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Royal Oak, Chesterfield

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user reviews of the Royal Oak, Chesterfield

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

Historic pub with character, quiet on our visit; indulged in Bradfield 'Farmers Blond' a light refreshing ale.
alehippy - 21 May 2017 19:12
Chosen as we were walking past and seduced by the history.

Three real ales - unique architecture.

Worth experiencing for its age.

Visit blogged at
Mappiman - 20 Feb 2017 12:23
I visited this pub after reading the reviews on this site, and whilst it didn't let me down, it was only average. (I do set high standards though).
On the plus side, it is an old place, with two seperate rooms, with an upper bar that has to be left to go outside into the street, before entering the lower bar if in need of the toilet - a fairly unique experience I like.
It had some decent beer on the bar, including Bradfield Blonde and Thwaites Wainwright, but for whatever reason, it seemed to be lacking in atmosphere, but maybe it is not always like this ?

SouthYorkshireman - 21 May 2012 23:40
as mentioned this is a great little gem of a pub right in the town centre,only two beers between the eight handpumps when visited,the thornbridge Jaipur was very good mind(£3.50),all in all a nice friendly old pub with decent beer,7/10
fat_beer_badger - 10 Apr 2012 15:35
Ancient looking old pub, cosy and friendly with upper and smaller lower bar. Beer was good Brampton's Stout in particular was excellent
anonymous - 4 Mar 2012 15:04
Great old building and top class town centre pub. Plenty of decent ales to choose from and friendly staff and locals. Free buffet doing the rounds last night as well.

Well worth a visit, in my opinion.
twohalves - 26 Nov 2011 11:04
Afraid I can't help with opening times as I visited on a Friday afternoon. However, I can advise that the quality of the beer in here is excellent. Had a pint of Chatsworth Gold and a couple of Jaipurs and thoroughly enjoyed them. Did not sample food so cannot comment.
beerface - 5 Sep 2011 12:24
I can't actually post a review as the pub was closed when we visited, so I'm looking for advice & clarification regarding opening times before we make another journey. The 2011 GBG states that it opens until 11pm on Thursdays & Fridays, and until 11.30pm on Saturdays, albeit only until 6pm Monday to Wednesday. We visited on a Thursday evening to find it closed at 8pm - after driving 10 miles to specifically try the pub. The website has no contact details, so could anybody help please?
sjb.14 - 5 Jun 2011 09:59
We visited this pub earlier this year, not long after the new landlord took over. We were thoroughly impressed with the surroundings and beer quality and overall friendliness of the pub. We have been back on many occasions and it never fails to impress. The food is excellent and beautifully presented. We just hope that this pub goes from strength to strength as we are sick of seeing minimalistic, laminate floored pub chain uniformity!
HMSpubcrawl - 29 Sep 2009 20:57
As its location in The Shambles might hint, this pub was originally two mediaeval butchers' shops. We popped in just for fifteen minutes on 14th May 2009 (between rain showers and buses) and were hugely impressed with what we found behind the frosted leaded glass, which can put people off trying a new place - don't be one of them.

For the new landlord and his wife (here since just the beginning of 2009) this has been taken on as a labour of love; a sadly neglected ancient pub with a dubious recent reputation and only a few months ago all closed and boarded up, but one they are determined to turn around, treat with the respect it deserves, and attract a good, mixed clientele to.

Give them your support by dropping in - the landlord buys in real ales from local breweries, and the pint of Bakewell Best I tried was fresh on that morning, crystal clear, the right temperature and very refreshing. Try the stone floored main bar for larger groups, or the cosy back bar with its high timbered roof for intimacy. True, from the latter you have to go back into the alleyway and in again via another street door to use the loos, but thank goodness (unlike so many other ancient pubs) the whole thing hasn't been knocked through and fitted out with an anodyne main bar. This is how the layout of true English pubs evolved, slowly and bit by bit, with different atmospheres in different rooms.

It's open lunchtimes most of the week, but not in the evenings except weekends and (from memory) Thursdays and Fridays - the hours are down to lack of trade. There's still a lot of work to do on this place - the landlord needs to persuade English Heritage that some of the more recent features in this listed building could usefully and sympathetically be replaced - but it's on the right track so go and help by having a pint there! Scoring it 8 might seem a bit high to some, but I've done this in recognition of the effort put in and its huge potential.
pubpuffin - 15 May 2009 11:25

Well done to the new owners. In the 6 months since my last visit they seem to have turned the place around completely. It is now warm and friendly and was comfortably busy. It appears to have been redecorated and refurbished and offers 6 real ales, including the superb, but expensive Thornbridge Jaipur IPA (5.9%abv). I cannot comment about the food except that plenty of customers were eating, which is usually a good sign, and the food looked pretty good.
steve2905 - 2 May 2009 03:29
Standards must have upped a bit since the reviews on here were posted as I was very impressed! This has to be the second best pub in Chesterfield, just being beaten by the Rutland. The ale was absolutely perfect! The music doesn't seem to fit in well with the stone floors and wooden beams however.
jarofporter - 29 Apr 2009 17:20
The Royal Oak seems to have just reopened after a period of being closed and boarded up. Good luck to the new proprietors in saving Chesterfield’s oldest pub, but they have a long way to go ...

When I had a pint in there yesterday lunchtime there just two old guys in the bar and an old couple in the lounge. The lack of customers was not surprising because the place was freezing. I felt really sorry for the young barmaid, who although wearing a woolly hat, scarf and body-warmer looked really really cold. There were two mainstream real ales available, (which I think were Tetley and Stones), plus two (Golden Bud and Best Bitter) from the local Brampton micro. The Brampton Best was OK, but would have been much better if the surroundings had been more convivial.

I did not pay too much attention to the opening times, but be aware that they are NOT normal pub hours …

steve2905 - 23 Oct 2008 04:22
me and the wife call here occasionally for lunch when visiting chesterfield. its a wonderfully ancient building in the "shambles" area in the centre of town. it has an incredible history, dating back to the 1200's when the original plan for the shambles area was laid out. [there are numerous historical information boards in the shambles area].
inside there is a central bar serving two rooms. we usually go in the lounge to eat, which is the original restored building. its very small and easily fills up at lunch time. there is a fair choice of meals available, and a range at 2-for-£6. these are all quite reasonable, and service is fairly quick. there is usually 2 or 3 cask beers on, which were all well-kept when we called.
a truly historic pub. one of my two favourite pubs in the town [my other is the welbeck]. its a fascinating little pub in which to get good pint and a good meal.
reynard - 20 Aug 2008 14:11
Said to be the oldest pub in Chesterfield, The Royal Oak is right in downtown Chesterfield. It certainly looks old! Very atmospheric, though a bit small. Worth a visit!
Ember - 9 Jun 2008 10:26
Closed on Monday evening (odd for a town-centre pub), but managed to go back mid-afternoon the following day (but no-one else in - odd again). Despite the number of handpumps, only two real ales on. Nice old building, but something of a disappointment having read some decent reviews elsewhere.
rpadam - 26 Feb 2008 00:06

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