28 New Street
Tel: 01905 28190

I REALLY wanted to enjoy our Saturday lunchtime visit to this city centre inn. In these days of the gastropub and having to watch out for small children clutching heaped bowls from a salad bar, it made a pleasant change to step through the doors into a place which was full of grown-ups enjoying real ale and conversation.

There were hundreds of beer mats pinned up on the exposed beams, there was a friendly welcome at the bar and loads of different nooks and crannies to sit in – we sat in the comfy chairs next to the window.

The staff had made an effort for St Patrick’s Day, adding several dishes with an Irish theme to the simple menu.

We chose a starter of black pudding fritters to share. For my main course, I stuck with the Irish theme and ordered the special offer of a plate of Irish stew with a pint of Guinness. My wife chose the Dirty Duck, a home-made burger with caramelised red onions and chips. We got an inkling that all might not be well when the two admirably restrained serving staff seemed to be having trouble matching orders with customers – apparently not all food orders had been allocated table numbers.

Our meal arrived in one fell swoop, so we had no real time to enjoy the very substantial starter before having to tackle our mains. Still, the couple at the next table had finished their main course by the time their first dish arrived.

In mitigation, the place was packed by this point and everyone seemed to be ordering food.

We enjoyed the black pudding fritters but my stew could have done with being less peppery and both my wife’s bun and burger were dry. The onions and chips were good, though.

There were no sweets on the menu so my wife decided to try an Irish coffee, which turned out to be a normal coffee with a shot of whiskey.

It wasn’t expensive at £21 but even our bill had the pub’s name misspelt on it. A small thing but easy to correct.

The pub has a good reputation for real ales and its live music nights in the adjoining Drummonds bar. With just a little more attention to detail, it could become a very good place to go for Saturday lunch.


Food 2
Service 3
Ambience 4
Value for money 3