Norwich: Duke of Wellington
Simon ParkinWHERE IS IT? Strangely enough on Waterloo Road, halfway between Aylsham Road and Magdalen Road, in the north of the city.WHAT'S IT LIKE? Though pretty ordinary looking from the outside, it hides a beer-lovers' treasure trove.Simon Parkin
WHERE IS IT?
Strangely enough on Waterloo Road, halfway between Aylsham Road and Magdalen Road, in the north of the city.
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
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Though pretty ordinary looking from the outside, it hides a beer-lovers' treasure trove. A former Whitbread pub, which for many years was known as the Iron Duke, has matured into a fine real ale pub since being taken on as a free house several years ago by Dougie Clarke and Bernie Devine. The rambling interior, which is surprisingly spacious, is best described as old-school. Neat and tidy, but with no concessions to anything trendy or faddish. The walls are filled with brewing memorabilia, most of it local, and there's a proper snug lined with old beer bottles.
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Upwards of 15 hand-pump and gravity-poured ales. Latest offerings from breweries across the country are written up on a white board. Regular real ales include Wolf Golden Jackal, Hop Back Summer Lightning, Elgoods Black Dog and Fuller's London Pride. As if that wasn't enough they truly spoil us, with another dozen or so gravity served beers - barrels all on display in the glass-fronted tap room behind the bar. They also offer a wide selection of Belgian and German beers, including Belgian cherry fruit tipple Liefmans Kriek, as well as Norfolk and Suffolk ciders and Elliots spiced mulled wine. They clearly know what they're doing as befits a pub that has been listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and is a former Norfolk CAMRA Pub of the Year.
It's the sort of place where food means serving home-made sandwiches from under a see-through tray on the bar pork scratchings optional.
Traditional pub games, including Ring the Bull, Shove Ha'Penny, Shut the Box and Cribbage. While every Tuesday they host folk music. Plus a popular beer festival over the August Bank Holiday.
Draws a wide range of clientele, from couples to young students and to the more mature adult, but the pub hasn't lost its community feel either. There is soft background music but it still allows people to chat in comfort in a warm and friendly atmosphere. It's a proper local. The sort of place where a good proportion of regulars know each other by name.
t Duke of Wellington, 91-93 Waterloo Road, Norwich, 01603 404556, www.dukeofwellingtonnorwich.co.uk