Address : 12 Queensbridge Road, Nottingham, NG2 1NB.
Every beer lover love a p**s up in a brewery, and here you can do just that all year round. The home of Castle Rock brewery, the Vat and Fiddle took its playful name from the nearby huge Customs and Revenue Office, which – in typical Government fashion – was closed down and replaced by an even bigger Palace of Taxes, officially called Unity Square.
On the bar you’ll find a healthy collection of Castle Rock’s own beers along with several guest ales. The lines are always kept clean and the pints are pretty much perfect every time. The seating is basic and traditional, there’s no carpet and the toilets reassuringly smell of those bleach blocks you can only find in pubs like this. None of this is a bad thing.
The main sprawling bar is complemented by a relatively recent extension, which also serves as the brewery’s visitor centre, offering tours by prior arrangements and during occasional special events. There’s also ample seating at both the front and back – the latter of which hosts Castle Rock’s annual Yard Party.
Music? On a Sunday you may find a few session musicians playing Irish tunes, otherwise this is a thankfully quiet bar.
Food? Castle Rock’s hearty menu of pub favourites will keep you going, along with a great selection of cobs and snacks.
People? The world and his dog stop by the Vat; it’s close proximity to the train station make this a good alternative to the platform waiting room.
Opinion? Castle Rock does it again, with a homely, traditional boozer. It’s a tried and tested format at a welcome sight if you’ve missed your train.
Getting here : NCT Green and Blue lines, Trent Barton Cotgrave, Villager, Keyworth and Mainline – all to Carrington Street. Nottingham Station (East Midlands, Cross Country and Northern services, NET Tram) – then a five minute walk
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