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A Good Meal and a Decent Pint

(reproduced from the Spring 2006 edition of O-to-K)

The Barnsley Oak

Here is another solution to the problem of finding a pub that has both good food and good ale. The Barnsley Oak is near South Elmsall and can be found on the B6474 between there and Upton. It is prominently situated at a crossroads with traffic lights.

You are guaranteed a good pint here. There is always cask John Smiths and a guest ale which changes about once a week. The guests are varied and interesting; recently there have been ales from Kelham Island, E&S and Black Sheep, along with Deuchars IPA, Stones, Theakston's Mild, Landlord and many more. Guest beers sell at £2.10 a pint and the beer quality is outstanding.

Meals are served from 12-8pm. They can be served in the bars (there is still a public bar here) or in a no-smoking conservatory which has panoramic views of the surrounding real ale desert. You can sit here and be thankful that you found the local oasis.

There is a wide range of food on offer from sandwiches and jacket potatoes to full meals and specials. If you feel that meat producers get a raw deal you can support them by opting for the Mixed Grill containing 3lbs of meat at £14.99. (They also do vegetarian options!) There are pensioners' meals on Mondays at £2.95 and afternoon meals at £3.50 until 5pm. There is even a wide selection of curries. Children are clearly welcome since a large box of toys awaits them.

On our visit we sampled soup and garlic mushrooms (only £1.95 each) followed by an excellent lamb steak (£5.95) and a very good chilli beef and ginger "sizzler" from the specials board (£6.95) The food had clearly been freshly prepared and we were made to feel welcome.

An interesting innovation is the "Breaky Bar" (truckers welcome) Breakfast is served from 6-11am and you can telephone an order on 01977 643427. There is plenty of parking and even room for a truck. The leaflet advertising breakfast warns of "BANDITS" but rest assured that these are of the electronic kind.

This pub is definitely worth a visit for no-nonsense food at sensible prices and some exceptionally good ale.

Colin Williams

The “Oak” is at the top of the hill above Minsthorpe College, and its address is:

Mill Lane, South Elmsall, Pontefract, WF9 2DT, telephone (01977) 643427. It’s 15 mins on foot from South Elmsall Station, 20 mins from Moorthorpe, and served by all buses that go from Elmsall to Upton and Pontefract.