Nottinghamshire pub opens nine-hole crazy golf course

Pub-goers can buy a round of drinks – or they can play a round at a new crazy golf course in a beer garden. The new owners of the village pub in Brinsley hope it will be a Roaring success after putting their own spin on what used to be the White Lion.

Renamed The Lion by Olivers, it has been given a £ 200,000 makeover inside and out and is believed to be the only pub in Nottinghamshire where visitors can have a go at getting a hole in one. Golfers are welcomed to the animal-themed course by Carlos, a wacky statue of a chimpanzee waiter, with an elephant, a baboon, a koala bear and a lioness dotted around the holes.

At night, UV lighting turns it into a glow in the dark attraction. With picnic style benches next to the course parents can keep an eye on their kids at play – but it’s not just for children. Adults are also encouraged to hire a club to play.

Read more: Nottingham shop owner to close after death of his wife

The family behind Oliver’s Pub & Kitchen, in Eastwood – dad Gary and son Kane – took over the pub, in Hall Lane, earlier this year after a short spell of closure. During a 15-week revamp, the entire property was remodeled, Apart from the bar which remains in the same spot.

Kane said: “We would never take it to a pub and not take it to the max. I think the previous owner fell out of love with hospitality. It was very good on food, very much known for its steak. It was very well ran back in the day.It’s a tough crowd to follow but I believe we have put our own spin on it enough to make it our own.

“A lot of the locals are coming in and saying ‘wow’. The feedback has been amazing. People have been gobsmacked. It has been modernized and made more warm and welcoming. We have not kept anything.

“We have changed the layout completely. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the bar [although bar top has been kept and re-polished].

The Transformation includes a new snug with comfortable armchairs and a fire place in the area that was previously high top tables. “We’ve made it a bit more homely and you can relax and enjoy yourself,” said Kane. An impressive floor to ceiling wine rack serves as a divider between the snug and an overspill dining area.



Crazy golf at The Lion by Olivers

To the left of the entrance is a row of booths, with a rust-colored Venetian plaster on the wall that adds a warmth to the dog-friendly area. The restaurant area is where a pool table once stood.

Now there’s a contemporary log fire, a piano for chilled live background music, and bi-fold doors open out into the garden, where part of the car park has been revamped for alfresco eating. “There was a restaurant before but it was very clunky with a lot of walls so we’ve got rid of that and made it more open so it has a contemporary feel,” said Kane.

Outside also has a bar and BBQ ready for sunny Saturdays in the summer and there’s free table tennis near the mini golf, which costs £ 3 to play, plus a £ 2 deposit for the ball and club. “I could have put in a kid’s play area or build a crazy golf course that would be a bit different and attract families to Brinsley, which is important for the area and with us having the pub up the road in Eastwood we had to make ourselves different to ourselves, “said Kane, who got the idea after starting golf lessons.

“I thought what a pub do I know that has a nine-hole crazy golf course in its back garden and I can’t think of one so far as I’m aware we’re the first to do it in Nottingham. That makes it was even more reason to do so. It was really good fun to design and make. ”



The pub now opens earlier in the day, from 8am to serve breakfast up until noon. Top of the shop is a full English with veggie and vegan versions and other options of eggs Benedict, smoked salmon bagel, breakfast cobs and granola.

For lunch there’s light bites including Brie Bon bons, spicy crispy cauliflower, and prawn cocktail or sandwiches with honey roasted ham, grilled halloumi or fish fingers. For something more substantial mains of fish and chips, fajitas and bangers and mash await.

The night-time menu offers starters, burgers and contemporary gastro food with village pub Twist such as chicken Supreme, Steak and kidney pie, and butternut squash curry. Steak continues to be on the menu with a choice of cuts.



Sara Ratcliffe, son Tommy, and her mum Jane Bartle
Sara Ratcliffe, son Tommy, and her mum Jane Bartle

The pub isn’t tied to any Brewery although it works closely with Heineken and sells the new lower-alcohol, less-bitter spin-off, Heineken Silver. Pints ​​of Castle Rock staples Harvest Pale and Elsie Mo are being poured or there’s all the usual Fosters, Amstel, John Smith’s and Guinness. Non-beer Drinkers can choose from wine and spirits and shortly Cocktails will be shaken and stirred.

Kane said: “We have got the ability to put whatever we like on the bar so we’re just seeing what the village wants. We’re family-owned and don’t treat customers like they’re customers – they are part of the family and it’s very important if they want something to change, then we have to accommodate. “

Some of the first customers were blown away by the new-look. Sara Ratcliffe, who was with her one-year-old son Tommy, said, “We were always here before and it needed a bit of something. I think we will be here all the time.” Her mum Jane Bartle added: “I think it’s lovely. I really like the outside area. I’m really impressed.”



Carlos awaits at the start of the crazy golf course

It’s five years since the Oliver family opened the eponymously-named pub in Eastwood. Their next venture will be to turn the former bank, in Nottingham Road, into a 14-bed boutique hotel, with the aim of opening by Christmas.

The basement’s Transformation into a gin bar called Dirty Berty’s was suddenly halted in its tracks after it was flooded and it took Severn Trent ten weeks to fix the burst water main during the first Lockdown. They’re still waiting for the insurance claim to be settled so they can reopen. Kane said: “It was more emotional than anything else. We only had a couple of weeks of being open. Seeing all that hard work washed away, e were absolutely gutted.”

The name of their latest venture could not be more appropriate for the animal-loving family. Kane’s brother is Reece Oliver, who runs the Lion Sanctuary in Strelley.

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