Old Joint Stock
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Good Pub Guide Recommended
The sober exterior of this romanesque building gives little indication of the impressively flamboyance within which is extraordinary. Chandeliers hang from the soaring pink and gilt ceiling, gently illuminated busts line the top of the ornately plastered walls and there's a splendid, if well worn, cupola above the centre of the room. Big portraits and smart long curtains create an air of unexpected elegance. Around the walls are plenty of tables and chairs, some in cosy corners, with more on a big dining balcony that overlooks the bar and is reached by a grand staircase. A separate room, with panelling and a fireplace, has a more intimate, clubby feel. As far as we know, this is the northernmost venue to be owned by London-based brewer Fullers and they keep the full range of Fullers beers on handpump alongside up to four local guests such as Beer Geek Great White Geek, Hobsons Mild and Merry Miner Cap Lamp and Davys Lamp, a dozen wines by the glass and a decent range of malt whiskies, all served from a handsome dark wood island bar counter; daily papers, background music and board games. Most nights see something on in the smart purpose-built little theatre on the first floor, and a small back terrace has some cast-iron tables and chairs, and wall-mounted heaters. The cathedral is opposite.
Good Pub Guide Food
The reasonably priced food includes sandwiches, creamed mushrooms and shallots on toast, smoked salmon with capers and lemon, various sharing boards, broad bean and tomato tart, pork and apple sausages with mustard mash and red onion gravy, bacon and smoked cheddar burger with chips, chicken and sweetcorn pie and puddings such as chocolate brownie and eton mess.