“ Gledrid Industrial Park, Gledrid, Chirk, Wrexham LL14 5DG. Tel:01691 773250 „
Sunday will often see me at Chirk carboot sale and when I have had my fill of wandering round there, I drive a mile up the A5 towards Welshpool and turn off at Morton Garden centre. There on the left is the Poachers pocket pub!
It is an imposing pub with a large car park at the front. It looks like an old building which, like Topsy, "just growed". Out the front of the pub is a fenced section set with tables and large umbrellas. The furniture here is good solid teak and just the thing to rest in and possibly have a smoke whilst waiting for your lunch. I love sitting outside in this section because a lot of walkers frequent the pub, and I get to make a fuss of their dogs and sometimes feed them the odd chip or two. (The dogs, not the walkers!) I know you're not supposed to feed dogs between meals but who can resist a soggy labrador? Most of them are soggy because at the back of the pub there is a canal and towpath and they have been for a swim on the way!
The rear and side of the Poachers Pocket houses gardens and tables, set on a split level. On the top level you can sit and watch narrow boats passing on the canal, whilst keeping an eye on the kids who have made a beeline for the large adventure play area at the top end of the garden!
A gate from the towpath opens directly into the pub garden and passing boaters drop in for "a wet". This place is great and that's before you even get into the pub!
Inside the pub it's a bit of a warren with little rooms opening out on to one another. The tables are a good size. I hate trying to eat off a crowded table! The main bar is quite small and this area can be a bit congested. The staff remain cheerful and efficient though!
Sometimes when you walk into a pub, everything goes quiet, the locals eye you with a less than welcoming eye, as though an alien has entered sacred territory! Sometimes you walk into a pub and there is a friendly buzz, people acknowlege you, move over for you and make you feel like you belong. The poacher's Pocket is definitely one of the latter! I don't know how it happens, I have only been there about half a dozen times, but I always feel like I'm walking into my local.
For a pub that has so much passing trade and can get quite busy, the staff are remarkable. They always seem to have the time to be warm and friendly. Meals arrive promptly and the phrase "Nothing seems too much trouble." might have been invented for the mostly young people who work here. They keep the outside dining areas neat and tidy too, which can be a failure in some other pubs I've visited.
There is a good range of drinks available. Beer and lager is an average price and there seemed to be a large choice of spirits available too. I didn't see any 'Real Ale' on sale but I might have missed it. The bar area was crowded and from where I was stood ordering food, I couldn't see the front of the bar.
The food in the Poachers Pocket is not Nouvelle Quisine or Gastropub-ish, it's normal British pub food. Steak Pie and chips, lasagne, scampi, that sort of menu. The thing is though, they do it well! The portions are ample, the choice is large and the food is always good and hot. Even the salads! (Not really, I just put that in to see if you were still reading!) The menu has cheaper options for children's meals.
There is always a special offer on. I was there with a friend on Sunday and apart from the usual Sunday Roasts, which looked and smelled delicious, Steak and chips were on offer for £3.99!
It was my friend's Birthday and my treat, so it was a pleasant suprise for me when I came to pay. (Both of us had somehow missed the big banner with the 'special offer' details on!) I had chilli and chips which was very tasty. We both had puddings, and the bill, with drinks, came to under £18.00. I thought that was very reasonable considering the standard of the food and the very pleasant surroundings.
I noticed that there were quite a few options for vegetarians too. Both of my children are veggie's and can get quite exasperated when the only choice is vegetable curry or ploughman's lunch! That is definitely not the case here!
The toilets let the place down. I think that they are accessible to wheelchair users, but only just! They are very small with three cubicles alongside one another and a washbasin. They are very basic and the room looks shabby overall. I might be doing the place an injustice, there might be a disabled toilet somewhere and I just haven't noticed it. Generally speaking though, a person in a wheelchair would have difficulty navigating the tight spaces in the pub itself.
Overall this is a good friendly family pub. The setting is lovely. (I am a bit baffled as to why the address is 'Gledrid Industrial Park'. It gives the wrong impression entirely! It must be well hidden somewhere because I've never noticed an industrial park in the area.) The food is well cooked, presented and very reasonably priced. The staff are very pleasant and cheerful. The old building is interesting and comfortable and there is something for the kids to do, whether it's admiring the boats on the canal or climbing on the play equipment.
It's a great place for a relaxing drink or a meal out without breaking the bank.