Not only does Luton have a one-pump pub in the Beer Guide, it has a pretty wonderful entry in the latest CAMRA book of Pub Heritage too.

You have to pass through some challenging street art to get there via the station.  On this occasion, the modern reality actually looks better than the paintings.  The Painters Arms doesn’t do food, but I recommend the culinary sensation that is the ham sandwiches from Delicye Polish Delite.  A full selection of Polish lagers here.

More Art

You must never jump to conclusions, but the Painters is your archetypal Irish pub, an increasingly rare survivor in Hightown. Racing from Punchestown, and betting slips, rather than “Beer in Beds“, are the giveaways. That and the six minutes taken to pour the Guinness.

It doesn’t sell real ale, though the rusting Benskins (RIP) sign is indication that it once did. Even if they’d had Cloudwater DIPA on, I’d still have gone for the Guinness though. I probably only have a couple of pints of it a year, but on this form that seems a bit mean. In January I’m in Dublin, and may make a belated trip to test it on home ground again.

Even with a photo finish loudly reported in Gaelic it was a wonderfully peaceful half hour.


WhatPub speculates on a return of cask, but I reckon the Bricklayers mops up any real ale trade out this way. You’ve always got Carlsberg, Coors, Fosters and JS Smooth if you want a choice.


All it lacked were a few more customers mid-afternoon to occupy the bench seating I forgot to capture on my unguided tour round the pub.  People make pubs you know, not just tiling.



  1. Nice to see the Painters is still ticking along. I went there back in 2008 prior to a game against Luton Town. I remember one of the external doors leads you into a tiny, self-contained snug – a load of us piled into the pub through this door only to realise midway through that we weren’t all going to fit in! It was a bitterly cold snowy night and the pub’s heating had packed up, so we sat around drinking Guinness in our coats, scarves and gloves – think we were the only customers that night. We then went to Kenilworth Road and enjoyed 7 minutes of football before the ref abandoned the match! (The re-arranged fixture was a 3-3 thriller, with Luton’s late equalizer scored by a player who was sponsored by the Bricklayers Arms).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is pleasing the Brickies continuing to support the Hatters. Whilst Luton Town are in the exclusive list of clubs that I hate with a passion, I think it is important for the community to support their club as this pub clearly does – and from past experience it gets the trade it deserves. I recall them selling a specially brewed beer with proceeds going in to the club the last time we visited and won 3-2 (somebody will correct me if there was a more recent encounter – I have a feeling there may have been a 1-0 defeat the season after, I can’t remember if they spent one season or two back up in the Second Division).

      I have never been to an abandoned game – only postponements, which I presume count if you make it into the ground. I would like to, just to see what happens.

      Green tiling is undoubtedly an attractive feature to a pub and general comes hand in hand with other positives.

      Martin, I think I have heard of Guinness refusing to install fonts in pubs that they think will have a low turnover, presumably for the very reason of turnover contributing to quality. Or it could just be that they don’t think it will generate a financial return if you are cynical like me.


  2. What is the general attitude towards green pub tiling? I like it. I see it commented on a lot and cannot tell what people think. Positive or negative?


  3. From time to time I think “oh, I really must try a pint of Guinness again”, but when I do I’m always disappointed 😦

    Green pub tiling is great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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