An affable and reliable member of the Food & Fuel group, the Victorian-era Queens has all the capaciousness of that monarch in her later years. There’s a large bar with central servery at the front, a separate sizeable dining room with open kitchen, and a decent garden area. The intricacy of the plasterwork ceilings and friezes, the dark wood panelling, decorative tilework and art nouveau stained glass remain a joy, thanks to sensitive refurbishment a decade ago.
Delicious summer cup made with Sipsmith gin plus cucumber, earl grey tea, lemon verbena and fresh fruit typifies the effort put into the drinks side: there’s an appealing range of real ales, carafes of house wine and, er, slushies too. The food is decent and good value if you stick with basics such as burgers and pasta – on our visit, a plate of juicy tiger prawns with garlic, herbs and linguine. A meze plate of houmous, olives, feta and pitta was indistinguishable from supermarket offerings, but sticky toffee pudding and accompanying Jude’s ice-cream was as delightfully good as we remembered.
Service, while a touch haphazard, was friendly and easy-going. With £5 weekday lunch deals and wi-fi available, there’s no point waiting for the weekend to visit.