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The Ostrich Inn: Enjoy a Pint of Real Ale in a Traditional English Pub

Updated on August 26, 2015

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!’.


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!



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    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Ricky, yes it is sad that the tradtional pub is closing at such a rate -

      Glad you enjoyed your visit to the Ostrich, friendly staff, good food and beer - what more could you want!!

      Take care, have a good week, best wishes Lesley

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      MM, it is always a pleasure learning about all the different places you write about. The Ostrich atmosphere sounds great and you can't go wrong with ale. Looks very inviting. It is sad that these traditional pubs are closing that fast. Wow, I never knew it was so quick. Down a little, but even so, it is a lot. I believe it is always good to support the local markets.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Gordon, I do feel good traditional pubs are far and few between these days and yes the Ostrich Inn is truly representative of what a pub is all about. Everytime we visit they are always busy, the service excellent and yes it's good delicious homemade meals!

      The real ales are an attraction for us too - they always have a good selection of well kept ales!

      I agree Gordon, I am sure the smoking ban made a big difference.

      Many thanks for your comments, I hope you make it to the Forest of Dean and the Ostrich Inn sometime.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hi, Lesley. Surprised I haven't found this Hub before as it is on a subject very close to my heart! :)

      I've been lucky enough to have travelled pretty extensively in England and Scotland and lived in a fair few areas and the first thing I always look for when I visit a new place is its pubs. The Ostrich looks like one of the many wonderful hostelries I've visited and is definitely a place I am sure I would feel at home. It sounds perfect in every way, truly representative of what any pub should be about and you describe and represent it very well. The real ales are a big attraction for me but I also love those homemade, delicious pub meals that you just never seem to find in any "proper" restaurant. I know which I prefer...

      It's really sad that so many pubs are feeling the pinch in modern times, often to the extent of bankruptcy. People blame credit crunch and shortage of money - I am, unfortunately, 100% convinced that the bigger cause by far is the Smoking Ban.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Suzette, our country pubs are wonderful, friendly places, The Ostrich is one of my favourites!

      Now you can't get much more british than bangers and mash and shepherd's pie, glad you enjoyed them!

      Thank you for your visit, wonderful comments and vote, it's been great to have your company, take care.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Another great hub! I have been in pubs (by the way, I didn't know the origin of the word until I read this) in London and Toronto, and believe it or not here in Naples, Fl. I enjoy pubs for the cameraderie - you Brits are such a friendly people. I'm not a great beer drinker, so I'm not wild about beer, but the food and people are great. Here in Naples, FL I've been to our English Pubs (I'm sure they are very Americanized) and I had bangers and mash for the first time a few months ago. I loved it and I also like Shepard's Pie. So, I always have a good time in pubs! Voted up!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Escape2Paradise, this pub is in the Forest Of Dean which is in the South West, quite a way from London.

      If you come to the UK, I hope you will check out this part of the country, it's beautiful - might even see you in the pub for a pint!

      Many thanks for dropping by and your comments, best wishes.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi homesteadbound, you are exactly right - the country pubs are more than a bar, they are always so warm and inviting and a great atmosphere!

      I hope you get to visit us sometime!

      Thank you for your comments and my best wishes to you.

    • Escape2Paradise profile image

      Escape2Paradise 6 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      Where is this place at? in London? I'm planing to visit The UK again next year and maybe this pub could be my favourite ;)thanks for sharing!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      Makes me want to come and visit. When I see English pubs on TV or read about them in my books, I always find them to be very warm and inviting. It's definitely not just another bar! Thanks for keeping my dreams alive!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Mimi, I wish you could join me for a tasting! Thanks for visiting and your comments and have a great day!

    • Mimi721wis profile image

      Mimi721wis 6 years ago

      The ale, the ribs, you got my mouth a watering.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Fossillady, yes the pub menu was as good as any restaurant! yes the amount of pubs closing is alarming, but slowing thank goodness, thanks for calling in and take care!

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      The pubs look so inviting, nice photography MM! I'm surprised by delicious menus! The rate of closing is disturbing, I guess only the strongest will survive this economy! Have a good one!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi epigramman, you - me, 2 steak and kidney pies and a couple of pints of best ale sounds like a good time to me!! you take care now and I will look forward to the next time!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ..don't mind if I do .... I would love to step into this pub especially if I could have a pint and a steak and kidney pie with someone as special as you ..... 'special' because your hubs are always inspiring and take me to far away places this one!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi gramarye, yes the photos tell the story, it was so cosy, warm and inviting in the pub, the food was delicous and my pint of 'Pitchfork' slipped down a treat!

      Thanks for calling in and your comments, take care!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Steph, it's nice to see you here, this is the best pub I've been to in ages and the Forest of Dean is a beautiful area to visit, sounds like it could be a nice weekend away for you!! Cheers!

    • gramarye profile image

      gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      Fabulous hub - great pictures. No nothing better than a traditional pub. Adelaide has some of this tradition too. Down the street from me is "The British Hotel" still quite UK style with lovely wood fires in winter

    • Steph Harris profile image

      Steph Harris 6 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

      A wonderful hub, I too live in the U.K. and there is nothing better than a traditional pub with good pub grub, a wonderful way to while away a satisfying afternoon with the other half or some friends. I have never been to the Forest of Dean, though now it has become a place to visit. Thank you for opening my eyes Movie Master.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi WillStarr, great to see you here, I hope you have a fantastic time in the UK when you visit, I reckon 2 pubs a day will be a good goal! cheers!!!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      A very welcome Hub. We are planning on a trip to the UK in a year or so, and I intend to visit a new pub or two every day!

      Thank you!