The Ranelagh is a splendid little pub just off the busy St James’ Street that serves as the gateway into Kemptown proper. Small and old fashioned this pub is a popular place to meet thanks to its poky but pleasant patio garden which overlooks the main street, making it an ideal spot for people watching. And people watching on St James’ Street is a truly entertaining way to spend an afternoon.
As well as its handily located outside area the pub is best known for hosting live music on a regular basis. Despite the cramped size of the place the Ranelagh boasts a great variety of acts, mainly blues and folk based, and can draw quite a crowd of an evening. There are regular acoustic nights each month as well as numerous jam sessions and live acts which can sometimes mean entertainment is laid on every night of the week. They keep the listings on their website up to date so take a look if it’s your thing: What’s on at the Ranelagh.
Beer on tap comes from Harveys and one or two guests, which rotate on a regular basis. With limited space at the bar it’s nor surprising they only normally have three pumps on but the beer is kept well enough that I’ve no complaints there isn’t more choice. Three good beers are better than ten naff ones.
In the Winter time the pub takes on a whole new character and the sunny sun terrace that draws the punters in Summer time gets heated so it still sees action once the temperature drops. What’s more the roaring log fire inside ensures you get that lovely glow of satisfaction that can only be found inside a seriously cosy old pub at the height of winter. With its low ceilings and fairly dilapidated state (which is in no way a bad thing) it oozes rustic charm in a manner that oh so many modern pubs try so hard to recreate but can’t quite match.
Packed full of character and not a fruit machine in sight, this is a great pub for traditionalists set in a popular location that ensures it’s never empty. Recommended.
At a glance
|Free Wi-Fi?||Yes, code at bar|
|Children welcome?||Yes, during the day|
|Garden?||Yes, small terrace|