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Published October 13th 2017
Fine selection of real ales to wash down home-cooked food
It has to be one of the most compact pubs in the whole of Staffordshire, but small is certainly beautiful when it comes to The Earl of Lichfield Arms in the city of Lichfield. This is very much a cosy, traditional pub in the true sense of the word situated in the centre of Lichfield - tucked into a pretty narrow space between a bank and a certain popular fast-food restaurant.
The Earl of Lichfield Arms, which is also known locally as The Drum, boasts a fine selection of regular changing real ales, so there's also something new to try for the keen beer lover. As the pub is owned by the Marston's brewery, its ever-popular Marston's Pedigree was very much to the fore. The pub is also said to provide up to three changing beers so, on this occasion, I opted for a pint of Boon Doggle, a fine blonde ale courtesy of Ringwood brewery.
A very small frontage onto Conduit Street is pretty much mirrored once you step inside this neatly proportioned pub, which is said to date from the 18th century. A seemingly modern rebuild at the front of the front of the premises tends to mask its age, although the interior is nicely done out in a bare-brick, bare-wood style. The inside of the pub is divided into two clearly separate levels, both of which suggest a link to its historical connections. A number of old photos line the bare brick walls in the main bar area as you walk in off the street, while the separate upper bar area which is off to the left and up a step features an interesting black and white panorama of well-known scenes within Lichfield.
The main bar area is long and narrow, with an apparent space at the far end for the regular open mic nights and live bands that perform at The Earl of Lichfield Arms. That end of the bar then leads out onto a small, but well laid out and well-furnished beer terrace area at the rear of the premises. The pub is normally open from midday until 11pm, with a later opening until midnight on the busy Fridays and Saturdays, and a 10pm finish on Sundays.
The upper bar with images of Lichfield on the walls
As well as the excellent real ales on offer, the pub also serves an excellent variety of home-cooked meals, usually available from 12pm to 5pm rather than the short lunch periods at many other establishments. That was good news for my wife and I as we popped in after 2pm possibly expecting meals to have finished. A pretty comprehensive menu ranges from sandwiches, baguettes and paninis to a range of burgers and jacket potatoes, plus 'pub classics' such as Steak & Ale Pie, Lasagne, and Chicken Curry, all at just £6.50 each.
I opted for a Bacon and Cheese Burger, served with chips and a salad garnish, at just £4.50, while my wife went for a Bacon and Cheese Baguette at a slightly dearer £5, also with chips and salad. Both meals were clearly freshly cooked and were more than ample as well as delicious. For people looking to eat out on a Sunday, the pub also serves a Sunday roasts with a choice of beef, pork or chicken.