Saturday, 18 August 2012

Pear Tree, Leyland Road, Penwortham

The sun was out so I scrambled for my bike and tumbled out the front door, with the intention of powering into the rolling countryside, to soak up a little serenity.
'Just me, my bike, the twisting country lanes and the sun on my back.
'This is going to be bliss', I told myself.
After a few minutes I was in Penwortham, then I found my way to Lostock Hall, then it was Bamber Bridge, followed by Lostock Hall again.
Then it was Bamber Bridge again, then it was Penwortham again....
Then I got sick of the whole caper and skulked off home, furious at myself for thinking that following my nose would actually work.
The first time I whipped past the Pear Tree, flying down Leyland Road, I made out the colourful blur of a decent beer garden and I was tempted to slam on my rusty old brakes and give it a closer inspection.
But on one of my later laps I came out of Middleforth Green, and seeing the pub head on, was put off by a 'E' missing from the sign.
'Drink in a pub with a missing E, who has ever heard of such a thing', I muttered to myself before clunking off down the hill once more.
But on Tuesday with an unexpected evening of sunshine, Miss Chardonnay Sidekick and I felt compelled to spend the evening outside. And that can mean only one thing – a beer garden.
We arrived just moments before a big rush drinkers piled into the pub and filled the bar.
I wondered whether everybody had had the same idea as us but after sharing greetings with half the pub's customers, it was clear they were regulars.
With the entire bar area full of thirsty locals I was expecting a long wait for our drinks.
But the chap, who I assume was the landlord, served a couple of people who were before us and then poured my Caledonian Flying Scotsman, keeping the banter gang waiting at the bar.
I was next in the queue but not for one second would I have begrudged him keeping his locals happy over serving a couple of silly shorts-wearing sun chasers sporting daft glasses (Miss Chardonnany Sidekick).
I nearly panicked and ordered a lager, such was my shock at the man's good grace so seldom practised.
Outside there is a good-sized grassed area with thick shrubbery and a decent covered decking for smokers. We were lucky to get the last free bench in the garden.
You would have to say the place could benefit from some money spending on it, starting with a new 'E' and a lick of paint or two inside top priorities.
The beer garden was green and pleasant but it could be much better with a few plants and a bit of love.
But taking all of that aside, when we were in on Tuesday, the pub was full of people chomping through meals or catching up with friends and the beer garden had clearly drawn in the crowds to soak up the last of the sun.
So maybe dropping the 'E' is the way to be!

Ship Inn, Fylde Road, Preston
Bitter Suite, Fylde Road, Preston
You can follow me on Twitter - @RobinsonBee

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