Thursday, 9 September 2021

Crosby

In intermittent showers I aimed for Crosby, getting rather wet on the way from Lime Street to Central.  Once at Crosby I headed first to the "Barbie" which I expected to find closed and it is, with a For Sale board on the front:

Next, on to the Royal Oak:

A well maintained interior with multiple rooms partially knocked through to create a comfortable pub, pretty much unchanged since my previous call in 2004.

Last time I had real Boddingtons, this time no real ale and the lone hand pump looks like it hasn't been touched for some time.

Only one other customer at half three, he was concentrating on the golf on the telly, so I wandered to a different part of the pub to drink my lager.  Shortly after, another customer came in, making three.

The Beatles were replaced by the Stones, perhaps a little loud for an empty place.  About half way down my pint, the music gave up and I was treated to that rarest of pub soundtracks; total silence.  

I sank my lager at a leisurely pace since my next target opens at four (I hope).

I arrived at the Corner Post at 16:03 but I wasn't the first in.

A rather fine shop conversion this, and clearly popular;  another two customers came in before I'd consumed more than an inch of my Liverpool Brewing Cascade, and then another a couple of minutes later.  All were regulars who chatted to each other and the landlord.

I checked the weather radar and there were some nasty cells around, would I get soaked later?  It's a long walk to the next pub!

The Cascade ran out as I finished my pint, the last but one pulled was excellent which I think indicates skilful cellarmanship and a good turnover.

The rain continued so I had to deploy the umby[1] on the longish walk to the Liverpool Pigeon:

This hasn't changed much since my last visit in 2014.  My guide entry from then is rather telling:  "Branded as a "Micro Pub" this place is a former shop in a parade."   Of course, the micro pub was a new concept back then and this was the first one in Liverpool, so it was all a bit new to me.

Anyway, here in 2021 it was ticking over nicely and my lovely pint of White Rat (It gets everywhere!) was in an oversized glass, so that plus hasn't changed either.

I considered heading for home, using the weather as an excuse for curtailing my researches, but as the time to move approached the rain eased off, so I headed on to Stamps:

This quirky place doesn't seem to have changed since I was last here.  "Only" four real ales this time, I resisted the White Rat, and chose one I'd possibly never had before, Abbeydale Deception, which was lovely.

Quite a few customers in at six in the evening, but plenty of room for more.  The background music was mainly drowned by chatter.

My grumbles about the weather were put to shame by the discovery that Wirral train services were disrupted due to flooding!  Lucky I didn't do Rock Ferry this week!

There's one more pub around here last visited in 2014, so it would be daft to miss the George:

Unwisely, perhaps, I requested the only cask, it took two staff and a visit to the back to decide whether it was actually available, and I was asked to taste it to check because neither of them knew whether it was on or not.  To be fair, it was a spot on traditional bitter so 10/10 for ale, 0/10 for bar staff knowledge!  One decent cask ale is enough, but your people need to know!

This classic interwar pub (I guess) has retained some original features, which are somewhat marred by bunting and other brewery publicity.

It was surprisingly empty for a Thursday evening, I was expecting to find more people here.  I get the feeling that some big company is losing money, there were more staff than customers.

Across the road is the former Exchange, last ticked in 2002, which according to the signs is soon to reopen as Suburb 24, I'll have to come back and tick it in due course:

By the way, some of today's ticks were last done on one of my early blog entries in 2014, why don't you boost my stats and read that next?

[1] For non-locals, umby is Scouse for umbrella.

Pub of the day: I can't choose between the Corner Post or the Pigeon
Maybe coming soon: St Helens
Miles walked: 2.8

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Classic Boozers In Rock Ferry

Under the river again, this time to Rock Ferry.  Across the road from the station was the Rock Station which I first visited in 2003 and more recently in 2015.  My internet researches had led me to expect it to be closed, in fact it's completely demolished, with only a sign frame and a cache of kegs/casks remaining (Aren't the aluminium kegs valuable and stealable?)

Next, down towards the river.  Annoyingly I'd forgotten that the straight road from the station to my next destination has an impassable break where it crosses the bypass, so I had to fire up Google Maps and take a diversion.  Eventually, I reached my next target, the Refreshment Rooms:

Happily, this place is unchanged since my previous visit, in 2015.  It's mainly oriented towards food, but welcoming of drinkers as well.  Table service only - I was soon allocated a table (Reserved from 4.30) and enjoying a pint of the house beer, HMS Conway, a rather good "ordinary" bitter brewed by Lees.

The maritime themed decor (But they've also got a model Liverpool tram for some reason.) is pleasant and at two on a Thursday afternoon there were a fair number of mostly dining customers, keeping the chatter level up.

I must say the food arriving at the next table looked and smelled good, scouse, fish and chips, bangers and mash etc.

Next, a short stroll to the Derby Arms:

Places like this are getting rarer, here's a classic pub with beautifully cared for decor, and lots of regulars enjoying their local at three on a Thursday.  Many of the denizens were older than I, but there were younger ones as well, a good cross section.

No real ale, so I parked myself in a side room with a pint of Carling.  Conversations and the click of pool balls were louder than the music.

The first time I came here, three years ago, I was somewhat startled to find it open, hidden as it is up a side street surrounded by new housing.  I was less surprised this time, because I could see then that it was a great local pub, with enough regulars to keep it going as long as the people running it maintained the standards.  They clearly have.

Next, continuing to circle around Rock Ferry station, I headed to the Rockvilla while the formerly grey weather changed to bright sunshine.  Not visited since 2003, what will I find?

It's been done up since I was here, rather good rough wood and bare brick decor.  Again doing a good trade on a Thursday afternoon, although the loud drunken noise of one group made it sound busier than it actually was.

The Rock, as they almost certainly don't call this part of Wirral, is clearly the place for traditional boozers, in both meanings of the word.  Another classic, this.  And I've got another two which I expect to be similar to try before I go home.

About 50% of the regulars, and also the excellent barmaid, headed to the door for a smoke while I swigged my Carling.

Still circling round the station, I aimed for the Lord Napier:

Another traditional pub, unchanged since I was here in '18, but sadly deserted, none of the lively custom of the last two ticks.

I could see one other customer in the other side of this two sided boozer, but apart from him it was just the barmaid/landlady and I.

The only sound was "Now 80s" on a telly in the corner of the well cared for lounge side.

For a change, I had a Guinness here, there was a handpump but with a blank clip;  I've got a feeling that was the same last time I was here.

The bloke in the other side, ordering another pint, caught my eye and called hello across the servery.  Was he just friendly or did he mistake me for a regular?

Time to aim towards home, but I've saved the pub by the station for last, for bladder comfort reasons.  So, in to the Bedford:

It seems to be also known as Luke's now.

My 2015 notes described this as a plain well cared for multi-roomed boozer, and in 2021 it's exactly the same.

My pint of Carling was extra cheap because it's happy hour on Thursdays!  

There were enough customers to fill the room with chatter, but it wasn't packed at five o'clock.

Yet another "down market" pub doing good trade at a non-peak time, just like the others today, clean, tidy and deservedly popular.

Pub of the day: Refreshment Rooms for the ale.
Miles walked: 3
Maybe coming soon: St Helens, Woolton

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Wirral Sunshine

Today I again targeted a Good Beer Guide pub I've never visited, and with the weather set fair it was the ideal time for a Wirral countryside trip.  The bus seemed to take for ever, but at least it gave me the chance to spot the post-lockdown status of a number of Wirral pubs.  Every one I saw was still operational, a surprising and pleasing result.  Eventually, I reached the Red Fox:

An enormous house dating from the second half of the nineteenth century, containing a Brunning and Price multi-roomed food oriented up market place, with umpteen handpumps offering a wide selection of ales, mostly from nearby breweries.  The interior has been excellently preserved and it's very pleasant.

My spot on pint of Brightside Odin had covered 51 beer miles according to the sign, and was one of the most travelled on the list.

At three on a Thursday afternoon they were doing a good trade, although there seemed to be more cars in the car park than there were people inside.  Perhaps everyone else was out on the terrace.

Very quiet background music was mostly hidden by gentle conversations and the clink of glasses behind the counter.

Another new GBG tick, there's only one left to do, so I might even complete Merseyside before the new edition comes out in November.

Next, an extended rural stroll, risking being mown down on the roads with no pavement (It could have been a friendly toot from the van driver but I don't think so.) to the Wheatsheaf which I last visited in 1999:

Wow, what a gem this is, a proper country pub with a thatched roof tucked away in the village of Raby.  The interior features classic wonky beams, and some very old looking wooden seats.  

Four or five handpumps, but I didn't look further than Titanic Plum Porter, which was lovely but perhaps not the best choice on a hot day, Trappers Hat being more appropriate.  £4.50 is a bit steep for Merseyside, I must say.

Gentle conversations were the only sounds in here, as I enjoyed my ale.  Sandwiches and chips were delivered to a nearby table, and suddenly I felt very hungry!

I wondered how many thatched pubs there are in Merseyside; the only ones I could call to mind were the Scotch Piper in Maghull and, much nearer here, the Devon Doorway.

Another rural walk in blazing sunshine, this time on much quieter roads, took me to the village of Thornton Hough and the Seven Stars, where I unaccountably forgot to take a picture, so I've stolen this one from the pub's web site:

Another great rural pub, the beams perhaps not as wonky as the Wheatsheaf's.  Only eleven years since my last visit, and it doesn't seem to have changed since then, remaining very pleasant and comfortable.

After the last two places, only two handpumps seemed a bit disappointing at first glance, but of course one quality real ale is all that is needed, and my Trappers Hat was gorgeous.  I noticed most of the regulars seemed to be drinking lager, that's a bit disappointing.

Again, quiet background music was mostly drowned out by cheerful chatter.  It was past five by now, and the place was ticking over nicely although by no means full.  All the regulars knew each other and chatted (I was sitting in the "bar side")

When I sit in a lovely pub like this I briefly wish I lived in a village with a great pub, but in reality it wouldn't work, I can't see every pub survey beginning with a one hour bus ride!  Just not suitable for my lifestyle, which requires easy access to a train service and shopping without the use of a car.  Oh no, I'm writing about "lifestyle", and after only three pints; better go home!

I contemplated extending my researches but there weren't really any nearby options, so I simply chose the long bus ride back to Liverpool.  Would my bladder cope?  ... It did.

Three beautiful pubs, one never before visited, three excellent pints, some beautiful countryside in the sun, what more can one ask for in a pub survey?  A free lift home?  No chance!

Pub of the day: Too close to call, all three were great.
Miles walked: 3
Maybe coming soon: St Helens

Friday, 13 August 2021

Knotty Ash and an Old Swan Bonus

Other stuff took me to Knotty Ash, so it would be daft to miss a few pubs long overdue for a visit, starting with the Wheatsheaf:

To be honest, I can't really remember what this was like when I was here in 2003.  I think it's lost some of its old features in an excellent refurbishment, but it still has a lounge side with no counter, and some Joseph Jones & Co Knotty Ash Brewery windows.  I'm guessing the table service I noted in 03 has also gone, although there was a steady flow of food coming out of the kitchen, keeping a waitress busy.

Three handpumps on the counter, but all had the clips turned round, so I had a refreshing lager.  A bit disappointing when there's a Cask Marque sign on the door.

The tables outside were busy, with most people dining, inside was not as busy but still a few people drinking in the bar side.

Next, just a little way along the road is the Lord Nelson:

Again, I can't remember back to '03, but I suspect the traditional multi-room interior is pretty much unchanged, apart, of course, for good maintenance.  It's certainly very nice, anyway.  No suggestion of real ale here, so another pint of fizz to keep me going.

A number of older-than-me regulars were chatting, mostly hiding the quiet music.  I couldn't see how many people were in the other rooms or the back yard, but judging by the number coming in for a drink or to visit the toilets I guess there were quite a lot.

What a great example of a local boozer, this, friendly and lively on a Friday afternoon.

Next, I had to tighten my resolve, as there was a target not visited since 1998 not too far away, but I had to walk past umpteen open pubs, including at least one with real ale, to get to the Glasshouse:

Curses!!  Too late.  Whatpub has it open in 2020, but sadly it's boarded up now.

I headed back to Old Swan, where there are a couple of places not visited since 2017 but wait, what's this?  Victory from the jaws of defeat - An unknown one!  Hoggin's:

An "Irish" pub in a shop conversion where the friendly barmaid informed me they'd opened last year, as she poured my Guinness (What else?)

Rather well done plain decor in here, resisting the temptation of over the top fake Irish nonsense.

Busy at four on a Friday, with almost all the tables occupied, and the quiet background music drowned out by animated chatter, which included a lot of swearwords.

Obviously I'm biased because this was a totally unexpected bonus, but something about the atmosphere here endeared it to me, the friendly staff (two) chatting with the regulars making for a comfortable experience.  I was waiting for someone to ask what I was doing with the tablet, so I could explain the guide, but no one did.

Next, a place last visited in 2017, but renamed since, the Old Tavern:

This used to be one of the early micro-pubs, opened in 2016, when it was called the Ale House.  Sadly, it would appear that it wasn't successful in the cask ale format, and under the new name it's all keg.  Nothing wrong with that, my Camden Pale was delicious, but I must comment that it is neither old nor a tavern.

The pale was served in one of Camden's rather unique glasses, like a standard conic but short and fat.  Very unusual and I quite like them;  they seem to fit my hand very well.

Nowhere near as busy as Hoggin's, but still ticking over OK, the rather eclectic music (That means, music I don't recognise.) was mostly louder than the conversations.

I eyed up the counter as I enjoyed my hoppy beer:  Eight taps, two I've never heard of - Pardal and Mago Lager.

Time for home.

Pub of the day: Hoggin's, because it was an unexpected bonus.
Miles walked: 2.1
Maybe coming soon: Thornton Hough, St Helens

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Newton-le-Willows

Following on from last week's trip to Hoylake, I decided to continue to search out Good Beer Guide pubs I've not done before, so I headed east in intermittent rain to Newton-le-Willows.  If I'd known it was racing at Haydock today I would have chosen somewhere else for a survey, the train was jam-packed.

First I headed to the Millstone:

Unfortunately it was shut, although it looks like it might be operational, I might have another try later.

Back under the railway and on to the Kirkfield Hotel:

Many years ago, I ignored this place, dismissing it as a residential hotel.  Then, for a number of years, it stood derelict.  So, you can imagine my surprise when it arrived in the Good Beer Guide last year.

It's still a hotel, but the multi-roomed lounge area has two bar counters, one of which supports a selection of handpumps.  My pint of Cheshire Cat was lovely. 

Initially crowded, the place calmed down as large groups headed off towards the racecourse.  How they got there I don't know, a lot seemed to be waiting for nonexistent taxis.  I hope I can finish today's ticks before they come back!

The decor here is modern plain, with the usual pastel coloured walls, and some areas of bare brickwork.  Altogether very well done.

I peered out of the window, the rain was getting heavier and the bridesmaids were getting wet at the wedding over the road.  I dawdled over my pint in the hope it would ease off.

So, after the initial wobble, a good start to the day:  A great pint in a GBG pub I've never visited.

A walk to the far end of the high street took me past a number of targets for later and on to the Oak Tree:

This pub has rather good antiquey decor with some old-ish features retained, although the knocking through has destroyed any historic value.  Two handpumps but no clips, so I just had fizz.

There were still a few besuited groups in here, were they waiting for the rain to stop before heading to the track, or perhaps they'd decided not to bother and have a pub crawl instead.

About half the tables were occupied, with a wide range of customers, and gentle chatter filled the room with muzac in the background.

Now, in heavy rain, back in the direction of the station, and soon a bedraggled wet figure approached the Firkin:

Ten handpumps on the counter, how do they manage to keep the quality high with so many, I wonder?  Suddenly, amongst the array of no doubt tasty beers I'd never heard of I spotted Bass.  It would be rude not to!  It was good but, I think, lacking some of the Burton snatch. 

As my Bass was being poured I studied the blackboard.  An 11% coffee stout looked very tempting, could I resist staying for another drink?  We'll see...

Gentle conversations and the click of dogs' feet on the floor were the only sounds here; the dog that came to visit me was, I discovered, wetter than I.

As I enjoyed my ale, more and more people came in, until the place was quite full.  The rain eased off and the view of the street got brighter.

Over the road to the Pied Bull:


My researches on streetview had shown this place as a building site, so I was very pleased to see this was for a splendid external refurbishment.  The wet weather meant it looked deserted until I opened the front door and found a very busy room pretty much unchanged since my previous visit, filled with happy diners and echoing with chatter.  No clips on the four handpumps so I had Love Lane for a change.

I wasn't allowed a table without consulting the waitress, so I sat at the bar.  Actually, I'm not sure there were any free tables anyway.

No less than six staff were busy organising food and drink, and I was in pole position to observe their work, I watched all sorts of drinks being prepared, including a shot glass of something inside a glass of Red Bull.

I must say, the custom in here was amazing.  Admittedly, I don't often survey on a Saturday, but at three o'clock I didn't expect to find myself in party central.  Good news for pub survival, all they need to do now is add real ale.

Someone ordered a wine so posh it had a cork; the waitress made a right pigs ear of opening it.

Next, Stocks Tavern:

The down market end of the Newton experience, but there's nothing wrong with that.  This is a well done plain two-sided boozer, and it was very busy at four on a Saturday.

Rugby was on the tellies but the commentary was drowned out by cheerful chatter from the many customers.

Three handpumps on the counter but I suspect they are purely decorative, so this time I had a Guinness.

The staff were very busy keeping a constant stream of drinks leaving the servery.

It's great to visit a busy pub like this; while I do like hiding in a quiet corner of an empty pub on a Thursday afternoon, we really need places to be busy to keep them going.  This one and the last are certainly managing that.

Now comes a choice:  Do I try the Millhouse again, or just head for home?

I took the lazy option.  On my way to the station I noted that the former Legh Arms, which was a building site for many years, has completed its transformation to residential use:

Pub of the day: Firkin, for the wide choice of beers.
Miles walked: 1.3
Maybe coming soon: St Helens, Thornton Hough

Friday, 30 July 2021

Belgium!

I started a survey in Hoylake with lunch in Wetherspoon's Hoylake Lights, accompanied by a pint of Coach House Blonde.

A pleasant modern one this, not quite as busy as I expected on a Friday lunchtime, but ticking over nicely.  I guess some of the tourist traffic has been reduced by today's horrible weather.

As with all spoons, a wide variety of customers were drinking and eating, the all day brunch seemed particularly popular.  And tempting, but I'm trying to cut down a bit so limited myself to a wrap.

Next, just along the road is the Ship:

A very pleasant pub, which has a very good beer garden - But not in today's weather.  Sadly, completely deserted at one o'clock, doesn't anyone else want a fine pint of Landlord?  Apparently not.

Oh no!  There's a Dutch-style chip van in the car park.  And I've already had my lunch.  Can I resist chips with sauce andalouse?  That's a favourite I haven't tasted for many years.  Oh well, at least the ale is good.

The two staff busied themselves cleaning tables and chairs thoroughly.  There was a sign on the door asking people to wear masks, which I ignored.  It's about time they peeled all that hazard tape off the floor, as well.

Not much else to report on in the empty pub, the Olympics were on telly, silently, while the music was a bit loud, and in the case of one track, much too sweary for radio!

Next, the beautiful Plasterers Arms:

Off the beaten track and hidden up a back street, I sometimes wonder how this hidden gem survives.  I guess the answer is that it is a wonderful pub.  The interior decor is half timbered in historic style but I suspect it's all fake, pleasant nonetheless.

Excellent ales were on offer, including the splendid White Rat.

Sadly, once again there was hardly any custom early on a Friday afternoon, just one regular standing at the bar while I enjoyed my ale, and actually he might be the landlord?

Why is it I keep seeing Ossett White Rat?  It's hardly a local brew but I've had it in a number of pubs in Merseyside recently.  It's one of my top ales so the more the better as far as I'm concerned.

As I was walking here I noticed a bar not in my database - The Trappist House:

Good grief, a Belgian bar with a beer list to match!  Just a shop conversion, decorated to look like a Belgian bar.  Surprisingly busy, and most of the indoor tables were reserved, luckily I found one free until four.

I perused the extensive beer menu, avoiding the stronger options, this is bar number four today, and I want to do another before I go home.  Aha, an old favourite, Lindeman's Kriek, will do nicely.  But they haven't got any, losing points for that, a real Belgian bar always has everything in stock!

The only cherry ones we've got in stock are the strong ones, said the waitress, so I, perhaps unwisely, tried Delirium Red, which was a gorgeous 8% one.  Wonderful!  I've had Delirium Tremens before (The Beer, not the medical condition, although now you mention it...) but this one was new to me.  Served in a Delirium glass, of course; and the bottle delivered to my table.  The brewery logo, by the way, is a pink elephant!

The two barmaids were dashing about frantically to keep everyone served, and doing a good job.

I looked round.  They've got ten on draft, including Westmalle and Kasteel Rouge - which was the other cherry option.

Next, I perused the beer menu a bit more.  There's Rochefort 10, which I have sometimes described as my all time favourite beer in the world.  Maybe next time...  (I could see plenty of them, in fact the whole Rochefort range, in the fridge.)

This is going down quickly despite its strength, I thought, before I realised half my drink was still in the bottle.

What a great place, I'll be back before long I think, for a one bar excursion.  

Before leaving I noticed they've got some of the famous Kwak glasses, I must try that - I'm fairly sure I have drunk some Kwak in the past, but never out of the "flask".  I've always suspected that it's just for tourists, like Scotland's deep fried Mars bar, but I'd love to try it once.

Finally, on to the original reason for my trip today, the Black Toad:

Sorry about the picture, it's the best I could do without a tow-truck.

A Good Beer Guide entry that I've never visited, and the guide is almost a year old.  So, a long overdue pint here.  More of a standard shop conversion micro pub this one, actually two shops I think, very pleasantly done out.

A good range of cask was on offer, I'm afraid my pint of Peerless Triple Hop tasted a bit thin after the Delirium, but after a few mouthfuls it was lovely.

Quiet background music mixed with cheerful chatter in here.  Like in the Belgian bar, groups of Wirralites were commencing their Friday festivities.

In summary, Hoylake must be one of the best pub towns in the whole of Merseyside, with a Belgian Bar putting them well ahead of all the competition.  [Always end your blog posting with a contentious assertion, to encourage feedback.]  I've had four pints of quality cask, and a bottle of Belgian nectar, and ticked two places for the first time, you can't get a better pub survey than that!

The rain which had been threatening all day had now arrived so I was going to get a little wet on my way back to the station.  After all that gorgeous ale, who cares?  As my friend John says, "skin's waterproof".

Pub of the day: Pleased though I was to discover a Belgian bar, this has to be the perfect Plasterers.
Miles walked: 1.2
Maybe coming soon: Southport

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Sunny Seaforth

Not really the right weather for a pub survey, but here goes...

Back in 2003 was the last time I visited the Seaforth Arms Hotel, the next time I was in the area it was closed.  It was in my list of "beautiful building, pity its gone" pubs so you can imagine my surprise when I received an email a few weeks ago (Thanks Euin) telling me it has reopened.  Definitely time for a visit:

Would it have been ruined by over-refurbishment?  Happily, no.  Perhaps Grade II listing has helped its survival.

Inside the impressive building a rather fine historic interior remains, including some excellent ceramics.  Only one small room in use, four regulars plus me.  The classic layout of a bar in the corner plus a corridor with lounge rooms behind served from the back of the servery is apparent, but most of the lounge areas on the other side of the corridor have been boarded off, and one of the hatches in the bar back has been boarded up.

Commercial radio and animated banter were the soundtrack.

I felt a bit exposed, perched on a stool at the side of the tiny bar room, and entered my notes on the tablet quickly and then put it away.  As usual, no-one took any notice of me and I needn't have worried.

Work up ladders was going on outside, perhaps a new pub sign is coming?  The current one looks blank.

On to the self-styled "world famous" Caradoc:

This place seemed exactly the same as it was in 2018 and I sat in a large well cared for room with pleasant plain decor, with a counter on a raised area along one side of the room.

Only three regulars plus me formed the custom I could see, but I could hear the clack of pool balls from the other room, which doesn't have a counter.

The only other sounds were quiet racing commentary from a TV at the far end of the room, and the locals' conversations.  One of them was called Phil, causing me to look up a few times when his name was called.

It was very hot in here and I looked forward to some cooler air on departure, but on stepping out of the door into the sunshine I found it felt hotter outside.  Phew!

Next, a geographical quandary; just 100 yards from the Caradoc is the Gateway Hotel, but I have it in Bootle.  One has to draw the line somewhere, but I'm not sure I've got this border right, so I have now amended the database to place this one in Seaforth:

Location notwithstanding, another one that's made it through lockdown apparently unscathed, and the great fun slightly quirky interior remains, well looked after.

The other side looked out of use, perhaps it is now a function room.

About five other customers, three generations of the same family I think, kept gentle chatter going in the background while I enjoyed another pint of Carling.

It seemed cooler in here than the last place, open doors at both ends of the room allowing a gentle breeze to freshen the air.  And also allowing the intermittent roar of Dock Road traffic in.

At this point I'm afraid I decided that the heat of the day (Speke airport were reporting 30C) was just too much, so I abandoned the plan for a long walk towards Bootle, and retraced my steps to Seaforth for a train home.

Pub of the day: Seaforth Arms Hotel, for its unexpected and very welcome return.
Miles walked: 1.1
Maybe coming soon: Southport or Liverpool city centre.