious lights - a result of their recent 'refurb'.

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