What a fantastic summer we’ve had with record temperatures and many Brits opting to take a ‘staycation’ at home and enjoy Britain at its best. When the weather’s good there is genuinely no-where I would rather be in the early evening than in the beer garden of a beautiful country pub.
But to quote Bob Dylan, “the times they are a changing” and I’ve begun to notice a little nip in the air in the evening and a heavier dew in the morning. This can only mean one thing, that autumn is well and truly on its way.
As much as we all love the summer sunshine, the autumnal and even winter weather can also be beautiful here in Shropshire. The countryside comes to life with the blackberries, damsons and other hedgerow goodies and as the nights draw in there’s the option for a lovely fire at home as well as the delicious comfort foods that accompany it.
Like the countryside, a pub should also reflect what’s going on around it whether open doors and patio dining in the summer or warm fires, comfort food and tasty beers in the winter. Pubs are for all seasons and a proper local should reflect that.
One of my special favourites however is when the fires get lit in your favourite country pub. The warm welcome, amazing light and general good ambience that it creates is a sign of autumn and a welcome one at that. This will be the first autumn / winter for the newly refurbished Swan and I can’t wait as it has all the ingredients to be a brilliant winter pub with its real fires, cosy nooks and natural features. Let’s not also forget the range of beers, wines and delicious foods from bar snacks to home cooked favourites that change with the seasons.
When the fires are lit and it’s getting dark outside who doesn’t enjoy a pint, a couple of warming nibbles and the opportunity to sit quietly and read a paper or a chat with friends and acquaintances?
The question is however, when’s the right time to light the fires and batten down the hatches? I’m led to believe that we’re in for an Indian summer of extended sunshine, however as the evenings draw in and the temperature drops I’m keen to get into the pub early to bag the comfy spot by the fire and to enjoy a pint or two.