Pub regulars can now water plants at their local watering hole after a landlord opened a plot of allotments – in his BEER GARDEN.
Mark Waller, 45, created the 10 pitches at the back of the White Hart Hotel, in Alton, Staffs., in an attempt to draw punters back to the struggling pub.
Locals soon snapped up the plots after they became available in March and can now be seen enjoying a pint as they tend to their fruit and veg.
And they are even offering the fresh produce – including potatoes, broccoli, cabbages and red onions – back to the boozer to include in their pub dinners.
Landlord Mark said he decided to establish the allotments as part of a £50,000 refurbishment after previous attempts to modernise the venue proved unsuccessful.
Mark – who took over the picturesque country pub earlier this year – said: “It was always our intention to return it to a more traditional village pub.
“Under the previous licensees, the pub had been turned into a modern town centre bistro-type place, which I think wasn’t really appropriate for Alton.
“It was very important to us to get the local community on board, and that it how we got the idea for the allotments.
“There aren’t any other allotments in the village, and a lot of the houses in the high street have quite small gardens, so there was a lot of demand for them.
“Now we have beautiful greenery and flowers in the beer garden and we’re getting plenty of produce for our pub dinners.
“You can’t get your vegetables much more fresher than straight from the pub garden.”
Green fingered pub regular, Tim Mundy, 53, who helped set up the allotments, which can be hired for just #10-a-year, said: “I live just three doors down from the pub.
“There are some allotments in the area, but now I’m just three or four steps away from my plot.
“I’ve always wanted to be able to grow my own fruit and veg, and so when Mark said he wanted to turn the field into allotments I was very much in favour of it.”
The refurbishment by owners Marstons also included restoring the pub’s original decor and opening a tea shop on the site.
Another local Keith Oldfield, 65, who has been drinking at the White Hart for over 30 years, added: “They’ve done a real good job of it.
“Turning the field into allotments was a good idea – it’s really helping to bring people to the pub.
“When people have spent an hour or two on their plot, they’re going to want a pint.”