Sunday, 20 June 2010

Travellers’ delight

I was kindly taken out for lunch today to celebrate my upcoming birthday. We dined at Brunning & Price’s excellent Dysart Arms at Bunbury in the heart of Cheshire, but beforehand we called in at the nearby Traveller’s Rest at Alpraham. This is an incredible, unspoilt pub that is like taking a step back into the 1950s. It has a main bar area in the centre, two lounge-type rooms at the front, one accessed by stepping through a bead curtain, and an entirely separate parlour at the rear, with its own door to the exterior. The toilets, of course, are outside. Leatherette seats and formica-topped tables abound. The beers available were Tetley Bitter – which was better than it has any right to be – and Weetwood Eastgate Ale, a classic English “brown beer”, not too malty, not too hoppy. The quality of both justified its entry in the Good Beer Guide. No food is served, but it seemed to be popular with a good group of regulars. A pub as pubs should be, and the kind of establishment that Sir Peter North seems determined to make just a piece of history.

£3 a pint for a 3.8% beer in the Dysart Arms, though - this is the reality of Cheshire dining pubs in 2010.

3 comments:

  1. It does indeed seem to be the going rate. I paid £2.95 for a 4.0% beer in Mobberley (so slightly better value than yours) although I had paid £1.53 for Sam Smith's nearby earlier n the week.

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  2. Martin, Cambridge21 June 2010 at 22:31

    In Brunning & Price's defence, they invest heavily in making their pubs attractive to a wide range of customers, which helps them maintain an impressive cask turnover and generally excellent quality. I thought the beer in their Sutton Hall pub was superb.

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  3. I'm not knocking them – it's a fact of life and you pay for what you get. While clearly very much food-oriented, their pubs remain much more "pubby" than many of their competitors. There's always somewhere you can just go to have a drink, the menus include snacks as well as full meals, the staff don't wear uniforms and the tables don't have pre-set place settings. Interestingly, the Dysart Arms had four beers at either £2.90 or £3.00 a pint, the strongest of which was 3.8%. The beer in the Traveller's Rest was £2.20 or £2.25 a pint.

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