Half-term week was a good excuse to finally take my son to Game City in Nottingham. It’s a large centre for Video Games, old and new, developed in conjunction with the University.
Not my thing at all, but highly recommended for fans of Tetris, Missile Control and Minecraft, or old computers. Craft beers in the café apparently, though I missed those.
So the fact this train trip would also allow me to visit my last Nottinghamshire pub in the Beer Guide was entirely coincidental.
On the train I attempting some conversation with the masses en route to the Winter Beer Fest, but I think they were too busy labelling their jam jars or whatever tickers use these days. Congratulations to Marble by the way.
Beeston is five minutes west of Nottingham central, one of many pleasant but nondescript suburbs you hit until you get to Kimberley. The streets around the Victoria are worth a look though.
The Star is my last Notts pub, and it’s wonderful, though you wouldn’t know it from the outside.
Inside is one of the best welcomes we’ve experienced, an ideal multi-room layout catering for all types of visitor, and great beer. The range looked a bit large, but the Dancing Duck (NBSS 4) was the best of theirs I’ve had outside of their Derby tap, the Exeter Arms.
There’s two rooms primarily for drinkers and two set for the food, one a pleasant conservatory ideal for families. The overall feel is traditional and very unfussy.
As is the food, which doesn’t make a pub but can certainly break it. The cheapish menu here is unpretentious but tasty; pies and bangers and mash both superb.
I read while there that the chap in charge comes from Stapleford’s Horse & Jockey, which is about as good a pedigree as you can hope for.
The beer memorabilia isn’t overdone, but no amount of Bass signage is too much.
With twenty minutes to wait for the return train, James kindly let me have a quick revisit of the Victoria, which actually backs onto Beeston station.
This is one of the country’s most attractive pubs, and on my previous visit I enjoyed some fantastic beer.
Nothing much has changed, but the welcome was, as with the Star, exceptional, unfussily showing my son and I to a room we could use. This is a pub with appeal to a wide range of visitors.
I then annoyed teenage son by exploring the amazing pub interior.
I’m surprised the Victoria isn’t more renowned; perhaps it’s a bit foody, perhaps the beer range looks a bit old-fashioned (my sort). The only thing I can say against it is that the Holdens, a regular, wasn’t the best (NBSS 2.5), but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
I just realise I’ve ignored the Crown, another top alehouse with the good sense to serve Bass. Luckily the Star has B&B for £30, so a return visit looks a good bet.