BeerVisits - UK - Europe - USA/Canada - World

Pub Visit - England

Curious Gnome 1aSaturday 8th June 2024

Ian Rogers

If you like Belgian beer and an unusual setting, then this is the place for you. However, the first challenge you will face, is to find it.

To help you on your way, it is located at 61 Bridge Street, but it is not quite as simple as that, as you will not find it at street level, due to one of the quirks of some parts of Chester having shops at multiple levels, known as The Rows.

If you find Five Guys at street level, then look opposite and you will see a black and white timber building with “Art Gallery” and “To God my King and Country” on it. Proceed up the narrow stairs in front of you to the first level where you will find the Paysan Wine Bar.

Curious Gnome 2Enter the Wine Bar & proceed beyond the end of the bar to the staircase on the left. Climbing to the top of the steps, you arrive into the Cavern.

Now Cavern gives the impression that you will be in a large space, but whilst the room is tall, it is certainly not large or underground.

To the right, there are three sets of old church pews either side of a table and at the far end, near the windows are a couple of smaller tables.

Curious Gnome 3aTo the left, up on a shelf is a rather large gnome (called Stan) as per the La Chouffe mascot, then the bar with 6 padded bar stools like toadstools, plus a couple of other normal unpadded bar stools.

On the bar there is something for all tastes with predominantly Belgian Keg offerings such as La Chouffe, Chimay, Vedett, Timmermans & Bruges Zot. There are also a couple of British Keg offerings such as Siren, plus a couple of German offerings including a Dunkel, a Kolsch and a Wheat Beer.

Curious Gnome 6Curious Gnome 4aThere are also four handpumps for Cask ales, which at the time of visiting in June 2024 included an Oakham x Ossett collaboration IPA, a Thornbridge Blonde, an Ossett Pale and a Lunebrew Stout. There is also an extensive Belgian bottled offering, listed in book format like a traditional Belgian bar.

Curious Gnome 5

With the limited seating, be prepared to share tables as you would in Belgium & it wouldn’t take many for the seating to all be taken and they do not take bookings or answer the phone. Also note the toilets are at Wine bar level.

Some food is available, such as Meat/cheese boards each day, plus very limited Hot Food on Wednesday to Sunday, mainly ½ Rotisserie Chicken, fries & aioli, which can sell out before Sunday.

Important Information:

Cavern of the Curious Gnome, above Paysan, 61 Bridge Street Row East, Chester, CH1 1NW.
Tel: 01244 641704

Open: Monday-Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 12.00-22.00

Bridge Street is only open to vehicles for access, so there is no passing public transport.

The pub is around twenty minutes walk from the railway station.
Walk straight into City Road, keep right at The Bars / A5268 going round anticlockwise. Turn right into Foregate Street / A5268 which continues to become Eastgate Street eventually. Continue straight on to The Cross, then turn left into Bridge Street. Paysan and the Gnome will be on the left.

A Rail Link Bus runs from the station to Frodsham Street in the city centre. It is a shuttle bus connection running every 10 minutes in the daytime from Monday to Saturday.
Arriva buses 1, 4 / 4S run from the station to Grosvenor Street (Stop X). It is then a 4 minute walk back along Grosvenor Street, turn left into Bridge Street. Paysan and the Gnome will be on the right.
Please refer to paragraphs 3 and 4 above.