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Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to the staff at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to Nicci and Darren at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Settle down for Pub of the Season

The town of Settle (along with its twin across the river, Giggleswick) boasts some fine pubs. At the November branch meeting members decided that the Talbot Arms was the jewel in the crown, and voted it Pub of the Season Winter 2015/2016. Run by Russell and Rosie East the Talbot is a busy, thriving free house offering a range of cask beers alongside a traditional cider and good-value food.

Will Palmer, Rosie‘s brother enjoying the ambiance of the newly opened Talbot in Spring 2012Although the pub consists of a single large room, it always feels warm and welcoming. To the left as you come in the main entrance, there is a huge old stone fireplace, complete with wood-burning stove which blasts out heat in winter, surrounded by comfortable seating. Beyond is an uncarpeted area with a pool table and darts board (pub teams compete in local leagues), a television for sports events and the exit to the beer garden. To the right is further comfortable seating and ahead is the bar, boasting six handpumps dispensing well-kept real ale.

The old stone fireplace on the left in the main bar.Theakston Best Bitter is the only permanent beer. This is accompanied by three guest beers in winter, increasing to five in summer. Something from one of the two Settle breweries (Three Peaks or Settle) is almost always available (if Settle, it may be from their Nine Standards range) and there is usually at least one dark beer on the pumps. Local breweries feature strongly and the pub is a CAMRA-accredited LocAle outlet. If you canít see all the pump-clips, check out the blackboard behind the bar to find out what is available. This clearly lists the beers, the ABV and the price and grades the colour of the beers on a scale from A to E where A is very pale and E is very dark. Traditional cider is available year-round, in winter it is often on one of the hand-pumps but, when at busy times all the pumps are dispensing beer, the cider is still available and is fetched up from the cellar by hand - just ask!

The terraced beer garden at the Talbot, Settle. Excellent value food is served daily from 12 until 8. As well as the main menu, there are daily specials (check out the board to the right of the big fireplace) including veggie and gluten-free options. Home-baked cake of the day is available and this can be enjoyed with tea or coffee as well as with ale.

The beer garden is one of the best in the Keighley and Craven area. Accessed up some steps from the door behind the pool table, it is spacious and sheltered and ascends in a couple of terraces towards the crag behind the town. Cut off from the bustle of town it is a haven of tranquillity and is a great place to soak up the sun. The covered smokersí area has heating in winter and lighting for those dark nights and, unlike many smokersí areas, the luxury of some seats and a table.

The Talbot, Settle as you approach from the Square.Open from 12 noon until 11 each day, the Talbot is on High Street, which runs off the main square behind the town hall and Tourist information Centre, almost parallel to what is now the main road. The car park is through the arch beyond the pub and there is access into the beer garden from the car park for safe cycle parking. Settle railway station is at most 5 minutes walk away.

Why not have a day out in the Dales and, as part of your trip, pop into the Talbot? Rosie, Russell and their keen, efficient and knowledgeable staff will be pleased to see you. Among them, you may recognise staff from times past in Long Preston: Robert and Elspeth Palmer, former licensees of the Maypole (and Rosie‘s parents), and their son (Rosie‘s brother) Will occasionally do a shift!

The Pub of the Season award was presented to Rosie and Russell mid-afternoon on Saturday 23rd January 2016. Over thirty CAMRA members were present, a remarkable turn-out for an ‘out-of-town’ Keighley and Craven CAMRA presentation!

Richard and Tamsin Candeland

The Talbot Arms, High Street, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 9EX. Telephone: 01729 823924. Web-site: http://www.talbotsettle.co.uk/. WhatPub: http://www.whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/SETT-1-TALB/

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