My first call of a couple in town was somewhere I haven't visited since 2011, The Bridewell:
The friendly landlord pulled me a pint of a superb stout from somewhere. There were five handpumps on, offering a wide selection of different ales.
Very quiet in here and with the music at a sensible volume the main sound was the cheerful landlord chatting with customers.
There's an upstairs as well, I think, but I didn't visit it.
On to the Hub, but it's not called that any more. Albert's Schenke:
Well well, it's changed a bit since I visited the Hub in 2011, but the one thing they've kept is a small range of quality real ales, I had an excellent pint of Liverpool Pale.
It's now decorated in a sort of German bierhalle style which I have to say I rather like.
Very busy in here, there were only a few free tables, and the majority of people seemed to be drinking rather than eating, perhaps not surprisingly at three in the afternoon. The only sound was a loud hubbub of happy customers.
After a while I realised why I like this place so much: It reminds me of "German" bars I've frequented around the world, the Paulaner Brauhaus in Beijing being a particular favourite. Of course, none of those places serve real ale!
The area around here is full of new eateries and bars, so perhaps it's time to try one new to me; how about Lock and Key:
Despite it being a cold grey Thursday afternoon, the place was ticking over nicely although not full, and the quiet background muzac was mostly drowned by conversations. Custom thinned out as I enjoyed my beer, at least one of the clients was only here for a coffee and the free wifi.
Pub of the day: The Bridewell