The Beaumont Arms was a delightful find. Although it is only a few miles from where I live, I had never been before. But as soon as you see it from the top of the hill, standing shoulder to shoulder with the village church, you know you are in for a treat. And treat it was.
The building dates from the mid eighteenth century and it is easy to trace the line of adjoining stables which which have since been incorporated into the pub. The interior reflects the major redesign which must have taken place in the 1930s. Stepping inside the pub I was immediately taken back to the front parlor at my Uncle Harry's house : the wood panelling, the wrought iron tables, the rich red carpets. It's comforting, relaxing and - although there are no books on display - it's bookish. It's the kind of place you can sit with your pint and read your book and not feel out of place. It is my kind of pub.
The name comes from the Beaumont family who had been lords of the manor since the seventeenth century. A sense of history permeates the place. Just over the lane is the local churchyard and there stands a memorial to 17 children who "fell unhappy victims to a raging fire at Mr Atkinsons Factory in February 1818" As you drink your pint you think you can smell the mills, feel the hills, and maybe hear the screams of those poor kids. You are sitting on so much heritage you want to cry.
I called in just before the lunch-time rush started and I must have been the first customer of the day. I had my pick of the wood-paneled rooms and time to look around and get a feel of the place. Three young girls looked after the bar and the restaurant. They straighten place settings, shine pint glasses, and discuss last night's adventures.
I decide to have a pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord : it's that kind of day. Although mine must have been the first pint to be drawn, it tastes fresh and well-flavoured. It cuts through your thirst and with equal ease it cuts through your cares. The barmaid decides that my pint has a little too much head and fills a half pint glass so that I can top up. It's a small gesture but a welcome one. It means I will return. As I leave, the place is beginning to hum. I say a small prayer of thanks : the future of this delightful pub might be safe for a few months longer.