Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Station Inn, Whitby/ The Vic, Leeds

It's been ages since I reviewed a pub - simply for the reason that no new ones (or ones worth writing about) had popped up recently. That all changed at the weekend when I was pleasantly surprised by The Station Inn in Whitby.

Now, I like Whitby. Really; I like the beach, the Fish & Chips (although getting pricier each visit) and the uneasy alliance formed between the Goths and Chavs that make up about 80% of Whitby's tourist population at any one time. One thing that Whitby does not have, however, is decent pubs. Sorry - my opinion - but I really can't say any appeal to me. Except The Station.

Situated, well, opposite the train station, it's a small, three-roomed pub with an excellent array of beers on offer. I counted Timmy Taylor's Best, Sharp's Doom Bar, Copper Dragon Challenger IPA, Daleside Blonde, Black Dog's Whitby Abbey Ale, Adnam's Bitter and Courage Directors. Not changing the world, admittedly, but a fine lineup. Being a nice day, I plumped for the Daleside Blonde and Black Dog's Whitby Abbey Ale - the latter being a lovely, moreish tawny best that warranted a second pint. The beer was in excellent condition, too. I'll be visiting again, for sure.

Last week, at the presentation to Foley's of the CAMRA Pub of the Year award, we got talking about The Victoria & Commercial Hotel in Leeds - a pub that I had visited in ages. It's still a quiet oasis from the screaming bars of millenium square, with all the ornate windows and woodwork that I remembered. The huge main room is a wonderful place to sit and have a drink. Situated just behind the town hall, Nicholson's have done their usual efficient preservation job and the result is a lovely, unfussy yet grand pub. The beer is good too - when I visited, Tetley's Dark Mild, Acorn's Barnsley Bitter, Cairngorm's Nessie, Sharp's IPA and Morrissey-Fox's (or whoever brews it this week) Proud of Pubs Best Bitter. Out of curiosity I ordered a pint of Mo-Fo (please shoot me if I ever use that phrase again) and nearly fell over; for it was actually rather good. A thick, creamy head gave way to a huge, malty best with a massive sweetness at the end. A slight smokiness lingered - fans of Milds and Dark Milds should hunt this one out.

So far a week of pleasant surprises, all in all.

The Station Inn, New Quay Road, Whitby, YO21 1DH - Tel: 08721 077 077

The Victoria & Commercial Inn, Great George Street, Leeds: Tel - 0113 2451386


bigun said...

very much agree with you on the lack of good pubs in Whitby, you would expect it to be crawling with nice oldy world bars, but no, pack em in, feed and water and get em out.

Leigh said...

Bigun - yeah. You think they should all be good, but it's like having ten estate pubs on a seafront, instead. A shame really.

TIW said...

The Black Horse was always pretty good - haven't been in for a few years, mind.

pdtnc said...

The Black horse is still good, the beer is always top notch.
I've never considered going into the Station Inn as its always looks like its full of Chavs and Alcoholics.
The Duke of York usually has 3 decent hand pulls on and is good for basic good pub food, Next door the 'Board Inn' is a tad basic but, the Shambles is chav-central to a certain degree but from what I've experience their beer is kept well and I've supt many a pint.
I can't say we've ever really visited the pubs in the new town half of Whitby as 'One does not associate with the lower classes', maybe we can make an exception for the Station Inn on our next visit ;)

rich (them apples) said...

The Victoria is consistently good, and has been for years.

A proper old school Leeds pub, and none the worse for that.