The Wheatsheaf is a bustling pub and restaurant, situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Croston. The Wheatsheaf really is the community hub and prides itself on providing locally sourced, seasonal, quality meals, cask ales, quality wine and there is a popular Gin club too!
Landlords Jon and Becky first opened the doors to the Wheatsheaf nearly six years ago, in 2012. For Jon, this was a big move, leaving the bright lights of London to relocate to this small Lancashire village. For Becky, however, this was a return to family and friends in the North West. The couple chose the Wheatsheaf for its central village location and the separate eating area where they could establish a quality restaurant, to be separate to the rest of the pub.
Today the Wheatsheaf offers a varied, seasonal menu with favourites including the surf and turf and vegetarian sharer platters, traditional fish and chips and special dishes including pan fried sea bass and lamb cutlets with black pudding and crushed potatoes.
This lively, village pub not only offers great food, there is also a regular showcase of live music, and an annual October beer festival that sees people travel from far and wide to sample the wide selection of beer and to enjoy the atmosphere.
Find out from landlord Jon Lilley, what he loves about living in Croston and why he is so proud of The Wheatsheaf.
Why did you decide to take over The Wheatsheaf?
Becky and I wanted to take over a village pub that was at the heart of the community and after viewing several contenders in many villages we decided that The Wheatsheaf was the one for us. We could see straight away that it could be a successful pub and restaurant and would be a great place for us to live. We could see the potential as soon as we stepped through the door and we haven’t been proved wrong yet!
What does The Wheatsheaf stand for?
The Wheatsheaf stands for consistency, a place to come to enjoy fine wines, cask ales and a variety of spirits, with the gin club being the latest and very popular addition to our offering.
We also have a good reputation as a place to visit that guarantees a great night out. A pub with good food, great atmosphere, and a variety of live music. There really is something for everyone.
What do you most enjoy about running The Wheatsheaf?
I used to work for a corporate business, where new ideas were often quashed and it would take so long to get things done that things just stayed the same; it was difficult to make a real difference. Being our own boss enables us to get things done quickly and we can see our ideas through to the end. I love being able to stamp our personality on the pub and we have the freedom to take risks and see them pay off.
What time do you start work and finish work?
I start work at 9am after I’ve finished the school run, fortunately the local school is only a five-minute walk from The Wheatsheaf! The pub opens at 12pm and I finish work anytime between 6pm and midnight…sometimes even later. On average, I would say, I work six days a week and ten hours a day. Long days, but it’s worth it because I love what I do!
What has been your favourite memory so far?
I have many great memories, but these times really stand out for me. The first was during the World Cup, we had a big marquee at the front of the pub with a big projector showing all the games. It was a lot of fun, particularly the England matches.
Another great memory was the first October beer festival. I always really look forward to the festival but it also marks a special time for us as it falls on the anniversary of when we first opened The Wheatsheaf doors. The beer festival just gets better each year and every year new and lasting memories are created.
Finally, the response from people in the village and further afield during the 2015 Boxing Day floods is a time that Becky and I will never forget. It was a devastating time for us and for the rest of the village, however, due to the help we received in cleaning up we were able to open up the pub again, in a relatively short period of time. We were overwhelmed by the support from the community and it really did show that Croston is a special place to live.
What plans do you have for 2017?
For 2017 we are planning to improve the frontage to the pub with a new and improved seating area that is more aesthetically pleasing, with new tables, chairs and greenery. We are also planning another October beer festival with even more beers than before. There may be a few extra plans but these are top secret, so watch this space!
Why should people visit Croston?
I would recommend that people come to Croston for a day out. We have some beautiful country walks, five great pubs to try, including The Wheatsheaf of course, and two fantastic restaurants, Fresco Fresco Italian restaurant, and Panshi Indian restaurant. There is the bonus of a train station that services Preston and Ormskirk and the pubs in the village are all dog friendly too.
Croston is a great village to visit throughout the year and I can guarantee that if you stop by The Wheatsheaf you will receive a great welcome.
What is your favourite dish on the menu and why?
The pie of the day is my favourite dish on our menu and is one of the most popular with our regulars too. British Pie Week in March is always one of my favourite times of the year as we have five pies to choose from during that week, simply pie heaven.
What is your favourite tipple?
I really enjoy cask ales and my favourite is the Windermere Ale, its full of flavour.
What do you like to do on your day off?
On my day off I like to go to someone else’s pub and relax. I enjoy watching the football and as an avid Everton fan I like to go to as many matches as I can. I also try to spend time with my family and if there is any time left I head to the gym to work off all the pies and cask ales that I enjoy!
In one sentence, why should people visit The Wheatsheaf?
Because it’s ace!
Here are just a selection of The Wheatsheaf reviews from happy customers.
"Great food great staff"
"Home cooked food, leaving you stuffed and happy"
"Friendly welcome on a chilly Monday"
"A nice change for a local"
"Best pie in 40 years"
Address: Town Road, Croston, Leyland, PR26 9RA
Tel: 01772 600370