Station Buffet Bar

Bar, Eatery

Platform 1, Stalybridge Railway Station
Stalybridge, England
United Kingdom

+44 (0)161 303 0007 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.72/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Britain’s railway heritage is pretty much unparalleled throughout the world, although to look at the state of the privatised UK Railway system these days, it's hard to believe. Less politics, more beer. The rise of the railways in the industrial revolution & the fierce pride of the private railway companies, spawned many beautifully crafted brick & stone Station Buildings from the Victorian era. Stalybridge Station on the Leeds-Manchester line is one of these. During the short-sighted height of closing all amenities on the nations Railways stations, the Station Buffet Bar moved into private hands. Thank goodness, this is the only reason that it survived & wasn’t replaced with a cheap wooden shack.
The interior is simply superb & has not altered much from the heyday of steam powered rail travel. Recently extended to 4 rooms now, they are all attired in period décor & although not lavish, they are faithful to the era & very comfortable. The original Buffet Bar counter now forms a quaint Bar & as such is flanked by glass counters containing snacks and sandwiches. Lots of Old Photos & Memorabilia send you back in time.
It has 9 cask-conditioned beers on sale. 3 regular beers (Wadworths 6X, Boddingtons Bitter and Flowers IPA) complemented by up to 6 guest beers, all served in tip-top condition. The Guests are adventurous, from independents & often contain nice surprises. A true 'Free House' in every sense of the meaning (except that you have to pay for the beer), means that the Guests are always different & rarely repeated. During my last visit in late August 2001, the guest Jennings Snecklifter was on fine form. Serves Lunchtime & Evening meals. The food menu is varied, very good & represents great value.
On CAMRA’s National Inventory of Heritage Pubs for its Interior & uniqueness. The Stalybridge Railway Station is still in use, and many, many a time I decided to forgo the next the train for another pint, or two here!
Sit in the basic splendour of this original Buffet Bar, watch the passengers come & go, board & alight, listen to the nauseating monotones of the nations automated speaking train timetable, the frequent rumbles & screeching of brakes as trains arrive, followed by the diesel engine thrash as it leaves - all with Beer in Hand. Fantastic. More importantly, just sit back, watch the world go by & enjoy the quality beer. Not the only Station Bar - but definitely one of the very best. When I close my eyes, I am sure I can still smell the Steam Engines!!

Jan 10, 2003
More User Reviews:
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johndawsonaustin from England

4.55/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

I last visited this place in August 2006. It remains one of the most fantastic drinking establishments in the UK, in my opinion.

The bar is located in the Station buffet, on the platform. A narrow location, that looks tiny when you first enter, but has four rooms that the staff can open in busier periods. The decor appears to be the original Victorian, and the walls are adorned by period railway memorabelia.

Superb quality ale that regularly changes, and where else can you neck the last of your beer as your train pulls in to the platform, still safe in the knowledge that you're not going to miss it?!

Food is basic and inexpensive.

An amazing place that is well worth seeking out. A must for both Beer-Heads and Railway Nuts alike.

Jan 15, 2007
Station Buffet Bar in Stalybridge, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4.63 out of 5 with 2 ratings