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Three Kings Inn, Church End, Hanley Castle, WORCESTER, WR8 0BL [Map]
What can I say. An incredible unspoilt pub in rural Worcestershire that certainly deserved the ultimate award of CAMRA National Pub of the Year in 1993, and was runner up in 1998. It's situated a few miles north of Upton-on-Severn just off the B4211. You'll have to look out for the turning though to Hanley Castle and you'll find the pub a few hundred yards up the lane at the end near the church.
A very friendly feel within from the bar staff as well as the pub fires in the winter. The pub has apparently been in the same family for not many years short of a century. It really is unspoilt with well worn decor itching to be decorated yet if it were it would somehow lose some of its unique character. We first wandered into the small public bar, and when I say small I mean it. There probably isn't quite enough room to swing a cat once you've battled with the sliding door. Even so it is cosy with its own fire in the winter. Around the other side however is the lounge or 'Nells Bar' with plenty of seating and tables. They've also some old chairs and tables in the semi-wild garden.
Foodwise they've very well priced food on offer from soup for just a pound up to decent trout (I was impressed) for under 5 pounds. The service was slow, but the food was well worth the wait (no food Sunday evening). As for the beer well, very, very good value, a good 50 pence a pint cheaper than central Birmingham prices and far better served. They've served a thousand different real ales between February 1992 and February 1998 and I bet everyone has been great. And would you believe it, the younger barmaid who often selects the beers doesn't like real ale. We had a chat with her during my second visit in June 1998 and we were very much 'out beered'!. They've usually 5 different beers on offer at any one time (usually including Butcombe Bitter and Thwaites Bitter) from as far afield as Orkney (Skullsplitter at 8.5% - a very hefty pint!). Cider drinkers, they've also got proper cider on offer.
As if the beer, food and general friendly atmosphere of the pub isn't enough they often have bands in, though you'll have to ring them for more information.