The Devonshire – 2011

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Night reviewed: Thursday
Built in the early 1800s (previously known as the New Inn and The Devonshire Inn) and set back slightly off one of the main eastern routes into town, Newmarket Street, The Devonshire looks rather grand and imposing. From the outside
Inside, it looks just like a Wetherspoons – mainly because it is one.
This is a very large pub, and it’s obvious its main function during the week is to supply the residents of Skipton with cheap grub. It was curry night when we arrived, and for £4.99 for a curry with all the trimmings and a drink, you can’t argue that this massive pub chain doesn’t offer value for money. What you can argue with is the Wetherspoons principle of large pubs serving cheap beer. In the same way out of town supermarkets destroy local shops, these don’t do anything to help the fortunes of nearby smaller pubs, and if all pubs end up like this then the world would be a very sad place.
We were there just for the booze, so it was a little disappointing that I had to wait for nearly 20 minutes to get served, whilst my fellow reviewer who’d got there slightly earlier supped away on a pint of stout. There were only two bar staff on duty and whilst they were friendly enough, they were clearly struggling to juggle a spate of food orders and serve us drinkers too. When I finally did get served, my drink had a quarter pint head, and by the time I asked for a top up, the beer I’d ordered was off. So a further wait for another pint was needed.
Not a good start.
The beer selection was very good – amongst the best in Skipton. Unfortunately for us most of the ales seemed to be off, or at the very bottom of the barrel. Therefore the quality of the pints we had wasn’t that great. It would be interesting to go back when they’ve a full selection available. With prices as low as £1.90 a pint it’s excellent value though……when all the beers are on.
As for the atmosphere of the place – it’s too big for our liking. The customers who were there would have filled several of the smaller pubs in town, however it still felt a little empty even though it was busy. There was a nice bustle to the place in the main section of the pub near the bar, but wandering through the other sections, it was fairly quiet.
The décor was as you’d expect – pretty bland, functional and fairly modern, but with the odd old photograph of Skipton on the walls, amongst other historical items. The toilets are vast and clean, but look a bit tatty these days, no doubt thanks to the use they get at the weekends….
There’s no doubt this pub is mainly an eating pub, but on a Friday and Saturday night it becomes one of the main boozing pubs in Skipton, due to it’s size and cheap drinks. It’s large in every sense and it’s obviously popular amongst locals and visitors alike.

If you just want a cheap meal or a cheap night out, then this is certainly the place for you, but if you’re looking for a quality pint of ale in a small cosy pub, then you’d be better off somewhere else.
 
Scores
Beer Choice (1 – 5): 5
Beer Quality (1 – 10): 5
Service (1 – 10): 4
Atmosphere (1 – 5): 2.5
Décor (1 – 5): 3
Toilets (1 – 5): 4.5

TOTAL: 24 (out of 40)

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