I’ve included this particular restaurant, despite acknowledging that it has been known to turn away drinkers in order to accommodate diners, only because it’s located in a former pub of sorts, the Oyster Tavern. Originally four cottages built in 1729 as almshouses for widows of Church of England ministers, remaining so until after the First World War, it only became a pub as recently as 1975 with the opening of the Oyster Tavern, primarily a restaurant but including a bar with a wide selection of real ale; at the time a free house serving the likes of Bass, Batemans, Charles Wells, Greene King, Tolly and the only outlet for Ruddle’s in the city.
The Oyster Tavern lasted only a few years until by 1983 the building was home to a wine bar, and over the following years a series of restaurants. Now as the Chop House it’s still primarily a restaurant, although it does serve real ale straight from the cask (plus Schiehallion lager on keg, and bottles of Nethergate Old Growler), and will allow drinkers when it’s not busy.
The small bar area has padded leather stools near the fire, leather-backed seating in one corner, and low beamed ceilings. It would make a good pub.
On this occasion, eschewing the mulled wine, I had a decent pint of Nethergate Five Rifles in a dimpled mug, and sat at the bar warming by the wood stove, while Baby It’s Cold Outside played. Behind the bar, the obligatory swan skeleton. Eh, what?