I suspect some local wags and pesky kids might well have been having a go at the pub signage of the Bugle Horn, a Good Beer Guide listed pub in the Lincolnshire of Bassingham. The pub has been serving alcohol to customers since the seventeenth century, it’s a sizeable building and there’s also a large beer garden. I’ve tried to work out the reasons for the pub’s name, but I can’t see any local military connection and the actual reason is likely lost to history.
Here it’s the Te Buge Horn.
Here the Ugle Horn.
And here the Bugle Orn. It’s like something out of Fawlty Towers and the kids changing the letters on the sign. But, I won’t linger any further on the external signage.
This wasn’t what I expected to see from a Good Beer Guide listed pub if I’m being honest, especially as this appears to be a free house which isn’t manacled to a pubco or brewer. As there was another bar where more exciting options might be available, I asked if there were any other ales to choose from.
The friendly staff member, who I assume to be the landlady, politely pointed me straight towards the keg options from Beavertown. I’m not averse to these, although I’ve obviously worked through them all before, so I was hoping for a local beer that I might not get anywhere else. Prices of these were towards the higher end of the scale, but I liked the inviting nature of the pub so I felt it was a price worth paying to not have to drink Greene King IPA.
I went for the Bloody ‘Ell from Beavertown, an entirely agreeable blood orange keg IPA. It’s a nod towards craft beer, I approve of the pub’s attempts to widen their beer range.
There are two separate bar areas, the one in which we seated was comfortable enough but they do perhaps need a refurbishment as some of the seating is heavily stained and things are a bit wobbly in places.
Having said that, the pub still felt traditional and if there is a refurbishment, I hope that it doesn’t change the layout and separate areas of the interior that currently exist.
Liam’s gammon (that’s a description of the food he ordered, not his politics which are far more reasonable), delivered just seconds after he had gone off to explore the toilet facilities in the pub.
Although the Beavertown beers might have been just a little decadently priced, the meals certainly weren’t, this fish and chips was at the very agreeable price of £10. The home cut chips are mostly hidden here by the fish, but there were more than I could eat and so I let Liam finish them up. For the perfect arrangement, the fish could have been drained better and the oil could do with changing, but the batter had a decent depth of flavour and the fish flaked away. I think they’re using some form of margarine on the bread, that wasn’t a highlight if I’m being honest. But, for the price, this was a satisfying and filling meal, if I was a local I’m fairly sure I’d eat here on a regular basis.
The pub is well reviewed on-line, with the staff member giving the atmosphere a family friendly atmosphere where customers feel welcome being there. They’ve built up a reputation for large portions of home-cooked food at reasonable prices, which is quite a selling point as far as I’m concerned. Although I can’t say that I was surprised and delighted by the range of real ales, they’ve made an effort with offering Beavertown beers as an additional option. Definitely recommended, although some form of minor renovation might improve the ambience, as it’s an element customers have mentioned on-line for a few years. But, times are hard for pubs, and at least they’re keeping the food prices down. It felt like a proper pub to me, a phrase that’s over-used I admit, but some things are timeless and too much change here would be a bad thing.