FIRST VISIT: SUNDAY 5 JANUARY 2014
Part of the Table Table chain and thereby part of the Whitbread chain. If you’ve stayed at a Premier Inn hotel then there’s a good chance that you’ve had a quick beer or a hungover breakfast in the place very similar to this one. Like most of its ilk, it’s hard to fault its appearance but it is as equally hard to praise it. There’s lots of varnished wood and some pseudo modern art but it’s all kept reasonably minimal and uncluttered. And that’s it. There’s nothing that gives it a uniqueness or even a little touch of personality. Uninspiring but inoffensive. It appears to have been designed for those among us who don’t like an establishment that is too fancy while at the same time harbouring a deep mistrust of the traditional backstreet British boozer. I’m guessing the size of their market is actually, sadly, quite substantial.
Aside from an assortment of the big brand beer offerings there were three cask ales up for grabs: Otter Amber and the Westcountry stalwarts that are Tribute and Doombar. I opted for an Otter. I have a slight soft spot for Otter, partly because otters are cool and partly because Otter do the beer at the Beautiful Days Festival, which takes places less than 15 miles from the brewery. For the record, I don’t like The Levellers but I do like a lot of the bands that they invite to their festival. Despite being served slightly too cold my pint of Amber was in excellent condition and had a decent enough fruity hop hit to warrant a second.
I was the Hampton Inn for a family gathering and it would take another family gathering to get me back. But if you are staying at the hotel next door then it’s probably almost just about worth popping in for a swift pint while you wait for a taxi to take you to the Wyndham Arms.