Ahaaaaaa! And welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post’s version of the 12 Days of Christmas, which we will be running daily until our last publication day on December 23, beginning today with ‘a partridge in a pear tree’.
Look closely and you’ll see this is in fact, Alan Partridge*, complete with faux bang-on-trend sports jacket, a pair of uber-comfy slacks and a some seriously hard wearing/functional steel soled utility boots (in light brown suede).
As you can see, Alan is stood at the bar in a casually reclined pose but it’s not just any old bar, this is the bar at The Pear Tree Inn, Mirfield. Ergo...and please provide your own drum roll...this is ‘a Partridge in a Pear Tree’.
When we ran the idea of recreating the 12 days of the classic Christmas carol past landlord Alan Ingle, he was more than accommodating, even dashing out to buy two partridges from the local butcher and then had his team of chefs cook them.
As if that wasn’t enough, one of the guest ales at this fine establishment also happens to feature a partridge and is called ‘Porter in a Pear Tree’, a dark, brooding, smokey tipple with aromas of toffee and orange peel (4.8 per cent from Salamander Brewing Co, thank you very much).
Since taking over seven years ago, Alan has transformed the pub into a thriving destination, complete with a beer garden overlooking the River Calder which has capacity for 250 people.
Together with his ‘right hand’ bar manager Kay Winfield, he has turned the pub’s fortunes around.
“I’ve been in the pub game since about 1989, specialising in managing failing pubs. I did my training with Sam Smith’s and ran a pub in Doncaster before moving to London for five years.
“When I took this on it was on its knees but it had a loyal following and now we’re sometimes so busy, people park all the way down the road towards the football fields.”
In truth, the Pear Tree Inn feels more like country pub than somewhere on the long road between Mirfield and Cooper Bridge but its reputation for good food and drink and a warm welcome is known far and wide.
Kay said: “We put a lot of effort into customer service, it’s something we pride ourselves on. There’s a great atmosphere here.
“At the end of the day, if you do something with passion, people will travel.”
In addition to a recent refurb, the Pear Tree Inn also boasts a new gin bar, offering 30 different gins, not to mention around 30 rums.
*It’s actually just me (Neil, the reporter) wearing an Alan Partridge mask.