Am not sure just what this rake expected progressing over the threshold of the recently opened Hogarths pub atop Church Street, but am fairly certain it was not found.
Styling itself a ‘gin palace’ what lies within turned out to be a calculated and, it must be said, successful attempt to ape the Weatherspoons formula for success, albeit on a more modest scale.
Occupying a fine old building – the former Preston Conservative Club, or so I am led to believe – the interior has been fairly tastefully refurbished and furnished in a generic ‘period style’ redolent of good workmanship and decent quality materials.
Not to mention the impressive mural which greets the thirsty on arrival – a typically bawdy pub-set panel from satirist William Hogarth’s ‘The Humours of an Election’ of 1755.
The resulting pub is spick, span and – if not ‘authentic’ in the eyes of a design purist – still a pleasant enough ‘olde worlde’ saloon type space in which to enjoy a pint or two.
A very fair priced pint or two, too. Taking another lead from the giant – whose new Twelve Tellers looms large just across the road – beer is cheap, just £2.15 a pop, the casks I opted to tap, at any rate.
First up, a Bank Top Blonde all the way from Bolton, which hit the spot a treat.
Pale yellow with an off white fading head fades, this was fresh and grassy, touch citric on the nose, caramel honey on the tongue, dry and bitter as it slips away. And slips away fast – next, a Golden Salamander from Salamander Brewery of Bradford.
A good beer but a bad pick, as essentially a re-run of the Blonde, only with a touch more carbonation and lesser dryness on the finish.
No complaints though, both good fresh ale, and from a selection hitherto more or less unknown to me.
No food on offer here – wise not to tackle Wetherspoons on this turf, which economies of scale mean they own – but fair prices and a broad selection of ale and shorts means anyone spilling out the Twelve Tellers after a change of scenery is not likely to stroll far.
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