Wondering what Hull’s best kept secret is? Wonder no more. The Hop & Vine was established six years ago by real ale aficionado Stewart Campbell and partner Janet Rowan and, despite being in a hard-to-spot cellar in an unfavoured part of the city centre, is a sublime haven for any fans of local beer, honest food, good music and friendly company.
It might not be the most handsome pub you’ve ever been in (it was converted on a small budget from a bistro) and it’s certainly not the biggest (35 people is the maximum capacity) but it has everything else you need from a great boozer. There is a tempting choice of micro-brewed Yorkshire ales; when one runs out they stick the pump clip on the wall and simply hook up a barrel of something different from the skilfully-curated cellar.
The pub co-won Cider Pub of the Year in 2010 and this is reflected in the offering of superb regional and national ciders, perrys and scrumpies. There are also carefully selected imported bottled beers and some rare international drafts.
The management are believers in the link between brewing and bread making. Up to five different types of bread are fresh-baked everyday and are used to make wonderfully tasty sandwiches and Paninis. There is also proper homemade soup, hearty salads and an irresistible cider sorbet on offer. The menu boasts that it is simply a guide; if you want something that’s not on there, just ask. Prices are remarkably reasonable and the provenance of everything on offer is readily and enthusiastically outlined on request. The pub is on Albion Street and opens Tuesday from 4pm -11pm and 11am- 11pm from Wednesday to Saturday.