Sunday, 20 September 2015


I recently descended upon a hostelry in Accrington, East Lancashire. An establishment that was described as a 'community pub and restaurant', when it opened just two months ago.

The Brickworks is owned by Marstons Inns and Taverns. And is situated on the former site of a local car dealership . Its named after the local Accrington brick, or NORI, brickworks. The bricks were deemed so strong, they were used to form part of the foundations, for both the Empire State Building and Blackpool Tower.

Now, did I say 'community pub and restaurant' in my opening paragraph? Well, on entering this vast, swanky establishment, my first impression was that I had walked into a restaurant - and I certainly had, in my opinion . As a polite, young man at the entrance, had asked me if I had reserved a table.

The spacious L-shaped 'restaurant' was quite impressive, with its soft grey and pearl decor, giving it a bright and welcoming feel. And the alcove and off-room type areas, gave it a rather intimate look.

The mosaic floor contrasted well, with the grey slate flooring and carpeted areas . And there was a plentiful supply of differing styled, wooden dining tables. To go with a variation of comfy, soft upholstered seating.

It was quite busy for a Tuesday afternoon. And to be honest, I think I was the only patron that wasn't dining - in fact I'm sure I was. It obviously has a good reputation for food.

So, to the bar area, centrally situated in the restaurant. I was met initially by Hannah. A very helpful and chatty young lady. She said: "I love working here. It's a nice environment to work in." She had four cask ales to offer me. Two from Marstons, Pedigree and Hobgoblin. And a couple from Thwaites, Wainwright and Lancaster Bomber. The all too predictable line up, if I may so.

The first beverage, Martons Pedigree, was in good nick. So too was the second slurp, Wainwright. However, the latter has undoubtably lost some of its crisp, citrusy clout, in recent times, no argument. 

I was then offered a paddle of ales, by the observant Sam. She had obviously noticed I was an ale quaffer, as opposed to a diner. The 'paddle' is an excellent way to sample different beers. Three third pint's for three quid - and no price supplement, on the three pound price for a full pint measure.

I omitted the 'overrated' Wainwright from the quartet on offer. Unfortunately, Lancaster Bomber had a taste of wet cardboard. A clear sign that the beer was old and past its sell by date. 

The ale was promptly replaced . And a new barrel was put on - it was good to witness. 

Marstons Inns and Taverns appear to have a very slick operation and popular destination. It has obviously gained a good reputation in a short period of time - for dining.

That said, I was expecting more of a community pub environment. In fact, with respect, it bears no resemblance to a community pub. It's simply a nice, friendly eatery, in a relaxed environment. Where pleasant, helpful staff, are serving food and drink, to customers sitting at tables - a restaurant, no argument.

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