Central Station is one of the more unique station on our guide and by that I mean that it is a perfect example of what the guide stands for, it has a pub practically inside the metro station. The station has entrances both inside and outside the station so it’s easily accessible to people transferring from National Rail services or people who are using the metro to get to where they need to be. Interestingly it’s the least busy of the city centre stations but is the third busiest of the network overall.
Ok so Centurian isn’t inside the metro station, but it is inside the train station, which the metro station is also inside of, make sense? To access the pub you can either turn left and exit via Neville Street and the exterior door will be immediately on the right, or continue up the second set of escalators into the train station and the interior entrance will be immediately on the left (a handy option if it’s raining or you need to use a cash machine!)
The building is absolutely stunning. It was built in 1893 when it was used as the first class lounge for the train station. It’s tiles are estimated to be worth a cool £3mil and is the only Grade 1 listed building on the tour so far.
You’ll see the bar either on the left or the right depending on which entrance you use and it’s a chameleon kind of pub that has varying degrees of business depending on what’s going on. At 10pm on a Friday nights it’s a swanky ‘night out’ bar with blaring pop music and bouncers on the door. On a match day Saturday afternoon the giant projector screen comes down and you’re shoulder to shoulder with the black & white army. Call in on a Thursday evening and it’s a calm, low key, dimly lit snug of a place which is perfect for catching up with friends, or a cheeky one while you wait for your train. They also serve food, and their Sunday lunches are pretty good from what I hear, which again is handy if you have a train to catch and some time to kill.
I had it in my mind that they used to have a departures board on one of the screens, which i couldn’t see when we visited on a Saturday night in January. If they’ve done away with that it’s a real shame. Personally when we visited I could have done without the Smash Hits TV on the plasma screens; just playing music would have done, it’s distracting when you’re trying to enjoy a glass of wine with Little Mix gyrating in leotards all over the place.
Booze wise it’s your standard fayre and they didn’t have anything that blew our socks off, wine was fine, beer was fine, selections of ales, whiskey and gin were all fine. But it’s only fine, not outstanding. A round of a pint and a glass of grape juice was about £8.
I just think it tries to be all things to all people and it’s pot luck as to whether it will be the type of bar you prefer when you happen to visit. With The Head of Steam and Union Rooms across the road and the Split Chimp micro brewery round the corner to the right, they have a lot of competition.
You can see some of the other pubs we’ve visited on our adventure here