The one thing that troubled us about Salisbury (world famous cathedral, great theatre, one of our favourite vintage shops) was the lack of a decent pub. But that’s all changed now with the opening of the Old Ale and Coffee House
on Crane Street, a new venture from Ed and Buffy Turner.
What you have here is an all day hangout which works on many levels.
It’s slap bang in the middle of town, a mere stumble from the high street, and therefore the perfect, chain free, excuse for a coffee (the artisan kind from local roasters Mozzo).
They’ve got the pit stop thing completely right – a big selection of things to eat at the bar, smashed avocado, poached egg and chilli on toast, duck scotch egg, sticky glazed chicken wings, eggs benedict and sausage sandwiches. Sorry Wagas but we need a break from post movie noodle soup and this place has ice cream sandwiches with popping candy.
On Saturdays there’s a brunch menu with freshly juiced Bloody Marys and Sundays feature the roast – sirloin or chicken, both with Yorkshire pudding or a smoked cheddar and lentil nut roast for plant eaters.
The food has all the hits, but often in an unexpected way – so sirloin steak comes with chimichurri sauce, quinoa comes with feta, candied beetroot, Hampshire pork chop is with black pudding and duck egg.
Booze is immaculately sourced as you’d expect. Wine supplied by Ellis of Richmond is interesting and seems reasonably priced – your Sancerre rosé, Albarino and Malbec, alongside lesser known, beautifully described New Worlds such as the Roaring Meg Pinot Noir from South Africa, ‘velvet glove, cool, special and outstanding.’
Fancy a glass of that right now. Tons of craft beer, of course and a whole menu dedicated to gin (Bath Gin, Black Cow, Dorset’s Conker).
The Turners are pretty serious about pubs and it shows. Ed Turner formerly ran Geronimo Inns which launched with The Chelsea Ram back in 1995 and grew to a stable of some of the best known pubs in London.
What they’ve brought to Old Ale & Coffee House, along with simple, uncomplicated cooking showcasing the best West Country ingredients, is a vibe which blends upbeat and laid back and a much needed focal point for the city.
There are quiz nights every Tuesday, Bellini brunches, Guinness and oysters (on St Patrick’s day), rugby screenings in February, a planned wine festival.
You’ve been a long time coming, Old Ale & Coffee House, but we’re happy you’re here.