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New pub visits 2020 with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

Albion Inn, Chester Central, Chester

4 Albion Street

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Pub Type

Punch Taverns
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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Brainy Pool left this review about Albion Inn

Still a brilliant multi roomed World War theme pub with a tranquil atmosphere. Loads of memorabilia, a piano, closed curtains. Also a TV that was switched off. Oxford Gold and Saddle Tank a pretty uninspired beer selection but it hardly matters in a place like this. To be appreciated until it inevitably changes into ‘just another pub’.

On 1st February 2020 - rating: 9
[User has posted 703 recommendations about 685 pubs]

Quinno _ left this review about Albion Inn

A backstreet pub with a reputation – cantankerous/idiosyncratic landlord, a list of things and people barred from entering, WWI memorabilia and a traditional atmospheric interior – so we had to do this one! A two bar pub, the left side is a little more public in feel with floral patterned William Morris wallpaper and the most punters. The right side has two rooms with more early C.20th wallpaper and fittings (think standard lamps!), alongside a piano (which would be the only music if it gets played, as the piped stuff doesn’t get an airing in here). Plenty of WWI paraphernalia to admire, though I think there may have been more previously. Two ales, a dull choice of Ringwood Razorback and Wainwright (NBSS 2.5). The place is like a living museum and you need to get up here to see if very soon, as the landlord is retiring at the end of the year. Catch it whilst you can.

On 1st March 2019 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Albion Inn

Moorhouse Pride of Pendle and Thwaites' Lancaster Bomber were the ales on in here. Again I forgot to ask for the sparkler to be removed, and when the barman heard me mention this to my companion he offered to pull me another pint without the sparkler. That's service for you - declined of course, as it would have meant wasting a perfectly decent pint of beer. There were sandwiches, and something else called "butties" for £4.90, as well as very generously portioned main meals at reasonable prices as I recall.

A sign outside claims it's an atmospheric pub, and they're right on that one. It's essentially unchanged from previous reviewers' visits. The sign is still there advising on who isn't welcome, and the mass of WWI memorabilia is still to be seen everywhere in the pub. The layout can't have changed much since WWI either, retaining three very distinct rooms. The largest is on the left, accessed via a small vestibule, and is what I guess could be regarded as the lounge. When I was in it had been reserved for some private event - something literary or theatrical I think - but I managed to poke my nose in to see that it was a very comfortable looking room, with its own bar counter, and if possible had even more WWI stuff in it than the other rooms. To the right from the vestibule is a very small room with its own tiny bar counter, and with an old piano with ornate marquetry as its main feature. A doorway from this room leads through to a larger (but still quite small) room. All furnishings are tradtional - obviously.

I reckon that this is a quiet pub, or rather it was on the Wednesday lunchtime when we were in, with no music or TVs on to disturb anyone. I reckon that this is a gem of a pub, and should be on the "must visit" list for anyone visiting Chester.

On 16th September 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2573 recommendations about 2491 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Al Bundy left this review about Albion Inn

A great pub. A real 1914-1918 feel at 2015 prices. To add to authenticity the lights go out and the curtains are drawn every time an aeroplane or airship goes over head. Possibly. Outside is a sign informing potential customers who are not welcome e.g. hen/stag parties, drunken pub crawlers, anyone called Kaiser or Adolf. Like being in a war. Without the bombs.

On 21st June 2015 - rating: 9
[User has posted 3380 recommendations about 3297 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Albion Inn

On the list of pubs to visit and its unique atmosphere makes it worthy of a review.

Handily located by the Roman Garden (also a must visit) and the City Walls.

Outside, fairly unassuming.

Inside, packed to the rafters with WWI paraphernalia - the whole pub could come out of the 1910s. My Teenage Children said the smell reminded them of their great grandmother's house.

This smell was probably the food - which is based very much on WWI meals. My parents were enthralled on a previous visit. describing it as "Trench Food". My mother attempts at recreating the Shepherd's pie resulted in only partial success.

For the record, we ate the Staffordshire Oat Cake with Black Pudding and Potatoe - praised as being recommended by Rick Stein's food heros. I can only assume Rick is on a diet.

There were three beers on - although I missed the Black Sheep (fav) as it was only on the other side of the central bar. I went with some festive ale called Rudolf's something. In good nick.

So the question is quite what is this pub. I couldn't imaging it as anyone's local as it so quirky and so full of tourists (myself obviously included). One to experience the once, I would think.

On 12th December 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 625 recommendations about 619 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Albion Inn

Update – September 2012.

Another very enjoyable visit recently to this excellent street corner Victorian local just inside the city walls which, pleasingly, remains unchanged and pretty much as described in my earlier review below.

The pub retains original etched windows indicating former Greenall Whitley ownership.

The idiosyncratic landlord, Mike Mercer, has now been in situ here for 40 years – “40 years behind bars as he puts it” – and his continuing insistence on “quality customers” remains, as do the various prominent notices telling us who is not welcome – eg, stag, hen or pub crawl groups.

2 beers were on – Coach House Top Hat Bitter and Robinsons Unicorn.

If you’re in Chester and haven’t been before, you really should, but do note the restrictions and be sure to be on your best behaviour.

Original review – October 2008

Splendid Victorian back street local close to the river and just inside the City Walls ( which are well worth walking incidentally, while waiting for opening time ) .

There's 2 interconnecting rooms either side of a central bar.

The evidently idiosyncratic landlord - not sighted during my visit - is a keen collector of World War One memorabilia which is displayed throughout the pub, with Kitchener posters - " put the Hun on Iron Rations" - and enamelled posters etc advertising such delights as Colmans Starch and Frys Chocolate. Note also the splendid wallpaper and period furniture.There's also a piano.

The landlord makes no effort to attract customers who don't fit in to the pub's character. Note the blackboard outside with messages such as " Don't bring your stag, hen or pub crawl here. We don't need you. We don't want you. We won't serve you."and also " no designer drinks, shots". The pub prides itself as being family-hostile.

Whilst not everyone will agree, I have to say that I applaud a pub that is prepared to buck the trend and not pander to the alcopops/ loud music/chain-pub drinker types, even if his motives are doing so are probably largely commercial.

Suffice it to say that at 6.30pm on a windy and damp Thursday evening, the pub was packed with a wide range of discerning customers enjoying the fine atmosphere.

Food - known as "rations" here - is from the old school - eg minced beef, mashed potato and greens etc and is a major draw.

Real ales on were Black Sheep, Landlord and Bombardier.

Not everyone will agree that's for sure, but I regard this as a "must visit" pub.

Long may it flourish and prosper !

On 2nd November 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Albion Inn

Well worth a visit and only a couple of mins walk from Lower Bridge St. This is a well run pub and has a relaxing atmosphere about it. Landlord will not tolerate any chavs, hen or stag parties, noisy children, football crowd etc. In fact there's a list outside on the wall before you enter. Only two on handpump; Black Sheep and a Marston's.

On 5th March 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2947 recommendations about 2947 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Albion Inn

Side-street pub, located just inside the city walls. Comprises front and back bars, with the latter sub-divided into two 'rooms'. Lot of advertising signage and other memorabilia. Staff a bit grumpy, which comes as no surprise if you note the admonitory sign at the front door. Only three of the five handpumps was working, with a pretty pedestrian selection including Black Sheep and Jennings Bitter (£3.00). Perhaps I caught it on a bad day, but something of a disappointment.

On 1st March 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5940 recommendations about 5940 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about Albion Inn

A bit of a time warped gem, just outside Chester City centre. World War Two is still remembered fondly in here judging by the number of wartime posters etc around the walls. Three rooms, all lounges, but with different characters. The main area to the left as you enter is very cosy and is almost a W shape. The areas to the right are smaller and even cosier. On a Saturday night this is a haven of peace and tranquility whilst a couple of hundred yards away the madness that is Chester on a weekend night is in full swing. Friendly staff and regulars and a real mix of ages in what I would have thought would be a bastion of the middle aged. It's a great little pub. The only downside for me was the selection of cask ale. Black Sheep Bitter and (I think) Greene King IPA were the only choices when we called. The 2 pints of Black Sheep I had were well kept though. We'll definitely call in again next time we're in Chester, but we would have stayed longer this time with a better selection of ale. It would also have been a 9 for me.

On 15th February 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2797 recommendations about 2721 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Albion Inn

A back street boozer just a couple of minutes walk from one of the main strips, but due to it’s location on the corner of a row of terraced houses and some old alms houses it feels a million miles away from the noisy bars nearby. It’s not obviously a pub from the outside, with no pub sign other than the name etched in to the window glass.

There are three rooms inside – the largest on the left might be described as a lounge, and there is a small snug to the right. Behind this, a slightly larger room. Both the lounge and the snug have piano’s, which made a change from the omnipresent plasma. The decor in the lounge gives it quite a “busy” feel, with red patterned carpet and green leafy wallpaper. There was some bench seating around the perimeter and plenty of small bar tables and stools plus a couple of old standard lamps. On the wall were numerous old product signs, such as those for Colman’s Starch, Wills Star Cigarettes, Fry’s Chocolate and Rowntree’s Chocolates and Pastilles. There were even a couple of illuminated Shell signs above the bar. In the snug I spotted a couple of vinyl records in a glass case.

There looked to be a decent selection of food chalked up on a board, although we didn’t sample it ourselves. The beers on tap were Mardue Brewery’s Radgie Gadgie and Black Sheep. The solitary cider was Scrumpy Jack.

On 15th July 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1740 recommendations about 1676 pubs]

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