Marketplace Alehouse, Doncaster: The unpretentious pub which serves the best Eggs Benedict for miles
Doncaster can claim that distinction – even if, at the moment, one of them stands empty and for sale. The Alehouse faces what used to be the huge livestock market but which is now considerably reduced in size.
This should be the epicentre of the county’s newest city, but sadly that is not the case.
Nevertheless, the surviving pubs – each of very different character – are thriving, despite adversity.
The ownership of the Alehouse changed hands earlier in the year, and the new team have very wisely taken their time to alter one or two things (new seating outside, for example) and to keep most of the others.
It’s a single bar, at the end of one room, and it offers a bewilderingly good choice of well-kept real ales, which frequently change.
To assist your choice, there are boards of information. Lager and cider drinkers will love the selection as well. Food is also back on the menu, and the opinion of at least one happy regular is that they serve the best Eggs Benedict for miles.
And there are many other options. The wineglasses, by the way, are the size of small buckets.
Regulars seem to have created a little club of their own. But this isn’t an exclusive cabal, the agreeable thing is that a stranger can walk in and, within a few minutes, be a stranger no more, drawn into the conversation.
But, if you want to do the crossword in peace, with your preferred tipple, no-one is going to interrupt you.
There are a few comfortable armchairs, plenty of stools and benches, wooden floors throughout, and some shelves of books.
It's unpretentious, and spotless. It’s wise to check on opening hours and availability of food service. The Marketplace has kept its big, open heart – would that the adjacent market was far more filled and better utilised, as once it was.
Doncaster seems to have lost its way, in that regard. The Marketplace, however, knows precisely where it is going.
Drinks choice 4/5
The Marketplace Alehouse, 21 Market Place, Doncaster, DN1 1ND.