Actually this post is not about the most used word on the publog at all. Instead it is a bonafide review of a pub, something we occasionally get round here. But since i rather like this boozer, and will be recomending its idiosyncratic Robert Robinson’s front room ambience – I though I’d best not put its name up top for fear of it getting swamped.

The Bricklayers Arms, just off Stephen Street is yet another Sam Smith’s pub. They are getting everywhere like a vaguely perturbing rash. And surely they flaunt the guest beer regulations – since they don’t carry any. I have a vague idea that the guest ale law has gone the way of all fleshy anti-market regulation, but it still shocks a regualr number of punters to go into a Sam Smithery without recognising a single beer. This would be a great problem is it was not for the fact that their house beers, lagers at least, are rather tasty little buggers., And the Fatman, the token cooking lager, is still a good 4%. Its cheap, its stronger than the average session beer and it actually tastes good.

But to the Bricklayers itself. Downstairs is very brick, its the most brick pub I have seen in some time. And pokey. Its got a tiny front bar, and an even tinier set of nooks out back. Often full of fat men drinking the fat man (a blind leading the blind situation) the alleyway to the stairs is nearly always blocked. If you drink downsatirs its in a convivial huddle round smallish tables. Its upstairs where the revelation comes in.

Ignore the blackboard which offers the pubs ubiquitous platters. The staff do, they’ve put a nice red chalk cross through it. The upstairs bar has (as is the Sam Smith’s way) a wholly different atmosphere to the downstairs. here we have armchairs, sofa’s, coffee tables and beer. The sofa’s are green cotton with gold latin words tastefully jumbled on them. They are inordinately comfy, whilst the glass topped coffee tables are great for reclining feet and beer. This is the only pub i regularily smoke cigars in, and last night lighting one of the open fire was a joy.

Whilst The Bricklayers Arms is quite difficult to find, those who know it cherish it. Hence it is usually rammed of a Thursday or Friday. that said the upstairs can be hired out for those poncy receptions if you so desire. Of a Monday or Tuesday I cannot think of any pub at the moment I would rather be in.