Wednesday 24 October 2012

A Mixed Bunch in Town

A couple of trips into Liverpool gave me the chance to make a few long-overdue pub visits.  Sorry, no pictures this time.

Let's start on Whitechapel in The Beehive - Incidentally one of two pubs with this name in the City Centre.  Not much has changed since my last visit in 2007, except for the welcome addition of real ale, and I was able to enjoy a decent pint of Black Sheep.  A long narrow "corridor bar" with some original features including a good ceramic dado in the standing area by the bar.  To the rear is a restaurant area which was totally deserted when I visited, although a number of people were eating in the more friendly surroundings of the front seating area.

The menu, a good selection of standard pub fare, features this sad indictment of our education system:  "CHECK OUT ARE 2 FOR £10.00 MAIN MEALS OVERLEAF LOOK FOR THE ONES WITH AN ASTERIX".  Under the laws of natural justice, no doubt I'll be punished for having the gall to make this criticism with a really embarrassing grammatical or spelling error appearing in this post.  [Pun intended]

The Lion on Moorfields is a gem well worthy of its inclusion in CAMRA's list of historic pub interiors.  It retains the traditional layout of an L-shaped corridor between the doors, with the servery and bar room on the inside of the L, and the lounge rooms (two in this case) on the other side of the passageway.  Service for the lounges is provided via two tiny hatches in the cut glass partition that divides the corridor from the bar.

At the time of my visit they were having a beer festival, with eight real ales on, making it even harder than usual to choose a beer, peering at the back of the pumps through the serving hatch.  Luckily the landlord pointed me to the blackboard behind me.  I selected a pint of Leeds Brewery's Yorkshire Gold - splendid!

On to Ma Boyles Oyster Bar, which I haven't visited since 2005.  Something of a disappointment with only one pump clip on, and the Sharp's Doom Bar had run out, so I had to put up with a pint of the black stuff.  This place used to be great for real ale, but sadly it seems to have gone downhill.  The presentable interior has changed little since the last time I was here.

The Pig and Whistle on Chapel Street used to be another gem but in 2005 it was unfortunately refurbished within an inch of its life.  Nonetheless, it remains a very pleasant, comfortable, friendly pub serving a spot on pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord.  On a grey Tuesday afternoon there were only a handful of customers, all of which knew the barmaid, and she invited them all to a party somewhere on Friday!

Saturday 6 October 2012


A sunny autumn day, time for a trip to Prescot, where I started in Tommy Hall's, a compact two-sided boozer, partially knocked through, with a well cared for interior.  No real ale, so I had a pint of Guinness and watched a little of the early Saturday match, along with a number of cheerful locals.  My previous notes recorded this place as packed on a Saturday night, this time it was early Saturday afternoon and it was still pretty busy, although I had no trouble finding a seat.

The Royal Oak is much larger and retains two separate sides with no obvious access between.  The inside looks very traditional and appears to have been well refurbished recently, so it isn't easy to tell how much of the woodwork is old.  Less busy than Tommy Hall's but still doing a good trade.

Next, two closed pubs:  The Bath Springs is boarded up

... and The Crown is now The Crown of India!

The Red Lion Hotel was also busy with regulars watching the same football match as I had seen in Tommy Hall's, although this time, rather disconcertingly, on an Arabic TV channel.  The post match analysis consisted of a man in a suit speaking English (He looked like he might be a former player but I didn't recognise him.) and two Arabic men in traditional dress (Is it called a thobe?) speaking Arabic.

Another unexpected sight in here was the notice saying "NO STRANGERS ARE ALLOWED to PLAY ON FRUIT MACHINES SORRY!" - I wonder what that's about?  (This photo is from 2004, the others were taken today.)