Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pubs of Layclerk #5

Most of the detail on the following post has been taken from my now-defunct website and transferred here for posterity.

Over the years I think it's fair to say I've had the odd drink or two in a fair old number of pubs, and this is a continuation of the occasional series of posts documenting all the pubs in which I've ever had a drink, where I'll try to list as many of them as I can remember together with the occasional "review" or story connected to them.  By nature it's going to be a work in progress for a long time and I'd guess it isn't ever going to be complete, since there's no possible way I'll remember them all, but I'll try to list at least all the ones I regularly drank in or indeed still drink in with various choirs etc.   Feel free to leave comments with any opinions, additions, corrections or extra detail. Important Caveat: Don't forget that sometimes it's been a LONG time and a lot of water's been passed since I've been in some of these places (some of which have had name/management changes, some of which are now closed down) so what I describe relates to how I remember they were back in the day.  All opinions expressed are my own so please feel free to try even the ones I warn against and see if you agree with me.

Dalziel Arms, Brandon St, Motherwell ML1 1XA

Dalziel Arms
Not terribly well placed, but to be fair the building does predate the horrible one-way system (which is actually two-way again, now that I think about it!) and underpass.  This was where the good people met to discuss the foundation of an Episcopal Church in Motherwell, in the late 19th century so presumably it wasn't as rough-as-a-badger's like was the last time I was in!

From the Episcopal Church Website: "Holy Trinity had it origins in a meeting held in the Dalzell Arms Hotel on April 25th 1882 to consider the possibility of starting a Mission in Motherwell in connection with the Episcopal Church in Scotland.  A congregation gathered and services were held in Mrs Keith's schoolroom until, in June 1884, a corrugated iron church was opened. This building is now the church hall.  A building committee entered into negotiations with the Duke of Hamilton for a building site, and the foundation stone of the present church was laid on 29th September 1894.  The new church, built in red stone and dedicated to the Holy Trinity on September 28th 1895 is Early English in style. The building was consecrated on November 21st 1896."
Holy Trinity Church Hall

On reflection, I guess it was maybe a previous incarnation of the Dalziel Arms in which the meeting was held!

As an aside, the original corrugated iron church referred to is now the church hall as seen in the photo (right), and a while ago they applied for planning permission to knock it down and build flats, but I've no idea what stage that's at.

As another aside, this is the church in which I was baptised and confirmed and where I started singing in the choir as a treble.

Doublet, 74 Park Rd, Glasgow

Former regular drinking place of the choir of St Mary's Cathedral in the 1980's.  Very small, quite crowded, and used to be fairly smoky, although smoking is now banned in all Scottish pubs so that won't be a problem today.

Dr Gormans, 50 Upper Craigs, Stirling FK8 2DS

Dr Gormans
Now I don't say things like this lightly, but this pub served the BEST burger I have ever eaten in a pub or restaurant.  And it was two for the price of one!

Four of us went here in August 2006, which was towards the end of my temporary period of working in Stirling, and it was all in all a very good place to have lunch.  Pretty well right in the centre of Stirling, just round the corner from the Thistle Shopping Centre, it's a modern interior with quite a few plasma screens on the walls, but no outrageously loud music, which was a blessing.  The screen nearest us was actually tuned to BBC News 24, although since the volume was muted it would have been nice to have had subtitles displayed.

I can't comment much on the beer, we were in at lunchtime and it would be a bad thing to drink during working hours (although I confess I was the bad lad who ordered a pint of lager - I was leaving after all!).  So four meals, 3 soft drinks and a pint of lager, all for just over sixteen quid.  And both of us who had the burger agreed that it was very nice indeed.

Verdict: Go there.

Drouthy Neebors, 142 Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4JW

Drouthy Neebors
Went there once with a colleague.  A couple asked us if they could sit down at our table (it wasn't all that busy) and we said yes.  They lit up cigarettes and blew the smoke in our direction.  We left and went to Braes, just down the road a bit.  Five minutes later they came in too, and asked if they could sit at our table.  We left sharpish!  Freaks.

Drovers Inn, Inverarnan

Drovers Inn
Famous pub right next to the far north of Loch Lomond.  Good food, but very busy on Sunday lunchtimes.

The last time I was in (years ago) it was apparently being renovated so we ended up sitting in a freezing cold large back room with dust everywhere and the ceiling almost falling about us!  That was a while back though.

Dundee Contemporary Arts, 152 Nethergate, Dundee DD1 4DY

A bit poncy for me, but big, light and airy with a (concrete) beer garden outside with uncomfy plastic furniture made to look like real comfy sofas!  Very arty, funnily enough.

This is where in conversation with a colleague one evening after our 15 hour shift had ended I discovered that he lives in a cottage owned by, and rented cheaply from, the Queen because he worked for her (in direct daily contact with her apparently) for several years. And then he ends up working in Dundee for two weeks.  Nae luck!

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