Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Improving Liscard

Train and bus whizzed me to Liscard where I first headed to the Queens:
One of my less complimentary guide entries, from 1999:
The interior decor is a throwback to the seventies while the clientele are a throwback to the stone age.  The staff were unable to provide a lemonade with any fizz in it for my driver when we visited.
It has to be revised, as the decor has been very nicely done creating a pleasant bright two sided boozer, and retaining a distinct difference between bar and lounge.  As for the clientele, there weren't any, three drinkers leaving the bar side just after I entered (We don't want some nosey pub ticker noting our conversations.) while in the lounge side was one woman who appeared to be staff.

The Doom Bar handpump looked out of use so I didn't ask, perhaps the one in the other side was working.  I had my usual black stuff instead, and sat alone in the bar side with just Sky Sports News on three tellys for company.   There were another two TVs switched off, no problem seeing the match on a busy day!

A short walk to never before visited Stanleys for my next call:
I can't make this place's architecture out.  Is it a relatively new construction, or a conversion from something else?  If new, why build it here, hidden out of the way.

I don't know the word to describe the interior decor, bare brick walls decorated with carved woodwork, and a quarry-tiled floor.  Actually, the wood and the large fireplace caused the word "baronial" to pop into my mind.  Anyway, the important thing is that it was pleasant and comfortable.

There were three hand pumps facing me as I entered, only one with a pump clip, so I risked a pint of Theakston's Lightfoot which was excellent.

Only one or two customers in on this sunny and warm for the time of year Tuesday afternoon, I hope they get more at other times.  I checked out the menu, which offered bog-standard pub meals - fish and chips, bangers and mash etc. - at low prices, but there was no sign of anyone eating.  I always wonder in this sort of place, is there someone in the kitchen sitting wirh their feet up waiting just in case, or does the lone barmaid have to fire up the microwave?

Over the road to the Vineyard:
From the outside this looks like a bistro, but inside I found a cheerful bar with five other customers, the busiest so far!  This place was reported as having real ales, and there was a good display of pump clips next to the bar, but the two handpumps were unlabelled so I stuck to Guinness, and earwigged on the chit chat, which seemed to be mainly about hospital visits.

Next, on to Dukes which I last visited back in 1999 when it was the Wellington and I described it as a youth oriented pool hall.  In the intervening nineteen years it's changed its name and style, becoming a pleasant plain food-led pub.

They must be doing something right, because there were more customers in here than in the previous three places put together!  Some of them were eating, as well!

On the other hand, my Guinness was the worst I've had for ages, I reckon it had been festering in the pipes since yesterday.  Also, while I'm grumbling, it was very cold in here, for which there is no excuse on the warmest day of the year so far.

After sitting down I spotted four hand pumps at the far end of the bar, but I guessed they were purely decorative.  Later, passing by on my way to the gents, I saw one of them had a Doom Bar pump clip so perhaps I could have had a real ale.

Finally, the Beer Keg:
Yuk, one of my least liked pubs this one.  Converted from a frozen food supermarket, it's a chilly marble-floored room with two pool tables in front of a long counter, and a significant "dirty mop" smell.  Quite loud piped music, and the chatter of just a half dozen customers aged from 9 to 69 I should think.

My Guinness was once again of low quality, although this was pint number five so I wasn't really qualified to judge.

Oh my goodness!  When was the last time you heard the "Stars on 45 Abba Compliation"?

The regulars were a lively lot, playing pool and chatting; I felt very much the outsider, they just ignored me.

One somewhat inebriated regular decided to move all the tables and chairs around, much to the annoyance of one of the staff.  The rubbish revealed suggested the tables hadn't been moved for some time!

Having slagged the place off above, I have to confess to growing fondness for this lively, friendly boozer where everyone knows everyone else (except me).  They were all enjoying a pleasant Tueday evening so who am I to criticise?

There are still two more pubs in Liscard which are due a visit, so I'll have to come back again some time.

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