Barbecue but beer barbarians at the Gates

Old Leyland Gates
Old Leyland Gates

They’re certainly pleased to meat you at the newly refurbished Old Leyland Gates.

If much less than half a cow headed south via the alimentary canals of what was a decent midweek crowd in this large Golden Hill Lane pub on my recent visit, I’ll not only eat hay with a donkey I’ll buy the thing a mixed grill.

Sizzling skillets fairly flew out the kitchen throughout, and very decent it all looked too. As does the pub itself.

My last visit, many years ago, was noteworthy chiefly for the gloomy interior, an overwhelming stench of burnt cooking fat and a carpet so sticky every step felt as if I was on the brink of losing a shoe.

No longer. The walls are now a cool cream, fixtures and fittings light and the curtains wide open. A large beer garden and welcoming smoke shelter appeal to the alfresco brigade.

A pleasant place to spend a while, then, and although medical advice prevents me opining on the red meat, I can confirm that the food (scampi and chips) was equally decent (although it took nerves of steel to enjoy my fishy bits with a table of lads tucking into gigantic juicy steaks not six feet to my right).

So, good to sit, good to eat – but not, sadly good for anyone with a hankering for beverage beyond the generic.

Three casks on the bar, two turned inwards, leaving just Greene King IPA, the fastest selling least exciting cask ale in Britain. Duly over a barrel I ordered a pint, expecting not much, but at least getting a well-kept drop.

Amber with a thin white head, a faint aroma of toffee with a chalky caramel body and sweet taste, Nigel Farage’s favourite ale (always seems to be a pint of this he’s waving at the press) ticked a box, but nothing more.

Unwilling to plough through another, I jumped in the Guinness lifeboat and counted my blessings.

Nice pub, shame about the choice. If it’s a carnivorous tea you’re after, well worth a visit. Just don’t expect to wash it down with anything to rival the meat.

Proud of your pub? Tell us why we should pop in for a jar. Email barry.freeman@lep.co.uk