The Preston Gate, Poughill’s village pub

Poughill has the amenities boasted by many a village, including a church and a pub, a fine combination. A pretty place, it also has history, for the church dates from the 14th century, the Battle of Stamford Hill was fought nearby, and the Preston Gate pub started in life as two sixteenth-century cottages. Having lived in the north, Preston is a very different place, but here it is Cornish for ‘priest’.

The pub features on the CAMRA website which says:

The spacious U-shaped room hosts the dartboard at one end of the bar, whilst the other, roomier end has more seating and a roaring log fire in a large stove in winter. Evening meals include popular monthly ‘theme’ nights such as Italian or Indian booking beforehand is advised; Friday lunchtime is fish and chips. Friday evenings a live band will appear, and there is a ‘jam’ session on the last Sunday of every month. Conversation rules here, and the pub supports darts and quiz teams. The beer range reduces slightly in winter; the cider is varied.

The Preston Gate appeals to both locals and visitors. It is a pub bar, serving food at lunchtime and in the evenings. Josh, previously sous chef at The Beach, works here and working with Dani, the level of food has been upped with new menus just introduced. The menu changes monthly, offering a strong variety of gluten free but also vegetarian (ask for vegan). I’ve tried the delicious vegetarian Sunday roast (and our vegan visitor was also well-catered for).

In some ways, it is an old-fashioned community pub (a refreshing sight) offering good ale, food, music (there are bands every Friday evening) and events such as charity quiz nights.

Behind the bar, Paul Lathom, landlord, who also co-runs Bude Event Bar with Tom Dawe from Rosie’s, previously worked in Boscastle. When he moved to the Preston Gate, he smartened it up, revamped the kitchen, and introduced well-attended live music once a week. Paul is keen on themes so people know where they stand. Fish & Chip Friday lunch is a popular favourite and great value, as is the Sunday roast. Burger and steak nights are also popular.

Paul is pleased that the pub started doing gin before it became really popular, with their Gin Festival. Prosecco is also a favourite and rum is rumoured to be the next big thing. We shall see!  As it is a family pub, there are supplies of children’s games and colouring. Dogs are allowed in, and generally, there are no rules other than ‘be nice’. Lots of people come in from muddy walks, and they are very welcome. I popped in on Friday lunchtime and felt very much at home very quickly.

The locals are friendly, including this regular who keeps his slightly naughty tankard (given to him when he was 21 in London) behind the bar.

Taking the pub to the people, the Event Bar is basically a mobile bar for events such as weddings, festivals, and smaller events (for which this mobile horse box is used). An excellent idea.


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