The Duke of Wellington, Norwich, Great Norfolk Pub Guide: ‘Doesn’t just stand out, it fits right in’

The Duke of Wellington, Norwich. Photo: Mustard TV.

The Duke of Wellington, Norwich. Photo: Mustard TV. - Credit: Archant

As a really good real ale pub, it's hard to stand out in Norwich. There are plenty to choose from across the fine city, and in NR3 particularly the discerning beer drinker is spoilt for choice.

Outside seating area at The Duke of Wellington, Norwich. Photo: Mustard TV.

Outside seating area at The Duke of Wellington, Norwich. Photo: Mustard TV. - Credit: Archant

The Kings Head and The Fat Cat Brewery Tap are just two of the homely hot spots that sit proud in this postcode, and they are the last two winners of CAMRA's City The last time The Duke of Wellington triumphed in the city's annual pub battle was 2003. In the last few years though, 'The Duke' has quietly undergone a refresh that will surely soon see it challenge for top honours once more.

Its beer garden has been transformed from basic car park to beautiful horticultural haven. An outdoor space perfect for summer evenings, bbqs, and the pub's famous August beer festival. And forget pub of the year, this flower-fresh extension is now competes for Anglia in Bloom awards too.

Inside it's all wooden pews, leather sofas and brick fireplaces. Inglenooks abound and with up to 32 real ales available at any one time – plus craft beers, ciders and wines - lovers of grape and grain are always comfy and well catered for.

This pub started licenced life in 1937 as The Iron Duke. Over the years it was passed between breweries – Whitbread, Adnams and Lacons included – but The Iron Duke finally found its Waterloo (Road?) in 2002 when it was reborn as The Duke of Wellington.

The owners thought the new name slightly warmer, whilst still embodying its Waterloo Road address, but nods to the pub's past have preserved - old signage, the Lacons falcons above the door, even the WWII air raid shelter visible through the bar floor.

Food on offer at The Duke of Wellington, Norwich. Photo: Mustard TV.

Food on offer at The Duke of Wellington, Norwich. Photo: Mustard TV. - Credit: Archant

Now owned by Wolf Brewery, The Duke of Wellington is actually a free house. Accordingly, the beers on which its reputation is built are sourced from all over – and that quality of ale and atmosphere keeps ensures this pub's popularity.

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In NR3 you don't have to go far to find a good pub that stands out. But The Duke of Wellington doesn't just stand out, it fits right in – to the community it serves and with the real ale heritage this corner of Norwich is proud to uphold.

Need to know.

Opening hours: 12noon to 11pm Monday to Thursday, until midnight Friday and Saturday and until 10.30pm Sundays.

Food: With no kitchen on site, The Duke of Wellington patrons are welcome to bring in any food they fancy from the wide range of takeaways on its doorstep. On a busy night the bar can be filled with the seductive naughty-but-nice aromas of everything from fish 'n' chips, to curry and pizza

For those wanting to keep it more bar snack simple, there are homemade sausage rolls and pies behind the bar – homemade by the good people who put on The Duke's famous Monday quizzes and who also sorted the stunning array of new flowers in the beer garden.

The Duke of Wellington is famed for its barbecues, available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays June through August, and from 3-9pm during its similarly celebrated 10-day August beer festival.

Six of the best with Simon Davey, manager, The Duke of Wellington.

1. When's the BEST time to visit your pub?

If you want quiet time, in the afternoons. If you want something a bit more lively – Friday and Saturday night.

2. What's the BEST memory you have of your pub?

My very first beer festival here, two years ago.

3. What's the BEST pint you serve?

Golden Jackal by Wolf.

4. What's the BEST dish on the menu?

We don't have a kitchen but we do great homemade pies and sausage rolls

5. What's the BEST hangover cure known to Man?

Another beer!

6. And finally, what's the BEST pub in Norfolk (apart from yours)?

The Two Lifeboats in Sheringham

Watch The Great Norfolk Pub Guide in association with Lacons on The Mustard Show this Friday (6.30pm on Mustard TV, Freeview Ch7 or Virgin Ch159).

Catch up on the whole 'Great Norfolk Pub Guide' series on the Norfolk Now YouTube channel.