A nicely-restored, clean as a whistle establishment that has much to recommend it

The Windmill, Thorne
Welcome100%
Drinks selection60%
Atmosphere60%
Food20%
Prices60%
60%Overall Score
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Just as many other communities a century ago, a town the size of Thorne would have needed a good local mill to grind the corn that made its daily bread. Sadly, there are very few that are still working today, and probably the only memory of one that has been lost is in the rear bar of this pub, which sit on a quiet back street in the South Yorkshire.

The sepia photograph shows us a sturdy brick or stone base, and a rather ramshackle-looking wooden top. It is just one of many fine old pictures of this once-bustling market town that seems to have fallen rather heavily on hard times in recent years. Happily, however, someone at The Windmill has grasped the nettle, and spent a bit of cash, turning what looks like an unremarkable and pretty functional late Edwardian pub into a nicely-restored, clean as a whistle establishment that has much to recommend it – even if the food menu seems to be limited to crisps and nuts. Perfectly agreeable house wines are about £11 a bottle, and there’s freshly made coffee and also tea available. The beers (thought highly of by CAMRA, for it seems that The Windmill is in their new 2015 guide) are those popular staples of Black Sheep and Landlord, and there’s generally one guest on as well. Note that, during the week, it does not open until 2pm.

Dogs are welcomed, there’s a Sunday quiz, a huge beer garden (with an activity area for youngsters) and the parking is more than ample. The re-design and revamp heads toward the minimalist, but with some interesting decorations – prints, posters, photographs. It is very much the “local” for its surroundings, and the landlord and his team have obviously made an effort for their customers. While much of Thorne seems to be down at heel, The Windmill is clearly on the up.

 

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Phil Penfold

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