There’s nothing quite like a good old country pub lunch don’t you think?
We Brits do this impeccably. Quaint little inns and charming public houses, with beautiful old architecture and quintessentially beautifully gardens full of flowers in bloom, little streams, wildlife and happy smiles
Obviously it’s also rather a plus if the weather is nice. Which luckily for us it was on this particular weekend.
We are very fortunate to live in a town bordered by the most beautiful countryside, with perfectly pretty and picturesque little villages, hamlets and parishes, each boasting their own sublime little drinking and eating establishments.
And taking a long, lazy lunch somewhere pretty, with good food and good company is most definitely one of my most favourtie summertime pastimes.
Ooh – perhaps I should tour them all for little write ups like his one! Hic!
A couple of months ago now, my brother and sister in law came over from South Africa to be near to us all through a rather horrid, hugely difficult and sad family time.
On one of the days, we impulsively decided that a pub lunch was just what we all needed. Our heads were all over the place, everything seemed surreal and we were unquestionably in need of being somewhere together as a family.
It was a time where we didn’t need the hassles of having to shop for ingredients or the fuss or worry about cooking and washing dishes. All we needed was each other’s company whilst trying hard to deal with all the other things which were going on around us.
It was a perfect idea.
The pub we visited on this occasion was The Swan at Newtown, located literally just outside of Newbury in Berkshire and is only very slightly truly in the countryside, so I suppose in this instance I’m using the term ‘country pub’ very loosely indeed! But it really is only a five minute car ride from our house, and close enough to the countryside that it is always far too convenient not to go! And as such has turned into a bit of a local and favorite of ours, and any time we have guests come to visit, we often pop here for an easy, breezy and local bite to eat.
The pub is beautiful, and the gardens are superb, with picnic tables and benches dotted and hidden around established shrubs, trees and bushes, which is just lovely when you sit and bask in the dappled sunlight. This is fabulous, as where it might be busy in the summer months especially, you still have the feeling of privacy and seclusion and it’s almost as if you were there al by yourselves.
There is a small stream which meanders the length of the pub garden which is a complete calling card for kids. There are a couple of wobbly little stepping stones hidden in amongst the water lilies and water irises at one end, and a small wooden bridge over the other, making it too enticing for your children not to do loops around the garden.
The pub have also rather thoughtfully and cleverly added a huge instruction board for the classic game of Pooh sticks. Oodles of fun for your little ones as they eagerly watch after they’ve thrown in their sticks with excited little faces as they wait impatiently for it to magically appear on the other side.
Although this particular visit was obviously bitter sweet for us, as there was such an enormous part missing from what should have been a whole picture of perfectness, it was still lovely for what it was and will always be memorable for me for a great many reasons. The good and the bad.