Pub of the week: The Duke of York, St Werburgh’s

31 05 2012

The last time I was in the Duke of York in St Werburgh’s was with two friends as we drunk the lethal pear cider Bee Sting putting the world to rights. Those friends now live in Henleaze with a beautiful three-month-old baby daughter and the days of drinking to excess on a school night are well behind them, at least until little Florence is out of nappies.

Since then, the Duke of York has been named in the Observer Food Monthly as one of the UK’s best pubs (read more here) but I haven’t visited it since Polly and Alan became responsible adults. I returned last Saturday afternoon after seeing Garage Band, a Mayfest show which was staged just around the corner in a garage on Conduit Place.

While writing a few preliminary thoughts in my notebook, the entire cast walked in. I quickly took my reporter’s card out of my trilby hat, but at least was able to thank them for putting on a great show as the curtain (garage door) came down without them having a chance to be applauded.

The Duke of York is well known for being covered outside floor to roof with graffiti. Inside, you could spend hours looking at everything affixed to the walls and ceiling, which includes mullet Top Trumps, flyers, foliage, and of course the requisite pump clips of past beers and ciders.

There are also dominos in a corner of one wall, but you don’t need to take them down to play a game in the Duke of York, for there is a skittles alley downstairs and a pool table upstairs.

Ciders are the aforementioned Bee Sting, Stowford Press, Apples & Pears, and Thatchers Gold and Dry. Ales are Zero Degrees Pale Ale, Innocence and Inntrigue from Plain Ales, Arbor Ales Hunny Beer, and Guinevere, a bitter I had never previously encountered, made by Goffs Brewery in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

There is also Guinness and seven lagers from Amstel to Staropramen, in a pub that on a hot Saturday afternoon was virtually deserted save for me and the band, but at other times is among the liveliest in St Werburgh’s, and that’s saying something.

The Duke of York, 2 Jubilee Road, St Werburgh’s, Bristol, BS2 9RS.



3 responses

2 06 2012
Michael Burnns

The Duke of York is certainly a great pub. Well, I think the striking aspect about this pub that captivates anyone that goes there is the graffiti that is everywhere. Even if you are not so much into graffiti, you’ll certainly be left scrutinizing the walls and the ceiling when enjoying a strong glass of cider on a nice evening at the pub.

3 10 2012
Sponge Bob

I think that the Duke of York is a Lessies paradise,run by a bunch of men hating unsociable, without a sense of humour up there own asse’s twats…….avoid this pub like the plague…check out the Miners Arms or the Farm instead for a more chilled out experience!

28 12 2012
Lez Bot Botty

I agree with both the above commentators,the pub is a good pub,it’s just some of the people that run it spoil it,the lesbot hobbit for a manager for instance,when i was there the lack of customer service and social skills emitting from this bitter little frustrated troll was amazing,i guess a person with less of a personality than a manure fly has to get their power kicks some where.A pub will not survive on name alone,but i guess when all the real punters are gone they can rename it and turn it into a women only club.

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