Called a hotel, the Vic is much more than that, as one of the best pubs I've had the pleasure to spend time in. A CAMRA good beer pub, you'll always find a selection of bitters on tap, and it's definitely worth asking for advice and a taste. They also serve ciders and lagers, so most draught tastes should be catered for.
They also have not only a great whisky selection, but a whole whisky menu. Whether you're a highland or island fan, or indeed a Scotland or Ireland fan, they have something to suit your taste, with exciting (and unpronounceable) names such as Bunnahabhain and Auchentoshan.
The menu changes frequently, and you have to rely on chalkboards by the bar. Sausages and mash are a staple, and are always worth falling back on. The starters are substantial enough to act as light meals, and something like the hummus and olives with warm pitta, or pate and toast, is enough to soak up the wonderful drinks provided. There's a whole column of vegetarian food which means you'll never feel hard done by.
Desserts are phenomenal. The chocolate creations are rich, and in general portions are hearty (chocolate mousse the one exception, although that's so rich it needs to be smaller). You even get such unusual things as 'eighteenth-century trifle', which involves amaretti biscuits and apricots, and is well worth trying once, even if you're not usually a trifle fan.
Refreshingly, this is a no mobile phone pub. That's right. You're not allowed to use your phone in there. Photographs are one thing, but talking and texting are not permitted. It leads to a convivial atmosphere where people talk and relax together, rather than in connection with the rest of the world.
They also offer music nights, with local bands performing inside or in the garden. Given that the pub is divided into different rooms, you can avoid the noise if you want, but it is also a fun way to spend a bit of time getting some free live entertainment. There is a series of smaller rooms rather than one large venue, so you can find the atmosphere to suit you. It is a good idea to book if you want to eat, particularly at the weekend. The restaurant area fills up quickly. They do also have an upstairs function room which can be used when needed.
The garden can be a lovely place to eat one of their great Sunday roasts, or just relax with a pint. A patio covered by a marquee, with heaters, it is usable in a range of weather conditions. The main problem is that it backs onto the railway platform, so the rumble of trains disrupts you every now and then.
There's a bit of parking, and obviously the station is close by. Some parking is available in the nearby streets. To get the Vic you have to wiggle off the main road a bit, but it's easy enough to find. They've been here since 1840 and I hope they continue to go from strength to strength.