A pub should have banter, says Gareth Ostick

By Amelie Maurice-Jones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Social hub: fine-dining pubs are friendlier and more relaxed than their restaurant counterparts, says Gareth Ostick (Getty/ The Good Brigade)
Social hub: fine-dining pubs are friendlier and more relaxed than their restaurant counterparts, says Gareth Ostick (Getty/ The Good Brigade)

Related tags: Gastropub, Restaurant, Lancashire, Fine dining, Staff

The casual atmosphere and homely feel is what sets fine-dining pubs apart from restaurants, according to the joint-owner of the White Swan at Fence, East Lancashire.

The pub is co-owned by husband and wife Gareth and Laura Ostick: the head-chef Tom Parker has achieved two AA rosettes and a Michelin Star for his food.

Gareth Ostick said: “Everyone likes to get dressed up and go out and have a posh meal every now and then, but it's not something that you do all the time.

“Then on the other hand, people still enjoy food, and they want to feel relaxed and casual.

“That’s what a fine dining pub does if you like, people just come and relax and enjoy great food, but in a different sort of surroundings really.”

Sense of community

The owner claimed that it isn’t the style of the food that’s casual, but the service, which creates a “relaxed atmosphere” and makes the pub “much more of a social place” than a restaurant.

He said: “There’s much more banter in a pub […] people should communicate with each other.

“It's a place to socialise and get tables talking to each other and laughing with each other, which quite often, in a fine dining restaurant, that wouldn't happen.”

A warm welcome

Ostick believed this to be clear from the moment somebody walks through the door.

He said: “Everywhere everyone should be greeted with a smile and a welcome, but I don't know- it's just different in a pub.

“The pub feels more homely, so you feel more relaxed. The minute you walk into a pub anyway, initial greetings are a lot easier.”

This is made clear in the White Swan’s Lancashire setting, where there are “really, really friendly” people, according to Ostick.

“Anybody can ask a stranger to do something and they’ll do it for you. No problem,” he said.

The White Swan is described on it’s website as a small lively local pub that serves great food, great wine and Timothy Taylors award winning real ales, which are recognised by Cask Marque and The Good Pub Guide​.

Ostick said: “I've never really looked into what we do that much. We just do it. It's quite nice, quite natural.”

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