Saturday, 31 May 2014

New Inn, Enderby, Leicestershire

Enderby was at one time a favourite hunting ground for good, solid, unpretentious boozers. In the early 80's, almost all of Enderby's half a dozen pubs fell into this category, six making a good number for an afternoon pub-crawl. The Plough on the hill was a good basic Marston's house where a cracking pint of Pedigree was guaranteed (now an Indian restaurant). The Havelock was the kind of basic spit-and-sawdust Bass Brewery house that seemed utterly unremarkable at the time, yet with the passing of time is perhaps the one I miss the most (now an Italian restaurant). The multi-room King William IV has now been converted to residential use, which leaves just half of those original six pubs remaining, though thankfully all three are still good honest pubs at heart (see also: Dog & Gun).

Tucked away up a narrow lane in the heart of the old village, the thatched and whitewashed exterior of the New Inn has the timeless and traditional appearance of a well-preserved gem of a pub. Thankfully the interior doesn't disappoint in the way that so many village pubs do, and although there have been changes to the interior of the pub in recent years, it's still a truly great example of a traditional and well-loved village local. I recall that when the Havelock was first irrevocably altered, becoming for a few years prior to its current restaurant incarnation The Chatsworth, the locals were so unimpressed with the gaudy new interior that they upped-sticks and relocated to the cosy comfort of the nearby New Inn. A small notice above the bar indicated this was now the welcome home for ex-pat Havelock drinkers, such was the attraction of Everards Brewery's very first pub, and I'm pleased to say that the welcome remains to this day.

This part of rural Leicestershire is blessed with a relatively high density of alleys for Long Alley Skittles, many of which are located at Everards Brewery pubs. In addition to being the custodians of many of these old skittle alleys, Everards have a long history of supporting the game in Leicestershire, and are current sponsors of the Winter Premier division in the Tom Bishop Memorial Skittles League. The alley at the New Inn is a well appointed one, even to the point of housing a recently installed wood-burning stove for use during the Winter season. The alley is available for hire for groups, and also sees regular service in the Tom Bishop Memorial Skittles League.

The New Inn is probably unique in Leicestershire as having the only full-size Snooker Table available for play at a pub.

No comments: