Inside a York pub’s oh-so-cosy new pods – opening this week

Two of the Carlton's pods
28 Nov 2020 @ 5.12 pm
| Food & drink

These might by York’s cosiest new spaces to eat and drink.

They are the new wooden pods built at the Carlton Tavern on Acomb Road. And they’ll be open when lockdown ends on Wednesday (2 December)

Linford and Rebecca Gardener, who run the Carlton – along with the Corner Pin on Tanner Row – said the original idea was to create a space for private dining “and was already in plan before we had to social distance”.

Ready for bookings

Once the pandemic restrictions were introduced “it seemed a perfect solution,” Linford said.

The internal walls can be taken out so the pods can be made into different sizes of multiples of six – up to 24 people once the restrictions have been lifted.

They were designed by a team from Marston’s Brewery, which owns the Carlton, with input from the couple.

Each pod is named after a Marston’s beer and themed inside to match.

They come with a solid table and benches on either side to comfortably accommodate six people. They are heated and have a window looking into the garden.

Message for drinks

Each pod is themed after a Marston’s beer

You book in advance to hire the pod. Then people can place an order by messenger. “Or we have a traffic light system in place,” Linford explained. “All pods have CCTV – so we can see if you require service if your light is green, or you’re OK if it’s red.”

Perfect for household bubbles right now, they will be used for lots more in future – including private meals, functions, meetings, and even small parties with the internal walls taking out.

They’re lit up at night

“The interest has been massive and and we’ve taken lots of bookings,” Linford told YorkMix.

“If we get put into Tier 1 I can see them been even more popular.”

They are now taking bookings for Christmas Day in the pods, with a four-course Christmas dinner for £46.99 per person.

Plenty of room for a six-strong bubble
And you have a view over the garden

Given that the Carlton was under threat of demolition two years ago, and saved by a spirited campaign, it is great to see it being developed like this.

“I personally think that there is no reason that the Carlton cannot be a thriving business and unrivalled when it come to size and potential,” Linford said.

“Before lockdown we were just starting to see what the potential was. Hopefully things will get back to that. It’s a great pub and clearly loved by the locals, I can see us having a long future here.”