For lunch on New Year’s Eve I decided to go to the Harlequin on Nursery Street which is near some of the other fine ale house in the Kelham Island area.
Upon arrival the pub was busy with a wide range of clientele. This ale house is not just for the CAMRA real ale types, but is also very approachable to people looking for a nice drink or some good simple homemade food. The pub is quite bright and airy inside with a long bar where food and drinks are ordered. The pub is perhaps lacking in a particularly strong identity which is often associated with the real ale style of pubs. This is no bad thing, as it is very clean and presentable, and is somewhere where no one would be put off from going.
The bar staff are very friendly and are more than happy for me to try a few beers before I make my selection. There are probably about 10 real ales and 10 real ciders available, plus a host of specialist bottled beers. Simple and very reasonably priced food is also served. I opted for their homemade steak pie with chips and a half pint of Porter.
The pie with hand-cut chips, peas and carrots is priced at £4.00 and is a real bargain. Naturally, it is served with the proverbial Henderson’s Relish. The pie is very good, and the hand-cut chips are some of the best I have had for a very long time. I also saw some lovely looking sandwiches and chip butties leaving the kitchen, which looked equally tasty. For home made well priced food, it does not come much better.
The first beer I chose was Revolutions brewery, the Original 45 Porter (4.5%). It is obviously a very dark beer with a medium head to it. On the nose roasted coffee tones dominate. Upon tasting, flavours of chestnut combine with the coffee to make it a tasty easy drinking porter. 6/10.
Whilst at the Harlequin I also tried a pale ale called Cougar from the Fat Cat brewery. This golden beer has an excellent citrusy nose coming from the American hops used in its production. Sadly the flavour didn’t quite live up to the wonderful nose, but it is still a nice beer. 6/10.