The Ostrich Inn: Enjoy a Pint of Real Ale in a Traditional English Pub
The Ostrich Inn, Newland - A Country Pub in Gloucestershire
The Ostrich Inn in Newland Gloucestershire is a traditional pub with a comfortable, warm inviting atmosphere. Going out for a pint of real ale in a proper English pub is a bit like having friends over to your own home.
The English Pub - Home from Home!
Have you ever been supping your beer, tucking into some good tasty food and while chatting with friends you casually look down just to make sure you haven’t still got your slippers on? If you can relate to that, then you too have probably whiled away a few hours downing a pint or two of real ale in an English pub.
Where does the word ‘pub’ come from? ‘Pub’ is just a shortened name for ‘Public House’ and the person who is licensed to sell the alcohol is known as the ‘Landlord’ or ‘Landlady’.
The Landlord or Landlady has a very important role to play. Not only are they responsible for the general running of the establishment, keeping the cellar well stocked, serving the beer at the right temperature and supplying a good menu of delicious pub-grub, but also it is important for them to create a special ‘pub’ atmosphere by welcoming customers with a warm and friendly greeting.
Welcome to The Ostrich Inn
Recently, my family and I came across a very traditional pub in the beautiful English Countryside.
Now I must admit, for a pub that is located in beautiful countryside, it did stand out as being a little unusual. I was fascinated by the fact that this pub, a little more ordinary-looking than usual, had a very intriguing name: The Ostrich. Not seeing any ostriches around the neighbourhood I felt satisfied that this couldn’t be due to any local connections. Later on, I was interested to learn that the name originated from the Ostrich emblem used by the Probyns, who happened to be the local landowners in previous centuries.
I pushed the big old heavy wooden door open, and we took a step back in time.
Ostrich Inn Newland, Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire
A Special Lunch
We visited The Ostrich on a weekday for lunch and saw immediately that it was a "proper" English pub. Within minutes of our arrival it became very busy with drinkers and diners – a good sign of a well managed and popular establishment!
The log fire was warming and welcome as was the landlady ‘Kathryn’ and her dog ‘Alfie’.
The menu was written on blackboards and there were candles on the tables.
A visitors book lay open next to the fireplace, inviting us to take a peek. Somebody had written that they highly recommended the ribs in tangy sauce, and so my choice of lunch was immediately decided.
The ribs were indeed delicious, proven by a plate of empty bones remaining at the end of my meal.
We also ordered homemade asparagus and mint soup and a farmhouse platter that was accompanied by local cheeses, homemade chutney, crunchy salad and half a loaf of fresh farmhouse bread…rustic and outstandingly flavourful!
I noticed that Kathryn, the Landlady, was asking some diners if they were enjoying their meal. These customers seemed particularly pleased with their lunch and commented that it was absolutely scrumptious.
Then Kathryn (in true-spirited Landlady style) walked over to the adjoining kitchen door and shouted -
'Chef - we have a ‘scrumptious’ out here!’.
- Welcome to Ostrich Inn Newland
The Ostrich Inn, a lovely scenic old pub situated in Newland, a free house renowned for its excellent food with one of the best restaurants in the area, catering for a wide variety of tastes, including vegetarians.
- About Real Ale - CAMRA
Lots of information about English Pubs and Real Ale can be found on the CAMRA website Campaign for Real Ale.
What is 'Real Ale?'
A good traditional English pub will offer a variety of Real Ale. In addition to their usual beers, pubs tend to serve additional ‘Guest Ales’. The Ostrich is no exception and had an excellent variety of real ale to choose from.
Some of these ales have some pretty interesting names, and make for a great talking point. How about a pint of ‘Reverend James’, a ‘Pitchfork’, a ‘Hobgoblin’ or an ‘Old Peculiar’?
Now some people think that British Beer is ‘warm’. That is quite a misconception because in reality beer in the UK is usually served at ’cellar’ temperature. This is not to be confused with lager, which is always served very cold. Traditionally, draught beer came from wooden barrels, which are also known as casks. Pouring a pint of real ale requires a bit more effort because it is often pulled via a hand pump.
Sometimes the bar person will pull off a pint or two before he is completely satisfied with the quality of the beer! Why? To ensure that the beer you are served is fresh from the barrel.
Support the English Pub - Have Another Pint!
Unfortunately, pubs in England have been closing at a dramatic rate, although the trend is now beginning to slow down thankfully.
In February 2010 pubs were closing at a rate of 39 a week, down on the 52 a week closure rate in the first half of 2009, according to the latest survey from the British Beer & Pub Association.
So, I intend on doing all I possibly can to support our English pubs. It probably means I may have to down a couple of extra pints here and there but it’s all in a good cause!
Cheers! Bottoms up!
More Hubs about England & its Traditions
- Join me for a walk through the beautiful English Countryside
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From Ye Olde Worlde to the Modern. A good old English Tradition!
- A Full English Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs, A British Tradition.
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