Last week we called into The Golden Fleece for lunch.  It’s in a great location at the bottom of The Shambles, and has been a pub since at least 1503.  It’s a proper, traditional pub and is full of history – as well as having five resident ghosts! 

The Golden Fleece Review
The five resident ghosts

We didn’t meet with one of them sadly, but it was a Friday lunchtime, so probably not the correct haunting hour.  I spoke to the manager and she said that the staff had often experienced strange happenings like doors slamming and lights going off unexpectedly.  If you want to try it yourself there are four fabulous guest rooms above the pub.

The Golden Fleece, York Review
The sign on the staircase leading up to the guestrooms

The pub is fairly narrow but goes back a long way. 

Golden Fleece in York

There is a front bar immediately as you enter and then a larger back bar that leads to a reasonable sized beer garden.  To access the back bar you need to traverse a corridor.  If this corridor makes you uneasy, it is simply because, like pretty much every floor at The Golden Fleece, it is uneven, having settled at strange levels over its 500+ years history.  The back bar is larger and has some cosy nooks to sit in.

The back bar at The Golden Fleece

It was April when we visited so the beer garden was not set out fully but I snapped a small table with bar stools outside.

beer garden at the golden fleece york
Part of the beer garden

The Golden Fleece also has a function room upstairs, perfect for private parties, with a huge fireplace and dark wood panelling (and it’s own bar – not pictured here).

The Private Function Room

Anyway, onto the food!  If you just fancy something light, there is sandwich menu.  However, the main menu is also available on a lunchtime and we chose from this.  I’ve taken pictures of the main menu, but it’s also available on the Golden Fleece website.

Golden Fleece Menu

Golden Fleece Menu

We chose the mixed grill priced at £16.49 that included Rump steak, gammon, chicken breast, Cumberland sausage, chicken wings, black pudding, fried egg and peas.  As you can see, it was a hearty portion!

The mixed grill

We also tried the Smothered Chicken Burger (£13.49) – ‘Golden buttermilk coated chicken fillet and rashers of crispy streaky bacon, topped with gooey melted cheese slices, deliciously sticky BBQ sauce and mayo.’

Finally we shared the Classic Combo (£16.49) ‘A selection of crispy southern-fried chicken goujons, chicken wings, Cumberland sausages, chunky chips, garlic bread, beer-battered onion rings, Doritos and a selection of dips.

We didn’t try them, but if you just wanted something snacky/more budget friendly, they do a Hunter’s Topped Chips for £4.99, your chips come ‘Smothered with cheese sauce, tender chicken pieces, smoked streaky bacon bits and sticky BBQ sauce.’


You might be interested in other old pubs in York or more ideas for lunch in York too.

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