“Be Warm, Be Welcome, Be at Home”
When I’m out and about in the cold weather months, I find it hard to resist the siren call of a cozy pub. Especially if it’s in a beautiful old house.
A home-turned-pub is so warm and inviting, it’s just the place you want to be to chase away the winter blahs. I’ve frequented a few in my wanders through London, from the Waltzing Weasel in the north to the Old South Village Pub in Wortley Village, and rarely been disappointed.
One of my favourites is the Coates of Arms, where I’m bound to enjoy the warm glow of the fireplace during wassail and winter weather. In case you’re not familiar with wassailing, apparently it’s a traditional ceremony that involves singing and drinking to the health of trees. According to that most trusted source, Wikipedia, “the purpose of wassailing is to awaken the cider apple trees.” The Brits have been brewing alcoholic apple ciders for ages, going back to the days of the Roman Empire. I’m a big fan of a good apple cider, especially of the alcoholic variety, so if the opportunity ever arises I’ll be happy to lend my voice to the wassail.
Back to our pub-de-jour, it’s hard to believe the Coates of Arms opened just four short years ago, under the ownership of cousins Rob and Jon Coates. It just feels like it’s been around for years, it’s that settled and comfortable. Depending on the time of day, you might find folks enjoying live acoustic music, testing their trivia knowledge, watching sports on the TV, tucking in for a nosh, or simply enjoying a favourite beverage and a good visit.
I tend to go all British when I think of a good pub. The Coates has fashioned itself as a traditional British local, and the slogan “Be Warm, Be Welcome, Be at Home” seems to capture the essence of the ambience that the cousins have created.
The Coates offers a tasty menu and good variety of drinks. There are the expected staples like Guinness, both on tap and on the menu as Guinness Cottage Pie. There are also a few offerings that might raise eyebrows in the other London, like poutine and peameal bacon.
Occasionally the Coates boys go all out with their Scotch tasting dinners and wine tasting events. Despite good intentions, I’ve yet to make it out to one of those special evenings, but I hear the menus are impressive and the pairings are pretty perfect!
When warm weather comes, you’ll enjoy the Coates patio, but trust me when I tell you it’s well worth a visit now. You might find yourself humming, “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…” because truly, it is!
580 Talbot St. 519-432-1001