WHAT is it about the British and sheds?

Over the past few years the humble garden shed - once the domain of old men in flat caps tending allotments - has been reinvented, with people repurposing them as garden retreats, offices or even gin bars.

We can’t get enough of them, and if you get your kicks from this iconic structure, you’ll need to brace yourself before visiting one gastro pub in Bingley.

The Potting Shed has garden sheds aplenty, which customers can once again sit inside from May 17, surrounding an attractive beer garden which is proving popular since outside drinking resumed in April.

A sun terrace is also bringing in the punters to the Main Street hostelry, which is overseen by manager Pete Doodson aka ‘Aussie Pete’ or ‘OMP’. “That’s Old Man Pete - lots of people call me that.” So how old is old? “Twenty-one and a lot.”

Originally from Brisbane, Pete’s dad emigrated from Britain as a so-called Ten Pound Pom, under the Assisted Passage Scheme, run by the Australian Government after the Second World War.

Well-travelled - he has visited every continent except Antarctica - Pete worked all over the world before landing in Bingley. “I really like Bingley, it’s a friendly town.”

He has worked in hospitality for decades and The Potting Shed - which operates six venues across the north - for several years. He loves what it offers. “It is a great brand, a real go-forward brand.”

The Potting Shed's varied menu includes Yorkshire black & blue - a beef burger dusted with Cajun spice and topped with blue cheese between Yorkshire puddings. A range of pizzas including Americana and margherita are cooked in a wood-fired oven.

“Haloumi fries are very popular, as well as wraps and fajitas,” says Pete.

The pub, which employs around 20 full and part-time staff, prides itself on its cocktails, with Pornstar Martini - a mixture of vanilla vodka, passion fruit and pineapple juice, with a shot of Prosecco. It also stocks a range of craft beers.

Pete is pleased to be back at work and to see customers flooding back to the pub, which in its former life was The Fleece pub, and prior to that a bank.

“We have been flat out like a lizard drinking,” says Pete, using one of many humorous Australian phrases that raise a laugh.

He hopes that the UK has seen the back of lockdown and can move forward.

“It has been tough for the whole industry. It has been hard for staff and I also really feel for the customers. You are used to meeting other people and keeping your brain active and then all of a sudden you are sitting at home going nowhere.

“It is great to see people enjoying themselves and with smiles on their faces.”

To eat at The Potting Shed it is best to book.in advance. Indoor bookings for dates from may 17 are being taken.

The Potting Shed, 94 Main St, Bingley BD16 2JH

Visit: pottingshedbar.com/venues/bingley/about