The festive season is well and truly over, 2017 is in full swing and let's face it, we've hit the January lull. But just because Christmas is a distant memory, and it's bitter outside, it doesn't mean you have to hibernate completely.
If you live in or around Newcastle Under Lyme and you're looking for somewhere to while away a frosty winter's night, these three country-style pubs are sure to do the trick.
Situated on an unassuming stretch of country road in Wrinehill, right next to Betley, The Hand & Trumpet is a real winter haven. The outside sports a quaint little duck pond and its traditional furnishings complete with smoky open fire provide the perfect setting in which to kick back and enjoy a tipple during a bleak January night. The staff are friendly, there is always a fine selection of up to six cask ales on offer, and the whisky menu is second to none. Oh, and if you're searching for a hearty winter feed, may we suggest the venison, rabbit and pheasant suet pudding? Yum.
Besides boasting an incredible pub name, The Swan with Two Necks is also known for its top quality food menu and warm ambience. If you need to warm the cockles and take refuge from the frost with friends or family, The Swan is just about as welcoming as it gets and although it sports the guise of a chic modern gastro joint, it has all the charm and character of an old country pub. The steaks here are out of this world and there are more world wines than you can shake a stick at - the Espresso Martinis are pretty tasty too.
When you see the iconic red cross, you know you're in for a decent pint and that's because it's a Joule's pub. Joule's is Market Drayton's finest brewery, and it serves only the best pubs in North Staffordshire; the Mainwaring Arms is no exception. Located in the heart of Whitmore, just a handful of miles from Newcastle town centre, this perky rural gem is clad with unusual trinkets and has plenty of booths in which to eat, drink, and socialise when the weather's nasty. Cosy snugs and a roaring fire make this place a wonderful winter refuge, and if you like your ales, you're in for a real treat.
We hope these three hot spots will serve you well this winter, and if you're in doubt, remember:
"I come from a culture where the pub is the centre of the community. The pub is the Internet. It's where information is gathered, collated and addressed." - Rhys Ifan