Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Best Beer Garden in Leicester?

I was watching Ross Noble's Freewheeling the other day. He was in Leicester and getting tweets from people with instructions for fun things to do. It made me think how much of a laugh that would be, so I thought I'd try a little community-guided work for myself. Something that I can manage on my own in case none of you want to join in!! I'm definitely not as popular on social media as Mr Noble, so I'm not expecting miracles, but it'll be nice to get everyone's input. Inspired by the popularity of my Leicester Happy Hour Directory, I am pleased to announce... *fanfare*

The Hunt for the Best Beer Garden in Leicester(shire)!!

I am going to selflessly sacrifice my evenings and weekends to the search for the best beer garden our fair city (and county) can offer. If I can cycle to it (which depends on distance, mood and weather) and it's in Leicestershire then it is fair game. Each beer garden will be judged on a detailed selection of criteria by my discerning eye and the data will be crunched by a complex algorithm to produce an overall 2015 victor, to be announced on Friday 5th June - hopefully just in time for the sunshine to begin and the good times to roll! Who knows, I may even figure out a little prize for the winning venue.

Leave me a comment below if you have a suggestion for a beer garden I should visit. Pubs and bars, you're welcome to nominate yourselves! Or tweet me @Morrighani using the hashtag #BeerGardenLeicester.

I'll be posting each beer garden I visit here on the blog and I'm happy to post up photos and reviews if you visit somewhere new that you'd like to share. So get nominating, get involved and let's figure out where we should all be spending the August Bank Holiday. Sweet.

Of course the judging will be relatively subjective - who's to say whether size matters in beer garden perfection - should it be small and intimate or large and inclusive? I can only assume that it will depend on the venue. Here are the criteria I'm thinking of using, feel free to pull me up if I've got it wrong, missed something out or otherwise done a silly thing that you feel needs putting right.

Size and exclusivity
Big or small, it needs to suit the venue and create a great atmosphere. Is it a secret hideaway? Is it cute and cosy? Is it expansive and explosive? Is it a bit Goldilocks (in that it's just right, of course).

Early Doors
How is the sunshine ratio for those quick pints after work? Highest points awarded for beer gardens which give their punters as much sweet, sweet after-work sun as possible, for as long as possible.

Smarts
How does it look? Country garden oasis in the city centre or minimalist retreat are both acceptable. Peeling paintwork and dank corners are not.

Wifi
Can you get it in the garden? Everywhere? Reeeeally?

British-Summer-Proof
What happens when it rains. Because it will rain. Do you have to go indoors, or can you brave it?

Furniture
Wood, metal, plastic; all are equal in my eyes. But I don't take kindly to broken benches, rust, rot or other icky things that make my botty uncomfortable and give me splinters.

Miscellaneous
Do they give you blankets when it's chilly? Can you get table service outside? All these little extras are important.

Pub Dogs
Bonus points for dogs. Everyone loves a pub dog.
Super extra points for pub cats.
Points arbitrarily awarded for other wildlife that catches my eye.

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