Set right on the edge of town, The Pheasant isn’t obviously a place we’d normally consider going for a pint, and indeed I’d never made the effort before this visit. Sited just next to the B660 (Kimbolton Road) and Avon Drive, it’s quite a welcoming sight, especially as we’d just walked here through a bit of a shower; it was brightening up just as we arrived. As well as the car park, there’s a kids’ play area and picnic benches out the front. It does mean that, if you were drinking out here, you’d be quite close to the road, but the traffic is quiet enough here, I expect.
We’re here on a weekday, late afternoon – and when we arrive, the place is empty. It’s just us. But even without anyone here, we can tell that it’s a perfectly welcoming, clean, friendly place. The country pub, right on the edge of town.
The room – and it is a single room – is divided loosely into three areas: seating, bar, and dining. There’s a stone floor at the bar area, and carpeting elsewhere. It’s all very clean and tidy, nicely presented.
On the bar there’s a range of common lagers and cider, as well as Guinness and Eagle Smooth (yup, it’s Charles Wells). On the handles there’s Bombardier, Directors, Eagle IPA, and one handle currently idle. I choose the Directors, and RealAleRocks goes for the Bombardier, for a total of £7.70. While I don’t personally class Directors as the most exciting ale ever, it is nevertheless quite welcome and enjoyable. (As it happens, back when RealAleRocks and I were just getting into real ale, Directors was one of those pints that we often used to enjoy. Wetherspoon’s “Steak & Directors pie” used to be a common choice for us, too).
There’s easy, harmless music playing at a comfortable volume, and not a TV in sight. Tied to the picket fence outside though is a “Sky Sports, Live Here” banner; and there’s a projector and a screen mounted in the ceiling near us which I assume would be called upon for such occasions. There are two fruit machines in the corner, silently flashing away to themselves.
As we enjoy our drinks, other customers start to arrive. The first man to arrive greets the bar staff by name, orders a Carling, and sits quietly nearby. A second, then a third, man arrive later, and join him. Next to arrive is a couple – a man and woman, probably in their sixties. An “old boy” arrives and sits at the bar.
It’s lovely and light in here, with plenty of large windows letting the sunlight in. On the walls there are pictures of flowers, and of sports stars (golf, rugby, athletics, Formula One), and a Cask Marque certificate. Posters around the bar advertise karaoke night, and an 80s charity music night. “The Pheasant” WiFi seems to be provided (one assumes it’s legit), but it’s password protected, and I don’t see the password anywhere – and nor did we bother to ask. In a rack on the wall are neatly rolled-up copies of the Mail, Mirror and Sun.
The ale choice didn’t exactly blow our minds, but who needs that every time? The Pheasant is a perfectly good, clean, welcoming pub in the country style, and there was a choice of ales. Definitely good enough to make us want to come back some time, if we ever fancy the walk.
Images by GirlMeetsPint, CC BY 4.0