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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with Thuck Phat on the Pub Forum

The Royal Oak, Chesterfield

1 The Shambles
S40 1PX

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about The Royal Oak

Chosen as we were walking past and seduced by the history.

Three real ales - unique architecture.

Worth experiencing for its age.

Visit blogged at

On 20th February 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about The Royal Oak

A two roomed pub with no facility to move between the rooms. The upper room is the best preserved with a fantastic ceiling. The lower and largest room is much more utilitarian with some standard dining tables and chairs. 4 handpumps on the bar, but only two on, serving Draught Bass and Abbeydale Deception. The DEception was a well kept beer. We got talking to the landlord & landlady who are only temporary at the moment, but they would like to take the pub on in the longer term dependant on Enterprise. Best of luck to them. We'll pop in to see how they're getting on next time we're in Chesterfield.

On 16th September 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2929 recommendations about 2847 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Al Bundy left this review about The Royal Oak

A pretty decent pub. 2 roomed with the main part of the servery having 4 handpumps. The beers were ok though the 1970s wallpaper was a bit rubbish. Its a pleasant enough pub and I enjoyed my drink in here. Its a bit hidden off the main drag. There was no Bryan Ferry stuff coming through the speakers. However Pink Floyd sh*te was.

On 2nd June 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3435 recommendations about 3346 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about The Royal Oak

A pub of two separate parts, an old half timbered part with a lounge(ish) bar and a Victorian brick part with nice art nouveax stained glass windows, there is no connecting door between them but they are served from the same central servery. The lower "modern" part seems to serve as the main public bar and has stone floors and traditional wooden furnishing. each bar has four pulls but only a cider was clipped in the old one, a rare Bass plus beers from Oakham, Bradfield and Theakstons (Old Peculier) in the public. There are a few members of the national keg range also available and going by the clips on display Abbeydale is a frequent visitor here. The beer was Ok but not really up to GBG standard and the service was fairly lame for a quiet pub. Decor is a bit tired but many of us like the old style, down to earth town centre pubs like this one. Being the oldest pub in town there are histories and old photos reflecting this.

On 25th March 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2441 recommendations about 2242 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about The Royal Oak

Imagine walking into a historical pub such as this and hearing Bryan Ferry blurring down your ear hole. Beers were brilliant, I went for the Otter Brewery Otter Ale and the Barlow Brewery Heath Robinson.

On 25th June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3035 recommendations about 3035 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Royal Oak

Located down a narrow alleyway in the Shambles area of the town, Chesterfield’s oldest pub (1772) re-opened in 2008 after a long period of neglect and surviving the proposed town centre ‘improvements’ of the late 1960’s (at one stage they were seriously considering demolishing the Shambles and putting this pub on some rollers and moving it somewhere else - can you imagine the drugs everyone must have been on back then?). The original pub building (the current pub was originally two separate structures which were combined later) is the upper lounge bar, parts of which apparently dates back over 500 years. Both upper and lower rooms are served by a two-tier central bar. The interior here really is as fantastic inside as the outside leads you to expect; high timbered ceiling and thick stained glass windows in the upper bar - the whole place was restored at the turn of the 19th century and little has changed since. Furnishing is comfy fabric wall banquettes and a few stools. One let-down I found here was the bland piped muzak which is incongruous to the surroundings - why don’t they try something a little more befitting? My latest visit found four well-sourced ales plus Greene King IPA, alongside Westons Old Rosie for the appleheads. My half of Barlow Stout at 8% tasted really good and came out well-conditioned; the Dancing Duck Ay Up was also a great beer. I guess this place must be twinned in some way with the Rutland, as the ale choice (both had Dancing Duck and a stupidly heavy dark beer) was similar plus the barmaid at the Rutland earlier on in my crawl was serving here a few hours later! Watch out if you are in the upper bar and need the loo - you have to nip outside to the lower bar. Also be aware of the unusual opening hours, they basically only open beyond 6pm Thursday-Saturday. If you are walking back to the train station (which is surprisingly close by) I would avoid going too late on as you have to traverse the binge-drinkers section of town in order to get there, which I have discovered is not for the faint-hearted.

In summary, you really should do this one.

On 28th August 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about The Royal Oak

Large selection of real ales, though they can be a little on the strong side (e.g. only Bradfield Farmers Blonde and Fullers London Pride at under 4.5% on my recent visit). Also the piped music is a little incongruous in a building more than 500 years old. However, these minor quibbles aside this is a very good pub, and the owners, Roger and Rebecca, were very accommodating in agreeing to open at 9.45 for our recent pub crawl which started here. (They close early on Mon/Tue/Wed because there is no trade, but open all day Thu/Fri/Sat.)

On 24th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2739 recommendations about 2579 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Royal Oak

Located down the quaint alleyway of The Shambles, this is a very pleasing old fashioned two-roomed pub. The interior is a mix of the old and new, with impressive wooden beams running through the building, whilst modern floral print wallpaper adorns the walls, creating a pleasing overall look.
The ales were split between the two bars, but blackboards assisted with the decision making process. Theakston Old Peculiar, Copper Dragon Golden Pippen (£2.75), Thornbridge Jaipur, Bateman's XB, Bradfield Farmers Blonde and Peak Ales Swift Nick were all on, whilst the Titanic Iceberg sadly went off whilst I was there. I had a pint of the Copper Dragon, which was in fine shape. Service was quick and friendly and the barmaid was very apologetic when the Titanic went off.
The pub is similar to the nearby 'Rutland', sharing a number of beers and even having adverts for the other pub on the bar, but I found the ambiance in here very nice and would certainly make this a priority next time I'm in town.

On 9th May 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Royal Oak

Closed on Monday evening (odd for a town-centre pub), but managed to go back mid-afternoon the following day (but no-one else in - odd again). Despite the number of handpumps, only two real ales on. Nice old building, but something of a disappointment having read some decent reviews elsewhere.

On 26th February 2008 - rating: 5
[User has posted 6620 recommendations about 6620 pubs]