Extract from Pies and Prejudice by Stuart Maconie


The Albion Inn, below the city wall on the corner of Albion and Park street, looks like a typical back street boozer albeit festooned with flags and blackboards. Get down to street level, though, and you become aware of the pub's unique character. The blackboard reads 'The English Pub At Its Un spoilt Best. Opening Times: If We are open, We are open, if We are closed, We are closed. No Chips. No Fry-ups. No U.H.T. No silly foil portions. No children. No plastic playground or music machines or big screens. Plenty of Good Food. Real Ale. Good Wine. Family Hostile!'
This seemed slightly cranky and unfriendly at first> For one thing , 'No Chips' is just snobbery. If they're good enough for Nigel Slater and the bistros of Paris, they're good enough for a pub in Chester. But after half an hour inside I was willing to forgive them anything. you could say the pub is themed, though I'd say it when the landlord isn't listening. 'Themed' usually means decked out as a Bondi Beach surf shack or festooned with agricultural implements in a poor approximation of a Connemara saloon bar. But not here. The Albion Inn just hasn't changed much since 1915. There are adverts for Fry's chocolate, cast iron fireplaces, William Morris wallpaper and tasteful reminders everywhere of the Cheshire Regiment and the young lads who may have drunk a pint here after enlisting at the nearby drill hall, oblivious of the horrors to come.