Anyone finding themselves passing through the town of Worcester could do far worse than avail themselves of a marvellous little hostelry named ‘The Cardinal’s Hat’. Situated in the ancient Sidbury area of the city, this pub is certainly a step back in time, (the building dates back to 1497) but with an unusual angle. Lovers of fine continental biers could not fail to be impressed by the brews lined up in this establishment, imported from Austria by owner Andrea Schultz, herself an Austrian
The pub itself boasts three busy rooms, two being adjacent the bar and one a snug overlooking the world passing by at the front of the building. Being slightly diminutive in size, The Cardinal’s Hat can get slightly crushed, but the best advice is to persevere as the crowds seem to melt away as the evening rolls on. An open fire guarded by a handwritten notice informing the locals that ‘this fire is real’ makes a superb focal point for the main front bar.
Landlady Andrea is a businesslike lady and very efficient, seldom missing a thirsty drinker. Come closing time (a wicked 11pm for all the Edinburghers reading), Andrea declined to comply with my request for ‘one of those big glasses’ of the amber brew. She explained of her concern that the locals would not finish such a size glass of beer in the drinking-up time allotted. Obliging though Andrea appears, she has obviously never experienced the Scottish drinking gene in full flight. May I conclude that my good friend Mick’s old jibe about Worcester being full of ‘Shandies’ – i.e. shandy-drinking lightweights, is actually true. Never mind – next time Andrea.
Andrea also found herself at odds with trading standards officials because she had the temerity to serve her drinks in metric measures. Apparently the pub was actually closed at one point due to an amount of stupidity and obstinacy over this issue. Thankfully it appears that a truce has now been drawn.
If you should be passing through the old Royalist city, make sure and look up The Cardinal’s Hat. Make no mistake, you’ll not be disappointed. Unless you’re sixteen and being dropped off in daddy’s Range Rover of course…