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The West Riding, Dewsbury, review

Patrick Dennehy wishes all train delays could be so much fun

Published on March 22nd 2011.


The West Riding, Dewsbury, review

Next time you bemoan the fact your train is late, don’t.

Because in Dewsbury, that’s just another excuse to while away more time in The West Riding, the town’s very own track-side pub.

‘At the back of the pub is a room that makes the smallest of concessions to the modern world with a Sky Sports on the TV and a jukebox. It’s hard to get a seat in any of the rooms on weekend nights unless you come early, prepared to settle in. But then this isn’t a pub that encourages sitting.’

Awarded Pub of the Year 2010 by the Heavy Woolen Branch of The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), you’ll find this exquisite institution on Platform 2.

Depending on your direction of travel, The West, as it’s commonly known, is either your first or last stop on the legendary real-ale-train-trail which takes in pubs at Batley, Huddersfield & Stalybridge as well as Leeds and Manchester.

As a Southern acquaintance of mine told me that, having visited this pub a few times, it’s easily his favourite in Dewsbury. Well said that man.

It treads a difficult line - a pub that tries to be many things to many people - but it’s not far off succeeding. Country pub, young people’s boozer and local’s local; depending on the time of day you’ll find different crowds of people; and just occasionally they’ll all be there at the same time.

The inside is not quite spit and sawdust, but it’s not far off, although the walls have just had a new coat of paint. The inside is a mix-and-match collection of curios: beer adverts, labels and empty bottles abound, but there’s also reclaimed pub signs and even old railway literature for train spotting enthusiasts; not that you get many in here.

There are three rooms and even a beer garden out the back - well, some decking and a few benches anyway (we don’t ask for much round these ways).

The dining room serves real food (more of that later) to match the real ale, small wooden tables and chairs jostle for room round an old wood fire. Wander through into the middle room for soft sofas and larger tables, facing directly onto the bar. It’s no wonder this room fills up the fastest.

At the back of the pub is a room that makes the smallest of concessions to the modern world with a Sky Sports on the TV and a jukebox. It’s hard to get a seat in any of the rooms on weekend nights unless you come early, prepared to settle in. But then this isn’t a pub that encourages sitting.

On to the important stuff: the beer. There are eight hand pulled taps; four are regulars including Timothy Taylor Dark and Mild, and Yorkshire’s own legendary Black Sheep. The other four pumps are reserved for guest beers and change regularly, even on a daily basis. So if you find a guest beer you like, have a couple because it might not be there when you return.

The Skipton Brewery and Dewsbury’s Anglo Dutch Brewery are regular providers of ale to the guest taps. If you’re unsure what to drink the pleasant and well-informed staff will happily let you sample one or two first.

Should ale not be your drink of choice there are a range of bottled ciders and other speciality beers in the fridges behind the bar, as well as the standard everyday lagers and ciders tucked away in the far corner.

The excellent local and freshly-made food which the small kitchen turns out on a daily basis is also well worthy of a mention. Hearty sandwiches are available every day from lunchtime, as well as smaller main courses. The all-day-breakfasts are also very popular with the football crowds on a Saturday morning. On top of this they run a Sunday-dinner service; a curry night on Wednesday and a pie night on Tuesday.

There a myriad of reasons why this is a great pub, so much so that you’d be mad not to miss the train at least once.

One final thing, don’t forget your wellies if you’re taking a trip to the gents...


Rating: 17/20
Breakdown: 8/10 ambience
5/5 drinks
4/5 service
Address: West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms
Station Buildings
Dewsbury Railway Station
Wellington Rd
Dewsbury
WF13 1HF
01924 459193
imissedthetrain

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

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