There is nothing better in life than a summer evening spent in the beer garden of a country pub … ok some of you may think a beach in Barbados may trump that, but we’re a man and a dog of simple needs.
In truth The Crown in Lee is not a country pub, and alas we are still a long way from the balmy heights of summer. However, if you visit on a crisp, blue-sky spring afternoon, like the one Grenson and I enjoyed, you can sit in the excellent beer garden and fantasise about those halcyon days of summer to come.
It is only very recently that this pub has taken on a face lift of 80s hollywood leading lady proportions. Mere days after it reopened En Brogue (whilst lost on a detour avoiding the A20) was drawn to it like a bee to nectar. I have a feeling that any fine new pubs that open in our area send out some kind of beacon, calling all those in need of a decent pint in pleasant surroundings. And this pub definitely provides that. Cask ales aplenty on offer, world class wines (according to their website), and lip smackingly good pub grub. All served in plush new interiors, either in the large bar area or in the even larger restaurant area.
And if that wasn’t enough it also provides excellent quality floor tiles for all of your shoefie needs.
But as already mentioned, it is the beer garden that really floats my boat.
I very much like that it is big enough to accommodate a fair few summer revellers whilst also keeping an intimate air due to the booths (see above). I also approve of the fact that it is at the front of the pub rather than the back, so that anyone approaching on a summer evening will immediately begin to feel the garden buzz.
But my favourite aspect has to be the use of artificial lawn. If it was good enough for Luton Town FC in the 80s then it’s good enough for a pub in Lee today, (unless you are into football and of a certain age it’s best to just ignore that last statement and skip to the picture below).
Yes , that is a dog bowl of water brought out especially for Grenson by the bar staff. That always wins bonus points in my book. Add to that the fact that the barman also recommended a new draft ale then let me have a little taster of it first, and this pub is getting bonus points all round.
So yes, I stand by the fact that if you give me a pint of ale, a sunny evening and a beer garden with fake grass, then you can keep your Barbadian beach … (unless of course anyone wants to send us to Barbados to review their dog friendly beach bars … I’m not crazy!).
The Man and the Dog.