“IT’S a dream to run this pub. It’s absolutely lovely,” says Natalie Sanders of the Goat and Tricycle.

She and Ben Malyan took over a year ago as licensees of the Bournemouth business, which has won a string of awards for the venue and its real ales.

“The good thing about the Goat is it’s perfect the way it is,” says Ben.

The aim, he says, is to preserve the perfect example of a friendly British pub.

“It’s a museum of what a traditional pub used to be like,” he adds. “We even want to get new wallpaper for the bar and we want it to be the same as is there now.”

The traditional welcome starts with the frontage on West Hill Road, which is decorated with polished green tiles. Inside, the venue is bigger than it might look, with a garden that many people don’t realise is there and a separate room for the pool table.

Upstairs, an art gallery occupies a room where Bournemouth’s world light heavyweight boxing champion Freddie Mills once trained – as well as a second room for functions and meetings.

Natalie and Ben took over when the pub was changing hands, with Liberation Group – owner of the Butcombe Brewing Company – buying the venue from Wadworth.

The licensees moved to Bournemouth from Kent, where they managed venues for a big pub group, and they say they’ve received a warm welcome.

“My nan ran a pub in the East End of London. Running a pub, for me, was doing what she did,” says Natalie.

“Many companies are buying out these local independent places where you get personality, but there’s still a niche for people that don’t want that.”

Many people visit the pub because they know it has been repeatedly honoured by Campaign for Real Ale.

“Friendliness and talking is number one,” Natalie says of their priorities. “Not far behind are the ales. They’re really important. They have to be looked after properly. You have to really know what you’re doing and luckily Ben does.”

As well as the host of beers, the venue prides itself on traditional pub food. It has hired a new head chef who will be introducing a new menu next week.

“It’s still going to be pub food but really good,” says Natalie, with local fish, quality meat and the return of the Goat curry.

Social life in the pub currently includes piano music on a Monday, free pool on a Tuesday, and a meat draw on Saturday. Music has included a ukulele player and an eight-piece brass band.

“People come here for the Goat and then decide what they’re going to do,” says Ben.

The approach has won plenty of fans, among visitors to the town as well as locals. “If you get tourists on their first night, they’ll come back here every night of the week,” Natalie says.

But traditional as it is, the pub prides itself on being inclusive.

“If you come here on a Friday night and walk around, there’s not a single shred of drama. It’s how it used to be,” says Natalie.

“You can get a lot of different people in the pub but their differences are what make the place.”

More details are at butcombe.com/the-goat-and-tricycle-bournemouth

  • What would be your Pub of the Week? Email darren.slade@bournemouthecho.co.uk with your suggestions