The Coach and Horses in Harrogate overlooks the Stray, which, on a sunny Friday evening is looking its best; all dressed in floral spring finery.
Packed to the rafters, even standing room is at a premium and it is a battle to get to the bar. With drinkers gathered together in groups talking animatedly, there is a lovely buzz in the air.
A well-stocked bar has an impressive array of hand-pulled ales on tap as well as guest ales mainly with a Northern bias. Plus, there are regulars of Timothy Taylor Landlord, Tetleys, Daleside Bitter and Blonde. There are 150 gins, whiskies and vodka and a great selection of wines. What is not to like here?
Food comes as a comprehensive menu stacked with all that you could want from pub food and there are food-themed nights through the week.
What the Coach is not, is a sports bar; there are no gaming machines and it is one of only a few pubs that I have come across where children are not allowed as this is an adults-only space. There are plenty in Harrogate that do, so no need for any upset. How refreshing.
The Coach and Horses is just as a proper pub should be and judging by my visit it is very much alive and kicking.
How I wish I lived nearer to Harrogate.
The Coach and Horses, 6 West Park, Harrogate HG1 1BJ. 01423 561802. Open daily, 11am-11pm except Sunday 12-10.30pm.
Drinks selection 5/5