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Beer of the Week (w/e 29th November 2020) with trainman on the Pub Forum

The Lamb Hotel, Axbridge

The Square
BS26 2AP
Phone: 01934732253

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about The Lamb Hotel

Situated in the square in the medieval town of Axbridge in The Mendips is The Lamb Inn, an imposing looking building with a fine Georgian frontage. It’s a former coaching inn, part of which is reputed to have seen service as the local guildhall. The pub is opposite the King John’s Hunting Lodge, a 16th century Tudor style building which is now owned by the National Trust and is the home of the Axbridge Museum.

The pub features dark beamed ceilings, horse brasses, some exposed stonework and several fine fireplaces. There’s a number of carpeted and comfortable adjoining areas which all combine to create a cosy, traditional and welcoming atmosphere, free of any unnecessary “improvements” such as TV’s and fruit machines.

All these areas are served front the front room which houses an L shaped bar which is immediately noticeable for having a collection of bottles set into the bar front by concrete. This area has a skittles table and is evidently where the locals drink. Seating here consists of bar stools, several normal tables and chairs and a long padded bench along the front wall.

Some chunky picnic style tables at the front overlook The Square. Several unnecessary hostile and obtrusive notices here warn customers not to smoke on those outside seats that are within 2.5 metres of the doorway, threatening us with a spot fine of £ 60 if we infringe.

On my recent Tuesday lunchtime visit, the pub was gradually filling up with tourists and holidaymakers coming in for lunch, but this appears to be a pub that caters for both drinkers and diners in equal measure.

Despite being badged externally as a free house, its owned by Butcombe Brewery and a prominently displayed booklet on the bar counter gave details of all Butcombe houses – 16 in total. A number of these pubs are participating in a Mendip Ale Trail, a walking tour between pubs in close proximity.

3 Butcombe beers were on – Bitter, Gold and Brunel IPA. The Bitter - £ 2.90p – tasted somewhat thin and unremarkable, but the Gold - £ 3.10p – had more body and character. Fullers London Pride was also available – apparently this is a permanent “guest”. My food – beef and Butcombe pie arrived promptly and was very tasty.

Stickers from various pub guides cover the window, but no CAMRA Good Beer Guide stickers were seen.

If you’re in the area, you should consider seeking this pub out, and visiting the museum opposite as well.

On 17th October 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about The Lamb Hotel

A popular Butcombe pub located in the picturesque village square. Once you’re through the throng of smokers congregating outside, it’s suitably “olde worlde” inside as befits the area, with a sagging, beamed ceiling, plenty of exposed stonework and lots of old fireplaces around, some no longer in use but others with wood burners in.

The front bar seems to be the one that’s popular with the locals and was pretty rammed early on a recent Friday evening. The bar counter itself is an L-shape, but the layout is not ideal and service can be tricky. The bottom leg of the “L” is in the aforementioned public bar, but quite close to the tables and chairs, so there’s only a limited amount of room to squeeze in to. That combined with many of the locals who seem to like taking up space at the bar can make it difficult to get yourself noticed. The upright leg of the “L” is pretty much in a corridor, so this too is not ideally positioned to get your drinks in.

The front bar also has a table skittles game which you don’t see too often these days, and the bar counter itself is an interesting feature, the base being made out of dozens of bottles set in to the plaster. Above the bar is more old timber, with plenty of horse brasses around and glass tankards hanging from the ceiling. Staff all seemed pleasant and helpful.

At the back you’ve got a couple of rooms that are again laid out with tables and chairs, but although the food seems popular it doesn’t dominate. Only the small snug at the very back had tables laid up for eating. The menu was a decent selection of pub grub, with your usual chilli, lasagne, ham egg & chips, etc, plus a few more adventurous dishes and a few specials chalked up on a board, along with an appetising selection of deserts. Most of the mains were around the £9 mark and this seemed reasonable value with our Butcombe Pie and “curry of the day” being pleasant enough (although nothing spectacular) and generous portions.

Beers on tap were predominantly Butcombe, with their bitter, Gold and Blond. There was also Fuller’s London Pride. Ciders were Ashton Press and Thatcher’s Dry.

All in all, well worth a visit. Note that parking in the square is very limited, and most of the nearby streets have double yellow lines. There are however a couple of public car parks within about two minutes walk, and these are free after 6:00pm.

On 15th January 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]