Trafalgar Arms (judging a book by its cover)

Is it possible to judge a pub by the cover of the newspapers available on the bar? There were multiple copies of both the Mail on Sunday and the News of the Screws on the bar at the Trafalgar Arms when I visited with Meister. Neither publication are high on my Sunday reading list, my preferences leaning more to the left of "hang em all". I should have maybe taken heed and done an about turn to find a pub with proper Sunday sized papers. The type you need a week to read fully. An overreaction perhaps? After all I don't walk out of the newsagents fearing I may come into contact with a Mail reader, preferring to just duck behind the pick n mix.

A sparse mix of locals and students underwhelmed the large interior; a mix that often coexists for a pubs survival. The lone student offer was chalked behind the bar as was the existence of the Fat Frog which I assume to be a noxious cocktail of some kind (most likely green and served with multiple straws). The white wine list, also chalked up, was a curious sight. All Pinot Grigio. All the exact same price. It seems it's not just the papers which were limited.

It's the last day of the season and Moscow Rovers were just about to crush plucky Wigan 8-0 to clinch the title. You would expect a crowd, even if this is not exactly Chelsea, but besides a group around the pool table there were only a handful of lone drinkers and a group of students most of which weren't taking much notice. The staff and their friends seemed to be the largest and most vocal group. Lounging on sofas in front of the lit fire grate they looked to have commandeered the best spot in the pub. This leads me to one of my pub gripes, of which there are many. Pubs becoming a private club for owner and staff alike. Where you are interupting the party by daning to request a drink. When that drink could then be classified as a crime against Guinness the feeling of annoyance grows. If the marketing is to be believed it takes 119.59 seconds to pour a perfect pint of Guinness. The Trafalgar has obviously introduced efficiency measures as this was more likely 10 seconds. The result a murky pint which has a detergent edge. It's almost understandable when the bar is three deep as the title race is coming to a dramatic conclusion but when you are the only customers at the bar it's just plainly shoddy.

The half time whistle is a reprieve. We put our unfinshed drinks on the bar and leave. In future I will unleash the inner Mail reader and succumb to my knee jerk reaction and do an about turn without thought.


Becci said...

So, you recommend it then ;)

The Pub Diaries said...

If the Mail and cheap Pinot is your thing then it's great!