Friday, March 07, 2008

The Hyde Park

We went to the HP after the Burnley match. So perhaps reviewing it here is a little unfair. My remit is to review pubs which we go to before a match after all. Still never mind.

I've been going there for years and years. Once upon a time it was my "local" and I even used to play darts there with some regularity. I am not a great dart player but I have managed to score 180 twice and one of those occasions was in the HP!! Sadly I did not need that many and so busted but once the first 2 darts had hit the treble 20 the third had to have a go too ~ and in it sailed as clean as a whistle. There can't be many that have approached the oche needing 150+ and have deliberately scored too many!! Still that was long, long ago and the dartboard has long since moved from where it was then around to the "back" bar where the pool table is.

For those unfamiliar with the geography of the pub a picture may help:

It looks like a Scooby-Doo pub, doesn't it? Couldn't be further from the mark really.

The pub itself sits in the middle of a roundabout at one end of Mutley Plain. It is the nearest pub to the ground if you approach from this direction and it will take you around 20 minutes to walk up to the ground from here. Along the way you will pass Hyde park's Friary Bakery where you can get a pasty to keep you going or at the Barn park Road entrance to Central Park you will be able to get an Ivor so the walk is not all bad.

Inside the pub the bar itself is an island too!! This is rather pleasing and there is a main bar which shows Big Screen TV. The HP is a fine place to watch big matches in and makes, or used to any way, every attempt possible during World Cups and the like. I watched England beat Germany 5-1 in there and that was just about the wildest night ever. It is quite a big pub with quite a small bar. This can lead to long delays if you try to get served when it is busy

Kids are welcomed although it isn't particularly child-friendly.

Food, I believe, is served although I have never eaten in there and so can't vouch for it. It would also appear that they do a curry night a couple of times a week:

Pricewise it is kept "honest" by the nearby Wetherspoons pub The Mannamead but it is not as cheap. Mind you it is far more of a traditional pub than the Wetherspoons and I much prefer it.

The bar staff were great while we were there. Up for a laugh and good fun. I asked which barman was the most attractive and this one one (the landlord, I think) was nominated and the young lady works there too and was there as a customer in her own time which tells you something about the camaraderie amongst the staff.

There is also an upstairs bar which can be used for various functions. I think a Jazz/Folk/Blues Club meets there once a week and they get a good few Celtic fans turn up when a game is televised and I think the pub might also be the semi-official home of the Celtic Supporters' Club.

The one criticism of the place is that it used to be horribly smoky but since the smoking ban that is a thing of the past.

On football days it gets very busy just after a match as the hordes wind their way home and then gets filled wit h people out for the night as they meet up. Once they have they move on the place empties almost completely.

A good solid proper pub and one of three (along with the Fortescue and the Junction) that are proper Mutley pubs and it wasn't so long ago that they were the only three which is hard to believe nowadays!!

Finally it was the HP where we saw this poster which in all honesty is the inspiration behind this little pub-orientated odyssey.


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