For those of you visiting Salisbury for the Revitalisation meeting this Saturday 4 June at the Cloisters pub, from 2 till 4pm, take some time to enjoy one of England’s medieval cities with a grid layout. As well as the historic buildings, the river and the cathedral, it offers a lively mix of food and drink.
As you walk around the town, take time to look upwards, as suggested by the chairman of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire branch of CAMRA, Derek Blackshaw. “This is where you see so much more of its history”, he says.
You certainly need to look upwards when arriving at the cathedral as it has the tallest spire in the land. If it’s a sunny day the views along the river and across the meadow to the cathedral are quite breathtaking.
Saturdays offer a chance to browse around the market or visit one of Salisbury’s selection of cafe and restaurants.
The Revitalisation meeting, which is is also taking place in the midst of the Salisbury Festival, offers a series of arts and crafts attractions.
Once the meeting is over, Derek Blackshaw and his fellow branch members are kindly putting together three guided pub crawls.
The local CAMRA branch has also compiled a guide of places to eat
Where to Eat in Salisbury
All these venues serve real ale and food on a Saturday evening but you are advised to book ahead. They are presented in no particular order.
Old English Chop House full of character (and ghosts).
Tel 01722 411313
Originally four houses which accommodated the builders who constructed the cathedral. In later years two of the houses were knocked through, then extended to house a brothel (this appears to be a feature of several Salisbury pubs). Much later a further extension saw it made into a public house, hence its name. A wonderful atmospheric garden nestling into the cathedral close.
Tel 01722 326662
One of Salisbury's major hotels. Unusually for a hotel it serves real ale in its quiet and comfortable bar. For many years it was one of the major points for stagecoaches visiting Salisbury. If the weather is kind,take your beer outside and sit in the wonderful courtyard.
Tel 01722 323334
Situated in the old Scientific Institute /art college. This is part of a small chain. They say ‘Think gents club meets village hall meets cricket pavilion.’ It’s smart casual dining.
One of the earliest identifiable buildings in Salisbury, which after many changes of name now carries the name it first had. Thai food and equally first-class local beers. Advised to book well in advance.
Tel 01722 327137
The Royal George is a small, comfortable pub, gleamingly clean with sparkling brasses and a small dining room behind the bar. Dating back to the 1700s, it is named after the flagship of Admiral Kempenfelt that sank at Spithead in 1782 with the loss of about 900 lives.
Tel 01722 327782
Based in one of the old commercial hotels of Salisbury this is now a Wetherspoon’s Lloyds No 1 bar, so you know what you are going to get. Busy on Saturday evening.
Tel. 01722 342050
Based in an old Mission Hall dedicated to one of the Protestant martyrs burned at the stake in Salisbury in 1556. Another national chain and again busy on Saturday evening.
Tel 01722 321024
There is a large bar area, but no separate dining room.
Tel 01722 414319
Premises that were originally ‘The Crispin Inn’, named after the patron Saint of shoemakers.
Tel 01722 322866
As the name suggests it occupies the site of a long defunct brewery. Normally one of the quieter venues, it is devoid of the ubiquitous large screen TV. Portuguese Cuisine
On the newly revamped market place. In spite of a recent renovation by Fullers much of the charm remains. See if you can decipher the signs and animals scratched onto the fireplace.
Renovated after a fire in 2011 it is now best described as a bistro with the most expensive beer in town.
Tel 01722 327923
Lively, and packed on Saturdays, serving food, real ale and live music.
Tel 01722 413755
A pub that despite a revamp some years ago retains its old character. Pleasant garden backing on to the Avon. Yet another pub which centuries ago was a house of ill repute.
Once the star of the now defunct Gibbs Mew brewery estate, this grade II listed building dates from the mid 14th Century and still has lots of original features.
Tel 01722 338102