Saturday, 11 June 2016

Pub of the week: The Swan with Two Necks.

There is something rather special about the quintessential British pub. Alas, an establishment that has become more of a rare sighting in recent times.

Thankfully, the UK still boasts a few of these fine destinations. And there is no finer example, in my opinion, than the Swan with Two Necks in the Ribble Valley village of Pendleton. 

It was the ideal venue on a glorious sunny day in Lancashire. And the pub looked resplendent, as me and my 'chauffeur', John Ingham, approached. Its window boxes were in full bloom. And mini Union Jack flags fluttered in the breeze, in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday.

It's a delightful two-roomed, traditional and homely pub. Open fires, dark oak beamed ceilings, old fashioned furnishings. And lots of attractive pub paraphernalia adorning its walls and other areas. 

The beautiful lawned beer garden and paved patio at the rear is a delight. And has extensive views of Pendleside.

The pub is owned by Steve and Christine Dilworth. They have been here almost twenty nine years. Their most momentous moment being when CAMRA crowned them National Champion Pub in 2013. They have just won CAMRA's Lancashire Pub of the Year for 2016.

We were met by Morag, a staff member of twenty five years. A most affable and helpful lady. She was busy serving hungry patrons(including the local vicar) from the pubs home cooked menu. And then quenching their thirsts at the bar, with a range of excellent ales. 

There is always a selection of five rotating cask ales and a real cider. It was a beery dilemma. Steve sources some great ales from around the UK. However, I initially plumped for Fyne Ales, Jarl. A citrus laden refresher, that balances perfectly with the floral bitter hopped finish.

Next, I had to try a paddle of beer. Three, one third pint measures, from £3(less 10% CAMRA discount). Steve said: "They are very popular. We have been doing them since 2006." Steve recommended a mild from George Wright; a stout from Wishbone(Keighley) and a strong IPA from Lincoln Green(Nottingham). They didn't disappoint - delicious.

Steve added: "The customers have their favourites. Fyne Ales Jarl is a regular. It flies out. We have sold a barrel(72 pints) in under an hour, when really busy. The Marble(Manchester)Legonda, an IPA, is another popular beer. Mind you, we always like to try and surprise people too, with some of our beers."

This village pub ticks all the boxes in my opinion. Welcoming, helpful and amiable staff. Friendly customers. And of course, great beer and food in a relaxing, homely environment. It undoubtably deserves all the plaudits and awards that are regularly bestowed upon it. It's an ideal social hub, no argument.

Sent from my iPad

Sent from my iPad