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[ Bar ]
1 West Street
Doncaster, South Yorkshire
, DN1 3AA
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 (0)1302 363054
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5
My first Saturday back in England during my 2004 vacation was spent with some very close friends at the 14th Annual Doncaster CAMRA Beer Festival, held at the local Racecourse. I even had a chance to meet up with fellow BA and UK BeerFly Guide, BSF, and share and swap some beers.
However, after a skin full of some great Real Ales, with even 100+ to choose from, it was time to stop drinking Jessie half pints and head back into Doncaster City Centre to try some local establishments. The Leopard is one of Doncasters main stays, it is very close to the Railway Station (our ultimate destination to get back home), a regular entry in CAMRAs Good Beer Guide (including this years), and it has long been a favorite of mine.
Located on a street corner, it has a classic tiled frontage that just screams at you that it is from an Industrial era long gone. This was a working mans Pub located in what used to be an industrialized area of Doncaster dedicated to the Railways, indeed close by is (soon was) the Sir Nigel Gresley works, the 1923 birthplace of the Class A1 #4472 The Flying Scotsman, the worlds most famous Steam Locomotive, which, thanks to Sir Richard Branson in part, is staying in the UK at the National Railway Museum.
The superb tiled frontage harks back to a proud Victorian era when the designers, builders, owners and operators of Pubs (like the Railways of the time) were one and the same company. The two tone apple and dark green hand made custom tiles completely clad the exterior ground floor and reveal the identity of the original builders and owners of the Pub, Warwick and Richardsons Brewery Newark Ales and Stouts.
The Leopard is basically comprised of two rooms, one on each leg of the Pubs corner design. The Lounge has a plush feel, for the Leopard anyway, as this was recently refurbished in 2003 and now offers the passer-by a comfortable retreat and some pleasant surroundings in which to enjoy a good decent honest Pint in unpretentious surroundings. Alternatively, the Bar/Games/Tap Room offers the delectable fascination of many local characters & lots of lively banter. Both rooms benefit from the joy of a superb Juke Box that contains many Punk and Rock classics amongst other favorites.
The beer range is limited only by the number of Handpumps, around four or five in total if I recall correctly. John Smiths Yorkshire Bitter is the standard (macro) offering, but the Guest Beers offer the educated imbiber a superb refuge from the usual bland beers from the Big Boys. There is always a Glentworth beer (I forget which one on my visit) and an additional Guest beer or two. One of which just happened to be Timothy Taylors Landlord from Keighley. Excellent!! As a huge fan of Timmys Lan-lord, it was a pleasure to get my first taste of this in 12 months in here, because I can report that it was in absolutely Tip-Top condition, exactly as Landlord should be, exceptionally fruity with Timmys distinct dry Saaz bitter after-taste, which is not always the case these days in other outlets where it is sold. Alan McHugh (the Leopards Landlord) certainly knows his business here.
Meals are served 12-7 (4pm Sundays), basic but wholesome fare and solid offerings from the usual line up of Pub fare culprits.
In addition to the good beer range (for Doncaster), occasional live music is played in an upstairs room, it sometimes hosts Comedy Nights also. It is so rare to find live music in UK Pubs these days, so it is great to know that it is still alive and well here.
I have been visiting the Leopard for many years, on and off, for both the music and of course for the beer. Its a down to earth boozer that majors on its warm welcome and quality beer, all served in a traditional drinking environment.
An extremely pleasurable return to an old favorite great to see the beer is as good as ever. A regular winner of Doncaster CAMRA Pub of the Season (Spring 99, Winter 04) and Pub of the Year (2000) Awards.
Whilst Doncaster is not exactly on the tourist trail in the UK, if you do ever get here this is the Pub to head for, without a doubt. And if the Timothy Taylors Landlord is on youd be a fool to miss it!!!
Last Visit: Saturday 3rd April, 2004
04-24-2004 03:41:12 |
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Leopard in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom (England)