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Picture of The West End Retreat
Image posted by Alan Winfield
Submitted on Monday, 14th June 2010
With picture contributions to 6053 other pubs
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The West End Retreat, Norwich

Browne Street
Norwich
NR2 4QY
Correct details

Reviews of The West End Retreat (Average Rating: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about The West End Retreat

This pub, hidden down a short side street to the west of the city centre, appears in CAMRA's list of historic pub interiors, so given that I had a bit of time to spare after visiting the nearby Fat Cat, I thought a quick visit might be in order. The pub was run by the same couple for 35 years up until 2005, which means that many of the features from a 1960's refit were retained, but sadly, the pub is now looking very run-down and uncared for which means that there was little to admire. It's a two bar pub with an entrance porch giving you the option to turn left or right for the lounge or public bar respectively, or at least it would if the lounge were actually open. There is also apparently access to a preserved off sales corridor here somewhere, but I managed to miss this, perhaps distracted by the clutter and disrepair. With my options limited, I made my way into the public bar - a carpeted room with a nice period curved servery in one corner and some fixed banquette, low stool and standard seating opposite. The most striking feature is a nice Bullard's stained glass window, but that really is about all the excitement I can muster about this place. The walls are decorated with a few interesting bits including a Martini mirror and an old carriage clock, but mostly they are covered with cheap drink promotion posters. A TV was showing The Simpsons, whilst a pretty decent rock soundtrack played over the top. The space to the right of the room was bizarrely empty except for a few odds and ends scattered on the floor, slot machines, a dartboard and patio doors leading out to a space that is a cross between a garden and car park, without meeting the needs of either. There were a few charity fundraising certificates on the walls which showed a glimmer of community spirit, but then the entire pub was littered with betting slips (a bookmakers stands on the corner of the road), which quashed that image pretty quickly. For me, the best thing about the pub was Casper, the African grey parrot in a cage opposite the bar. Signs advised me not to put my fingers in his cage, but he seemed friendly enough and I enjoyed a conversation with him that far surpassed the efforts of the barman and his only other customer.
No surprise to find no ale on the bar, just the usual keg options including John Smiths Extra Smooth and Guinness. I tried the former, which was one hell of a comedown after a mini session in the Fat Cat. The barman seemed a bit shocked to see me walk through the door but recovered his composure and was pleasant enough before vanishing once my beer was poured.
This could be a pleasant enough pub but it's been neglected so much that I can only see it losing more and more custom. Quite why anyone would choose to drink here over virtually any other pub in the area is beyond me. I hope the place gets a bit of energy and effort injected into it before it's too late, but as things stand I wouldn't even entertain the idea of a return visit.

On 30th September 2014 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2541 recommendations about 2541 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Alan Winfield left this review about The West End Retreat

The West End Retreat is a two roomed back street pub i went in the room on the right hand side this was fairly small and there was a large parrot making a racket banging its cage there were no real ales here so it was a Guinness the pub seemed a bit dowdy and in need of a paint and refresh inside,not a pub to go out of your way for like i did.

On 7th June 2010 - rating: 4
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


julie points left this review about The West End Retreat

located in the backstreets, this pub is clean and friendly with lots of local charm.wonderful landlady and chatty parrot..

On 8th April 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

This pub features in the following crawls:
Norwich Crawl 29 May 2010 by Alan Winfield
External web links for The West End Retreat

No known official website for this pub.

Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Pub SignMan
Norwich, 1.48 miles, 28 min walk (show)
Salhouse, 6.73 miles, 2 hr 9 min walk (show)
Brundall Gardens, 6.92 miles, 2 hr 13 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The West End Retreat, Norwich
30th Sep 2014, 00:15
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
 
29th Sep 2014, 23:42
Pub map correction submitted by Pub SignMan approved

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Jukebox : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : Yes last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Cider : No last updated 30 September 2014 by Pub SignMan
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