I’ve got nothing against The Hope and have spent many an evening here with friends for whom this is their pub of choice. For some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on though, I’ve never been overly enamoured with the place. Inside, you’ll find a load of brown leather sofas which are rather nice to relax upon on sunny days when they fling open the front windows. If you’re sat anywhere further back than the windows though, you’ll find it irrepressibly dark. The wallpaper is kind of velvety and gothiky-style and only serves to darken the overall atmosphere rather than enhance it. In terms of drinks, they have a decent choice of wine which is either average or slightly overpriced and they do nice crisps. So there’s enough to keep me content of an evening.
It tends to get quite noisy in the main bar, as the music is generally a bit too loud and it usually gets over-crowded after 9pm-ish. As the previous reviewer said, they get points for supporting local live music, but I don’t think their upstairs is a particularly great venue. I wouldn’t pay more than a fiver for entry no matter who was playing. There’s no stage, so everyone crowds around the acts, which could be quite intimate but personally I just find annoying that I can’t see what’s going on.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to go here on a night out, but it’s certainly an OK place for a glass of wine after work.