Last Friday we needed a post-election pick me up, and decided a quick visit to The Prettygate to get another stamp on the Colchester Real Ale Trail would be a good idea.
The pub’s appearance on the Ale Trail was a bit of a surprise, as there were several town centre pubs who you might have expected to see on the trail, ahead of this pub on one of the estates of Colchester. The pub was purpose-built and opened in 1960 as part of the Prettygate development, the estate and the pub names after the original pretty gate of the farm demolished to make way for the houses. The gate evidently resides in the pub garden, although we never saw it – but we did see someone in the front car park with his mates doing some serious fiddling with his souped up car.
The pub is L-shaped, and light, with plenty of room and nooks and crannies. Sitting on one was Brian, ex-landlord of The Stockwell Arms, taking a lunchtime libation. We sat in the far corner on the comfy armchair, which was cosy, although it was a bit close to the toilets, and as with many pubs post-smoking ban, the smell of disinfectant blocks wafted over us now and then.
I’d spotted the pub had been serving real ale for a little while, courtesy of their twitter feed, and sure enough, they had Colchester Brewery’s no. 88 on tap, a dark, copper ale I’d not had the pleasure of before, and it was in fine fettle, and it almost made me forget the election result. Almost.