The Dacre Arms. Now this is what you call a pub. This is what you call A Real Pub. In fact, it’s what I call ‘an old man’s pub’ – and that is in no way a bad thing at all in my book. It’s the type of pub that the majority of the time you can guarantee that upon entry you’ll find one old fella in the corner, nursing his pint of ale and studying the local newspaper. This means that you are free to find your own snug little corner to nurse your own fine beverage…whilst doing a crossword…or even reading a novel (I know this, I’ve done it myself!).
But it’s also the kind of place that you could equally push open the little unassuming wooden door and be hit with a blast of warm good cheer from a pub bursting full of groups of friends, families and neighbours, all enjoying the communal spirit (usually served on the rocks). It can at times feel like a throwback to a bygone age. I imagine during Christmas Day lunchtime it may well be full of actual Dickensian characters calling for warming drams of whisky on the way to transporting the largest goose from the market back to Mrs Cratchit and Tiny Tim.
On the visit I did with Grenson, as you can see from the above picture, it was one of the times when a novel would have been a good thing to have brought along. Which suited us just fine. In fact, Grenson felt so at home in the calming, cosy surroundings that he promptly fell fast asleep.
No one should bother visiting The Dacre if they want large screen TVs, gambling machines and burgers served on wooden platters. However, if you fancy a nice pint and the choice of a comfy seat or a beer garden that during the right time of year may contain morris dancers dancing the old morris (I know this I’ve seen it myself!) then you should definitely make the pilgrimage.
And if that doesn’t convince you to pay a visit then maybe I should also mention that there is a signed picture of Mickey Pearce from Only Fools And Horses on the wall. No idea why. But why not? Genius!
The only down side to a visit to The Dacre is that while enjoying your hassle-free relaxed beer, the fear may begin to buzz around the back of your mind that this cosy relaxed atmosphere surely can’t last for long in today’s commercially profit-driven era of gastropubs and brewery chains. In which case you should take the only responsible action: order another drink and help keep this bastion of real pub life alive.
We like The Dacre Arms. We like it so much that one of us went to sleep in there!
The Man and The Dog.