Off the Beaten Track, Part One

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Wagon & Horses

‘Bloody hell, you weren’t lying about this being off the beaten track were you?’ questioned comment editor Matt Gillings, as he eventually turned up to the Wagon & Horses twenty minutes late. To an extent, he had a point. The Wagon & Horses is situated on St. George’s Quay and is out of the way compared to other pubs in Lancaster. But at the same time, his point is completely invalid, as it’s only approximately a five-minute walk from Sainsbury’s and it was his fault for getting lost.

This riverside pub also functions as a restaurant and an overnight inn and is in a lovely location, overlooking the Lune. This complements the beautiful cosy interior and warm atmosphere to counter the omnipresent Lancaster winter that enveloped outside. As nice and reasonable as the pub is though, it seemed to be subservient to the restaurant element of the establishment. That’s no bad thing, as the three ales on selection were still more than offered at other pubs in town. But ultimately, there are better places to go for a drink in Lancaster. Regardless, the Wagon & Horses certainly shouldn’t be shunned, as it could make a great place for a quiet meal and a nice drink to accompany it.

George & Dragon

Again situated on St. George’s Quay, the George & Dragon is going to go down as an anomaly within Let’s Go Pubbin’. As we strolled into the pub, a gentleman at the bar immediately started chatting to us. He was incredibly friendly (as was everyone else at the bar), and despite chatting to him for the good part of an hour, we never found out his name. This was despite him offering us an internship at Network Rail (where he supposedly works). So for the purposes of reviewing this pub, he shall henceforth be known as Mr. Network Rail.

This former Lancaster student may well have been on commission at the George & Dragon, as he went to great lengths to recommend a pint of Exmoor Gold to us. We duly obliged (after all, it is a nice pint) as Mr. Network Rail flashed through his Lancaster days, commenting on his fear of Grad Bar in his day, amongst other anecdotes that were probably false.

It’s possible to ramble about this strange encounter for ages, but I’ll refocus and summarise that the George & Dragon is a perfectly decent pub. A decent beer range, coupled with a nice atmosphere (though that was probably reliant on our esteemed company), results in a solid recommendation. If Mr. Network Rail doesn’t buy us a round next time we’re there though, it may be our last visit.

The Three Mariners

The aesthetics and location of The Three Mariners pleases me for some reason, but I’m not really sure why. It’s quite an autumnal pub (whatever that means), and the interior is gorgeous. I’m a sucker for any traditional pub with wooden beams and stone walls everywhere, so The Three Mariners sold itself immediately to me.

It has a vast range of ales, from the light Guzzler and Windermere Pale, to the formidable 7% Hawkshead IPA. Every time I’ve been here, it’s been busy, which is great to see in an era where people always bemoan ‘the demise of the British pub.’ It’s difficult to recommend this pub enough. Compared to pubs like the George & Dragon or John O’Gaunt, it stands out and oozes character. The variety of drinks available should content even the most indecisive client, and like the Wagon & Horses, one could easily go for a nice meal here too. The bar staff were incredibly friendly, and even ask if you’d like a standard pint glass or a classy tankard glass. I’m a man, so I chose the tankard. It made me feel big inside.

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