Beer and lurchers

stu's carl wark standing cross castleton black shade pics 124You know that moment in films when the stranger walks into the bar, conversation stops and all eyes turn to look in silence? That’s what it feels like… Not that you are unwelcome in the bar… but you know that you are neither unnoticed nor anonymous. The welcome is assured… as long as you don’t use your mobile phone. They are frowned upon here… and completely out of place.

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On a Sunday, there is folk music… but it was Saturday and you never know what to expect. The old door resists entry. I wonder how many have tried that recalcitrant handle and turned away, fearing they intruded upon a private cottage. Inside, summer and winter, a fire blazes. The tiny bar has just a few hand pumps, a few bottled beers on the shelves and a menu that changes with whatever is available. Hand thrown pots with simple, beautiful designs that demand to be loved and used, sit on a rack on the wall. The owner and his wife are potters and this is their craft. If the handful of seats around the old range are not filled with people, they are likely to be filled with lurchers and I have heard of falconers perching their hawks there while they trade bags of game for potent ales.

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We don’t come here often… nowhere near as often as we would like… but once, after a year’s absence, when we had ordered a pint of Black Lurcher and a bottle of alcoholic dandelion and burdock, the barman had nodded, “I thought it was you…” It is that kind of place. Stepping through the door into the very small room is not only like stepping into someone’s home, but also like erasing centuries from the march of time. You cannot tell ‘when’ you are.

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We managed to find a seat… a couple of spares squished near the inner door… and were glad to simply be there. There is another room, the one where the music is played… a little more spacious, being twice the size of the main bar… but still tiny, looking, with its more elaborate fireplace, like the original parlour of the cottage. The door was closed… and it felt intrusive to even attempt to open it until someone else went to sit in there, after discussing what they had brought for the kitchen. It felt wrong to be sitting in there alone though… antisocial… so we went outside to sit in the sunshine that warmed the old stone instead, while the owner and barman ate nasturtium flowers from the little herb garden.

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It is the type of place that gets under your skin. Am I going to tell you where it is? No… they don’t particularly want any publicity. They are busy enough for their needs. But if you are ever in the area, you just have to find it for yourselves…

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About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in England, Life, Photography, travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Beer and lurchers

  1. That was a ‘you made me spill my pint’ moment. LOL


  2. Lois says:

    Great post, Sue!


  3. TanGental says:

    Reminds me of the Oddfellows out in the middle of the New Forest where there was no bar, just one table and a barrel and don’t order a shandy or you’ll be thrown out. Best place to get a pint aged 16 or 17 if you didn’t mind the hike (we didn’t). Now long gone and sadly missed


  4. It is such a rarity to find a pub like this, it looks so homely and welcoming.


  5. Looks so good in there. A log fire and a pint of Ale. mmmmmmmmmm


  6. Jim says:

    I had to Google what a Lurcher was. nice post.


  7. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Sue Vincent being tight-lipped about this secret hideaway.. definitely a place to hang out.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Millie would love this pub, especially as it has a beer named after her breed!


  9. The Three Stags?


  10. Sarah Eykyn says:

    I know exactly where you were! Haven’t visited for over 10 years but really must go back 🙂 Care to join me???


  11. You really built it up…if I was anywhere around, I would definitely go around looking for it. Nice read!


  12. Jane says:

    This piece of writing is great! It’s alive right from the start and never let’s you down! – And I’m not going to tell you who or where I am… 🙂


  13. macjam47 says:

    Great post. You have to tell us where this is located.


  14. oshrivastava says:

    lovely and great post

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Léa says:

    It sounds like a place I would fall in love with but we do have such places here. You are right, locals protect them and they can only be found when they want to. However, around here, the camera would not likely be welcome.


  16. Love this….what a great writing style you have…..I’ve been hopping around your blog all day and reading this and that. It’s been a most enjoyable visit! Thanks for finding me today…..I look forward to reading more from you!


  17. jjspina says:

    Nice pub and so down to earth and welcoming. I don’t drink bear but I do like wine and the flowers sounded interesting. Thanks for sharing the lovely post and photos!


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