We’re not going to make any excuses for the fact that the Cross Keys is one of our favourite pubs in Chester. This pub has game. Victorian game. The minute you step inside this pub you feel like you were swallowed by some time vortex and transported to a simpler time. The wood panelled walls are beautiful and the painted windows hide the drunken escapades we’ve got to in this pub very efficiently. Also, they are very pretty.
And don’t let the fact that it’s a brewery owned pub fool you – it very much feels like a labour of love for Dave and Jane who run it. You can’t escape the Joules’ beer on tap all the time (but why would you, there’s nothing wrong with it) but these folks ensure they always have some tasty treats on as guest ales too. And the beer is always in immaculate condition.
The pub has a distinctive personality and warmth to it, from the friendly hello from the staff when you pop over to the bar to the friendly locals who love chatting to everyone. This isn’t one of those exclusive clubs ladies and gentlemen, it’s more like a family and everyone’s welcome.
There’s a lot to be said for the aesthetics of the pub, because it is beautiful, but it’s the atmosphere that gets full points from us every time.
And they’re not short on entertainment either – there’s Irish music nights for those wanting to get their jig on and poetry for those creative sorts, all performed in the bask of a real fire, in a real pub, drinking real ale. And don’t forget, they run their punters to the Joules brewery regularly so always keep an eye out for the next tour.
So if you fancy having a pint in a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian red brick building dating back to 1894, or just simply a really good pint of really good beer in a really good atmosphere, you should head over to the Cross Keys post haste.