18 Feb 2012
If this pub was anywhere else than St Alban's it would get the highest possible rating but it is in competition with some excellent pubs in this lovely town. I wandered in on an Evening in late January and was struck immeditely by how cosy it was. It has the air of a well established village Local rather than a pub in a Cathedral City.The customers and staff interacted well, the real ales were varied and samples were freely offered to customers. So why can I not give it the highest rating ? Well it was too cosy , too "local" to the extent that I felt I had invaded a private house party. A previous reviewer referred to the politeness of the staff and they were indeed most polite , but I felt they were , at least towards me, polite and cool. As an ex barman, I know that staff cannot be expected to be full of the joys of spring ( especially in January)at all times but I felt a little more could have been done to make me feel a little more welcome. Perhaps if I had visited with some friends I would have formed a different view. It is a pity as this is a most pleasing premises, offering a varied menu ( though I did not eat there) and if I lived in St Alban's I could see it being my local. Also and this is a suggestion NOT a criticism, I would liked to have known a little more about the history of the pub. The building is historic, and Fishpool Street, it is claimed, is a pre-Roman road and the area oozes history, I will however definitely visit here again when I return in March.
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