“ Address: 17 Victoria Street / Nottingham NG1 2EW / Telephone: 0115 950 6383 „
The Pit and Pendulum, located on Victoria Street in Nottingham's Hockley shopping district, is a pub with a bit of a difference . You'll probably notice this before even entering, as flaming sconce's are positioned either side of the door, and the crowd smoking outside certainly stand out. Dread-falls, corsets, and Nu-Rock boots are the order of the day here!
Entering, it takes a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dim light, and you could be forgiven for thinking you've accidentally wondered into Frankenstein's lab. Jars and flasks bubble ominously with fluorescent green goo, spiderwebs soften the corners, and flickering candles light up the various stuffed ravens and bats lurking around the place. Seating is a mixture of booths and freestanding tables and chairs, with a few comfy sofas dotted about . Many of the seating areas are tucked in hidden away little corners, so there are plenty of fairly private feeling areas. I find the tables very interesting, most of them have a glass panel in the centre, beneath which you will find scrolls, pentagrams, and strange looking metal implements - there is something to look at where ever you turn.
There is seating on two levels, the ground floor and the basement. The basement is far quieter, and in the evenings often plays host to groups of people playing table top RPGs. I tend to prefer to sit downstairs, though this does mean my seats get vibrated whenever the tram runs overhead.
The toilets are also located downstairs, hidden cleverly away behind a bookcase. The toilets have always been clean and tidy when I have visited, even on busy nights, though the sound effects played through the speakers in the toilets can be a little disconcerting the first time you visit. I remember the first time I used the toilet - I pulled down my pants, and suddenly a booming voice played over the speakers shouting 'Welcome to my nightmaaaaaaare .' I know I need a trim, but it's not that bad!
Both floors have bars , but in general unless the bar is particularly busy, only the top floor bar will be open. Service is friendly and polite, and the range of drinks is fairly standard, with pints a little over £3. The pub also sells a range of cocktails named after the 7 Deadly Sins, which I believe are normally around £3.95 of two for £6.
The pub serves food, a case of taking your table number and ordering at the bar. The prices are fair, at between 5-7 quid for a main meal, and certain meals are available on a 2-for-£8 deal which is good value when dining with friends . Sadly, the food doesn't have spooky names to match with the pubs design , but there is a fair range - burgers, fish and chips, curry, chilli and rice. It's pretty standard pub fare really - not wonderful, but not terrible either (I suspect most of it is microwaved rather than made from scratch), and portions are generous.
What makes this pub a winner for me is the customers. Most of the customers could be classed as 'alternative' and have always been friendly in my experience . If I'm ever in there alone when I've turned up early and am waiting for friends, I will always find myself within 5 minutes seated at a table having a discussion about steampunk/corsets/books/online gaming . My one criticism is that many of the customers are fairly young, and I'm certain at least some of the drinkers there midweek are underage, though they do have a fairly strict policy of checking ID at the weekends .
Overall, this is an interesting pub to visit with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, drinks served nicely chilled, and filling pub grub at a fair price. 4 stars.