MORE of a working museum than a pub, Nellies (or the White Horse Inn, to allow it its unused official moniker) has been a fixture of Beverley life since 1666. Much of it looks like it hasn’t changed one iota since that time.
In fact, if a filmmaker wanted to shoot Robin Hood inside some of the rooms, the only changes the art department would have to make would be to remove the beer mats. It’s wonky, dusty, dark, labyrinthine, packed with intriguing knick-knacks and even more intriguing locals. It’s a listed building lit by gas mantles and cheered by several open fires; it’s hard to think of a pub with more history, character and heart.
The bad news is that there’s been a high turnover of landlords, and this jewel of a pub currently finds itself languishing without a permanent gaffer and no food offering – up until a couple of years ago, you could live for days at a time on one of the cheap doorstep sandwiches from the basic but hearty menu.
The drinks will appeal to connoisseurs of Sam Smith’s and are very, very cheap. The dizzyingly heady wheat beer is so strong, a couple of pints coculd make the walls and floor seem more uneven that normal.
Aside from the building, what really makes Nellies stand out are the incredible locals.
They queue in the morning to get in, sit bantering all day, and fill the place with humour and warmth in the packed evenings.
This is a pub going through unnecessarily hard times but you should still visit, not for the non-existent food or beer but to experience what should be one of the most celebrated institutions in the country.