Stockport based Robinsons Brewery latest investment has seen a refreshingly, royal renovation in pub estate has taken shape at the Prince of Orange in Ashton-under-Lyne.
The town centre pub has reopened following a joint investment by Robinsons Brewery and licensees Jonny Booth and Paul Montegrande, which aims to put drinkers and foodies at the heart of the pub in a Victorian London-themed setting.
The Prince of Orange was the 58th pub to be purchased by Robinsons and was acquired by the brewers back in April 1921. The pub was closed for three months whilst Robinsons carried out the exclusive refurbishment, both internally and externally, with a focus on a brand new ‘Beer and Bagels’ concept.
Jonny, licensee at the Prince of Orange and touring musician, has nine years’ experience in the pub trade. Jonny explains:
Paul and I have known each other for ten years and have talked about running a pub together over the past few years. We both share the same passion for beer and great food, and we enjoy living a life which is a little less ordinary. There’s no necessary structure and lots of freedom, which is great for us as I am a touring musician and Paul also runs his own furniture store; Reclaimed Bespoke. I also run The Castle in Manchester and The Bakers Vaults in Stockport. Ashton is an up-and-coming area, there’s been lots of investments and also a new set of Council Officers. Just like with The Bakers, we thought we’d give the Prince a push in the right direction.”
Externally, the pub has been transformed with a significant new signage scheme, advanced lighting and new planting. The main pub sign has been creatively painted onto the bricks by a specialist hand painter, adding to the Victorian aesthetic from the outset and forming a striking and memorable feature for passers-by. The spirit of the Victorian era continues internally, with fixed furniture in the shape and form of a Victorian train platform, and faceted polished oak benches fitted against the windows.
The oak floor has been revived and raised, and elevated fixed seating fitted to reach the high windows of the pub, with newly added atmospheric lighting dressing the windows and unique artwork decorating the walls. A central pillar also boasts Victorian green glazed brick-bond tiles, which contribute to the London tap room feel, typical of the period of the late 19th to early 20th century.
The Prince sits opposite Ashton’s main train station, making the pub the ideal destination to stop by before your travels. The pub exists as an ‘unofficial’ tap room, offering a quirky yet super tasty ‘Beer and Bagels’ menu, which encompasses a range of four different craft and eight cask ales. Hot bagels include appetising vegan options, such as the Mexican Wave, which combines BBQ pulled jackfruit, cheese, nachos, jalapenos and sour crème, and the Highlander, featuring smoked carrot lox, ‘creem cheeze’, horseradish and house dressing. If greens aren’t your thing, don’t worry, you won’t go hungry! There’s lots of bagels bursting with tasty fillers such as smoked salmon, BBQ pulled pork and mouth-watering chicken, perfect for vegans and meat-eaters alike. Still peckish? There’s also a huge range of retro snacks available; favourites include: Ringos, Fish and Chips and Monster Munch. Anyone for pub lunch?
We wanted to promote a simple but on-trend food offer which reduces food waste, as we don’t need to hold much stock. People are becoming more and more conscious of eating meat nowadays and there are roughly 3.5 million Vegans in the UK alone, so with this in mind, we wanted to produce a menu which we are passionate about and one that caters for everybody’s appetites. Each meat-based bagel has an exact vegan counterpart, so nobody has to miss out. Our food offering is a point of difference and something we are really proud of.”
The Prince of Orange offers a 10% discount for all CAMRA members and NHS staff.
Jonny is a touring musician as well as a licensee at Robinsons’ pubs. For more information about his music career, visit his website at www.jonnypedals.info.
To take part in the Transpennine Real Ale Trail, to experience a unique voyage to a selection of the best pubs, visit the website.