I can categorically state my faith in pubs has been restored after two visits in three days to 54 – Old Crown Inn DE72 2HL.
Having debated the merits (or not) of Farmhouse Inns and their brand of pub, it is great to see that boozers can provide good food, children’s play areas (great Silver Birch as well) and a relaxing/upbeat atmosphere depending on when you go.
However, the only caveat I would add is that whilst I think this pub is an absolute classic, it was healthily full but nowhere near as busy as the aforementioned cakeaway family special (see pub 53) in Willington!
Despite the fact this pub has a Derbyshire postcode and every other pub in the village of Shardlow is in Derbyshire, this little gem is in Leicestershire due to fact it is just over Cavendish Bridge, which connects both counties over the River Trent (exciting facts I know…)
Anyway visit one saw Mrs BB, two kids and myself sit in a fantastic beer garden on a Sunday afternoon whilst the kids ate, played on the best sunken trampoline I’ve ever seen in a beer garden and also won the award for the best ‘red telephone box in a fence in a beer garden’ too.
However, more importantly, when I walked inside for a drink I discovered a treasure trove of memorabilia with jug/mugs all over the ceiling and Bass,
and Double Diamond Lamps too (see photo above)!
But, to top it off, when I asked the landlady for a pint of EPA (Marston’s, not that regular in boozers) she said it might be on the turn, pulled a quarter, tasted it and said no chance and pointed me towards the Fusion (Thwaites) instead.
If you like pubs that are really well kept and clearly cherished by their owners then this is a place for you. I liked it so much I came back two days later with two pals of mine at about 9.30 on a Tuesday night.
Not a traditionally hectic time for any pub but we walked in to Bad Moon Rising belting out by a five piece band sitting in the corner! There were more punters in than you would expect and there was some top notch pub banter as well as a couple of band groupies (well, wives/partners of the band!)
I had a sup of a decent pint of Old Empire (Marston’s) which, once again, I don’t see in many places as Knocking on Heaven’s Door cranked up in the background.
In my ideal world every family in the Midlands would eat at pubs like this as it is almost as cheap as The Cherry Tree Farm and the atmosphere is so much better as people actually smile, laugh and are there for a good time.
And some real brewerania for us people who like it!
I can’t recommend this place enough and proves that tied houses can be a real success if you get the right people at the helm.
I’m not sure if this place has been in the GBG or will get in it but it would be one of my top five pubs so far in Life After Football.