Our beer expert Andrew Nowell quenches his thirst at a newly refurbished watering hole in the borough...
A village pub in has unveiled a modern take on a traditional watering hole following a comprehensive refurb.
The Balcarres Arms in Aspull recently flung open the doors to allow drinkers to sample its new look following a week-long overhaul.
What was previously an olde-worlde boozer has been brought into the present day a little with a brighter and more contemporary feel.
However, there are still traditional features with wooden stools, retro carpets and homely wallpaper paying homage to the time-honoured look of a British pub.
That is very much a community hub local sports enthusiasts from Aspull Rugby Club were invited to do the ribbon-cutting and walk through the arch of balloons into the made-over space.
Aspull resident Caron Hilton, who is in her second stint running the pub along with her daughter Natalie, said she is delighted with the refurbishment and, most importantly, it has also gone down well with the regulars.
She said: “The new look is lovely, I’m made up with it. It’s a really big improvement, it’s a bit more modern now with more lights in.
“Everyone who has been in has praised it and said they’ve done a good job.
“I love working here because I’m local myself and everybody knows me.
“My husband Neil and I always said that if we wanted to run a pub we wouldn’t go anywhere else other than The Balcarres Arms. It’s our local.”
The pub, which is owned by Marston’s, has had a huge amount of work done in a short space of time, with the work including new seats and stools, a refurbished bar area, new decoration throughout and improvements to the ladies’ toilets.
The changes haven’t finished yet, either, as the construction team is now hard at work expanding the pub’s beer garden.
On the beer front real ale is a popular drink of choice for those frequenting what very much has the feel of a country village pub, given its location close to Haigh Hall.
Four cask handpulls house a rotating selection of real ales from the list Marston’s makes available to its pubs, including breweries from across the UK.
The bar also contains the brewery’s own smooth beer on tap alongside Strongbow, a dark fruits cider, Guinness, Foster’s, Stella Artois and Carlsberg.
There is also a wide selection of wines or soft and hot drinks for those looking to relax without consuming alcohol. There is also a food menu for visitors.
Anyone feeling tuneful after a few drinks can test out their vocal chords at the pub’s Sunday karaoke sessions and a live band performs at The Balcarres Arms once a month.