A guide to some of the licensed premises that contribute enormously to Britain’s renowned pub culture, written and researched (the best bit) by Alastair Gilmour
An involuntary intake of breath coincides with my arrival at the Athletic Arms. The gasp isn’t for the punchline of a joke that’s just been delivered in the far corner, but in response to the out-and-out sparkle of an immaculate and impressive pub.
The story’s denouement is “so would you mind keeping the dog”, but it’s sunlight streaming through stained glass enchanting me as it illuminates beautiful tiled flooring... [READ MORE]
*Written before landlord Geoff Brooker passed away
Draw the definitive English country pub and it would look like the Dipton Mill Inn, near Hexham in Northumberland. Describe a coaching inn interior and it would be low-ceilinged and solid-beamed with five ales on the bar and a tinkling log fire – much like the Dipton Mill Inn.
I’m sitting on a canary-yellow Ikea settee, sipping a Belgian Tripel. I’m not in Brussels or Bruges nor an out-of-town furniture store, but in Ayton, Berwickshire, a solid, attractive village eight miles north of the Scotland/England border.
Hemelvaart Bier-Café is a sweetshop for beer lovers... [READ MORE]
The Hest Bank Inn is the pub you’d want at the end of your street. It’s the sort of place where elderly locals can reel off the names of every landlord going back to their childhoods – and beyond – and who readily welcome visitors into their “family”.
From the pub’s origins in 1554 it has hosted cockfights and... [READ MORE]