There’s no doubt about it … one of life’s great pleasures is having a swift pint after work. So for my latest pub review I popped into the Australian theme pub that sits on the site of the old Apollo Theatre and is just over the road from the Evening Times offices.
Walkabout’s been around for years but it’s not a place that I’ve set foot in very often as it looks like a place for younger drinkers. Certainly most of the punters you see outside on the pavement having a cigarette don’t look a day over 25. Well … John Major was Prime Minister back in the day when I was 25 so I normally opt for a beer in the Atholl Arms, or Lauder’s on the rare occasion that I fancy a pint when the working day is done.
But I wasn’t going to let my status as 40-something- with-mild-arthritis-when- the-weather’s-cold stop me from giving it a try. As I walked in, I recognised the dulcet tones of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines on the pub’s sound system and I was struck by the size of the place. It’s massive. There’s a big bar downstairs with a dance floor area and a nightclub upstairs. There were only about 15 customers in when I visited on a Monday night, so there wasn’t much of an atmosphere.
Credit where it’s due though. There were plenty of bar staff on duty and they were a friendly, efficient bunch and I was served immediately. My £3.20 pint of Fosters tasted good, although perhaps a tad pricey for a venue that targets the student market. There’s a full selection of crisps and nuts and a wide range of meals … including Kangaroo steak!!! I decided against tucking in to one of Skippy’s cousins and opted to play it safe with a standard packet of dry-roasted nuts.
Looking around, I noticed lots of TV screens which makes it a good bet for watching sport and I would imagine it’ll be a popular venue during the World Cup. Certainly there were plenty posters in the bar advertising the forthcoming football extravaganza.
The one thing that disappointed me about Walkabout is that it’s a bar that is badly crying out for a bit of Tender Loving Pub Care. The upholstery on the seats round one of the tables was ripped and worse was to come when I visited the toilets. One cubicle was stuffed full of unused loo roll and a panel below the urinals was missing. I decided it was time to go.
There’s a lot of good things about this pub. It has top notch bar staff and serves a tasty pint of lager but I opted to leave its charms to the 20-something crowd … so I finished my Foster’s and decided to go Walkabout too. All the way over the road to Lauder’s.
Marks out of 5
Bar snacks 3
Quality of lager 4
Total 14 out of 25