My quest for good food leads me to some random places…
It just has a cool vibe. I feel like a bit of a dick saying that, but it does! The sleek black tiling paired with neon signage, retro arcade machines, pool tables and something happening on every screen made for a more welcoming environment than I find in most “sports” establishments. Not that I’ve been to all that many, really. I think it makes for a good compromise when your group is a mix of sporting types and the uninitiated who use terms such as “sports fan” like me.
Basically, the most important part. The new menu isn’t the biggest when it comes to options, but it’s got laidback down to a tee. Think burgers, pulled pork, loaded fries, chicken wings, sharing platters, ribs – the lot. On a Wednesday, you can get 24 chicken wings for FOUR POUNDS. It still blows my mind, and that’s just one of the brilliant deals they offer. If you fancy a challenge, they’ve got a selection of Man vs Food style challenges to try your hand at, too.
I visited after an afternoon of shooting with the lovely Claire, and having braved the cold winds in Stockbridge in search of the perfect shooting location we were both ready to warm up with some damn good food. I was torn between loaded fries and the pulled pork burger, picking the latter, but had no hesitation in ordering some mac & cheese fritters. Claire went for the loaded swine fries, and the food envy was real.
Luckily, my pulled pork burger was absolutely delicious. I’m fussy when it comes to pulled pork as I hate when it’s too dry, but find that too much sauce can be distracting and make for a messy burger. Beer & Skittles pulled pork burger had the perfect balance of flavourful sauce and tender meat served on a brioche bun with crispy fried pickles and apple slaw on the side. The mac & cheese fritters were carb heaven, packed with cheesy pasta goodness with a light and crispy coating on the outside. Fried carbs can rarely be described as “light”, but these were far from stodgy and had the balance between crispy breadcrumbs and gooey cheese down.
Now, I’m not usually one for beer, but even I was blown away by the selection on offer at Beer & Skittles. Alongside their huge range of beers, they have a very appealing selection of ciders and even offer Rekorderlig on draught – which isn’t something you see very often. I’d love to spend a sunny afternoon in their beer garden with one of the Crooked peach and pomegranate ciders! Beer & Skittles have recently partnered with Jim Beam to provide a selection of £5 cocktails, too, which will always catch my attention.
It’s casual without being a dive, with the recent refurb giving the place a sleek finish that really brings it all together. The staff were so friendly without being overbearing, which is exactly what you want for a chilled out bite, and I can imagine it gets pretty full at peak times. You can book their booths in advance to grab the best spot, which I’d recommend doing for the more popular events.