YOU know what they say about your own doorstep – well, this week I’ve taken the risk.

The Mucky Duck has benefited from two visits from yours truly, one was a Tuesday evening some time ago and the latest was yesterday lunchtime.

On the first occasion the quiz was in full swing, as was the pub, and I was lucky enough to sample not one, not two, but three pints – what a pleasure.

My second visit was equally enjoyable for entirely different reasons.

During the evening every table benefits from candlelight and I received an equally bright welcome from the guy in The Mets T shirt.

Food was on offer and it smelt good, but I had the drinking head on and wasn’t going to be waylaid.

There were plenty of folk engrossed in the quiz and almost as many amusing themselves with their own games.

Forgetting the nonsense I’ve received recently about drinking beer no one has heard of, I sampled, in order, Gun Brewery Pale Ale at 4.6 per cent, Moshpit Gold Mark clocking in at 5.6 per cent and Bedlam Brewery Benchmark at just 4.0 per cent.

The Moshpit was a good deal too fruity for my taste and the Bedlam should be kept for cleaning but the Gun Brewery Pale Ale was a very pleasant offering.

The quizmaster position himself carefully in the corner and was an extremely jovial looking individual with glasses that never left the top of his head.

Funnily enough glasses were relevant as I deeply regretted not taking mine (to the toilet that is).

They are downstairs in the basement and as a result you need to enter a code.

After three pints it was surprising I could remember the code, but without my glasses I had zero chance of seeing the numbers – you’ll be pleased to hear someone relieved my embarrassment and let me in. So, that was visit one.

Number two was just yesterday when I received an even warmer welcome from a lovely diminutive, dark haired barmaid with the most delightful Geordie accent.

Desperate not to make any faux pas I checked the exact location, Gateshead.

She was helpful, efficient and nothing was too much trouble. She even filled one woman’s water bottle from the tap and topped it up to exactly the level requested – I didn’t ask what she intended adding to it.

This time I went for the Sharp’s Pilsner at 5.2 per cent. It was slightly hefty £4.90 but was a great tasting, fresh pint that delivered a real bite.

I noticed Charlie’s Jars are on offer on the bar. You can get lemon curd or a selection of fruit jams for £3.50 a jar.

Thursday is Chicken Thursday and you can get waffles or a burger, with fries and a selected drink for £10 – and, if you hang on long enough, you’ll get Gypsy Jazz at 9pm.

Something else you don’t see often these days is two bobble-hatted drinkers. One was engrossed in his iPad and I would have left him to it but he called me over to ask what I fancied. To be fair he would have bought me a pint, but he was actually watching the horses.

It seems he’d already backed a 13-2 winner earlier in the day and considers himself an expert. At this point bobble hat’s mate came in bemoaning his luck that his nag had led all the way before finishing second to something that would be better off as dog meat.

Bobble hat really wanted to know if I’d got any hot tips. I couldn’t hear him very well over Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart and I won’t tell you what I thought he said.

I am delighted to report The Mucky Duck looks like a great pub. Full of proper pub furniture, plenty of life and very welcoming. The code on the toilets had changed so I had to make my excuses to the editor and use the urinals at Argus HQ.

I think the reporters might favour The Mucky Duck too, so I’ll leave it there, save to say it is definitely one I recommend.


Decor: ★★★★☆

Faded posters, wooden table of all shapes and sizes – plenty of room to move

Drink: ★★★★☆

Both beers I tried weren’t great

Price: ★★☆☆☆

A little bit steep, but you get what you pay for

Atmosphere: ★★★☆☆

Quieter lunchtime, buzzing Tuesday evening

Staff: ★★★☆☆

The Mets was 3, the Geordie lass a 4