Monday, 3 October 2011

Pubs We Like - The Plough, Prestbury

The perry pear harvest is now almost done for us, and there's a slight lull before the cider apples are fully ripe and ready. This gives us a great opportunity to behave like proper Cotswold tourists and go stare at the locals in some of our favourite pubs.

The Crown & Trumpet in Broadway continues to act as our temporary 'local' during the cidermaking season, with Gwatkin Silly Ewe Cider my 'pint-of-the-usual'. The other nice thing about the Crown & Trumpet is the way it seems to attract Morris Dancers and their brightly coloured ilk from literally miles around. The mighty Morris Federation recently held their AGM at the nearby Morris Stronghold of the Fleece, Bretforton. Never ones to miss the opportunity of fine ale and cider, the massed sides of the Federation descended on Broadway to shake bells, bash staffs, and generally make getting served at the bar a bloomin' nightmare. Nice work from all the dancers on the day, and it doesn't end there. Next weekend sees Adlington Morris on their (seemingly) annual tour of the Cotswolds, and they'll be dancing at the Crown & Trumpet during the Saturday lunchtime session. Hmm! Tempting...

Another favourite of ours is The Plough in the well-appointed village of Prestbury near Cheltenham. I say well-appointed, the village is lucky to have at least two truly outstanding pubs, the Royal Oak being the one which usually draws the plaudits, and for good reason. They hold an annual Cider & Cheese festival in August, what more need I say...

The Plough is more of a village secret, tucked away as it is on a tiny back road opposite the church. A thatched and beautifully unspoilt village local which has a little of the feel of a rural ciderhouse. Real ales are stillaged behind the bar, with handpumped ciders from Westons of Much Marcle. I went for the Wye Valley HPA myself but the locals appear to prefer the ciders. There's a nice orchard beer garden for the Summer, and a real fire in the bar for when the ice and snow comes. I could easily see myself losing an afternoon in the cosy confines of The Plough, so it's really just as well I'm not allowed to!

Ciders on handpump, Beer from the cask

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