The Lion of Vienna

The Lion of Vienna, Bolton, Lancashire BL1 4PE

Yet another Samuel Smith’s pub – unlike many other pub operators, Sam’s are keen to fly the flag for proper pubs rather than knocked-through, pastel-shaded dining emporiums. This one is a converted private house on the wide, straight Chorley New Road opposite the magnificent premises of Bolton School. It takes its name from Bolton Wanderers footballer Nat Lofthouse.

The interior comprises a spacious vault at the rear with two pool tables, and a front lounge divided into two partially opened-out rooms either side of the central door, each with comfortable bench seating, a real fire, and plenty of dark wood in the decor. The standard range of Sam’s beers is available, including Old Brewery Bitter, at their usual bargain prices, and a menu of standard pub food is served at lunchtimes. There’s no TV or piped music, just a buzz of conversation from the generally more mature clientele.