Pub Reopens For First Time This Century

The Cardinal’s Hat opened on Thursday to rather a successful evening (only one powercut to speak of). The new (or old) pub sits at the bottom of the Strait in the beautiful old St John’s Ambulance building – their offices are still on the site, behind the new bar.

The pubs many tiny rooms all have something to offer, from the snug behind a bookcase, the Great Chamber (complete with out of tune piano) to the cozy first floor beer garden. There’s even a room behind the bar and whilst you’re waiting for your drink you can watch the punters through the glass backbar. Rather entertaining, I must say.

The beer selection was quite impressive. They had brews from breweries like Oakham Ales, Wild Beer Co, Lagunitas and Flying Dog. There was also house ale, lager and cider that I’m yet to sample. It’s not yet clear how many of the casks and kegs are guests, I think it’d be an awful shames to waste so many lines on the same stuff day to day. Even if that stuff is good.

The spirits selection is okay. However with the smorgasbord of wonders that the Strait and Narrow stock next door I can’t say I’ll be venturing off the taps in the Hat. Everything’s responsibly priced and we were frankly ecstatic that we got a put of mini salamis for £1.35.

Definitely my new go-to place in town even if it’s mainly for the armchairs. I think I’ll still loiter around work for my craft kicks though.

Any thoughts on this new opening? Anyone tried the food yet? You won’t keep me away from charcuterie platters for very long, though.


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