Thursday 23 November 2017

Southport Line Miscelleny

The weather was cold and mostly bright as I used two trains to travel from Huyton to Hightown. Opportunities for confusion over these place names perhaps? I once had a taxi driver head towards Walton when I wanted Woolton, but I've not had problems with Huyton/Hightown yet.

But I digress. It's just a few steps from the station to the Hightown Hotel:
When I first came here the interior was decorated in an unusual fifties/sixties style which I rather liked, but that has long gone, to be replaced with standard "traditional pub" decor, done very nicely. The only other customers at 3 p.m. were a group of regulars chatting at the bar; no-one else came or went while I was there. The six hand pumps included Directors' (Now brewed by Wells & Youngs in Bedford.) which I haven't had for years so I enjoyed a good pint of that in the comfortable surroundings.
I had a quick look at the menu of standard pub classics which seems good value. It's quite rare nowadays for a pub that isn't in a chain or franchise to do food.
I also noticed an advert for new year's eve: Free entry, free food, two free drinks, and fireworks. If only I lived within walking distance!

The plan was to walk across open country to the never before visited Pheasant, but a cold north wind was whistling in across the sea, bringing with it ominous black clouds and a few spots of rain, so I wimped out and left that one for a warmer day, instead taking the train a couple of stops to Freshfield to tick off the Beer Station:
A standard micro-pub in a row of shops this, worryingly deserted as I approached but the sign said Open and it was. The usual micro decor of plain walls, but decorated with pictures of local scenes instead of breweriana. Very pleasant, although somewhat lacking in atmosphere with only me and the landlord. My pint of Melwood's Liverpool Porter from one of the three hand pumps was nothing short of perfect. No other drinkers appeared while I enjoyed my ale, I hope they get more people later.

Back to the station, and a few stops towards town, to Crosby and the Corner Post. (Too dark for pictures by now.) Another micro-pub, pale walls with local scenes again, but this time with the difference that there were nearly a dozen customers, despite the fact that it was rather chilly inside. Five handpumps on the bar, and I had an excellent pint of Prohibition APA from Wily Fox. Unlike the dead silence of the last place, there was a gentle background noise of cheerful chit-chat here, making it feel more welcoming/comfortable, although on the negative side this is one of those dog-friendly places - There were two well behaved ones while I was there.
More people came in as I enjoyed my ale, to the extent that eventually I had to share my table.

The trouble with using the excellent to help plan these researches is that it has a "nearby" button which quite often throws up a place I've never heard of. Thus I found myself in the This is Livin Bar and Grill. This is mainly a restaurant, but there's a pleasant drinkers' area by the bar which feels comfortable and not just grudgingly provided for people waiting to eat. As far as I could see, the only customers at half five were me and one other drinker, severely outnumbered by the staff (Four front of house, at least three in the kitchen.) but I expect they get more diners later. No real ale so I finished my day with a Guinness.

So, two of those critical "In the Good Beer Guide but I've never been" places ticked, plus another I'd never heard of before. Time to go home.

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