The Pickwick Bar, Helmsley: The Yorkshire pub with great beer and Mouseman furniture

There's nothing like a long walk on New Year's Day after a late one the night before; glorious cold, sunny weather and a pint at the end will lift the spirits.

Such was the way we saw in the first day of 2024. We headed to Helmsley and into the Pickwick Bar, the Feathers Hotel public bar, accessed through the hotel or a separate public entrance.

I was a frequent customer here many years ago when I lived in the area, and I realised I hadn't been there for some 20-plus years.

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What surprised me was that the bar was just as I remembered, except for a flat-screen TV, where I think a fireplace used to be.

The Pickwick Bar in HelmsleyThe Pickwick Bar in Helmsley
The Pickwick Bar in Helmsley

The place is all dark and cosily moody, with oak beams and a carved oak bar.

The building is reputedly one of Helmsley's oldest dwellings, dating back to 1780 and as authentic as this place is, it was only in 1963 that it became a snack bar and, subsequently, a bar for the hotel.

Looking around, I spotted the famous mice from Robert Thompson, the 'Mouse Man' of Kilburn, just down the road everywhere, always a sign of quality woodwork.

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The handsome bar in one of the two public rooms is groaning with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There are lagers, ciders, a wine list and spirits, plus three craft ales - Theakston's Best Bitter, Pickwick Blond and Roadcrew, both from Camerons.

The food menu is extensive as it also serves the hotel restaurant; it starts with brunch and goes through to dinner every day.

We stayed in our cosy corner for quite some time, and I noticed few drinkers moved either.

The beer and banter were fantastic, and one of my friends rounded it off by saying this was the best pub pint (Theakston's) he had had in a very long time, and he knows a thing or two about beer—a very happy start to the year.

Welcome 5/5

Atmosphere 5/5

Drinks choice 4/5

Prices 5/5

The Pickwick Bar, Market Place, Helmsley, York YO62 5BH

Tel: 01439 770275

The Pickwick is open every day from 12 noon until 11 pm.

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