Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Plough, Prestbury, Gloucestershire

First impressions of The Plough are that this is surely the quintessential village pub. Located on a quiet backstreet opposite St Mary's Church, neatly thatched and beautifully maintained, this is certainly every tourists dream of a traditional English village pub.

Of course all too often the idyllic setting and chocolate box exterior gives way to just another thoroughly bland interior, stripped of character and opened out to squeeze a few more tables in for the diners. Thankfully the same can not be said for the interior of The Plough, being every bit as traditional, attractive, and unspoilt as you'd hope. In fact so much so that it is regarded by CAMRA as having an interior of regional importance on their inventory of Real Heritage Pubs.

A quarry tiled corridor turns right to a small hatch servery, and onwards to a very attractive orchard garden at the rear of the pub which is very popular in the summer months. A lounge to the right also has a servery, the beer drawn straight from stillaged casks, with cider from Westons a feature too.

The flagstone floored room to the left is where the locals congregate when they're not enjoying an outdoor drink, and yes, this is still very much a locals pub even though it also attracts visitors from near and far. It was in this room that the local game of Quoits was played until quite recently, though sadly the board has now been retired. Only the unusual scoreboard for the game remains, a metal version here where most are made of wood, screwed to the wall on the right hand side of the fireplace.

In this version of the game, players aim to score as many of the numbers from 1-10 as possible, claiming each number as they achieve it, and in so doing preventing the opposition from scoring that particular score by closing the appropriate flap. Other examples of this kind of scoreboard can number as high as 15.

It's not obvious at first glance where the Quoits Board would have sat, but a careful examination reveals the remnants of a line on the floor at the end of the long table on the right-hand side of the room. Presumably this would have been moved sidewards out of the way for a match. The Quoits Board is still resident at the pub, perhaps the licensees could be persuaded to bring it out for a group wanting an afternoon game.

Meanwhile, Dominoes and Cards can be found on the windowsill, as is a Shut The Box, which seems to be a very popular game in the Cheltenham area for some reason! Outdoors at the far end of the garden is a good Boules Piste which sees action throughout the summer months.

No comments: