Pub of the week: The Coach and Horses, Harrogate

OVERLOOKING the Stray, just outside the centre of Harrogate, the Coach and Horses has diverted many a traveller visiting the spa town.

It was enough to attract the attention of former US president Bill Clinton when he visited Harrogate in 2001 and wanted to try a traditional Yorkshire pub.

Legend has it, two bodyguards walked in and demanded part of the room was cleared to accommodate Clinton so he could sup his pint in safety. Landlord John Nelson refused, saying: “These people come in every day, every week and you expect me to clear the pub for your man?”

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A decade on, and even without the presidential seal of approval, they are still coming to the Coach and Horses. Every day of the week, from its wonderful Tuesday charity pork pie night to Sunday quiz, a stream of regulars from all walks of life prop up the bar. It is not too hard to see why.

Inside,it is all warm lights and wood, with six ales on tap. Local beers from Rooster’s brewery in Knaresborough and Harrogate’s Daleside brewery are served alongside the likes of Masham’s Black Sheep and Skipton’s Copper Dragon. It also has an extensive wine list.

Bar food is served, including soups, sandwiches and a Sunday Roast. But what truly sets it apart is the selection of snacks. Strange concotions from chilli-pickled eggs – actually nice, apparently – to gnarled twiglets the size of small tree branches, line the bar in fearsome looking glass jars.

Perhaps it was these which finally scared off Clinton’s men. He was right though, even if he never got to try it out. A proper Yorkshire pub.