I have known the Queen o’ t’ owd Thatch in South Milford for more years than I am willing to mention. My enduring memory of the Thack (as it is known locally) is my late friend and his pals meeting there every Monday evening for a pint and a natter. The food was never amazing, the beer acceptable, but the pub was at the centre of village life and gossip which seemed to matter more. 

Jumping forward a couple of decades and very little of the above is now true. The modern incarnation is – at first glance – a spruced up affair with a city-centre attitude and an identity crisis – is this a restaurant or is it a pub? It is trying to be both with food from one side and the boozer on the other.

At the bar there’s a couple of local and a guest ale on tap, supported by a lager, cider and Guinness. Alongside is a range of bottled beers, a good wine list and, surprisingly, a cocktail list. The food menu is carefully thought through and offers time tested, classic pub fare ticking all the right boxes of sustainability, provenance and seasonality. Refreshingly the menu offers a
drink pairing for each dish ranging from a craft ale, unique cocktail, wine, even a cup of tea with the fish and chips.

Now the food is good and the beer excellent. I miss my old friends propping up the bar, and I wonder what they would have made of the new Thack? I think they would have liked it.