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Tobie Norris, Stamford

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user reviews of the Tobie Norris, Stamford

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Ancient pub with a number of cosy rooms on two levels. Popular with a wide range of people from parents with children to veteran drinkers to tourists wearing grotesque shorts. My pint of London Pride was fine and my fish and chips were tasty and plentiful.
Kenny260556 - 10 Aug 2017 20:10
Atmospheric old building but very expensive. £4.00 for Gales Firecracker
Aztecgoat - 25 Nov 2016 21:26
Wonderfully atmospheric pub with a decent range of ales, both local and national. Good service & highly recommended.
baxterfish - 17 Nov 2015 20:52
Great pub with a good range of well kept beers including local micros. Hopsickle very good. Bar staff went to the cellar to fetch one I hadn't tried before from Oldershaw brewery. Worth having a look around all the rooms. Lots of breweriania on the walls. Large Pizzas looked good.
Rocky53 - 30 Sep 2014 10:23
I Haven't been to this establishment (so will not put in a rating), but it's sister pub the Prince Rupert in Newark is one of the best pubs I have ever been in... High praise indeed, so give it a go!
Barrow_Beer_Hunter - 20 May 2013 13:59
Good interesting pub, serving mainly Ufford beers. I had a pint of the weakest bitter, which was very tasty.
Very welcoming staff, but quiet on a Thursday afternoon.
jbsjazzer - 25 Nov 2011 15:36
It’s got wood panelling etc, comfy seats, multi-roomed olde-worlde atmosphere (at the front anyway) and only about four beers but the two we had were well kept.
I could spend time here, given chance.

Richardhuddleston - 2 Aug 2011 22:26
I too had the privilege to sample the Fullers Brewers Reserve No. 2 and to quote what Mr Michael Winner says it was "historic!"

A rare treat served in the Tobie. Could not be served in a better pub, in tip-top condition for a pint ( or half if 8% strengh is too much).

There is now a new conservatory, very tastefully constructed (The Oxo Room or The Waiting Room?) for those people not been in for the last few weeks. No hot cups of steaming Oxo for sale though.

I look forward to the good ales and good conversations with friends, staff fellow customers in 2011 in a drinking establishment as it should be.

Cheers.

p.s. Hope the chilli burgers are on the menu well into February.
perfectpint - 3 Jan 2011 20:35
This comment is for all the ale drinkers who complain about the high prices (I'm not paying that for a pint) in the Tobie. Quality has its price!
Sadly over the Christmas period you missed the bargain of the year,Fullers Brewers Reserve No 2 at £3 50 a pint.This shining example of the true art of brewing is normally only available in 500 ml bottles at £7 50 each.
Being served from the cask was a delight and proved a real favourite with the Tobie faithfull.
Hope you had a sample Sime 1977.
TheGriffin - 1 Jan 2011 12:34
I remember this place from 50+ years ago when it was the RAFA club and my dad took me in occasionally for a glass of Dandelion & Burdock. It has undergone an excellent (and very expensive) conversion and deserves the awards and plaudits it has won. One or more of Mick Thurlby's Ufford Ales normally available together with 2 or 3 ever-changing guest beers. Last time I called they were also offering Stamford-produced and bottled cider! Pricy, but never disappoints. If visiting for the first time, it is worth checking out all the drinking areas, including those upstairs, to appreciate the building's finer points.
Stamfordian - 2 Jul 2010 11:03
Visited the Tobie Norris on a Saturday lunchtime. Hadn't been before, and was expecting something exceptional. So, sad to say, was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the place just seemed to lack something. That said, it was very quiet, so maybe I need to visit it during a busier period. Beer was excellent.
nmckenn - 4 Apr 2010 22:28
Next on the crawl was another Good Beer Guide pub the Tobie Norris on St Paul’s Street. This one has a history dating back to around 1280. It is a pub you just have to visit when in Stamford. It is one of the reasons I like to visit during the day when it is quiet. I love to get my half of beer and just wander round a pub like this, exploring the rooms, nooks and crannies. A wooden rocking chair in front of a fire was very fitting for this pub. The rooms upstairs have been renovated and there are ancient beams instead of ceilings. We enjoyed the Slaters Eggstravaganza here. No simple ladies and gents, they have Tobie Norris and Suzannah Norris. The room we sat in was very dog friendly and there was a bowl of water in the middle of the floor for the 5 or 6 well behaved dogs.
gillhalfpint - 4 Apr 2010 10:28
This is a fantastic old pub, from around the 14th century I believe. Many of the original features have been retained following a sympathetic refurbishment. The good sized front bar had wood panelling on the walls, boards on the floor, leather arm chairs and a real fire, there are more traditional stone walled bars further back and more seating upstairs where you can see some of the original, and very old looking, rafters.
The main bar area seemed very busy with lot’s of people milling around, although the front bar was quieter. It’s certainly not cheap at £5.30 for a pint and a half, but I guess this is a classy pub in an upmarket area.
It’s owned by the small, local Ufford brewery so they had their White Hart on the bar, but surprisingly the other four beers were all from other breweries – Adnams Broadside and Champion Pale Ale plus Hopback Summer Lightning and something from the Nottingham brewery. There was also Aspall’s Suffolk cider.

Blackthorn - 18 Jan 2010 10:41
Having lived in Stamford for longer than I care to remember and have used most of the pubs over varying periods of time.The Tobie has gone from a passing friend to a best mate.
Welcoming staff,relaxed surroundings,mature clientele,which is nice, and a outstanding guest beer policy,(especially the ones from the little brewery by the Thames). Nice one Mr Fry!
TheGriffin - 30 Oct 2009 19:03
Can't agree more about recent reviews. Was recommended that I visit this pub by a volunteer at last year's Pigs Ear Festival. Therefore passing through Stamford last month made a point of calling here. Difficult to believe it only became a pub fairly recently. Excellent Ufford Ale [White Hart I think], at the end of the bar a history of the place available. Not a place to miss.


TiaMariaJim - 2 Sep 2009 20:52
Was in the area for the Peterborough beer festival and made sure not to miss this place having heard so much about it. It really is superb, full of nooks and crannies, exposed beams, etc. A great pub for conversation and good ale. We enjoyed an Isle of Skye beer (forgotten the name) which was in excellent condition. Highly recommend this pub.
Grailhunter - 1 Sep 2009 11:43
This is a cop-out, I know. Was in town today for a wedding, so I took my wife along to see the award winning renovation work. To be honest, it was outstanding, and I can understand why it has won so many awards - nice rooms with exposed beams, and a superb ( absolutely full ) garden out the back. Unfortunately, knowing what was to come later, we were looking for a very simple lunch such as a sandwich or a baguette, but there was no such offering on the menu, so we moved on. But under different circumstances, we will definitely be back. For the above reasons only, no rating given at this time.
philanders - 8 Aug 2009 23:40
This is my favourite real ale pub in Stamford. The building is truly stunning, the food is very fresh and absolutely faultless.

A good selection of beer to suit most palates, together with a fabulous range of wines too.

The staff and the manager are very friendly.

I cant think of a better place to be on a cold winter evening with the log fire roaring, or in the garden in the summer with some friends. Marvellous!
dali - 6 Aug 2009 16:32
Late review from October, and I loved my wander round this classic pub to see the rooms upstairs and downstairs. Could not fault the quality of the Ufford and Hook Norton beers we had, although they were a little pricey.
gillhalfpint - 17 Jan 2009 12:13
Visited this great pub recently. What a fantastic puplic house. I usually visit when they have a first class national brewed ale on sale. I would definitely visit more often if there was more to be had. Just one more permanent national beers please ...... Sorry I digress.

This recent visit had an exceptional beer called Jack Frost from Fullers brewery and it went down well, as did the good conversation and banter from fellow friends, customers and bar staff. *

An other time sat in the rocking chair reading my book and occasionally looked towards the log stove to make sure everything was as it should be, and it was, with me drinking my perfect pint of Fullers London Porter,the trouble is these beers don't last long enough.

Here's looking forward to the next time. The Tobie Norris is a classic pub.

* Forgot to mention, also had a proper original biscuit made from wholemeal flour with my coffee.
perfectpint - 29 Dec 2008 23:17
Was in town and at a loose end,fancying a quiet in pint in civilized surroundings. With a certain reluctance I decided to try the award winning Tobie Norris,expecting the usual pleasant service of the usual array of shed beers(sorry micrco's).To my surprise, on the bar was of one of my winter favorites, Fullers Jack Frost which was in perfect condition,as were the Digestives.Hope we can have more of this brewers ales on the bar,to dispel my reluctance to pop in more often. Adnams and Micro's,sad'ly are not my poison! Fingers crossed.
TheGriffin - 29 Dec 2008 18:45
I've only been here once, and i found it a bit poncy to be honest. Not quite as good as it thinks it is. But to be fair, you can kind of understand it's attitudes when you look at the general quality of the other pubs in Stamford in the last twenty years. I think this was the old RAFA club that i used to play games in, 15 years ago. (personally I love the no child policy. Pubs are for adults. Take your child to the platground.)

Re micro / national, I'm pretty sure that Fullers is the only national worth talking about. The only national that will ever equal the heights that the best micro's achieve. But lets not forget that there is sooooooo much average worse micro ale out there too.
LukeD - 19 Dec 2008 01:39
Based on 2 visits in a week, a mixed picture. The building itself is the star, worth travelling across the country for at least once. Service is friendly, the menu looks ideal (attracting a very young crowd on a weekday evening), and the beer range is a good mix between quality regionals and the local micro. BUT I thought quality was good not great, and the no-children rule spoils my experience a bit too. Still, you must visit.
mtaylor40 - 12 Oct 2008 21:20
Near perfect - a very sensitive conversion with lots of beautiful half timbered rooms and a decent garden. A revolving choice of beers adds to the experience and this pub really lives up to the Stamford idyll. Any visitor to Britain would be enthralled to be brought here.
BoehmBawerk - 29 Jul 2008 12:12
What a superb pub. Looking round the many rooms is akin to touring a stately home and it's no wonder that it has just gained a CAMRA award for"Best Conversion to Pub Use" 2007. Oh and the beer's not bad either. An absolute must visit!
Alerover - 6 Jun 2008 16:34
Wednesday last. A rarity in The Tobie. A non micro (shed) beer...... Fullers Chiswick Ale. A perfect beer in perfect pub served in a perfect condition. If only it could happen more often, it would be perfect!
perfectpint - 2 Jun 2008 22:58
Hmmmm, not wanting to get engaged in the pedantry of micro vs. national I think I'll focus on the pub itself!

An Ufford house (one of five in their estate), the Tobie Norris is an excellent example of a restoration project undertaken properly.

From the moment you enter the wonderful stone building you get a real sense of history and would be forgiven for thinking that the pub has been open for centuries - it hasn't, in fact it's just coming up on two years since the doors opened to the public.

I had the pleasure of visiting the pub twice in five days, fist on the Thursday before the May bank holiday, and again on the holiday Monday itself for their beer festival.

Thursday afternoon saw the pub very quiet, allowing my partner and I to explore the place at our leisure - resulting in several gasps of appreciation from myself. You really do feel like you're in a museum!

Comprising three floors, each historically furnished in keeping with the character of the building, it's easy to see why owner Michael has put in for the Best Pub Restoration award ... from what I've seen it's a sure fire winner.

The beer range is micro-orientated, which is no bad thing; condition of beers sampled from the cellar on Thursday and Monday was excellent, though some of the beers outside on stillage on the Monday were still a little green.

The pizza menu on offer here is rather special, and the pizzas themselves are most excellent - I would advise anyone considering eating here to go for the "Not So Large" option though, since these are enormous.

It's worth noting on the pizza front that during the month of May the Tobie will be offering 2 not so large pizzas with 2 toppings of your choice for just £10!

I notice there has been some criticism of the pricing of the beer here, with some feeling that around £3 a pint is too high; all I can say is I have no objection to paying a small premium for the privilege of drinking in such a wonderful environment - especially as it discourages the less salubrious end of the market from frequenting the pub (on Monday they were all to be found down the road in the Green Man from what I could see).

Finally a comment about the staff and management. On both of my visits I found them to be genuinely friendly, courteous and helpful - always a bonus!

Great beer, great food, great environment, great service. Who can ask for more?!
Young_Camra_LE3_Crew - 9 May 2008 12:12
Hi, Perfect pint & Griffin. I understand your points. For example, Greene King Abbott is still as it always has been and strength not altered. It depends on the catchment area really, if punters want micro or regional/national. I know some micros are crap. Everard's- it's funny how 'Gold, their new 5% brew has more taste than Original, 5.2%. I've realised why-Brunswick Inn make it in Derby. So there you go- alleged shortfalls in ingredients? I'll try a Chiswick's sometime and be a bit more open. Us younger ones do prefer to try different tastes rather than the same old stuff others have had all my life, however. I'm in this pub Sunday 23 March if you want to chat further. Happy drinking and if Abbott/another nicer tasting national is on, I guess i'll try it! I don't tend to touch 3.6% IPA as for 20p extra you can have something 30% stronger and not have to visit the other room so often!
sime1977 - 20 Mar 2008 23:11
Reflecting on sime1977. I felt it necessary to make the following comments.

Whilst the Tobie is an historic building,there is nothing historic about micro breweries.

You alas appear to be looking through the usual CAMRA rose coloured woolie jumpered glasses!
ie.All micro beers are wonderful tasty flavoursome brews,(sadly they are not)
and that anything available in more handful of pubs brewed by the Independents is bland and just brewed for profit.

Obviously they are brewed for profit,not even the micros can survive on sentiment alone. brewing is a business.

London Porter a rare beer from a national?
Think you will find the brewer of this has won more CAMRA awards than any other brewer!
Saturday PM London Pride been and gone in five hours.So much for blend beers!
TheGriffin - 17 Mar 2008 11:30
Sime1977, do not "tar with the same brush" national breweries. So because Greene King have messed up Old Speckled Hen and Ruddles County with its devious ways does not mean that we cannot have a more popular beer that people will recognise and happily drink in the Tobie Norris.

As for "bland". Try a pint of Micro Brewery, (or "Shed Brewery")beers and compare it with a pint of Fullers Chiswick at only 3.5% and see which is bland.

What is requied is a couple of shed brewery beers in the Tobie to keep you CAMRA lads happy and the rest booring Nationals. As I said before The Tobbie deserves better.(IMHO). Anyway happy drinking Sime, whatever it is.
;-)

p.s. A dozen of us booring drinkers consumed some common national brewed London Pride. Went like "hot cakes"!
perfectpint - 16 Mar 2008 17:57
I'm a Young Person's CAMRA Group Member and disagree that microbrews should be left to tickers in the Green Man. We aren't tickers and this historic building should be different to the multinational owned pubs with their recently reduced alcohol for the sake of profit brews, such as Old Speckled Hen (was 5.2%, now 4.5%) and Ruddles County (was 4.7-now4.3%). Why drink the same bland beer when the micros don't compromise on ingredients? I agress that London Porter is nice, though. A rare beer for a national brewery to put out.
sime1977 - 10 Mar 2008 22:20
Hear hear perfectpint! I will drink to that.Whenever there is a beer worth drinking!
Everything else is perfect,including the clientele policing prices.
May the Tickers long remain in the Green Man.
TheGriffin - 23 Feb 2008 12:48
"Who wants common, national brews?" I do. At least they have had many years experience of brewing a perfect pint. ;-)
perfectpint - 22 Feb 2008 18:29
Perfectpint-What are you talking about? Who wants common, national brews? Micro brewery beers ARE the best and The Tobie Norris deserves the best. If you want Pedigree, London Pride etc go elsewhere. the Tobie Norris is doing it right- even if a little too expensive!
nottmcol - 19 Feb 2008 15:34
There is now an extra hand pump.
perfectpint - 18 Dec 2007 22:46
Classy pub as this charging more up market prices should be serving a much better class of beer.(IMHO) Looking at the selection of weird brews from Micro Breweries, many I have never heard of, and asking for a pint of “Leg Over” or some other silly named brew. No chance. So I just look in dismay and walk out hoping that next time I’ll catch something decent. It’s such a shame. Great pub, good food, great staff, great service, poor selection of beer.

Keep the micro brewery beers in The Green Man. The Tobie Norris deserves better.

Stop Press………………..Guest beer just been & gone: Fullers London Porter….Awesome! More of the same PLEASE!


perfectpint - 18 Dec 2007 22:37
Well, coming on to a year since this fine ale house opened. Any improvement?


perfectpint - 18 Dec 2007 22:33
How lucky we residents of Stamford are! We have a fantastic choice of real ale pubs, but the Tobie Norris has to be ranked as the equal first destination pub of Stamford (the other being the Green Man). It is a amazing renovation with sensational real ale. The staff are nothing but helpful and knowledgable, but the best thing, it attracts a sensible crowd - over 21's only!!

You must visit if you're in Stamford.
bigfoot67 - 3 Sep 2007 14:11
Best pub in Stamford for the mature beer drinker
chips1945 - 3 Jul 2007 16:49
This is without question one of the finest pub conversions you will come across. There is a constantly rotating range of local and regional real ales available all kept to a very high standard as well as an extensive list of fine wines. The thing I like best about this pub is the attention to detail. The staff are smart, knowledgeable and friendly. The food is something that needs to be seen to be believed and exceptional value for money. The building itself is fantastic. If you are visiting Stamford I would place this high on your list of things to do.
Simonar99 - 3 Jul 2007 14:28
I love this pub.
Eddy33 - 31 Mar 2007 16:53
Beautifully restored interior. Not a good selection of beers, slightly pricey, and slow service at busy times. Let's hope it improves with time.
anonymous - 17 Jan 2007 20:07
At last a decent pub.... No loud music. No TV. No fruit M/c's. No smoking...........BUT..... No good selection of beer! (unless you are a micro brewery fan). One Adnams & Three Ufford ales. The Adnams is well kept but I'm not the only one to make a comment about the choice available. I understand the Adnams & one of the Ufford is to be permanent. The sooner the others are changed the better.

So a bit of a disappointment.
anonymous - 12 Jan 2007 21:30
Opened late 2006, aimed at "mature crowd". Building dates to 1280, and is well worth a visit. Four real ales on tap (three from the Ufford Ales brewery, one guest), all well-kept. Pub is non-smoking throughout. Not the most visible from outside. No food served at time of writing.
Stamford_Drinker - 2 Jan 2007 09:51

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