18 : Scotts Arms, Wetherby

Main Street, Sicklinghall, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4BD
It is not unusual for the local squirearchy to gift something to the village they rule over. The more generous might fund the building of a church or chapel, the more miserly, a stained glass window. Often it was a school, occasionally a library. For the Scott family, who lived in the village of Sicklinghall near Wetherby, the gift was of a more pleasing nature - a pub (actually to call it a gift is being perhaps a tad too generous as they continued to make a good profit out of the venture). All this was a good two hundred or so years ago, but the pub retains the name - if not the ownership - of the original benefactor, and continues to be a pleasing addition to this quiet Yorkshire village.

The Scotts Arms is a large, attractive place with wooden beams, stone fireplaces, blackboard menus, and all the things you could wish to find in a good country pub. And one or two more. Towards the back of the pub is an excellent farm shop which - being the only shop in the village - serves the local population as well as visitors to the pub. Once a week a Post Office also operates from the shop - the kind of initiative which could well be followed elsewhere.

Being a large pub in a comparatively small village, the emphasis is inevitably on what used to be known as "passing trade" and this means, of course, food. There are four interconnected areas, most of which are occupied by diners - the pub boasts "120 covers" which, I believe, means bums-on-seats. But there would be no objection to a visitor just calling in far a pint and a warm on one of the welcoming open fires. It's that kind of place (what other pub do you know of which invites walkers and hikers to park in their car-park whilst they have a days' walking in the area).

I tried a pint of the guest ale which was Eden Pure Ale from Sharps Brewery in Cornwall. I assume that it takes its name from the Eden Project and a first sniff of the freshly poured pint suggested a certain botanical character to it. I was expecting a good full taste but was slightly disappointed when it delivered blandness rather than begonias. But there is a rotating guest beer and some solid permanent company (Black Sheep, Theakstons, Tetleys) so every excuse for a return visit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Scott's Arms is more of an eating pub than a drinking pub, though they do still welcome drinkers and the beer is good.