You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but the Dog & Partridge in Preston’s Friargate is not a dog, it’s a pub. A good pub. And a good pub can be all tricked out no bother, so long as is done with care and attention.
The freshly refurbished D&P is proof positive of that.
Always a favourite down to earth drinking spot, the doors opened last week on a pub that retains this status with ease.
No walls been knocked through, no daft soft furnishing wheeled in, there’s no chintz, no clutter, no gimmickry.
Is the same space, stripped back – to the extent every room of the pub feels 20% larger – scrubbed down, and given a set of big open windows to let light pour in by day and welcoming glows shine out by night.
Which is all very nice, yes, but what of the ale? Long among the city centre’s most reliable pints, has all the banging and what-not disturbed a pipe here a cellar there and compromised the quaff quality?
Don’t be daft.
First up, I took advantage of the Blond Witch, Moorhouse’s fine golden ale, then trotted off to the newly spick and span beer garden to drink and think about drink and have a tab while I’m about it.
A nice hazy yellow glass with lacy bright white head and a bright fresh smell, this. Hops flow into tropical fruit, citrus, grassy and sweet with a good bitter tang. Refreshing and dry as you swallow, just perfect for the fine summer’s evening on which I wrapped my chops about it.
A Hobgoblin next. Not an obvious pick for the warm night just described, but an ale am glad to drink the year round when well kept – as this one was.
You know the script. Cinder toffee sweetness with treacly coffee notes, puts you in the mood for a bonfire whenever...
Forced by time and finance to pick just one of three untried pumps still available I kept it Wychwood Brewery, and a measure of their recently unleashed Hobgoblin Gold – and what a little treasure this was.
A bright golden handful with snow white bubbly head, sharp citrus aromas lead to a big burst of such fruit, and grapes too, once hitting the tongue.
A truly light ale, similar in body to good lager, fruit smoothly gives way to a hops and wheat, hints of barley, all nicely balanced, with no one throwing their weight about.
An ale I knew at once I’d be drinking again. And two days later I was. In the Dog and Partridge. Over a noon all-day breakfast which saw me right until 8pm that night.
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