Lifestyle: Country Pubs and Roaring Fires

I love a good pub. And by that I mean a proper old-building, serves-real-ale-or-cider country pub. ‘Spoons is all very well and good on a night out, but it isn’t a pub.

 photo 2015-01-10 14.14.13_zpsoastcfc7.jpg photo 2015-01-10 14.05.29_zpsdeoa4s6j.jpgI like to cosy up, preferably by a real fire, and enjoy my drink of choice. I like to nibble on some proper pub-grub that’s not just reheated (frozen oven chips = acceptable). I like staff who genuinely enjoy their job. And I don’t like it to be crowded or noisy.

 photo 2015-01-10 15.06.53_zpsokfqtt5u.jpgA few weeks ago brought a ice-cold sunny Saturday on a boyfriend-visiting weekend. I instructed him to wear sensible shoes and we caught the train to lovely Reigate, walked by all the shops and out of town. Into the countryside, across the heath and there, hidden away, is the delightful Skimmington Castle. I went a few months ago (more here), and I’m so pleased it is actually in walking distance!

 photo 2015-01-10 14.05.02_zpsrkbeljij.jpgWe managed to squeeze onto the last available table (it’s a tiny place, and gets booked up), right in front of the fire they kindly stoked up for us. One look at the drinks and we both ordered warm cider. It’s actually ‘just’ Rekorderlig’s winter cider, fine by us as we both enjoy it! But it is served properly warm with slices of orange. Delicious.

 photo 2015-01-10 14.16.41_zpsgiqmzrqa.jpg photo 2015-01-10 14.14.48_zpskpypmqmu.jpg photo 2015-01-10 14.16.49_zpsihxnisuu.jpgOrdering from the Bar Menu (the restaurant menu looks amazing – fancy and fairly priced) I went for a Ham & Mustard baguette. I love this combination, even more so when the ham is like this. So, so good. W had the sausage baguette which was much enjoyed, and we shared a side of crispy, salty and very moreish oven chips. I discovered dipping in mustard then scooping up coleslaw is awesome. I have no shame in admitting this! Food was very well priced, especially for the area, with the bill including drinks coming in just under £20.

 photo 2015-01-10 15.16.42_zpsgrtvpsyh.jpg photo 2015-01-10 14.05.15_zpsjjyfwovt.jpgWhen we eventually stumbled back out into the cold we realised we’d spent a good two hours relaxing, chatting, and generally just enjoying each other’s company. Now that’s what a pub is all about!

Are you a fan of days like this? What have you got planned for this weekend?