New look Judge’s Lodging has the wow factor

All rise… one of the judge heads on a wall in the spirit bar
28 Jun 2014 @ 8.49 pm
| Food & drink

It has always had a handsome exterior. Now the Judge’s Lodging on Lendal, York, has an interior to match.

The pub and restaurant reopens to the public on Tuesday, July 1, and anyone who remembers its rather dark and dingy atmosphere of old is likely to be wowed by the new look.

Owners Thwaites have invested £1.7 million in the six-month makeover – and its shows.

The biggest change is a new first floor outdoor area at the back. This must count as one of York’s most stylish beer gardens, complete with L-shaped sofas on the timber decking.

All hands on decking
All hands on decking
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Judge for yourself

The Judge’s Lodging is a Grade I listed building. It was built between 1710 and 1727 for a York doctor on a former churchyard, and “several cartloads” of human bones were dug up when the foundations were laid. From 1806, judges visiting to sit in the Assize Courts stayed here

Food and drink
Beers include Wainwright, Lancaster Bomber and Nutty Black from the Waites range. Treboom Brewery, based at Shipton-by-Beningbrough near York, has supplied Tambourine Man and its Tour de France special Maillot Blanc.

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday: 7am-11pm
Sunday: 7am-10pm

Below are five new chalet-style garden rooms for guests, next to the small inner courtyard. As a result the number of bedrooms at the Judge’s Lodging has increased from 16 to 21.

The craftsmanship that has gone into the Judge’s Lodging can be seen as you enter the front door.

Here you’ll find the spirit bar, with bottles displayed in a bespoke wooden “medicinal cabinet”.

Each different room has its own feature – from wire sculptures to a wine glass chandelier.

On one wall several bewigged judges overlook proceedings.

One of the innovations is York’s first tank beer.

This giant copper cylinder contains Warsteiner Beer shipped over direct from Germany. It is served unpasteurised straight from the tank – so it is as fresh as if you drank it at the brewery.

The ceiling at the popular cellar bar has been opened up, and there’s a small snug room, perfect for intimate meetings – or liaisons…

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Your host is Nick James. He began his hospitality career as a student collecting glasses in a bar at St James’s Park in Newcastle, and has worked in Yorkshire since the turn of the century.

“It’s exciting – a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Nick said, of being general manager of the revitalised Judge’s Lodging.

The latest renovations come after £500,000 was spent on structural work at the pub last year, bringing the total investment to £2.2 million. Nick said 50 jobs have been created.