Proper fish and chips at The Lion and Key

Published: Wednesday 2nd August 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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The Lion and Key on the High Street in Hull is the perfect destination for a classic lunch.

Located next to the attractive outdoor seating area that leads to the Scale Lane Swing Bridge, Lion and Key’s premises have been a pub since 1817. Plus, there’s an interesting story behind its name.

“The Lion and Key” appeared during the Peninsular War of 1808-1814. Wellington captured Ciudad Rodrigo in 1812, which he then described as the “key” to Spain. Pub owners celebrated the victory by displaying a British lion holding a key.

Since then, the pub was called Durty Nelly’s for a while, returning to its original name a few years ago following a renovation that saw the removal of its acoustic stage. These changes also saw the fish and chips become practically famous across the city.

We popped down for lunch and were not disappointed. Having visited previously for drinks on a busy evening, seeing The Lion and Key pleasantly quiet during the day was a real treat and very relaxing.

As always, the bar team were very welcoming and friendly, offering great service from start to finish. This was complemented by the kitchen team preparing an excellent meal in good time, meaning that we didn’t have to stress about being late for our subsequent plans.

The fish was soft, succulent and beautifully white, covered in a deep golden batter. The chips were equally delicious whilst both crispy and fluffy. Together, they were everything that fish and chips should be.

With some garden peas, tartar sauce and proper bread and butter on the side, it made for a tremendously satisfying meal.

As for the drinks selection, there was plenty to choose from. The beers are mostly from the self-owned brewery, Cathead, situated just next door. Most of others are sourced from the rest of Yorkshire, so there’s a heavy focus on local brews.

The Lion and Key is a fantastic place with tons of historic character. From the signs behind the bar for tinned fruits and choice preserves, to vintage adverts for household products on the walls, it’s a feast for the eyes.

The furniture is traditional yet comfortable, with regular and larger tables, bar stools, cosy nooks and the odd booth available. There’s also a lovely beer garden, which was added in recent years and really fits the aesthetic.

The Lion and Key is a sister pub of the very nearby Walters and Wm Hawkes, which are both worth a visit too. So if you’re out for the day or making a night of it, make sure to make the most of this cluster of real ale taverns.

However, if you’re easily frightened, be aware that there’s a ghost on the top floor. Observers describe him as a tall man, with dark hair and wearing a black uniform jacket. Spooky!

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Published: Wednesday 2nd August 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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