The Grosvenor Pub at 291-293 Mansfield Road has quite some history behind it. A pub has been on this corner since the early part of the 19th Century when it was known as the Blacks Heads Inn. In 1873 it was renamed the Grosvenor Hotel when it was bought by John Robinson who was the founder of Home Brewery. Locally it was then known as the Squires largely due to the stabling of horses from the nearby Forest Racecourse. In the 1990’s the name was changed to the Grosvenor Pub, these days it is a John Barras pub.
I am not a massive fan of the big pub chains, but these days with so many pubs closing day by day I have to mellow somewhat as it is often the only way some of these pubs get to stay open.
Inside Grosvenor there are the usual televisons showing sport (at the moment the World Cup in Brazil) but they are not as intrusive as you might think in comparison with a number of the city centre pubs. The pub itself sprawls around with rooms leading into rooms, despite my cynical misgivings I quite like the layout. It also helped that they have a fair offering on the beer front with the locally loved Castle Rock Harvest Pale being there on the pump to soothe my beer soul.
I am going to be honest, I didn’t plan to eat here and it really was a case of reaching that point of the evening where it was here or nowhere ‘until the pubs close’. So it was as case of checking out the menu looking for something that was not likely to involve too much microwave or freezer action (just my misgivings on chain pubs there not a comment on how they cook stuff here). It seemed that the All Day Breakfast Offer from the ‘Pub Classics’ section of the menu was offering us the best option. It was 2 plates for £9 and that was going to give us “Two rashers of bacon, two fried eggs, two Boroughbridge sausages, mushrooms, grilled tomato, Heinz™ baked beans and chips, served with toast and butter” for our outlay of nine English pounds.
When the actual All Day Breakfast arrived I was half way through my pint of Harvest Pale, my third pint of the evening and I had moved beyond my food snobbery mindset and was pretty hungry. It is a simple but filling affair, there is not enough plate space for all the food, so you cannot complain about quantity. The sausages were not too bad, not as cheap as some places and they did have a nice herby flavour and were almost meaty. The bacon and the eggs were perfectly acceptable and the toast was, well the toast was toast what can you actually say about that. The beans and the mushrooms were a bit overcooked and the chips had seen better days. Did I eat them? well yes I did, but it would be a bit dishonest for me to say anything else about them when you can see exactly what I just said about them just by looking at them in the picture. As for the grilled tomato? we didn’t eat that.
How can I sum this up? I like the beer, I like the pub layout, the locals seem to be making use of the place and I sensed it was an actual local. As for the food, well it filled me up and was reasonable value. I wouldn’t be bringing my Mum here for Mothers Day or a special dinner, but if I was out and about in the area on some sort of pub crawl situation and just needed something ‘safe’ to help me along, well then this place might just work on that day.