Let’s start with the bad news. The House of Trembling Madness, on Stonegate, is not somewhere to save the pennies. There’s no way to get round the fact that it’s £3.50 a pint across the board here, but telling you that now means the only way is up from here.
The odd ‘Trembling Madness’ name seems even more peculiar when you find out it is situated above York’s most blandly named alcohol shop, The Bottle, which incidentally is the perfect place to buy your Dad that bottle of single malt he pretends to like for Christmas.
Upon arrival up the rickety stairs, the first things that register are the exposed beams and stuffed animals on the wall. This is striking without being intimidating; more cosy mountain lodge than imposing country club, and settling in beside the fire is a must.
The quaintness ends there though, with the range of world beers on offer including a peach one and a cinnamon tasting offering from the Brooklyn brewery. The worldly authenticity is further heightened by the original style glasses the beer is served in, whether it be the small goblet style for the strong Belgian beer, or the hefty handled pint jug of the German Jever lager.
So far, not so very mad, but taking a trip to the toilet is a true adventure. Due to the dualist nature of the establishment, you have to traverse two flights of stairs, and through all manner of customers for the shop, to reach relief. Despite this oddity, the facilities are positively pristine.
Out of the many watering holes on Stonegate, the House of Trembling Madness is definitely worth a crack.
Although I didn’t take full advantage of the competitively priced food, at around £8 for a meal, as beer was on the main thing on my agenda, the pricey beers are offset by the beauty of the setting, and you’ll be sure to find a beer for all tastes.