To steal a line from Brian Clough, the Punch might not be the best-looking pub in Hull, but it’s in the top one.

Pub of the Week: Punch Hotel, Hull
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When you look at the beautiful, ornate stonework that constitutes the entire front of the pub, you realise just how spectacular the centre of Hull must have looked in that glorious period after fishing had brought the city untold wealth but before Hitler decided to use it as target practice.
The current pub dates from 1895 (the first Punch was commissioned 50 years earlier but, for reasons unknown, was entirely rebuilt) and couldn’t be more slap-bang in the middle of the city. It’s right between the City Hall and Ferens art gallery and faces Queen Victoria’s statue. Why, then, it continues to struggle to find a settled tenant is a bit of a mystery. Ownership has changed hands several times over the past couple of decades and looks set to change again.
The pub does, to be fair, have a reputation of being a bit basic or down-at-heel but it could be a true gem. Much of the interior is wood-panelled, with a great ceiling and many interesting features, such as the tiny booth seating suitable only for the skinniest of bums.
Beer is basic and so is the food, but this is a good thing. The Punch is a great place to take a break from shopping for a cheap and humble hot steak and onion wrap or a chip butty. The Sunday carvery is apparently a firm favourite.
Until a saviour comes along to save the Punch from itself, then, it’ll just have to continue to inspire appreciation among those who like their pubs to look like works of art.
Punch Hotel, 7 Carr Lane, Hull, HU1 3RB. Tel: 01482 325245.

About The Author

Dave Lee is TV producer and film-maker who also writes on food & drink, travel and culture for various publications. He is a regular contributor on BBC Radio 4 and the Yorkshire Post. Worryingly, he believes that the finest food on earth is the pattie butty.

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