Warming-Up With A Pint

The weather's terrible at present and winter's not done quite yet. Fortunately I've got just the solution for chilly toes and red noses: a bite to eat, or just a quiet pint, next to a roaring open fire at your local!


A traditional village pub which prides itself on caring for the local community has just been named the best in the UK. The Swan With Two Necks in Pendleton in Lancashire beat more than 57,000 other entries to be crowned Camra's national pub of the year. The real ale campaign group said it was a ''wonderfully welcoming pub in a quintessentially British rural setting with cosy open fires that serves a fantastic pint''.

If you have a pub near you that boasts a roaring fire and a great ale, then it's the place to head for this weekend. In and around the second city, Birmingham, we've a number of great venues that will toast your tootsies and warm your cockles. Here's just a few recommended by Brummies:

 THE WELLINGTON - City Centre, 37 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham
“16 guest ales that you can view online before venturing to the bar, along with an A-F guide of ale colour. The last big draw of this place is although they don't do food, you can buy takeout from one of the many local restaurants or takeaways and take in.”

 THE WHITE SWAN - Irish Quarter, 276 Bradford Street, Birmingham

“The old bricks and the stained glass windows are demonstrably beautiful. There is also a small back room in addition to the bar area, with a real open fire — a life saver in Birmingham's harsh winters.”

 THE COUNTRY GIRL - 1 Raddlebarn Road, Birmingham
“There are two large fireplaces, which are often lit, giving the place a lot of character. By the front door there is an actual slice of the eponymous Selly Oak, and the walls are adorned with decades-old photos of the area, which is a nice touch.”
 THE JUNCTION - 212 High Street, Harbourne , Birmingham
“Towards the rear of the pub there is now a really nice, spacious restaurant area, with an open fire and a few comfy armchairs dotted about here and there. The beers on offer were decent — some nice cask ales.” 
 THE NEW INN - 74 Vivian Road, Birmingham 
“Wednesday is steak night, where you'll find the most delicious rump steak you've ever had. It has just a nice relaxing environment and it's a great place to share a cocktail or a meal with people you enjoy being around.”

Cheers, Keep Warm!


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