Finding a pub in York is hardly difficult, they are as prolific as the tourists who flock to the city. Finding a good one is a little more tricky.
York pubs have a tough role needing to pander to the visitor’s wish for an “authentic” pub experience – generally garnered from BBC costume dramas and movies – and the needs of York residents for a good food, drink and convivial surroundings. Not easy unless you are the Lamb and Lion on High Petergate, a pub all but hewn from the city walls, boasting a splendid beer garden with fine views of the Minster, and spot-on beers and food.
The Lamb and Lion sits in the shadow of the towering medieval city gate of Bootham Bar, blink and you will have walked past it. It was established as an inn a sufficient number of centuries ago to ooze bucketfuls of quintessential English character. At least that’s the impression. In fact, it only reverted to this in fairly recent times having been a cafe in various guises for decades. And then the new-look pub went dark when the owner went bust. Today snug rooms are reached along wobbly corridors, it is dark but not dingy and there’s a front parlour should you need a little more room and a real fire.
After a yomp on the city walls or an afternoon shopping, sit and nurse a fine guest ale or sip a decent glass wine. If you are in need of nourishment there’s a menu of unpretentious British pub food to choose from. Sandwiches, soups or a bowl of chunky chips and for more sustenance proper pies, hearty main courses, hefty puddings and they do a cracking Sunday roast. Heaven.