53 Ely Street
Open all day
What used to be a BASS pub, though only time will tell if it still serves it next year.
A lively 18th century pub in the town centre with exposed beams and flagstone floors. There is also a real fire to the left of the front entrance to warm you on those 'Prospero' nights. It is a double sided one and so warms the nooks and crannies as well.
Situated away from the tourist route (down the street with Pizzahut on the corner), you can have a quiet drink here without camera's snapping. Also good for a quick lunchtime snack that won't cost an arm and a leg (bacon and brie baguette) and a full menu is the evenings.
As for beer, they always have BASS and Brew XI, plus the prize which was two guest beers on this time: Mauldon's Suffolk Pride and Highwood Tom Wood Lincolnshire Legend. The beers are always well kept and can be served without sparkler should you require it.
There is a courtyard out the back with hanging baskets and picnic tables lit with candles during warm summer evenings and a gas heater for cold nights. Recently extended to get more in.
There is TV here showing sports - darts on this occasion on one monitor and basketball on the other (a little disconcerting).
The atmosphere was pleasant if a little smoky and not too busy early Saturday evenings. Well worth a visit if in Stratford. Not far from the station.
No accommodation here, but this is Stratford after all and so the tourist information office is your best bet.
Other pubs to try:
One worthwhile pub that doesn't appear in any guides is the smartly renovated West End on Bull Street at the south end of town. It now offers up to 5 real ales at least 4 from independents). Watch out for the toilets.
Highwood Tom Wood.
The Alveston Manor
(0870 4009191 for booking)
expensive, but luxurious.