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Boot Inn, Chester

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user reviews of the Boot Inn, Chester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Very old pub in Chester's main historic street. The place is easy to miss and can be only got at from the first floor row.

I was in on an early evening on a Thursday in June. Pub very quiet with a few blokes spread out one on each table around the place and I think a couple at one table. No one behind the bar. An off duty barman told me that someone would be there soon as the barman had nipped off to the gents. After a while, the off duty chap served me. A bit later the barman arrived explaining to his mate that he'd been on the phone about doing some work somewhere else.

Atmosphere was very odd with the old blokes shouting at each other comparing their memories of very early Dr Who villains and who was who in Captain Scarlet!! I suspect the effect of cheap beer and lonely old chaps.

Its another Sam's pub with all the 'don't do this signs'.

I had a cider - had about a third of it and quietly left. This could be a great place but certainly wasn't on my visit.

I'm sure there are some good pubs in Chester City centre but the two I went in definitely weren't good!
on_the_brightside - 31 Oct 2019 13:12
Historic pub literally in the heart of the Rows. Only accessible from the Rows themselves – though there is a small sign on the main street if you know where to look. Anyway, entering this here you are instantly sucked into a timewarp. I don’t mean into the 16th century, due yo all the low wooden beams, and extremeky dim lighting (no windows !). I am referring to all the Sam Smiths keg fonts behind the bar ! Relics of the 1970s, that you just don’t see elsewhere these days. About the only concession to the 21st century is the CCTV behinf the bar – and it was this which alerted me to the fact there is actually another room further on. The main room is long and thin, back bar is squarer and has an ancient tiled floor.

Beer (as said above) is Sam Smiths. Last time I tried the Extra Stout which was entirely reasonable.

Martinsh - 29 Sep 2016 23:40
This cracking Samuel Smiths pub on the high walk above Foregate Street was the last pub we visited in Chester at 10pm on a Sunday night.

Having discovered it by accident while walking back to the hotel I was surprised to find it busy inside with students but there again being a little out of the way and cheap drinks I’m not that surprised.

The bar is at the far end as you enter this quaint low beamed bar with seating either side as you walk through. The full range of Sam Smith’s ales on the pumps with the Sovereign bitter in cracking form, good beer always tastes better wh3en it’s under £2.00 a pint!

Unfortunately we only had time for 1 drink here as being a Sunday the pub stopped serving before 10.30pm.

I do like a Samuel Smiths pub and the Boot Inn is a cracking example.
lezford - 28 Oct 2015 11:52
visited on a Thursday night with 2 mates in April. Decent pub with a decent pint of OBB. 2 mates had lager with no complaints. fairly busy compared with some of the places we visited
soco1982 - 6 Aug 2014 13:50
Wife and I visited a couple of times on the weekend on 31/1/14 and were greeted by welcoming staff. Old Brewery bitter was good and my wife enjoyed the house cider. Add 2 bags of Samuel Smiths crisps and got plenty change out of a fiver. I've been here a few times before on visits to Chester and love the authentic Olde Worldly atmosphere. Will always pay this great pub a call on future visits.
Sploosh - 2 Feb 2014 23:58
Bit tired around the edges but it does offer quality as do many Sam Smith's houses.

Staircase to the gents was impressive.

realalerules1983 - 22 May 2013 12:41
Grungy SS house, beers cheap and the clientele bargain basement. Ok for a quickie, if you know the score.
nokegthanks - 22 May 2013 01:07
OBB was on good form this lunchtime, and very reasonably priced.
PoorBeerHater - 6 Nov 2012 16:52
One of the better pubs I visited in the Chester area. Sam Smiths was on fine form, the buildings are old and characterfull, with nice fire places and friendly mature custom. I'd like to see the cellar of such an interesting building.
pscoates - 23 Jul 2012 23:21
Sam Smiths - 15 for six ales - pleasant enough.
kernott1 - 30 Dec 2011 09:45
Cosy, good value "older persons" pub. Comments from previous ranter are nonsense. Been in there on a few weekends and never seen any bother (or smelled any "wee"). Saying that the food is "cheap and nasty" when it doesn't sell any food seems a bit harsh!
founddrunkinyourgarden - 10 Nov 2011 16:51
Please avoid this pub at all costs. Police are regular visitors at weekends, due to the violence in there. Food is cheap and nasty, and the pub itself smells of stale wee. A real Dump!
jaylockwood - 8 Oct 2011 18:48
As I am a massive fan of Sam Smiths Old brewery Bitter and Sam's pubs, I was really looking forward to visiting the Boot and I must admit, it did not disappoint. Lovely old pub with a lot of character, beer was fine and even my lager loving, modern cafe bar going, brother-in-law even liked the place
Hollow.legs - 11 Aug 2011 20:17
Lovely little pub out of the way and inconspicuous to the rest of chester.

Always have enjoyed samuel smiths largely due to price but also for that proper pub feel to their establishments.

Great for stepping back and taking a pub for what it used to be.
cheersforthebeers - 18 Apr 2011 01:11
Bad experience here walked in and it was dead so me and my friend asked for a beer and a cider, The cider was getting tested as it didnt look too healthy but anyway my friend is in his 60's but wears a baseball cap and the girl behind the bar asked him to remove it ... So he said to me should we just have this one and leave to which the barmaid said well i am not going to serve you now because i dont like your attitude !! No wonder there was hardly anyone in there !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wont be back in future !!!!
alan508 - 7 Feb 2011 19:36
Big disappointment, really bad smell in the back of the pub, unfriendly, uncommunicative barman. We left after a pint, why would you drink here with the Falcon 5 minutes away?
Hoopshatter - 29 Aug 2010 13:08
A PROPER boozer, so few of them about these days!
WildNWindy - 8 Feb 2010 22:23
Came across this place whilst on a day out in Chester yesterday. As some other comments say, it's an old-fashioned pub on the Chester rows with historic pictures and timber frame s all around. I had 2 pints of Samuel Smith's Old Special which were very good indeed. Only downsides were very limited seating and a gentleman who obviously had too much to drink shouting about his colourful life (this was around 2pm, by the way). Despite this, it's a very nice pub with well-priced drinks, and I will call in again.
SilentButDeadly - 11 Dec 2009 10:37
Great pub!! Plus is it's upstairs off the town center tourist run. Mostly locals making for nice peaceful conversations with real bloks. Bitters nice and smooth.
richardo - 1 Oct 2009 19:52
One of my fav pubs in Chester a meeting place when ever we visit, Great Sam Smiths pub with plenty of charm charicter, add to this Sam Smiths reasonable pricing & you have a great little boozer.
Biglad13 - 10 Sep 2009 15:51
Very nice, old fashioned pub. I enjoyed the slightly edgy 'local' atmospher', and the beer! Well worth a visit!
MarkISmith - 30 May 2009 16:04
Damn good pub near the town centre. Very well priced beers, loads of crumpet too! Highly recommended for the well served first class beers.
Myskolive - 2 Feb 2009 19:44
Ventured in here not knowing it was a samuel smiths pub and tried the stout-yummee! And so cheap as well, very old fashioned and cosy, well worth a visit.
hammers101 - 2 Feb 2009 19:20
Traditional Sam Smiths pub in the centre of Chester on "the Rows" serving real ale - OBB at 1.40p on my late September recent visit.

It's typical Sams - unbadged, traditional, no music and with a bit of a "take us as you find us" attitude. There's seemingly very little, if any, effort to attract the hordes of tourists despite the location and attractive building.

The trade appears to be mainly local

I was intrigued to see a large prominent notice in the window stating " no tracksuits / jogging bottoms after 5 pm", which had me wondering to myself why they were acceptable at, say, 4.30 pm, but not an hour later. I was half expecting the fashion police to come round at 5 o'clock on the dot and summarily evict offenders, but there didn't seem to be any anyway !

Definitely worth a visit when in the City Centre.
JohnBonser - 7 Oct 2008 14:05
Not as easy to find as you may think!!! But a real gem upstairs..The food and staff are very good... Good value and a must if in Chester!!
lordhicks - 6 Sep 2008 17:13
Always visit this place when in Chester, the Samuel Smith's mild is a cracking pint, and dirt cheap.Always found the staff very freindly aswell.Top pub.
TheCasualDoctor - 11 Aug 2008 19:20
A dump basically. Full of alkys! good for a cheap piss up though.
claremum - 1 Jul 2008 18:47
Decent boozer full of character, typical Sam Smiths pub with very well priced ale, visited several times and always worth a pint, food is decent too.
ToxtethOGrady - 20 May 2008 23:55
Have you seen the really FAT guy who stands near the fruit machine? He will sell you anything! He carries loads of pills and ciggies. LOL
martin99 - 23 Apr 2008 08:09
OK, yes it's cheap. Good for students, but watch what you drink. Keep to bottles, because the beer is awful, tastes really stale. Be careful with lots of dirty old men looking at you all night, some dodgy characters in there!!, :)
jackielondon - 16 Apr 2008 17:12
Don't waste your time? What's that about?

DO take your time to come here! This pub is an excellent place, full of life and atmosphere, nearly all through the week.
The beer is excellent and always cold and refreshing, and perhaps most importantly, tastes wonderful. I've always been served quickly too, even when the place is heaving, which is fairly often. Yes, it did used to be a smokey place, however since the no-smoking laws came in, it is as clear as any other place.
Not only is the beer great tasting, but it's extremely cheap (1.34 for a pint of bitter!) - one of the only places, if not the only where I can get a pint and a packet of crisps for under 2. As such, it's easily one of my favourite pubs in Chester (I'm a student there) - if only it was open later than 11 o'clock!
An wonderful pub - visit if you can!
AlphaAlec - 28 Dec 2007 22:45
Don't waste your time.

I was looking forward to visiting this old pub, tucked away in scenic Chester. However, I was greatly disappointed. Warm, poorly kept beer, below standard food, slow service, and many customers smoking throughout the pub. Never again.

jaylockwood - 14 Sep 2007 20:10
still a nice pub, but could have given me a glass of water with my beer! - it was a hot day and I bought a pint - so wanted a glass of water to stave off the dehydration but unceremoniously told that they "dont do water". Charming.
bensonby - 29 Aug 2007 13:29
didn't see it before refurb, but even now its a beautiful, cozy little boozer.
well worth a visit.

p.s. samuel smiths are known throughout the land as knocking the spots off other beer prices.

reynard - 16 May 2007 13:53
Never quite been the same since it was refurbished (removing its little booths and the Bavarian-clad little man on top of the Ayingerbrau) but still, like all Samuel Smiths pubs, a treat.
drewsy_uk - 14 Apr 2007 21:27
How can i sum up this pub...??? Damn cheap. This is what pubs were like 100 years ago...only thing missing is the sawdust on the floor.

If you want a cheap pint then go there...if you want any sort of sensible conversation try other pubs.
alchemist88 - 5 Mar 2007 02:04
small
tintin2000 - 29 Dec 2006 18:41
REAL PUB.

Very good prices (1.32 Samuel Smiths, 1.58 Lager).

Gets busy on a race day - but all pubs in Chester do.

I visit again.
maclevey - 27 Aug 2006 21:08
It's race days only, I'm pretty sure, that they use plastic 'glasses'. I was there last summer and all was normal (apart from the prices) and very civilised. A fine place. If you're worried about the attitude to smoking, come to Scotland - we're not even allowed to smoke in bus shelters, far less pubs! The staff, even those who smoke, love it and the punters are coping.
joegreen - 26 May 2006 13:17
If you look in the dictionary for the definition of 'Proper English Pub' the answer will simply say 'The Old Boot Inn, Chester'. This really is what pubs should be about, serving quality ale at really affordable prices (1.32 for Samual Smiths bitter!) in no-nonsense but comfortable old style surroundings.
I recommend that you make the effort and seek out this little jem before the corporate 'big boys' take over and destroy it's character.
My only quibble on an otherwise superb visit would be that the drinks were served in plastic glasses, i'm hoping that this was due to it being Chester races day, but I would appreciate your comments to confirm.
RICHSHAW - 17 May 2006 13:45
Efficient bar staff, value for money prices,nice atmosphere.
will definitely call again!
one question needs to be asked though, why plastic glasses?
WALLSY50 - 17 May 2006 13:19
Classic Sam Smiths pub, one real ale at a fantastic 1.30.
bensonby - 5 Mar 2006 18:09
Great little boozer this one. Tucked away on the upper tier of Eastgate Row, the pub retains much of the original 17th century structure and character. Didn't try the food so can't comment on it but the booze was fine, although mostly only Samual Smith even down to the diet cola.
RollerRuss - 20 Feb 2006 12:57
Now then, not to happy bout some of these comments. building regs boy, how wrong can u be? Smoking policy, no different than most bars now. The wooden floor is the smallest area in the pub, so u ain't gonna find it difficult to find somewhere else. Also its to keep smoke away from the staff and to discourage standin at the bar so when u want a beer you don't have to fight ure way through throngs of people. Quite frankly ure insistance to smoke on the wooden floor indicates that ure a knobhead with no consideration for other people and some sort of issue with women telling you what to do. Mother issues.
Bootette - 13 Jan 2006 14:32
This is a fine pub. The absence of music probably also means the absence of the sort of louts who make some other places unbearable. I find the most recent post a bit alarming - last time I was there the price of OBB hadn't hit 1.30 a pint, never mind 1.50. Lunch menu looked interesting.
joegreen - 8 Nov 2005 13:32
The Boot. My God. A home for the waifs and strays of Chester who refuse to psy more than 1.50 for a pint. Plus home to most of the staff from all the record shops in town. If you fancy a heated debate over the merits/drawbacks of any popular beat combo you will find it in here. Be warned Sam Smith's beer induces instant hangovers to all but the faithful.
franticshandy - 3 Nov 2005 23:56
[q]Now I quite like this place, but I can't agree with the commendations of the bar staff - they're surly, ineffective and slow,[/q]

Not true, every one of the barstaff is cheerful and friendly, execpt the landlady at closing time, I know I have spent alot of time and money in the place
pp65 - 3 Nov 2005 06:55
The boot Is a good friendly pub,it has everything apart from music,Also you do the the token crazy jocks and irish old men
Argentina - 14 Oct 2005 10:08
Now I quite like this place, but I can't agree with the commendations of the bar staff - they're surly, ineffective and slow, but I guess the other comments are less than objective. Don't even get me on the ridiculous smoking policy - you can smoke in the carpeted area, but not on the wooden floor. You can smoke on the edge of the carpet, with your fag hanging over the wooden floor and blowing your smoke into the no-smoke area, but don't you DARE smoke on the wooden floor with your fag held in the carpeted area. My advice? YOU MUST GO TO THIS PUB, BUT PREPARE WELL IN ADVANCE FOR THE INEVITABLE HANGOVER.
building.regs.boy - 4 Oct 2005 00:02
What can I say...the Boot Inn was once a thriving community of alcoholics and crazies at home in the stagnant heat and, despite the cheap beers and wonderful service, still finding plenty to complain about.
However since the LOSS of 1 of the PRIME barpersons Im sure the fuzzy happyness found only in the Boot has bee sent into turmoil and the happy vibes demolished.
(dont worry all, I am due to return in September)
Wish there was a way to get the music back.
Bootgirl - 30 Jun 2005 16:54
Best pub in chester, may not have any tunes but if you want to go and have a laugh with your mates, get pissed and not brake the bank, this is the place. mixture of old and young, including crazy jocks.
bigdunc00 - 16 Jun 2005 13:29
Superb. 1.50 for a pint of super strong German lager. And its up a really steep flight of stairs, so any two pint students stand a good change of falling and suffering horrendous injury. Huzzah!!
Sponge_Bob - 27 Apr 2005 05:42
This is a fantastic mix of old man and young blood, not to mention Aimee, the most beautiful barmaid alive. I'm sure Emma and Sue would argue, but hey...
I frequent this place when I feel like a happy, warm time, the people are friendly no matter how drunk you get, which is easy considering it's 1.56 a pint of lager (4.3%), though I prefer the cider at 1.59 and 5.2%. If you are true hardcore why not try the D-Pils at a mighty 5.9% and a mere 2.04. My brother tells me the stout is excellent (4.5%), but we both agree unless you will drink the draught don't bother as the liquor ain't so good, the tequila is especially not palatable. Dave is a great Landlord and if it wasn't for Sam Smiths recent no music policy this could well be the best pub in Chester, Even without it is well worth a try.
humanshield - 7 Apr 2005 02:38
Used on New Years Eve. Nice atmos Young and (mainly) pretty set. No Chavs. 2 and a half pints of Sam Smiths 3.20 on NYE!!!Lond and thib town pub in Fab central location
celerycelery - 7 Jan 2005 13:55
ithink it was very good 7/10
will - 15 Sep 2004 11:06
If you HATE neon, flashing lights and loud music, queueing five deep at the bar and being bumped around by sweaty students then this is the place for you.

It's the exact opposite.

In other words, comfortable, warm and friendly, and serves some great ales at very wallet friendly prices. A proper pub.
Rob H - 31 Aug 2004 01:56
Great old school Boozer in an ever changing City where more and more Chain bars are taking over and robbing the place of character and individuality. Try drinking 5 pints of D-Pils and then walking in a straight line... Enjoy this Pub while you can, 'cos one day it won't be there, and you'll have wished you'd been.
John - 29 Jul 2004 14:09
great place, dirt cheap, although somewhat let down by the large selection of goths found crying into their pints every friday and saturday
Pete W - 8 Jul 2004 00:17
A Sam Smiths pub in an excellent location in the centre of Chester. Old Brewery is served from cask (the only way to drink it, IMHO!), and the pub has a large no-smoking section, which is much needed as they serve food (unfortunately only 'til 2.30pm, though).
Andy - 22 Feb 2004 14:04
The Boot is a fantastic old pub situated in the centre of Chester.

By far the oldest pub in Chester it still has it's original architecture dating back to the fifteenth century.

As it is a Samual Smiths pub it still serves traditional cask ales and is always a good place to go for a good pint in the evening.
Chris Butt - [email protected] - 29 Oct 2003 11:31

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