Sunday, 26 September 2021

Pub landlords aren't sparing the horses with Victorian night

Pub landlords aren't sparing the horses with Victorian night

THE landlords of a popular Playhatch pub are making the best of a temporary lack of passing traffic — by hosting a Victorian night tomorrow (Saturday).

Starting at 6pm, visitors to the Flowing Spring on the A4155 Henley Road are being invited to dress up 1800s-style and imagine themselves back in the reign of Queen Victoria.

Landlords Nick Willson and Hazel Lucas said: “With the road closed we thought it would be an ideal time to appreciate the pub as it might have been over 100 years ago, with no traffic and nose — just peace, tranquility and the countryside.”

To mark the occasion, the pub’s frontage will be styled accordingly using hay bales, old barrels, a cart and lanterns from the period.

The landlords added: “Come and sit on the benches under the roadside veranda, which are over a hundred years old, and enjoy the surroundings — imagining the farm labourers relaxing with a pint of ale and the horses and carts passing.”

Thankfully, though, it won’t be necessary for the pub’s customers to revert to Victorian modes of transport themselves.

A section of the A4155 next to the Flowing Spring is expected to remain shut until around the end of October while repairs are carried out.

But Nick explained that despite the impression some drivers may be getting, the pub — which sits at the junction with Spring Lane — is still accessible by car.

“From the Henley-Shiplake direction the road is completely open all the way down to the pub,” he said. “The signs sort of suggest that there’s no way through to us, but the Henley Road is open. When you get to us, people can just park in our car park as normal. Then if they’re going off, say, back to Reading or Sonning they just go down Spring Lane.”

According to Nick, the works have seen trade roughly halve throughout the week. But the indomitable spirit of the Victorian night has met with a great response from regulars. “It’s really captured people’s imaginations,” he said. “Most people will be dressing up. They’ve all been spending money on top hats, old bits of clothing, false beards and that sort of thing. We’re going to have a full house!”

Music on the night will come from The Curious Sounds and the bar area will be getting a Victorian-style makeover with candles, lanterns, pictures and various knick-knacks.

On the food front, the pub will be serving a special £15 two-course menu of hearty Victorian fayre — including a limited quantity of free range British goose — from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Please note that meals must be pre-ordered.

Drinks-wise, the pub will be selling pints of the West Berkshire Brewery’s award-winning Maggs’ Magnificent Mild for two old pence to customers dressed in Victorian garb and carrying any pre-decimal sterling coins.

For full details of the Victorian night, visit the pub’s website at www.theflowing

Food orders can be placed by calling the Flowing Spring on 0118 969 9878.

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