Samuel Smith's pubs, in my book at least, are a national treasure, and Darley Abbey's Abbey pub is every bit a part of the Yorkshire franchise. There are no frills, granted, but that's besides the point in the case of Sam's. The Abbey is based on a building that many hundreds of years ago was a monestary, hence the name and the quaint old logo on the sign. The toilets are labelled 'Monks' and 'Nuns', and I kid you not, someone who isn't me genuinely didn't know which one to go in to. Predictably, he changes the subject rather speedily when that old chestnut is brought up.
The beer in here is excellent, and the price of it puts even the likes of Wetherspoon's and Scream to shame- at the time of writing, a pint of the highly quaffable Alpine Lager is £1.90. Stronger and more exotic lagers and ales won't set you back much more, and it has to be said that the price of drinks is the Abbey's obvious strong point. Aside from Alpine, the Sam Smith's wheat beer and bitter have also become favourites.
The clientele are pretty much all Darley Abbey folk, and as mentioned in another review, this rather clandestine customer base can make it difficult to get served as the inner circle of the landlord's friends are given greater priority than the casual visitor. That said, the pub does a roaring trade in summer as people from all over the city and indeed outside like to take a plastic glass of Sam Smith's beer on to Dean's Field and relax on the grass. Canine lovers favour the Abbey and it's a common sight to see a few people having a swift pint after having taken their dog for a stroll in nearby Darley Park.
It's fair to say that the Abbey is ideal for lengthy summertime session drinking when you want something on tap, and that the unconventional architecture of the place lends it a certain conservative charm. Some would bemoan the fact that the place could do with a jukebox or a pool table, but like Wetherspoon's, it isn't Sam Smith's policy to have such facilities in their pubs. Trendy or flamboyant it ain't, but such good beer at such absurdly cheap prices ensure that few are likely to care.
This is my 2nd local pub! It is the old Abbey and it shows in its historical/ old architechture. It is supprisingly small inside so to get a table on Fri/ Sat/ Sun night... you must be early. Just a really cosy place to go and have a couple of drinks but it is a real locals pub although they are friendly! In the summer there are tables out below the first level of the building. Opposite Darley park... it is also good just to stop off for a quick refreshment whether it be mid way on a cycle ride or after a walk/ run around the park.... Cute place!
This is a really nice cosy pub at the bottom of a very steep hill across from Darley Park. The building used to serve as a bakehouse or brewery for the monestary and was built during the 12th century. It still has a spiral stone staircase, beehive bread oven and apparently, some ghostly visitations. The pub is very small but a great place to go on a summers day after walking around Darley Park.
Cheap booze but service leaves a lot to be desired. If you ain't a local it would seem that the portly bar tender will ignore you in favour of his cronies. The place is often dirty with sticky tables. Nice to sit out in the field opposite if the weather is good though but of you do I'd suggest buying some cans from the shop. It could be a great pub but it is let down by poor management
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