The crossroads at Lane Ends always feels like the last thriving part of old Preston to me. That stretch of Blackpool Road is certainly home to the busiest retail road outside the city centre and, right there on the junction, is inarguably one of Preston’s finest pubs.
Few houses successfully manage to be all things to all people, but the Lane Ends Hotel does so with aplomb, and has for so long as I’ve known it.
Want a place for fore and aft the match? To watch the match? To meet before a night up town? For a lively night out in its own right? A decent bite at a fair price? Quiet midweek pint?
Ticks all the boxes, and anyone lucky enough to call this their local is indeed blessed. A cracking line in cask ales, too, and it was these which led me there Tuesday evening.
From a fair selection I kicked off with a pint new to me, The Rev. James, an old brown ale from Cardiff’s Brains Brewery.
Deep brown, clear, with a light off-white head, first sip took me back to swigs swiped of dad or grandad’s pints, as and when opportunity presented.
Exuding rich toasty toffee aroma and with more of the same in the glass – but topped off with dark fruit – it was a pint I was glad to be acquainted with and one I will try again on sight.
One hearty gammon, egg and chips costing all of £4.50 later, I sent an old friend from summer down the hatch in pursuit of the good Rev.
This might or might not be the last pint of Copper Dragon’s Golden Pippin I enjoy before winter takes us in its clutches, but if it is, we part safe in the knowledge that more will follow once daylight returns.
That said, this pale blonde ale from Skipton, hoppy and tangy in scent and swallow, has proved so popular it is no longer seasonal and is available all the year round. In truth, it is hard to see myself turning up my nose at a glass whatever the month.
Both great pints, in good nick, pulled by friendly smiling staff. Definitely a pub to pop in if passing, and worth going out of your way if you ain’t.