Two trains carried me to Port Sunlight station, and I took a walk in the autumn sunlight down to the busy New Chester Road. A moment of worry when I reached the blob on my map to find a large estate of new houses under construction, but a little further on I reached my first target, the Village:
The interior decor was rather plain grey wood panelling and walls.
Quiet music and gentle chatter mixed here, it wasn't very busy at two in a Tuesday but there was a steady flow of food emerging from the kitchen door near where I was sitting. The atmosphere, or rather the lack of it, was typical of a hotel bar.
Back into the pretty Port Sunlight village, and the Bridge Inn:
Only one handpump on the counter, offering Abbot, but it was hidden behind a sign warning of a long delay for food orders so I, perhaps wrongly, assumed it wasn't available and stuck to lager.
The place was busy, everyone else seemed to be dining, but I managed to find a table. A steady flow of food out of the kitchen again, tempting me with delicious smells, but I'm not waiting 45 minutes as warned by the sign. The menu, under the Flaming Grill brand, was quite cheap - fish and chips £6.50 - I had expected higher prices in such a tourist attraction.
On to Bebington, and the New Chronicle:
The inside has been substantially remodelled since it was a food-led pub in the Smith and Jones chain. Now, the light and airy interior has excellent modern styling which I really like. There's a dance floor area at the back of the room with a DJ setup on a mini stage.
Only two customers plus me, racing on the giant screen but no-one's watching.
With no real ale - three handpumps, one clip turned round and two naked - I went for Carling again. The barmaid, very apologetic, had to go and change the keg, which took about five minutes. The "cellar" is upstairs, unusually.
In the early years of my pub surveying I had a special rule that if I could make all my notes before being served, we could count it as a tick and walk out. I only ever did this a couple of times, and recorded the fact in the guide - See for example Bar Zero.
With so little custom they're apparently saving on heating costs, it was quite chilly in here.
Just a short way up the road is the Rose and Crown:
Just a few customers had braved the chilly weather to come out for a drink. The ones who entered while I was there greeted their friends with "It's cold out there" or something similar. All were older than I - it's not often one can say that nowadays.
Another short walk to the Wellington:
The sound was gentle chat mixed with Sky Sports News. The heating was working well here, I was lovely and warm as I enjoyed my pint of IPA.
I set off on the long walk to Higher Bebington, irritated to discover it was now raining. I was slightly mollified by the chance to get an unusual picture of the Rose and Crown:
Would the daylight hold for a picture of a never before visited pub? Only just, here's the Acorn:
Travellers Rest. Here it was definitely too dark for a photo, a situation I think will become a common theme of this blog until March next year.
Now this is a proper pub: Wonderful (fake) antique decor, six handpumps, GBG listed, and filled with pleasant chatter amongst the regulars. What more does a pub need? And it's warm inside!
I had a pint of London Pride, it's a shame this has been dumbed down since I used to enjoy it back in the nineties.
I listened in to some of the chatter: "He says he loves her but he's not in love with her. I think that means no sex or anything." (!)
Finally, back down the hill and we finish as we started, with a never before visited pub, this time the Acorn. See picture above.
Here I found a classic food-led place in Mitchel and Butler's Sizzling chain, busy with happy diners at six on a Tuesday evening.
There were three handpumps on the counter but they didn't look in use so I finished my day with a Carling.
Why do people still go the bar to order food without knowing their table number? Have they never eaten in a pub before? Were I foolish enough to ever get a job behind the bar, this would drive me potty, I'd probably get sacked for calling the customer a dozy cow.
Time for a bus under the river, for a train home.
Pub of the day: A close run thing, the Travellers Rest wins over the Rose and Crown by a gnat's whisker, but they're both great.
Miles walked: A touch over four.
Maybe coming soon: Kirkby