Surely I don’t need to tell you all about Grefriars Bobby, the “most faithful dog in the world.” Well, his statue is just outside this pub, and the famous graveyard is behind the pub, hence the name.
I’m not sure when Nicholson’s took over, but I’m quite sure it’s changed quite a bit since I was last in. It’s a good deal more presentable than it used to be, but at the expense of losing some of its character. It just seems a little clinical, and clearly aimed at tourists. There used to be two doors into the pub, but one of them has been demoted to an exit only, no doubt due to their proximity to the toilets, and to reduce the number of randoms using the facilities.
There are two levels to the pub, the top level more or less a dedicated restaurant area, then the bar area by the entrance with a more loungey feel. I thought there was another lower bit, but now I’m not sure, it’s taken me too long to write this up. Anyway, there’s lots of dark wooden panelling, tartan carpets, paintings in large golden picture frames and numerous lamps. There’s a big old fireplace in the dining area and some fitted leather seats down past the bar, along with assorted old-looking chairs and brass-top tables.
It was quite quiet until we showed up, the only other people were certainly tourists, about 3 or 4 tables of couples, mostly older folk. Back in the day it was popular with all sorts, students, tourists, locals, and could get quite rowdy. I don’t see that happening any more.
As mentioned somewhere above, it’s a Nicholson’s pub, they seem to have snapped up a swathe of tourist pubs in town over the past couple of years, now including Deacon Brodies, The Kenilworth, The Conan Doyle etc.
Cask: Nicholson’s Pale, Andwell Red IPA, Batemans Black & White, Lancaster Blueberry Ale, Oakham Citra. Keg: Tennent’s Lager, Carling, Peroni, Staropramen, Guinness, Aspall cider. I may have missed a few kegs.
The barman was friendly and seemed to know his stuff, describing each of the beers and asking what I normally like, and gave us several samples before we chose what to drink.
I’ve no notes on beer prices, but Nicholson’s is usually not overpriced on the beer front, expect something like £3.60 or cheaper per pint.
The food is your usual Nicholson’s offerings, pub classics, burgers etc. There’s a bit of a tourist tax going on, as the same stuff in other Nicholson’s bars are a bit cheaper by a quid or two. Fish and chips £11.95, sausage and mash £8.95, etc. We were in a large group, and a couple of folk thought it was quite overpriced for what they got.