Mark Briggs has been a real ale connoisseur for over 35 years.  A self-professed ‘beer geek’, Mark visits East Lancashire’s pubs for his weekly column. Read of Mark’s adventures in ale at his blog or follow him on Twitter @realaleupnorth

For this week’s pub review, I take a trip to Colne, and stop off at a popular and historic Pendle landmark.

The Crown Hotel was built in the mid-19th century, and looked very impressive on my arrival, with its superb floral display along the length of its long frontage.

I was met by bar manager Steve Edgington, who had worked here for 12, since moving from Walsall, in the West Midlands — and he proved to be a most helpful, friendly and affable host.

As you walk into the pub, you find a very spacious, L-shaped room, with a comfy seated dining area, adjacent to the attractive wood-panelled bar — and Steve was ready and waiting to offer me one of the four cask ales on offer.

Steve said: “Three of the casks are permanent — Moorhouse’s, John Smith’s and Tetley — and we have a regular changing guest ale. Black Sheep Bitter is our current guest ale.”

I went for the guest beer, and it was in fine condition — what you would expect from a good bar-manager.

The Crown has an excellent reputation for food and has a 40-seater dining-room, as well as a further eating area that doubles up as a function room. Steve said: “We have many offers on for our diners. Monday to Friday, we do a senior citizens’ special for £5.25, and get 20 to 30 in each day. There's a special menu in the evening too — fish and chips tonight (Monday) for just £3.25. It changes each day and we do a Sunday three course meal for £10.50 — all part of our extensive menu.

Outside, customers are well catered for, with a nice, enclosed, wooden-decked area, that is heated in the cooler months and has piped music. This spacious establishment also boasts 10 rooms, seven en-suite, and Steve informed me they have had a few famous names staying. Colne Muni is just yards away.

He said: “Des O'Connor stayed here a couple of years ago and arrived with a pillow tucked under his arm. I had to inform him that we do provide all the home comforts. He was a lovely man.”

The pub is a typical friendly establishment, where you can have a chat with the many of the regulars. Gordon was one. He said: “I visit three,four times a week. It’s a nice, friendly pub and the food is excellent. Evening special — 10 ounce gammon steak, egg and chips — is my favourite. It's only a fiver."

So, whether it's food, drink, a friendly chat, or indeed, an overnight stay, the Crown Hotel will cater for those needs, admirably — and much more too.