Having posted about a pub tickers day out to Wolverhampton, I was surprised to see another blogger had interrupted his carefully time sequenced posting, citing loss of Onedrive, to post about the exact same pub that was next on my own list.
This sort of motivated me to retreat from the poolside back to within wi-fi range and post about The Combermere Arms, another Wolverhampton GBG listed pub, if only to prove that you can access photos and the like even when one is sat in the sun, 3,000 miles away.
The USP for me had to be the toilets. It’s not often you see a city centre pub with outside bogs these days, in fact it’s not often you see outdoor closets at all, at least there was a wide gazebo-cum-smokers shelter over the back yard to walk through if it was inclement.
Not content with having 20th Century toilets, someone had decided to grow a tree in the middle of the khasi. I think they were quite proud of it because the local guys told me to go and have a look whether I needed one or not.
Continuing the Wolverhampton theme the locals were brilliant and the lovely barmaid explained the photomontage assembled by the landlord’s wife. Centred on Wolverhampton’s most famous son are photos of all the regulars and anyone connected with this charming little pub. There’s even a photo of the landlord Gavin dressed up as a jailbird with the caption ‘Most Wanted’ behind him. Apparently it’s the name of the ‘one off’ beer that he brewed.
One interesting fact that came out, Paul Mudge’s wife’s great aunt is Noddy Holders grandma. Cum on, you can work that one out can’t you? Anyway, just proves that no matter where you’re from everyone’s local.
Although he was busy in chef mode, preparing meals at sub-spoon’s prices and looking a bit better in quality, from what I saw, Gavin took time to explain that the he ran the pub under lease from Greene King. Apparently it had been Mitchells and Butlers at one time and you can still see the ghost of Butlers on the wall outside if you look.
I wasn’t sure how big the pub was from the outside, if you look at the main photograph it’s just the red brick section. The bay fronted, stuccoed and painted buildings looked to be private dwellings.
Inside it’s quite basic, in a nice way, everything feels very original with it’s part tiled, part bare board floors. There’s three rooms, none of them very big; the bar to the left of the entrance/corridor, snug to the right and a back room in the back, with a TV.
However you looked at it, you couldn’t get away from the fact that it all felt like being in a quaint village local and not sat on a main road in the middle of town. Really quite nice actually.
Beer? Decent, the pint of Salopian Oracle (£3.30 a pint) I had was NBSS 3.5 ish. Following the trend of the better GK pubs, the landlord had resisted their own brands and only had one GK ale on Black IPA, Retired Martin declared it excellent, so it must have been. To be fair, everyone else, there were now seven of us, thought the same about their own beer.
I’m guessing the pub name relates to Baron, later Viscount Combermere, titles awarded to Sir Stapleton Cotton for his prowess in the Napoleonic wars and who lived at Combermere Abbey in the south of Cheshire which is not a million miles away?