Prince Rupert in Newark is a haven for ale fans
With its exposed timber and over-hanging windows, The Prince Rupert pub is one of the most distinctive in Newark. Dating back to medieval times, the building was first licensed as a public house in 1580 when it was known as The Woolpack. Its current name makes reference to Prince Rupert who came to Newark during the English Civil War to lead the Royalist troops to victory against the Parliamentarians.
Today, the beautifully-restored pub is full of cosy snugs, wooden beams and period furniture – including impressive church pews and a traditional wooden bar. Despite its age, the building is incredibly light and has been tastefully decorated with muted colours and fresh flowers.
As well as being an important historic landmark, The Prince Rupert is also a haven for real ale fans. It was named Pub of the Year by Newark CAMRA in 2011 and when I went along last month, a beer and cider festival was in full swing. Meanwhile, on the bar there was an array of tempting tipples, including a very summery elderflower cider.
The pub is run by Nikki Booth who is passionate about creating a welcoming environment for visitors.
Nikki told me, “We want it to feel like a traditional country pub even though we are in the centre of town.”
“The small details matter to us. In the past there was only one room where you could have dogs throughout the pub. Real ale is also very important to us and demand for it is rocketing.”
During my visit I was lucky enough to try some of the festival brews. When confronted with a fine selection of ales, I tend to plump for the ones with intriguing names – and I couldn’t resist the Village Idiot from the White Horse Brewery. It was a pale, citrus ale and perfect for a summer’s day. I also sampled the Wainwright, made by Thwaites Brewery, which took me back to holidays in the Lake District, before moving onto my favourite, the Plum Porter from the Titanic Brewery.
The Prince Rupert also has an excellent reputation for serving fine local produce, including mouth-watering pork pies from the town’s G. H. Porter Provisions (if you haven’t tried them please do!). It also serves wonderfully crisp stone-baked pizzas which make the ideal accompaniment to a glass of beer.
During the year, there are plenty of events and live music nights to enjoy. Staff are currently getting ready for the inaugural Cider and Sausage Festival which takes place on 21st August and there is also a ‘Meet the Brewer’ event planned in conjunction with Newark CAMRA which will showcase the town’s superb real ale offer.