Thursday, 2 November 2017

Mossley Hill

Two trains carried me to Mossley Hill station, from where it was a short walk to Pi:
A shop conversion, this, with two shops joined together.  The decor inside is the standard micro-pub plain walls covered in breweriana.  With a stone floor this made for a somewhat echoey ambiance, although there wasn't much noise to echo as I was the only customer.  I was a little concerned about this place as during my internet research yesterday I happened upon some very negative trip advisor reviews saying it had gone downhill recently; and also it seems to have a food hygiene rating of 1.  All I can say is that the friendly helpful barman served me an excellent pint of Dark Star's Partridge, and even gave me some complimentary peanuts. (Before you say "yuk", this wasn't the bowl on the bar that's had everyones fingers in, which seemed to be very common in America when I was there. These were scooped into a container for me.) No-one came in while I enjoyed my ale. They've been here since 2011 so my first visit is just a little late, let's hope they are busier at other times.

A short step back past the station brought me to the Rose of Mossley:
I first came here in 1997, I think, when it was just called the Rose.  A large free-standing pub dating from I'm not sure when (1930s perhaps?), the inside, originally with many rooms, has been opened up but keeping some separation between areas.  It still retains some original-looking woodwork and ceiling plasterwork, altogether a pleasant, comfortable interior.  Nowadays it's in the Greene King stable, and aiming at diners. The two handpumps were offering Abbot and Old Spooky Hen which tasted like the Speckled version. Ticking over gently at four on a Thursday, in the area where I sat the majority of customers were eating. A gentle hum of background conversation was drowning out the very quiet muzak as I drank my ale and typed my report.

Next, down some classic suburban streets to the Storrsdale:
My comments back in 2009 described this as a beautifully looked after preserved 50s or 30s pub, and nothing has changed.  Wonderfully, there's a little parade of shops across the road in the same style, and the brickwork in both suggests to me it's 1930s rather than 50s. Comments from those who know more than I do about pub architecture (That is, pretty much everyone.) would be welcome.

As usual, I went in by the wrong door, entering the well kept but totally empty lounge.  I headed through the connecting door to join the handful of regulars in the bar side. The handpumps offered various ales, including a number from Hobson, the one I had was spot on although I noticed everyone else was on lager. Everyone watched Tipping Point on the telly, and then The Chase.

I can't say enough about this wonderful architectural gem. It has clearly been refurbished and altered during its life, but so many original features remain, making it a personal favourite. Quality real ales are just the icing on the cake.

Finally, a stroll to the never before visited Greenhills.  No picture, as it was dark by now. This will become a regular theme for the next few months, unfortunately my old arrangement of starting a research trip before noon has been stymied by the now common restricted opening hours - Today it was the Storrsdale, which opened at 3pm (Or 4 if you use a different web site)

I'm not sure why this place has heretofore been missing from my researches, I think it's one of those locations that slips through the cracks between areas. [I've always wanted to use "heretofore" in a blog entry!]

Mainly aimed at diners, the large building has a pleasant comfortable drinkers' area at one side. I would have thought they could put a few food menus in here to tempt us but apparently not, so I can't comment on the menu, but anyway the ale was good - They offered Bombardier and Doom Bar, I had the former. [Aha! - I get to use former/latter as well.]

There was a regular flow of customers, both drinkers and diners, so I think they're doing well. It seemed to me that there were more drinkers than diners.

Finally, a fairly short walk to West Allerton station, which I don't think I've ever used before, got me on the journey home.

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