Gastropub, as I’ve long said to anyone who’ll listen - and shouted at anyone who won’t - is a word of two halves. Er, Brian. There’s equal emphasis, therefore, on the gastro element and the pub bit.
Simple no? But amazing how many get it wrong. The Albion, while flawed, does at least get the balance right. If you want to eat, the food is great. If you want to drink, the ambience is proper, smart pub.
Having paid £4+ for Leffe in many spots and with £3.50 being a pretty standard pint price these days, I don’t really understand that gripe but I’m with Sir Eamon of Qype in terms of speed. Service here can be a little intermittent, he says, politely.
But, while the timing of wine and meal in that instance is completely unforgivable, having to wait a few minutes longer than anticipated for an excellent half dozen oysters and a very good, nicely herbed fish pie isn’t a terrible price, particularly when the Black Sheep is kept this well. If you’re looking for a boozer, head elsewhere. If you’re thinking of nestling in for a few hours for a very pleasant culinary and boozy experience, I’d rather be here than anywhere else in the area.