When time comes to catch up with old mates it is the male’s default condition to do so over a leisurely jar or two. Or 10, this number depending largely on how long it has been since acquaintance was last renewed.
The Eagle & Child pub in Leyland – a cosy ‘country’ inn with a nice line in wood panels and well-cared for cask ales (featuring frequent guests) – has been the appointed halfway house location of many such summits with an old mate from Chorley way down the years, and it again ticked all the right boxes Thursday just gone.
Chief among the hostelry’s many virtues for this periodic meeting of minds is the presence out back of arguably the town’s best smoking area (or ‘beer garden’, to use a name which went out of date for smokers once Nanny State decided they must be both heavily taxed and ostracised).
Bordered on two sides by mature trees, overlooked by the picturesque St Andrews church, the view as one inhales and imbibes is most pleasing.
Throw in quality tables and chairs, broad canopies against wetter weather and plenty of outdoor heating, it is little wonder that on even the dankest winter night this pub remains a smoker’s haven.
For those so-minded, the pub also boasts a pleasant interior, all booths and snug nooks, usually well occupied – even on a murky midweek evening one tends to finds a decent crowd (the best kind, at that, all ages, both genders) scattered around the spacious old premises.
Not that this enticed my pal and I to quit the great outdoors on what proved an unusually balmy early Autumn evening.
Thus, over a fleeting few hours, we chugged steadily through each cask, as much Virginia tobacco as we cared to roll up, and reminisced, laughed, talked cobblers, then shook hands and headed our separate ways.
Until next time. Probably down the Eagle & Child.