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Picture of The Dun Cow
Image posted by Quinno _
Submitted on Wednesday, 27th May 2015
With picture contributions to 3497 other pubs
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The Dun Cow, Sunderland Central, Sunderland

3 High Street West
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Reviews of The Dun Cow (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Rob Hunter left this review about The Dun Cow

I cannot compete with the description of the impressive (and apparently listed) bar back offered by Pub SignMan, but it is definitely worth venturing in to the Dun Cow just to admire it. The fact they have 8 pumps offering cask ale is a bonus of course! Though as a disclaimer, one or two of the pumps may have been cider. Doom Bar and Anarchy Blonde Star seem to be regular features but the rest seem to rotate. On my latest visit I went for a half of Smash Planet by Tyne Bank at £1.95. To me, this had a bit of a weird flavour and was not what I was expecting. Malty/biscuit flavours seemed to be overpowering the tropical flavours that were claimed on the pump clip. Definitely worth a visit and one of my favourite pubs in Sunderland.

On 12th April 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 261 recommendations about 246 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Dun Cow

On approach, the Dun Cow is a striking sight, easily holding its own against the magnificent Empire Theatre next door thanks to a grand Edwardian façade topped with a large dome with two inlaid clock faces. The entrance lobby leads you left into the main bar, with the door to the right taking you into the ladies toilets, in an area formerly occupied by the manager's office. The highlight of the main bar is the servery and more specifically the stunning bar back which is unlike any other I have ever seen. A fine dark wood counter curves along the right hand wall and has a matching bar back with intricate woodworked shelving, unusual (perhaps unique?) plasterwork painted panels and a series of decorative mirrors, all topped off by a fine pub clock. The flooring in front of the bar sees some fine black and white tiling put to very good aesthetic effect whilst the ceiling boasts a geometric plasterwork design. Fixed bench seating runs around the perimeter of the room and much of the space between seating and servery was fully occupied by a heaving early evening crowd when I visited on a Saturday night.
Beyond all this is a beautiful carpeted lounge, accessed through a very ornate doorway which is flanked by superb stained and etched glass panes with a decorative wood frame on top. At the far end of the lounge stands a nice tile fireplace and button backed banquettes supplemented with standard chairs and low stools run in either direction from here. Some old floor plans and elevations for the building have been framed and put on show back here, but it was too packed to get a close look. Signs noted that the Longhorns steak restaurant could be found on the first floor, so it's good to know that more of this excellent building is accessible to the public, although I didn't visit myself. Posters advertised live music evenings and a piped music soundtrack played quietly throughout my stay.
Not only does the pub boast a fine interior, but it also offers a great range of ales from a generous bank of hand pumps. Options on my visit were Gentleman's Nectar Pale Ale, Credence Porter, Saltaire Blackberry Cascade, Tyne Bank Silver Dollar, Cameron's Strongarm, Anarchy Blonde Star and Out There Shhh/Peaceful. I decided to try the Porter and can report back that it was an outstanding pint and perhaps the best of my whole weekend in Sunderland.
This is a magnificent pub and an absolute 'must do' to anyone looking for refreshment in Sunderland. The building is a thing of great beauty, has a convenient central location and offers one of the city's best ale selections. For me this was the pick of the thirteen pubs I visited and had it not been so busy on my arrival, I might have been tempted to spend the rest of my evening here.

On 18th February 2016 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2174 recommendations about 2174 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Dun Cow

A cracking heritage pub next to the Empire, CAMRA National Inventory listed. Enter through the left door in the porch to access the main bar (the door to the right is the ladies!) and find a feast of dark wood carved fittings, stained glass insets, tiled floor, red and gold leaf cornices and a bar back to die for. Beyond here, through a three quarter length wood and stained glass divider, is a smaller room which was playing host to live music on my initial Monday evening visit. Eight pumps at the bar that day; two Cameron's, Allendale Orange, Almasty IPA, Titanic Plum Porter, Anarchy Blonde Star, Mordue Five Bridges with Cheddar Valley as the cider. Decent bottle selection in the fridge and a genuinely impressive craft keg selection. My Mordue was in superb form, as was the Plum Porter. So good I had to visit again before I left the city – this involved more excellent ale (and a good turnround of what I had encountered 48 hours previous), though a minor quibble was the barmaid not mentioning that the Moor was an unfined - and therefore hazy - beer. I tried the advertised pub tapas, 4 dishes for £15.50 or lower ratios thereof. A little hit and miss – the meat ones were fab (the Oxtail was worth a fiver on its own) but the veggie curry was just a load of not-quite cooked aubergine and celeriac in an overpowering bottled curry paste. As a drinking establishment though it’s real gem and one every pub lover must try. Apparently had no ale on less than 10 years ago, what a turn-around! 9.5? No, go on, I’ll give it a 10.

On 26th June 2015 - rating: 10
[User has posted 3677 recommendations about 3665 pubs]

View more reviews of The Dun Cow (4)
External web links for The Dun Cow

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Just a quick pint, then I'm off
Sunderland, 0.31 miles, 6 min walk (show)
St Peters, 0.53 miles, 10 min walk (show)
Seaburn, 2.1 miles, 40 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Dun Cow, Sunderland
16th May 2018, 22:26
Picture submitted by peter ashworth approved
16th May 2018, 22:17
Picture submitted by peter ashworth

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 26 June 2015 by Quinno _
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • CAMRA Discount : Yes - 20p per pint, 10p per half - last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Car Park : No last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Darts : No last updated 26 June 2015 by Quinno _
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Jukebox : No last updated 18 February 2016 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : No last updated 26 June 2015 by Quinno _
  • Live Music : Yes - Blues, 2nd Friday of the month - last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Micropub : No last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Pinball : No last updated 26 June 2015 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 26 June 2015 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 06 February 2017 by ROB Camra
Food Hygiene Rating

Last inspected: March 4th 2016
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