Made ‘fun’ in the 1990s, Preston’s Adelphi has fully recovered from the experience
The pressing need for a mid-evening loosener cum midwinter warmer recently carried me o’er the threshold of a pub long off my radar, beaten track, call as you will.
The Adelphi is a regular lost in the mists of time, but one which appears to have emerged in far better shape than that in which I gradually fled it.
My earliest recollections of this handsome 19th Century hotel are of a pub in the old style, all wood panels and heavy velvet drapes, glittering brass and sundry Victoriana.
And so it remained until the late 1990s when a corporate theme-pub monster snaffled it up and it became, horror of horrors, a Scream pub.
Shortly thereafter this archetypal chain of its day gave that fine comfy interior a full 1990s makeover, and in so doing purged every young fogey like myself from these hitherto reassuringly careworn premises.
Scream? Oh yes, there were screams. Needless to say, I made my excuses over the hullabaloo and scarpered.
Tables and chairs? Get with it gramps. Inverted barrels circled by quirky wonky high stools is the way to go.
Muted tones? Not here sir. Instead, garish primary colours floor to ceiling, brash, clashing and shown to full lurid effect by the sudden profusion of lamps and lighting which accompanied every such pub slaughter of that ridiculous era.
A movement driven by the deceptively dumb idea that students was were the money was and no self-respecting student would go anywhere near any pub, ever, unless its decor resembled the trippy kaleidoscopic den of some camp 1960s Batman villain.
Nonsense, clearly. As best shown by the fact that virtually every pub which charged down this road long ago twigged it for a dead-end and pegged it back from whence they came.
And so to The Adelphi.
This year’s tasteful two-tone exterior paint job was a first clue that change was afoot, or in hand, and stepping through the door it was pleasing to learn that – at some point during my absence – something close to the cosy pub of yore had reasserted itself.
A glass of house red was fairly priced, only slightly abrasive and while drawing at the well of fuzzy warmth I took time to peruse the clientele.
A good mix, of young and old, lads and lasses, in itself also reminiscent of the vibrant crowd this fine pub once drew for fun.
Felt good to be back.
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