DRINKERS familiar with the traditional virtues of a Skipton pub have been hard-pressed to recognise it - at least on the inside - following its refurbishment.

And those used to imbibing their pints of bitter and lager in the Fleece Inn, on Keighley Road next to the bus station, will find another significant change to its offerings too.

For as well as its new decor in muted greens and creams, the pub, now owned by Enterprise Inns, has instigated another break with tradition - it now has a full cocktail menu to add to the real ales on offer.

Spring, in a couple of months, will be greeted by a new hot food menu in the pub, which is already wearing its contemporary makeover well, says new manager Lucy Krelle.

At 23, Lucy must be one of the youngest pub managers around, and says she is confident the new look of the Fleece, allied to a new food and drinks roster, can only stand the establishment in good stead.

Lucy, who has worked in the pub trade for several years before taking on her new role, explains: "The refurbishment has already gone down well with customers and there is a more inviting 'family' feel to the Fleece.

"We currently have a 'light bites' menu containing some-tried-and-trusted favourites such as tuna and cheese paninis and chicken wraps, but we will be introducing a fuller menu shortly.

"We will be offering home-made traditional meals such as lasagne and cottage pie. All of these will be served with seasonal vegetables. And there will always be a vegetarian option."

In most pubs nowadays, good food should be matched by a good range of beers - and the Fleece does real ale drinkers proud by serving highly rated, and locally produced, Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Saltaire Blonde, plus a changing guest beer, usually likely to be from the ever-popular products of Theakston's brewery. There is also a full range of other draught beers and lagers.

And it's the comprehensive cocktail menu that will really help the Fleece to stand out from the crowd.

With more than 20 choices for the discerning cocktail-lover, the range is bound to tempt, says Lucy.

"All our cocktails are made to order on the bar and there should be something for everyone. They have proved really popular and are helping us to stand out from the crowd.

"People who were regulars at the Fleece before the refurbishment have said how much the like the new look, including the 'mismatched' furniture which brings a such nice contemporary twist to the atmosphere."

The Fleece is open 11am to midnight Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and 11am to 2am on Friday and Saturday.