2003

We update and add inns on a daily basis, but not all are mentioned here, this page gives a general idea of the latest news and additions, particularly of some of the more spectacular places we discover. Fat Badgers Guide to Good Pubs and Inns in the UK List of the latest inns to be added.
Latest Update 29 March 2004
Back to Latest News - Previous Years News: 2000 2001 2002

Head Office News

News from the Fat Badgers
15 December 2003

No major changes but an amendment to our page on Piers as the new owner of Colwyn Bay Pier has informed us of his purchase. If you think you can help in the restoration, why not visit their website.

08 December 2003

A second visit to Fanny's Ale & Cider House in Shipley, West Yorkshire has prompted their entry onto the guide. The only reason it wasn't included after the first visit was due to severe memory loss and inability to operate a camera with whilst in possession of an awful lot of alcohol.

We've just received some long awaited news regarding the Fat Badgers dipping toes into the world of pub ownership. Ownership should be complete on the 13th January 2004 so expect one inn in the UK to receive a little more information on here than all the rest. Although there is much work to be done at this particular establishment, rest assured - many people will be amazed when they find out which inn we've bought.

Sadly, we've had to remove the Cock & Bottle Inn in Bradford from the guide as it's been boarded up for the last few months. This place was an absolute gem - the only pub in Britain owned by the church with a wonderful Victorian interior. We understand that it is now for sale and hopefully it will reopen in the near future.

27 November 2003

We've been very busy recently - but in pub visits rather than web site changes. Our latest favourite is the Boot Inn in Worcestershire. Two Fat Badgers joined a group of 30+ for a Sunday lunch and were very impressed with the food quality especially as the chef had to cope with such large numbers.

10 November 2003

Thanks for pointing out that we now have our own Island in the South Pacific Barry. We are indeed a Nation State and a copy of our initial entry into the official league of Nation States can be found on our Grand Duchy Page. We have of course requested to join the United Nations. The UN is the world's governing body. It proposes and votes on resolutions, which are then binding on all member nations. We as Fat Badgers plan to abide by most rules they can think up, we retain our Vito of rules that we don't like very much !

02 October 2003

We had wondered why we've not received any suggestions for inns for us to include recently and then found out that our 'Suggest an Inn' form had stopped working. We apologise if you've sent us lots of suggestions - they're floating around in space somewhere. The form is now working correctly again. 

02 October 2003

We have a number of photo's taken by many of the Fat Badgers ready to be added to a CD collection if required. Some of which have been taken by Fat Badger Brett, who is the only full time professional Badger photographer. We have also added some further information on one or two inns around the UK but due to excessive testing of establishments recently, a backlog has occurred. We hope to add these in the near future. 

We recently visited what we thought was to be a smashing country inn and even took a photo before crossing the doorstep. We then noticed the sign saying "Wayside Inns" - we assumed, a 'chain pub'. Being part of a chain isn't always a bad thing as we do feature the occasional chain pub which offers excellent service. We were however particularly dismayed to find that this particular establishment took an eternity to finally serve us with drinks from their poorly kept selection. The food that we were then served, was cold, rubbery and tasteless. Fat Badger's Buttle, DJ & Kilo were all present along with other Non Badgers to then fall into a top quality Indian restaurant the following day - only to find the service even worse - so bad that we had 100 knocked off our bill ! We finally found a good inn at Wootton Wawen - the Bulls Head although they only do a small menu on a Sunday night.

26 September 2003

We've added some sample wallpapers to our wallpaper page due to many requests for a preview of what we're likely to be offering on CD. These are certainly not the best shots as none of them were taken by our professional photographer. 

24 September 2003

We were hoping to add some inns on the Isle of Man as four Fat Badgers intended sailing across as it's too far to swim. Unfortunately and not because we were informed that both Douglas & Ramsey are dumps full of ugly people - we'll inspect them for ourselves one day, but those feisty Badgers never made it to the island. We ended up in Kirkcudbright in Scotland where we tried a few inns but are unlikely to add any to this guide. We had a good meal in the Gordon House Hotel although we had to eat it in the horrible smoky public bar as the pleasant front lounge had no free tables.

irish-sea.jpg (24142 bytes)The good old British weather whipped up a force 8 gale which was blowing in the wrong direction and would have not only taken us an age to get there but may have turned us into the Fat Badgers equivalent of Tony Bullimore. (The English yachtsman who nearly died when he was trapped inside his 'Open 60'  when it capsized during the 1997 Vendee Globe round the World solo race.) As it was, one of our sails was ripped from the rigging (click photo - that's a wave NOT the horizon !) and Fat Badger Roy, on his first experience of sailing, spent 8 hours honking into the Irish sea !)

09 September 2003

Fat Badgers Kilo, Ade & Stakesy spent an evening trying out pubs in Baildon, West Yorkshire recently along with a lunchtime visit to a country inn where they experienced rubbery chicken & microwave pie which any school dinner lady might have been proud of. The evening in Baildon was was uneventful although Badger Kilo managed to drink two pubs dry of Timothy Taylor Landlord whilst he & Stakesy celebrated their visit to watch Bradford Bulls beat Leeds Rhinos 22-21 to clinch the Rugby league premiership title. Whilst no pubs worth any great mention were found in Baildon, the local Taxi firm, funnily enough called Baildon Taxis provided superb entertainment in explaining the new paint job in the taxi office - apparently it's based on Picasso's blue period.

Badger Kilo followed up the following morning with his second visit to the Boar's Head in Ripley, North Yorkshire, where he was royally entertained by owner, Sir Thomas Ingilby. The Boar's Head is the epitome of our view of the perfect inn. The service, food, ales and building are all of top quality and the only thing missing from our 'Perfect Inn' is - it's not thatched. Being adjacent to and under the same ownership as Ripley Castle, thatch may not look right so along with not seeing a single wasp, it's just about perfect. The Boar's Head is one seventeenth of 'The Great Inns of Britain', a selection of some of the finest inns in the country who've formed their own little club of top quality establishments which we are proud to be associated with. We already list many of the seventeen and intend to visit the remaining inns in the near future. We think they're so good that they deserve their own special symbol on our guide.

02 September 2003

We've upgraded the Fountain near Dudley to highly recommended after paying a visit & informing the owner that we'd upgraded his establishment only to find that we had forgotten to re-upload the Staffordshire page ! It's a delight to find establishments that strive to continue to improve their service especially after one or two Fat Badgers have experienced inns in decline in recent weeks.

We've a hectic few weeks ahead with many items to be added to the site and a few trips planned visiting establishments around the U.K. Four Fat Badgers are soon to be testing one or two inns on the Isle of Man. Unfortunately all of these will have to be near harbours as their only mode of transport is a yacht and paws. Hopefully as we don't have a resident Fat Badger on the island, the trip will whet the appetite to go back with a more appropriate mode of transportation. 

Fat Badger Kathy has decided she is now clever enough to learn how to add to this news page and with the same breath, announces a long holiday. So maybe we'll add a review of all the best beaches in the Caribbean ?
It's now nearly a month since Fat Badger Pezza joined the Clan and he's single handedly failed to nominate a single pub - not even his local. Photographs have been passed onto us from an unknown source, showing a time when Badger Pezza tested so much ale that he mislaid two whole days and has never found them. It is understood that the photos show Badger Pezza having to re-learn how to put his trousers on again. There are worse shots though, but it is believed that they've been passed onto Playgirl magazine.

25 August 2003

Oooh, what a sorry state, we're about to add a couple of inns after a very interesting day. A sudden inspection trip was heading for Derbyshire when an about turn sent a couple of Fat Badgers to mid Wales instead. Being without any Badger details for the area our helpless Badgers ended up using a 2003 AA good pub guide to find a lunch stop. A tired dirty building, very slow service, NO beer and all but ONE dish on the menu being 'off' they walked out and went to the local Spar for a sandwich !  This bad experience did however force them to venture further into Wales where they eventually reached the coast, only to find that the cloud had lifted, the views were so much better than the misleading comments about the views from the AA guide and the standard of establishment - a million times better.
We appreciate that inns can change and no doubt there will be those on the Fat Badgers guide that change but at least we can amend our guide when we find out. Whilst not completely rubbishing the AA as they feature some excellent places also - one tends to feel, they'll include any crap pub if the right money is offered !

They then tried a pub from Camra's good beer guide on the return journey and had an atrocious meal - however it was cheap and the beer was O.K.

20 August 2003

We've added the excellent Plockton Hotel in the Scottish Highlands after a recent visit and added photos to the fantastic Applecross inn. Both are 'Must Visits' for the locations alone and both do excellent food. We'll also be adding an excellent inn in Pitlochory soon, once we've sorted out who's got the photograph !

17 August 2003

We've now added the delightful Pilchard Inn in Devon after 3 Fat Badgers paid a visit last month. Sadly the Sea Tractor was out of action so we could only stay for a quick pint, otherwise we'd have been very drunk indeed as the ales were perfect on a hot summers day. We've also upgraded the Tower Inn at Slapton to Highly recommended following our third visit. A number of Fat Badgers visited the Millbrook Inn via a couple of putt putt boats from Salcombe. Thankfully, Fat Badgers Kilo & Buttle made the trip in an open top sports car with wet weather gear for the others and got there early enough to be able to sample what Fat Badger Kilo says were the best crab sandwiches he's ever tasted - and he's eaten a lot of crabs in his time.

10 August 2003

When looking for new inns to add to the Fat Badgers guide, we're very reliant on members of the public and indeed inns themselves, using the 'Suggest an inn' page. It is however, much more rewarding for us when we find good quality establishments by accident. When they are as good as the Churston Court Inn, an establishment where Fat Badger Kilo spotted a small sign by the side of the A3022, it is especially exciting. The Churston Court is the sort of inn which you are guaranteed to mention it to friends for the first few weeks after your visit.

We've also added the Mount Pleasant in Wombourne after Fat Badgers Buttle, Kilo & DJ had a meal there last night. We were intending to try a newly refurbished inn close by but a combination of busy trade and car breakdown forced us to divert to the Mount Pleasant. We have previously tried this establishment for a drink and found it to be very good, but the food was of excellent quality and the service, some of the best we've come across in a while. Three of our party even managed to get a lift to the pub after breaking down, from a friendly taxi service with a blue light on top of the car. They can be contacted on Wombourne 999 !

08 August 2003

Sir Thomas Ingilby inadvertently made us realise that following our  server problems earlier in the year we'd lost the changes made to Norfolk inns. We've partly rectified this by adding some of the photos that were missing and have amended details of some of the inns including adding the Three Horseshoes. More changes will be made in the next few days.

06 August 2003

We're still making changes to the website & the latest is the new Blog (seen on the right) where hopefully, some of the Fat Badgers who are brainy enough to work it out may be leaving little messages - no not THAT sort of little message.

We've also been paying more visits to inns and will be adding a few in the next few days or so.

We have also added a new Fat Badger to the Clan. Fat Badger Pezza has been taken on board to cover the area which has been vacated By Fat Badger Ade's move to Yorkshire although he'll no doubt be suggesting the Stag in Bloxwich which has had a change of ownership and serves Badger Pezza with as much real ale as he can drink.

01 August 2003

We've been very busy little Badgers recently with visits to establishments in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Devon. Our database is being worked on at the moment and a few new establishments will be added soon. One of which, an 11th Century inn was found purely by accident - and what a fantastic place it turned out to be.
We're also waiting for news on an exciting little project which we may be involved in which, if all goes to plan, will add a certain amount of bias where one establishment is concerned !

07 July 2003

A few more cosmetic changes have been made along with the addition of one or two more 'Portraits' of our Clan including our very own partist, Fat Badger Gary. Badger Gary had drawn a self portrait but it had been rolled up and stored in an attic for 122 years before being discovered by Fat Badger Barry whilst truffle hunting on a Wednesday afternoon. It appears that Badger Gary had left a pencil drawing to gain dust and value but unfortunately Fat Badger Kilo has coloured it up and reduced its' value to half a million Lira. (About 30p)
We've added some info to our tourist ideas pages and following a second complaint of an establishment in Derbyshire being pants - have removed it from the guide. We will of course pay a visit in the near future, but by all accounts - we won't be eating there !
It is of course a crying shame when inns fall by the wayside but infuriating when they do so when having the advantage of fantastic views or tourist attractions nearby which other establishments don't have the benefit of.
We are paying a visit to the Olde Trip to Jerusalem in the next few days where we really hope that this will prove the opposite. This pub has a duty to impress, as not many establishments can have the luxury of a claim such as being the Oldest inn in Britain - A title which will almost certainly keep this inn listed in the Fat Badgers Guide as it is 'worth a visit'.

22 June 2003

A few cosmetic changes have been made to the site along with some changes to pub details. We've finally changed the bit of 'flash' on the front page which wasn't working properly and we've added a page on our future intention to create a CD full of Screen Savers & Wallpapers - Click for more details Once again we're about to take part in a fund raising golf event to raise money for Unicef

28 May 2003

A quick update of inns in Devon visited by some of the Fat Badgers last year but they were too drunk to remember where they put their notes and where the film from the camera was. This has now been rectified and the Ferry Inn, The Thurlestone Inn and the Hope & Anchor have finally been added.

26 May 2003

A visit to a few establishments in West Yorkshire resulted in no new additions to the county as all those suggested to us were quite mediocre. We had a good meal at Dick Hudson's at Eldwick although this is an 'Innkeeping with Tradition' pub where the menu was the same as it is in all of their establishments & the beer bland. The location would probably make this pub worthy of an inclusion in this guide and certainly it is worth a visit if you enjoy looking at very pretty waitresses during your meal (they are pleasant and efficient too !) but unfortunately our experience of this place confirmed our views on the attitude of the 'chain' pubs. When Fat Badger Stakesy (a very fussy eater - it has to be said) asked for the Beef & Ale pie marked up on the chalkboard, he was told that he could only eat the pie in the evening - a good two hours away after politely pleading that it would cure his hangover and he really 'needed' a pie - he was told "It's too much Pfaff" !

13 May 2003

We've added a few inns and updated some with photos after recent visits. A visit to the Queens Head at Tirril in Cumbria was as good as expected although the barman wasn't keen to hold for a food order after two O'clock (Lunchtime) despite being told that the other Fat Badger was less than two minutes away and driving as fast as he could. (You didn't know badgers could drive did you ?) However the food was good and the ale was excellent.

13 May 2003

Well we've had a few inns suggested recently and the Fat Badgers have been out & about doing a fair bit of testing. Unfortunately some people's idea of a quality inn isn't quite to the standard we expect as Fat badger Dave was directed to the smelliest & dirtiest of places he's ever been to - and he's been to some very smelly & dirty places ! Thankfully we continue to locate places ourselves which continue to enhance our view that the UK is home to some of the World's best eating & drinking establishments. We were pleased to be present when we joined aspiring Fat Badgers 'Lozza' Lawrence, 'Stotty' Karim & 'Wooley' Rees to a visit to a floating Mediterranean restaurant in La Spezia, Italy for a superb meal which was matched by our newest Favourite inn, The Craw Inn located just over the Scottish Border, when Fat Badgers Kilo & Buttle passed through on a visit to the Highlands. The only difference was that one was basking in blazing sunshine & the other was caught in the middle of a huge downpour ! You Guess !!!

29 April 2003

Well we're finally getting there although the 'Big Hard disc crash of 2003' has resulted in some of the inns' details being lost from our database. They're still present on the website though so don't panic Captain Mainwaring - it's just a long hard process for us to replace all the information lost.
The 'Suggest an Inn' page is now back up & running and we thank everyone who donated information by snail mail, phone calls & carrier pigeon. If you suggested somewhere and it hasn't appeared - we apologise and would ask you to submit your suggestion again and hopefully it will now appear, unless of course you suggest an inn that is pants !

23 March 2003

We've had our usual busy start to the year with many of the Fat Badgers away skiing the Alps, so updating the site has been on the slow side. We're all back now so hopefully there'll be lots of new information added including many of the inns we visited last year which were never added due to server problems. 
Following an email from Matthew Torrens, we've now amended our Facts 'n' Figures page to reflect that there is more than two inns which claim to be the oldest in the UK - and consequently added an Oldest Inn in Britain page which we've been meaning to add for ages. Thanks Matthew.

22 February 2003

The Fat Badgers have finally managed to ditch the crap ISP which were hosting our website. We now own our server and will have full control over updates to the site from now on.