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The Armoury, Shrewsbury

Victoria Quay, Victoria Avenue
Welsh Bridge

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Armoury

This rather remarkable riverside building was originally built back in 1807 in an area to the South East of the town as a storage facility for the arms of the volunteer corps of Shropshire. The building quickly fell into disuse and remained empty up until the First World War, when it was put to use housing displaced Belgian families. Then in 1919, a local company purchased the building, dismantled it, and rebuilt it at its current location, where it operated as a bakery for many years. In 1995 the building was restored with the upper floor let as office space whilst the Brunning and Price pub company decided to open the ground floor as the riverside pub we find today.
The layout is fairly simple, with the front doors taking you into a small lobby from which you then access the huge, single room interior. Bare floorboards are covered in part with large rugs and there is plenty of exposed brickwork on show as well. The servery is roughly opposite the front door, in the middle of the back wall. There is standard seating throughout and the emphasis seemed to be quite firmly on food, which made finding somewhere to sit for just a drink a little awkward. There is a little bit of partitioning on the right hand side of the room, which looks quite nice in passing and the walls are covered with all sorts of interesting items including various photos, paintings, documents and maps. There are also some imposing, large bookcases dotted around as well. The weather had taken a turn for the worse by the time I arrived, so I didn’t get the chance to drink outside on one of the tables with views out over the river. For some time, I was convinced that there was a bird flying around the pub, as I occasionally glimpsed something darting past out of the corner of my eye, but after a while I realised that it was actually the bar staff sending their takings up a transparent vacuum tube.
There was plenty of good beer on the bar, which may explain my confused state, with a choice of Brunning and Price Original, Salopian Shropshire Gold, Ironbridge Gold, Slater’s Premium, Hobson’s Mild, Three Tuns XXX (£3.50), Shire’s Ginger Bob and Brough’s Blonde. I gave the XXX a try and thought it was in pretty good shape and served up by a very friendly and eager barman.
I really liked this interesting building which has a distinctly different history and feel to it than the traditional ale houses in the town centre. I think this place is probably best experienced with some food, but having said that, I enjoyed my visit and would certainly pop back for another look.

On 18th May 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

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ROB Camra left this review about The Armoury

Nothing has changed in here since my last visit, it's still a bit of a barn and the ale is still good. We called in twice over two days in Shrewsbury. The first time was for a mid afternoon drink when it was very quiet with no atmosphere. The second time we called in to eat and it was very busy and buzzy at about 8 on a Wednesday. I had venison, which was excellent and the other half had a mixed meat charcuterie board which she loved. I don't mind calling in for a beer, but it's better for food.

Large, high ceilinged barn of a pub with books bought by the yard around the walls. Not much atmoshere even with a couple of small Xmas do's on. However the beer range is excellent with 7 handpumps in use when I visited. I had a pint of Worfields Dabley bitter which was well kept. Well worth a visit for the beer.

On 1st May 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2866 recommendations about 2786 pubs]

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Anonymous User left this review about The Armoury

I had a bad feeling about the place when I was walking in and my intuition proved to be correct. Had a half of OBJ by Shires and it was horrid. I walked out without finishing it.

I just thought the place was more of a restaurant rather than a pub. It seemed a little pretentious and aimed for the more up market clientele.

I would not recommend for the drink aspect however, I can't comment on the food side.

On 8th October 2012 - rating: 4
[User has posted 0 recommendations about 0 pubs]

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Blackthorn _ left this review about The Armoury

A vast shed of a pub on the attractive Victoria Quay, this is a very popular destination despite the fact that it is located somewhat out of the town centre. It is I suppose in the noisier end of town, with a Lloyds being located just behind it and a Vodka bar also nearby. Despite a decent array of beers on tap, the emphasis here seems to be mainly on food and it was full to capacity on a recent Saturday evening visit with all tables in use by diners except for a couple just inside the door, although there were also a few more along the quay outside which looks as if it would be a pleasant spot in the warmer weather.

It’s all one big, open-plan room with the entire left hand wail being taken up with a floor to ceiling bookcase as well as a second extensive bookcase in the opposite corner. The long front wall of the pub is all exposed brickwork with a row of large arched windows. Elsewhere is cream plasterwork and a burgundy ceiling, and wood flooring. Various old pictures and photos were dotted around, there was a pile of board games on a shelf and a glass display case housed a collection of explosives and fuses which makes a change from the usual rope knots, and is, I suppose, appropriate given the pub’s name. Don’t let any of this infer that it is in some way a cosy pub though – with it’s high ceilings, harsh acoustics and large number of punters it was anything but quiet and relaxed.

The food menu was extensive with around twenty main courses to choose from, most of them priced somewhere in the region of £12.50. The staff all seemed friendly and service was on the whole quick and efficient, but clearly something was amiss somewhere – we were initially brought the wrong starter; no big deal, mistakes happen, but when a second waitress brought us the same wrong starter five minutes later we did start to wonder what was going on in the kitchen. Fortunately a third waitress managed to bring the correct dish after that. Whether it was worth the wait is another matter though. A starter of Goat’s Cheese & Sweet Potato Terrine sounded intriguing, but was nothing more than a slab of goat’s cheese wrapped in thinly sliced layers of sweet potato, and was served far too cold. Similarly a main course of Smoked Haddock & Salmon Fishcakes were predominantly mashed potato, with very little discernable fish. Side courses were extra, and a bottle of Pino Grigio was disappointing, so all in all I really couldn’t recommend the food here, although judging on it’s popularity I’m clearly in a minority.

Beer choice was unusually good for any pub, never mind one that concentrates so much on food and doesn’t obviously seem to encourage drinkers. On this occasion they were Woods Shropshire Lad, Shropshire Gold, Three Tuns XXX, Backyard Bitter, Adnams Southwold, Hobson’s Twisted Spire, Brunning & Pride Original Bitter and Shires Dabley Gold. After such an extensive range of beers, the cider choice was disappointing with just Aspall’s Suffolk.

On 21st September 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Armoury

A popular pub this one, especially on our lunch time visit, so the food most be good. There where a couple of small tables on the left near the entrance, which was handy and facing the bar. Eight real ales on handpump, their Brunning and Price original bitter was brill. Also went for the Hobsons Twisted Spire and Weetwood Cheshire Cat. The ales were all spot on. Staff were all friendly and you don't wait to be served, as it's well staffed.

On 21st July 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

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Ale Monster left this review about The Armoury

This is a top quality restaurant type pub which has been owned by a family run pub company called Brunning and Price since 1996. The building was originally a Georgian armoury but it was moved brick by brick to its current location from the Armoury Gardens on the East side of the town in 1922! It was then used as a military convalescence hospital and later a bakery. The interior is one wide but shallow open plan room with high ceilings, a wood panel bar counter in the middle of the back wall, half a dozen supporting pillars down the centre of the room (running left to right), natural wood flooring, a Victorian style fire place which is completely painted black in the middle of the right hand wall, full height (floor to ceiling) libraries of books dominate the entire left hand wall and the back right corner, the remaining walls are bare brick with waist height natural wood panel and various paintings and old photos crammed together in places. The large arched windows across the front of the building allow good views of the river and provide a well lit room. Furniture is traditional but mixed so it looks like it has been purchased from various sources at different times. Its worth noting that there is wheel chair access at the rear of the building and there is a disabled toilet.

Regular ales are currently the house bitter Brunning & Price Original, Wood Shropshire Lad, Hobsons Twisted Spire and Salopian Shropshire Gold with four changing guest beers which on this occasion were Three Tuns XXX, Sadler’s Green Man, Ruddles County and Old Speckled Hen. I tried the Wood’s, Hobsons, Salopian and XXX all local and in good condition in my opinion, I thought the Ruddles and Specky Hen were a strange choice of guest beer for a free house. The house bitter is brewed by the Phoenix Brewery in Manchester.

A very good pub which despite being predominantly food orientated has an excellent selection of local ales, the food is a little on the pricey side but it is freshly cooked and good quality. The pub has been in the GBG but not since 2005 which is a bit of a surprise as I personally think it is better than some of the pubs in the town that have made the cut in recent years. I’m not usually a big fan of large open plan foody pubs but this is probably one of the best of that type that I have visited.

On 23rd June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 199 recommendations about 199 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about The Armoury

A large modern food led bar in a splendid riverside Georgian/Regency building. The central door leads into a long narrow open plan room dominated at each end by book caes. The furnishing is a mix of old dark brown wooden furniture in various styles including some upholstered settles. The large round top windows down one side give views across the river although there is not a riverside terrace. Most walls have an eclectic selection of old photos, prints, and advertising posters. The staff are on the ball and pretty slick as is the beer quality. One surprise is that the tables don’t have brass numbers which is odd for a food led place. There are eight pulls with mainly local micro products plus two low T Bars and lots of wines and spirits. It backs onto the Lloyds No1 Montgomery's Tower through its back door.

On 16th September 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2299 recommendations about 2130 pubs]

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Wainnock ....... left this review about The Armoury

Good choice of beers and whiskies. Mainly a food pub but drinkers made welcome. Very friendly and efficient staff.

On 17th March 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 23 recommendations about 23 pubs]

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General Staal left this review about The Armoury

From the exterior, this pub appears to be a large, brick fronted Georgian building with large, arched windows. It has a pleasant outlook on Victoria Quay, facing out over a quiet, narrow road across the River Severn. Unfortunately, there is no outside space to make the most of the aspect.

Inside, is a large, open plan room, with lots of exposed brickwork, some walls plastered and painted cream, 'modern' beams across a salmon coloured ceiling and shelves of books across either end of the room.

The walls are decorated with Georgian/Victorian and early Twentieth century ephemera, not necessarily connected to Shrewsbury or this pub, but is nevertheless adds to the atmosphere of this place. This includes a display of clay pipes and quarry explosives.

There is a huge array of whiskies on offer, the usual beers, some ciders and bottled beers. There are 8 real ale taps. Today there was Woods Shropshire Lad (very nice), Gertie Sweet Traditional Bitter (ok but a tad too warm), Gertie Sweet New World Pale (fine), Three Tuns XXX (not on while I was there), Brunning and Price Original (very nice), Shires Severn Gorgeous (very nice), Shropshire Salopian Gold (very nice) and Hobson's Twisted Spire (very nice).

The food is not cheap, but delicious. Mrs Staal and I had salmon fillet, tagliatelle, broad beans, peas and asparagus in a creamy lemon sauce with a bowl of chips. It was delicious.

This is more a food place than a pub, but the range and quality of the real ales raises this above the bar. I would recommend this place and definitely return.

On 17th July 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 142 recommendations about 125 pubs]

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Oggwyn Great left this review about The Armoury

This is one of the Bruning and Price chain of pubs , so you know what your getting , a large selection of mainly local ales and good quality food . There were 8 ales on , Wood Shropshire Lad , Weetwood Eastgate , Gertie Sweet , Goffs Jouster and Guinevere , 6Bells Big Nev ,Salopian Shropshire Gold and the one i had the exellent Shropshire Brewery Salop Gold which was perfect for the hot afternoon of my visit . Whisky lovers are well catered for with around 75 available . The pub is open plan and caters mainly for diners but drinkers are made welcome , despite being quite busy the bar staff were only to happy to have a chat in between serving , this place is well worth a visit its a very good pub

On 23rd May 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 781 recommendations about 670 pubs]

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