Sunday, 18 March 2012
1-3 Birchgrove Road, Birchgrove [map]
It may look as if The Photographer has invested in some form of fisheye lens in order to take this shot. But there's no trickery involved here: this is just what The Birch looks like.
Everything's leaning in at such a weird angle that it's like a Brains-fuelled supernova that's about to collapse in on itself and create a tiny black hole in the middle of Birchgrove. Which will certainly be confusing for anyone trying to drive out of Cardiff on the A469.
We risk cosmic annihilation and venture inside, where our bravery is rewarded with two chilled pints of Foster's.
On a separate note, what exactly has been going on to cause the large scuff mark on that pole? It's as if it's some sort of scratching post for pissheads.
Bear right when you go in and you'll enter this extensive lounge area, which has a particular focus on serving food.
The Photographer insists I make some sort of amusing remark about the fact that the fish tank is adjacent to the specials board but, frankly, I can't be bothered.
Through to the other bar section where, you feel, the real drinking action takes place. Note telly in corner decanting a few bloody rounds of pugilism, surely the only appropriate weekday afternoon viewing in a pub that's populated exclusively by blokes.
If, after a few pints, you fancy getting involved in a bit of sporting action yourself, boxing is actually rather frowned upon (come on, this isn't the Royal Oak).
But there is a dartboard and, perhaps more excitingly, this skittle alley - which also doubles as the venue for dwarf throwing contests on the third Sunday of every month.