Sadly it’s an undisputable fact that in order to continue the species and maintain our dominance of this watery little space faring rock we need to have offspring. It’s also lamentable that rather than being a genus that produces quiet or immediately competent young our children spend the best part of four years as burdensome lumps of meat capable merely of wailing, eating, defecating and at some point gurgling vaguely comprehensible sounds. For several years after this the now fully mobile and newly inquisitive miniature human is able to participate to a degree in human ‘society’ but is still in need of almost constant supervision lest it wander into a threshing machine or a massive vat of tar; curiosity it seems does not just kill cats.
In this great epoch of civilisation we’ve developed some ingenious and effective ways of rearing our offspring in dedicated institutions named various things; nursery’s, schools, crèches, colleges and to an extent universities. It is crucial in understanding my hatred of The Royal Inn on the Park to note that the word ‘Pub’ was not on my list of child rearing establishments. And so we come to my review; I’ll keep it brief as you can probably guess what my conclusion will be.
From the outside, name and it’s location you’d assume that this would be a rather well to do affair so when entering it you’re not expecting the shabby, rundown and uncomfortable vista that greets you. A curtain rail hangs precariously over a window which is itself adjacent to a TV suspended from the wall by an MDF scaffold that looks like it was built by a man who may have been more interested simply in spirits rather than a spirit level. The facia of the bar is chipped everywhere you look and the garland of fairly lights strewn thoughtlessly over the wooden shelving which houses the spirits isn’t fooling anyone. The only part of the pub which doesn’t cry out for a trip to B&Q is the huge conservatory at the back which looks like it’s been stolen from a museum cafe. In such a gentrified area you’d rightly expect better.
The gentrification of an area also apparently brings families and it seems that they’ve all decided that in lieu of a soft play area they can let their spawn run around in they’ll pitch up at this pub. I’ve been twice and on both occasions it was teeming; further enquiries amongst friends who live close by also concur that this is nothing short of an infestation. Tiny bikes and scooters propped up in the corner, screeches emitted on a regular basis, hold ups at the bar as fruit shoots are foraged for. I’ve had quieter and more civilized pints sat on the back of a bus.
By some loose definition this is a pub though only just. It has beer, food and seats but then so does a McDonalds in France so that isn’t really much of an accolade. If you’ve decided to help further the existence of homo sapiens then you might like it here as your child can mingle with the others, annoy strangers and screech whilst you discuss it’s development with other parents. If however, like me, you’re not that keen on children and would rather have a pint in the seventh circle of hell with Stalin and Bin Laden than share a room with a horde of them then I’d go elsewhere.