This grand old city pub-hotel is bound to impress: high ceilings, stained-glass windows, huge Art Deco lights (yes, the originals) and ornate plasterwork abounds. And the elegant dining room with its vintage mismatch of furniture and gleaming parquet is a pleasing space from which to ponder a varied menu; locally potted shrimps, Lancashire hotpot, and steak and ale pudding all appeal. In the bar, sandwiches are packed with the likes of Lancashire cheese and chutney. Well-kept Thwaites cask beers await, and there’s a selection of wines by the glass. Contemporary bedrooms of different shapes and sizes pick up on the period mood, and are comfortable and quiet, with drenching showers and triple-glazed windows, plasma TVs, snowy white linen; one has a beautiful listed wardrobe! Breakfast is full Lancashire – the works, and delicious. In short, a lovely friendly pub-hotel, and a fine place for a spot of retail therapy, slap in the throbbing heart of historic Lancaster.