Ingrid Kent column: Real ale encounters

The Ongaonga Road ale from Scott and Emma's wedding
The Ongaonga Road ale from Scott and Emma's wedding

This week I write in praise of real ale and country pubs.

On Saturday I went to a marriage blessing where real ale was one of the highlights of the event.

The bride and groom – Emma and Scott – had already got married in Scott’s native New Zealand, but they also wanted to have a blessing in the UK so that they could invite more of their friends and family.

It took quite a while to find the venue as it was on a remote farm in the shadow of Farleton Knot.

We trundled along a single track road and found the farm and a complex of old barns and buildings which had been beautifully decorated with bunting, lights, origami birds and other quirky touches.

Emma met us at the entrance and was carrying a bottle of beer.

She told us to have a closer look and, to our surprise, there was a picture of her and Scott on the front of the bottle.

It read: ‘Ongaonga Road, a truly English blonde ale’.

I thought it was a brilliant idea as Emma met Scott when she was working at the Orange Tree pub in Kirkby Lonsdale.

Scott had come to the UK to play rugby and he lived next to the pub.

Plug and Stuart Taylor, a father and son team who run the Orange Tree, also run the Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery with Alan Stephenson and Plug’s brother Roger.

This was how Emma and Scott were able to have their very own real ale for the night. It was quite a talking point and the beer tasted great. The night went with a bang (partly due to the beer) and the couple were very happy indeed. Congratulations Emma and Scott!

Talking of real ale, Mark and I have been enjoying a few blissful evenings having an al fresco drink at some of our district’s wonderful hostelries. We like to find a pub that has a good beer garden or somewhere to sit and watch the world go by.

One of my favourite beer gardens is at the Eagle’s Head pub in Over Kellet. It’s a peaceful spot with a lovely old cherry tree at its centre.

We like to take a trip out to the Slyne Lodge, which has a distant view of Morecambe Bay and to The Longlands where there’s always something going on.

The Woodlands pub at Silverdale is a classic and unconventional real ale pub and The Albion at Arnside has magnificent views of the railway viaduct.