House of Trembling Madness, York
Strolling along Stonegate, one of the prettiest streets in York, it would be easy to miss the House of Trembling Madness. Even if you spotted the sign on the window (it takes its name from the old term for delirium tremens), you might take it for a very well stocked beer shop, which it is, with some 600 ales on sale in the back room. But climb the rickety winding staircase and the attic opens up into a 12th century drinking den, the walls hung with mounted animal heads and the exposed ceiling trusses made from 800 year old ships’ timbers. Forget any idea of medieval banquet nonsense, this is a proper bar with real ale and hefty plates of pie and mash or cheese and ham platters, nothing gourmet, they don’t even have a kitchen, but they produce generous plates of nosh, taken in the glow of candlelight amid the spicy fug of mulling wine. It’s what you came to York for.