I know this will irritate great swathes of the PUB (Pub Union of Bloggers) but I can’t see the problem with Ember Inns?
Granted, if you are ticking off some classic GBG pubs or quirky new Micropubs then the sometimes formulaic nature of these chain pubs can be less than appealing.
Also, and this is an Ember Inns classic, they will often appear to have a stack of cask ales on but many of the pumps will either be advertising CAMRA discounts, promoting the ‘coming soon’ range or have two or three identical pumps serving the same ale. However, is that really a problem? If a boozer has on one or two ales on that are well kept then surely that is better than great swathes of poorly kept ale?
To be fair to Derby, it has got plenty of free houses and gems that mean Ember Inns are just another welcome addition but if you look at some of the Solihull suburbs then the presence of an Ember Inn is most definitely a good thing
Also, I like the fact both Ember Inn boozers I have been in since I began blogging (Red Lion, Knowle pub 12) and 70 The Hollybrook – DE23 3TZ both have definite drinking areas.
This one, on the outskirts of Littleover is busy now but with about 400+ homes being built within a mile on a whopping new housing estate then it is clearly going to become far busier.
I came in here with both of my kids on a Sunday afternoon and it was full. In fact, on the other occasions I have been in here too it has been full plus, like all pubs in Littleover, it has a good mix of society
Yes, you can eat anywhere you want in an Ember Inns pub but this one has almost defined itself as right hand side is food and left hand side is drinking. Yes, there were plenty of families in here having food and a pint but there were also plenty of groups of men and women also indulging in a Sunday afternoon session and there was a cracking atmosphere.
I suppose you can argue you know what you are going to get in an Ember Inns pub but this one was different, aside from the plethora of handpumps on the bar, to the boozer at Knowle. This also feels like a pub as they don’t have soft play areas as opposed to the Farmhouse Inns cakeaway in Willington, which was a place for families to get more stressed whilst their kids load up on E numbers.
I also know I am in esteemed company here as Alan Winfield has posted that he likes this pub and that surely cements the fact this is a no nonsense boozer that, since it opened in the early nineties, has served its ever growing community well.
It was an easy hour as the food was sensibly priced and good whilst the Pedigree (Marston’s) was sound. When I returned for a refill they had taken it off as it had reached the end of the barrel. It didn’t taste like it was on the turn so they obviously have someone here who knows their stuff (decent beermats too!)
I like this place and would recommend it. Ember Inns are clearly trying (see partnership with Black Sheep) and whilst they don’t always get it quite right, they are clearly filling a void for this urban sprawl on the edge of Littleover.
Ember Inns…are they the future?