Tuesday, 30 July 2019

A Wirral Miscellany

I started a Wirral jaunt on a bus to Greasby, and jumped off outside what used to be the Twelfth Man, and then was Goodwin's, now its the Gravesberie Inn:
Wikipedia tells me Gravesberie is the original Saxon name of Greasby, recorded in the Domesday Book.

Pleasant contemporary chain dining pub decor greeted me.  Unusually for a Greene King pub, there were no handpumps at all on the counter, so I resorted to a half of Punk IPA, which was very welcome in the hot humid weather.

The bar side where I sat was completely empty, but I could hear chatter and the rattle of cutlery from the dining side.

Next, a stroll through quiet suburban streets to Saughall Massie, and the never before visited Saughall:
Another pleasant enough food place and once again one side is dedicated to drinkers, where I sat alone.  There were plenty of people in the dining side, though, and lots of food appeared while I was being served.  Three handpumps offering Thwaites Original, Thwaites IPA, and Gold from, you've guessed it, Thwaites.  On a cooler day I might have nit-picked and reported that the Gold was a little over-chilled, but today it was lovely.

From the architectural point of view, I noted old-looking leaded glass in all the windows.  Some of the matchboarding inside could be fairly old as well, but I suspect most of any history has been refurbished away over the years.

Next, a short walk to the Willows:
Another first visit for me, but would I get a tick?  I entered the lounge side to find a function going on, with tables decorated and a buffet.  I approached the counter and asked if I could come in, the landlady said yes and served me a lager.  Phew!

With all the tables decorated I wondered where to sit, soon heading for the corridor to the bar side where two blokes were playing pool in an otherwise empty room.

It was pleasantly cool, dark and peaceful this side, and I enjoyed my Carling.  The jukebox and the click of pool balls mixed with the clink of glassware from the servery and the distant chatter from the other side to make an ideal pub soundtrack.

More pool players arrived, looking rather damp.  I peered out of the window to see that the rain which had been threatening all afternoon had started pouring down.  And the next target might be closed...

The rain stopped and I headed off.  Rumbles of thunder threatened, and a few drops of rain spotted my tee-shirt as I aimed for the Overchurch.  Would my luck hold out?  Was I in for a soaking?  Would it be open?  It didn't look promising as I approached, but walking past for a better photo I could see an open door:
Yes!!  My third new tick of the day.

Inside, a plain pleasant traditional estate boozer, one room with about ten regulars chatting.  No real ale, of course, so another Carling for me.

Time to head for the centre of Upton.  Could I get another new tick?  Oh yes, the Bow-Legged Beagle:
Unusually, it's got an automatic sliding door, I bet there's an icy blast when someone comes in in the winter!

I had a spot on pint of Liverpool Brewing Co's Session IPA.

I presume this is related to the New Brighton place of the same name.  A one room shop conversion making a comfortable friendly boozer with excellent ale.  Nine other customers, who all knew the barman, I was the stranger!

I noted a very good selection on the keg taps, including my favourite Stay Puft from Tiny Tebel, and Budweiser Budvar.

So, there're two more pubs here which I last visited in 2013, but I think I've had enough for today, so time for a bus home...  After all, four new ticks is pretty amazing nowadays.  That takes me to 1,313 pubs visited out of 1,846 listed.

Pub of the day: The Bow-Legged Beagle
Miles walked: 2.6
Maybe coming soon: Bootle or Garston

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Saturday Afternoon In Town

Just a quick trip into Liverpool city centre, for a chance to check out our new Wetherspoon's:
Not the best time to visit, half past three on a Saturday afternoon, but needs must...

This compact member of the chain, with one open dark-panelled room broken up by pillars, was not surprisingly packed, and customers were waiting three deep at the counter.  A quick glance at the pumps found me Oakham's White Dwarf which when I was eventually served was superb.  To be fair, I didn't wait too long, there were a large number of staff running up and down behind the counter and, unusually for 'spoons serving people in order.

I managed to find a vacant table near the kitchen, and I watched meals whizzing out.  For some reason one lonely chicken burger sat on the top shelf for ages while other meals came and went, I wonder why.  Eventually it was delivered, with no hint of why it had been delayed.

Just across the road is The Old Bank:
The interior here is spectacular, and I think it has been further tidied up since my last visit, in 2002.  Marble columns, gold ceiling decorations, wrought iron banisters and umpteen chandeliers.

Again, it was busy on a Saturday afternoon, but not as packed as Wetherspoon's.  A very mixed crowd, groups of lads, tourists, a hen party, and a lone pub blogger.

The kit was set up for live music later, a solo singer judging by the size of the stage.  In the mean time, plenty of sport was on tellys around the walls.  Large screens and yet somehow unobtrusive - Well done!

A brief random wander took me to a place I've never heard of, the Castle Street Townhouse:
I wonder what this was before?  Now, it's a rather well done up-market bar full of beautiful people drinking gin or Prosecco, but also quite a lot of beer, Blue Moon seemed the most popular served with a slice of orange, of course.  I chose Love Lane, a pint of which cost me £5.00.  (Cheaper than the pints of Dark Star Hophead I had in London yesterday!)

I must say that while this is certainly not my sort of pub, it is rather well done, with efficient friendly staff buzzing around providing good service.

Now we're doing bars I've never heard of on Castle street, the options are manifold.  I chose McGuffie at random:
This narrow corridor bar had rather fun quirky old-looking decor to match the original leaded glass shop front.

Only two beers on tap, Asahi or Kozel, and they don't sell pints, only schooners.

Another bar that's not of my sort, but is still rather good.  A bit too much show-off cocktail shaking behind the counter, er, what's the name of that film?  Duh, it's Cocktail, with Tom Cruise.

Time to go home.

Pubs of the day: Captain Alexander for the ale, the Old Bank for the decor.
Miles walked: 1