I headed into town to do some shopping which allowed me note the status of some pubs as I passed. See the following post for a list.
Having completed my appointed tasks, it was time for a pint. I headed for a favourite, the Dispensary.
I had to zap a QR code with my phone and then text the government before entering! Presumably there's another procedure for less well equipped drinkers. I was guided to a table and handed a menu. The waitress soon returned to take my order for a pint of the wonderful White Rat. I paid by contactless of course.
The place was quite busy in post-lockdown terms, with only one or two vacant tables, dropping to zero while I was there. A gentle background of chatter mixed with the quiet music. The beer was excellent. I noticed the waitress was very on the ball in offering another as people's glasses neared empty.
Having had a haircut on Tuesday I was on the lookout for any lockdown hair disasters amongst my fellow drinkers, but I didn't spot any.
So, not a bad experience for my first non-Wetherspoon pub, but there's no way it will scale to a busy Friday night. If these restrictions continue long term then I fear the pub as we know it is doomed.
I walked on, pleased to note that the boarding up had gone from the Vernon Arms and the Excelsior, both of which were open. I aimed for another favourite, the Ship and Mitre.
This is basically unchanged, apart from being asked to fill in a track and trace form, and reminded not to stand at the bar once served - What a great improvement to pub etiquette this is, no more bar hogs blocking my view of the pumps! They currently only have about half the usual number of real ales on, with all the pumps in the back room being out of use, but the pale one I had - I forget what it was - was spot on.
No music in here, just a gentle background of chatter
Moving on to Friday, and a couple of pubs in Huyton, beginning with the Stanley Arms.
Apart from an orderly queue at the counter nothing has changed in here, and on a Friday afternoon it was busy with families enjoying meals, as well as groups of drinkers and some solo ones as well.
Quiet music mixed with chatter and the occasional rattle of crockery, as I enjoyed my Guinness.
On down the road to the Crofters.
A similar experience here, except that half the pub is reserved for diners, guarded by a waitress who directed me to the drinkers' end. A short queue of people standing at the bar didn't take long to process and I was soon served.
Again, quite busy but not completely full, even with the significantly reduced capacity.