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Chaplins, Stockton Road, Sunderland

Chaplins has long been a forgotten favourite drinking haunt of mine.

Forgotten in the sense that it's played a sparse staple in my nights out on the town.

As a student many afternoons were squandered away in the four walls of Chaplins, and many a night out since has been kick-started by a few in the pub. But months can go by where Chaplins slips off my radar.

That's because it can be easy to leave Chaplins off the Sunderland circuit, with it sitting just on the edge of town and the allure of bright lights and pounding music in the string of pubs and bars at nearby Green Terrace and Park Lane.

But, in fact, Chaplins is alive with a mixed crowd of people on Friday and Saturday nights, and the reason is because it manages to cater for all tastes.

It bucks the common trend and hasn't succumbed to many other watering holes in the city centre that have become faceless, souless clones of one another.

Chaplins still has personality. OK, so it may be a tad tatty in places, and the toilets could do with a quick clean. But apart from that it retains the air of a place that has been lived in – comfortably.

The drinks are well priced too, and if you invest in a Cheat Card for a 1 you'll benefit from even cheaper booze from the bar (about 25 per cent less).

A pint of Kronenbourg is 2.25, Guiness 2.20, a bottle of Bulmers 2.60 and Stella 1.70.

If wine is more your thing then they have an offer on with selected bottles costing 10. A small glass of house wine will set you back by 2 and a large costs 3.25.

They also serve pub grub between 11am and 3pm, with a menu packed with sandwiches and baguettes, salads, burgers and pasta dishes.

And there's plenty of deals on their food as well, with two dining for 5.95 using a Cheat Card, curry and drink nights for 5.95 on Fridays and a Great British Pub Night on Thursdays, when you can bag yourself a meal and a drink – again for a credit crunching 5.95.

Marissa Carruthers

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