Big bustling Fullers pie-and-ale pub with impressive Victorian façade and interior, and a small back terrace
To find this extraordinary place, just head for the cathedral - the pub is opposite. The interior is impressively flamboyant: 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 brewer Fullers and they keep the full range of Fullers beers on handpump, alongside up to four local guests such as Byatts Urban Red, Castle Rock Harvest Pale, Heritage Revolution, and Hook Norton Hooky, 13 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.
Good Pub Guide Food
Bar food times: 12 - 10; 12 - 4 Sun
Well liked food includes sandwiches, snacks such as beer-battered cod goujons, piri-piri chicken skewers and barbecue pork ribs, plus burger with bacon, smoked cheddar, relish and chips, quinoa, aubergine and feta salad with saffron yoghurt, pork and cider sausages with onion rings and gravy, rump steak and stilton salad, and puddings such as chocolate brownie and vintage ale and molasses sticky toffee pudding.