Being around and about Stourport recently, I have been introduced to the Bay Horse public house, on the Hartlebury Road, much to my delight.
In a day and age of pubs which sprout false plastic beams from every juncture of ceiling and wall, here is a pub that's the real deal. Quaint and traditional without being either tatty or old-fashioned, it has that warmth of yesteryear with none of the heavy-handedness of deliberate retrogressive interior design. The pub looks cute and quaint because it is exactly that.
Likewise the attitude of the management and bar staff belong to another era, one where customers were warmly welcomed without being intruded upon, where diners and drinkers alike were free to have as much camaraderie and rapport with the staff as they wished, without feeling as if the smiles were fake and the opinions proffered were bland pleasantries. Wish that it were so in all pubs.
Who hasn't nowadays visited an establishment where the staff are almost indifferent to the needs of their customers, where the queue at the bar comes secondary in importance to finding out what Jim did on his night off? Where walls have been pained an off-white to look older than they are, and where leather sofas have been bought with that 'worn look' to add to the fake ambiance?
And that's where the Bay Horse has it all going on for real. Add to this a full and varied menu from which there seems to be almost too much choice, and I was captivated. Twice now I have eaten there, and twice I have been more than pleased with my meal - large flavoursome portions which were complimented by crisp salads and tasty chips.
So when I'm back down that way, guess where you will find me... That's right, tucked into a warm corner, knife and fork in hand.
Until then - Happy Reading! x