The Union Inn, St Ives, Cornwall, is without question my favourite pub in the world. I have been travelling to St Ives for a number of years now and I love all of St Ives pubs they are all unique and I like them for different reasons. But the Union Inn St Ives has something special, in my opinion the perfect atmosphere, Cornish feel and selection of ales. With beautiful wood finishing everywhere, and wonderful black beams running the length of the low cielings complemented well by spotlights you feel at home and can enjoy a drink, a chat and good old laugh.
I love to go in the Union for a cheaky lunch time pint or an evening session. I often confuse the bar staff as I rarely have the same drink twice, I like to start with a Guinness or a lager and then move on to a few different ales. As I have been going in for a few years they recognise me and ask me what I want this time each time I go up! The Union Inn also has traditional pub grub on offer at reasonable prices compared to most of the town and it is quite nice. They have a selection of sandwiches, a soup of the day and the usual pub favourites and some local caught St Ives or Cornish fish. Sometimes they have a reasonable deal of two steaks with the trimmings and a bottle of wine for £22. Service is always with a smile and prompt.
The Union is, like most pubs in St Ives, dog friendly, a lot of customers enjoy a sit by the fire after a long stroll on the beach on the very comfortable large leather sofas. The bar staff will provide you with a drink of water for your best friend on four legs too. The pub can be busy on a lunchtime afternoon but in an evening it can become standing room only as the Union Inn is not only a favourite of holiday makers year after year but a firm favourite with St Ives locals too. A Friday night can be a wonderful atmosphere of laughter and warmth.
The Union often has entertainment in the summer months either solo artists or Monday’s open mic night which is a great night out. The open mic night is run by a gentleman, what I presume is his partner and some friends. The play a whole host of instruments and are blessed with fine voices. They encourage people to get up whatever their talent and entertain the crowd, the organisers will chip in on instruments if needed or leave you to it. Usually a quiet start but after a few ales are in everyone you get all walks of life up there. I have seen husband and wife combo’s whole families to two young budding guitarists who brought their own instruments and did a whole set. A night I can recommend with fond memories.
I hope when you go to St Ives you enjoy this unique watering hole as much as me and my family do. Check out the Union’s website here.