It is once again exam period, and that means more free time than usual (hey, you only have to go to campus between 1 and 6 times in a month, depending on how many exams you have, but during the semester you probably have to be on campus for 2 or 3 classes per day) and with our free time, my friends and I like to go on pub crawls. And I would like everyone else to also go on a pub crawl too, so for your convenience, here is Victoria Pub Crawl No. 3!
Bartholomew’s Pub: An English style pub located behind the Empress, they manage to pull off the atmosphere quite convincingly… probably because unlike some English style pubs, they don’t have too many tacky props to try and prove it. Sitting up at the bar is very nice, what with the classic looking bar stools, nice dark wood counter, and nice view of the pub around you. The food menu is rather English, and the drink menu covers all of the basics quite well.
Yates Street Taphouse: One of my most frequented pubs, I go there for the wonderful beer selection, great food, constant live sports, and the free pool tables. Admittedly if you want a laid back, relaxing chat with a friend in a more old fashioned locale, the Taphouse is probably not for you, but if you need a place to watch the game, or you would like to play some free pool, there’s no better place in Victoria. They have over 40 beers on tap, and instead of pitchers, they offer beer in 60oz towers, which is no bigger than the average pitcher, but far more fun.
The Churchill: Located within the Bedford Regency Hotel, right next to Garrick’s Head, this bar is less than one year old. It offers a large draught selection, and a serviceable whisky selection. The room is rather long and narrow, so it is best suited to smaller groups for an intimate pint of ale or dram of Scotch. The beautifully polished, long wooden bar, with 50 taps, and massive chalk board menu above, makes for a classy sight as you walk down the aisle towards an open seat. The food options are limited to snacks, so if you plan on eating a meal during the pub crawl, I would recommend doing so at either Bart’s, Taphouse, or the Guild.
The Guild: Located in a big brick building on Wharf Street, this one is technically a restaurant, but it offers an amazing menu chock full of classic English cuisine, such as Bubble & Squeak and various Fry Ups for brunch, Cumberland Sausage Rolls, Scotch Eggs, Chips with Curry Sauce, Welsh Rarebit, Split Pea & Ham Soup, Fish & Chips with Mushy Peas, and Beef & Mushroom Pie for dinner, as well as a Sunday Roast. They also have a great beer selection with 14 draught options, and 30 of the bottled variety, including 4 gluten free bottles! The Guild also boasts a wonderful atmosphere, with interior brick walls, and perfect lighting. Quite possibly my favourite restaurant in Victoria to go to for a beer and a snack.
The Drake: Not far from the Guild, and located across the street from Swans, the Drake Eatery is essentially a classic English style beer lounge. Featuring British pub-style counter service, to open your tab and get your beer you have to go up to the bar itself. If you order any food they will bring it out to your table, but otherwise there is no waiting for the waiters; if you want more beer, you can go and get more beer! On a simplistic level, this is the sort of life equation that I like: want beer=go get beer=satisfied. Apart from a large draught selection, the Drake offers tasty snacks, and has a nicely decorated interior that is perfect for enjoying a drink or two. An ideal location for winding down the evening after a day of drinking.