Stonegate is one of the busiest streets in York, so you would think finding a pub on there should be easy.
It would be if said pub had signage and were not up a flight of slightly challenging stairs above an off-licence. Make the effort to find it though, you’ll be glad you did. In the few years The House of Trembling Madness has been open, it has become a York legend.
This one-off quirky pub is housed in a stunning, beamed 12th-century room. Antique tables and chairs are squeezed in, and though many in number, the popularity of this pub means either a wait to grab one or expect to share; there is neither space nor attitude to even consider being upset about this.
The room vibrates with history and the sound of current-day drinkers enjoying the many, ales, beers, ciders and wines on offer. The selection is vast and reflects the numerous local, regional, national and world-wide offerings from the shop downstairs.
Unbelievably, without any formal kitchen, save the clever use of space behind the bar, the food here is excellent. Humongous squeaky fresh meat, fish or vegetarian platters come in good, Yorkshire portions – enough to satisfy a hefty appetite and also perfect for sharing. Again, the limited space for food preparation means a wait.
You can fill that time, however, enjoying the array of spooky taxidermy peering down at you from the walls. Not for me the wild boar, my favourite was the tiny mole.
The House of Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS. Tel: 01904 289848