Recently I was looking around in a bookshop trying to find a Christmas present for my daughter and her family who want to do some 4wdriving and camping. In the travel section I came across a book on pubs.
Great, I thought, I may not find what I want for my daughter but at least I found something that interested me. On closer inspection I found that it was a list of Victorian pubs. Hard as I tried I couldn’t find anything on NSW pubs.This also applied to the driving books, lots on interstate but little on New South Wales.
The idea to fill part of the gap was borne, at least as far as the pubs go, so I started to do a bit of research.
First of all I had to decide what I was trying to do; apart that is, from going to the pub, or lots of pubs.
I started to think about pub crawls, as you do, and I wondered how to go about it.
I would expect that Sydney and the suburbs would be well covered with information so I decided so start at the foot of the mountains and travel west. I have lived in the mountains for twenty odd years but this was the first time I actually counted the pubs and it was a bit of a surprise to come up with a total of fourteen before you even start down the pass at Mt Vic.
I had considered a pub crawl of the Central West, but got a bit alarmed when I began to realise how many pubs that would mean visiting and I thought that by the time I had finished, the list would probably be no longer relevant. So I reduced the size of the target area, counted the pubs again then reduced the area once again until I was left with a pub crawl zone, beginning at the foot of the Blue Mountains heading west to Hartley travelling towards Oberon and surrounding area; on to Bathurst then Blayney and Grenfell. Start heading north to Forbes, Parks and Dubbo. Swing south east to Wellington, off to Gulgong, Mudgee then Lithgow via Rylstone and Kandos. From either Bathurst or Wellington you could head off to Orange and Molong and the back across the mountains. This obviously doesn’t mention some of the other towns within this circle; they will be covered as I go along. (I hope to addaa covering mud map soon). Just in case you are wondering, that comes to nearly a hundred pubs; I hope to know exactly how many by the end of this exercise.
Obviously, my pub crawl will have to be done in stages, and more than likely will not exactly follow this route, but I am going to try and break it up in to achievable one or two day trips.
This area of the NSW is worth visiting and finding a town with a pub is as good a reason as any to come and see the place. There are of course a lot of other points of interest in this region but those should be on request from the tourist information centres though I may mention the odd one occasionally
So now I had to decide what I was actually counting, this meant I had to define what a pub was, at least in my mind.
So, a pub as far as I am concerned sells beer from a tap, has a choice of beers, offers meals, should have a beer garden, offers budget accommodation. Happy hours and meal deals are also worth looking for. A featured beer or beer of the month would be a great addition, and something I personally feel should be offered in a lot more places than as at the moment. The choice of having a coffee should also be available
TAB and poker machines are of no interest to me, so unless stated otherwise, it is fairly safe to assume that they are available. Live entertainment pool competitions and things like trivia are also not essential in my list but may get a mention.
I’m not reviewing service at the bar, but will definitely mention a good barmaid if I come across one.
Barmaiding, in my opinion is an almost lost art and so it is worth mentioning when you find a good barmaid. I am not advertising pubs, so apart from mentioning the town I won’t be providing addresses, telephone numbers or emails. I am working on the theory that if I can find the pub then so can you and if you can’t then you either are not looking hard enough or didn’t really want to find it anyway.
So that’s about it, I’ve written myself a check sheet , left room for me to make comments, and I will try and get a photo of the outside of the pubs as I go around though I don’t know how I will use photos yet.
Halfway through his mission I decided to rate the toilet facilities. Hotels usually are old buildings and as such a certain amount of deterioration must be expected. However there is no reason for the toilets to be in a terrible state and too often they are.There is no excuse for this.
To me it is a sign that the owners don’t care and if they don’t why should I.
Usually I am in the pubs in the early afternoon often shortly after opening times often or at lunch time and as such would expect that the toilets be clean and supplied.Very often this is not the case. I was recently in a pub between noon and half past where the toilet had no toilet paper, no soap, no paper towel, and no hot air hand drier.
I am working on the theory that if the mens toilets are bad then perhaps the womens are as well. I dont intend to go in to find out
So beacuse I have only just decided to do this most of the pubs so far won’t have their bogs mentioned but I may be able to retro fit a comment sometime in the future.