Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Insert Witty Title Here

A cold and damp Tuesday saw me on the 82 bus along Smithdown Road, noting a few pubs due a revisit and a lot more that aren't there any more.  I headed for Penny Lane and the Dovedale Towers:
For some strange reason I've never been here before although I've known for years that it does decent real ale.  Inside the impressive building I found a great interior with excellent woodwork, stained glass windows and tiled flooring.  I've got a suspicion it's all fake but who cares, it looks great.

The barman broke off from chatting to head behind the bar and, after pulling some through, poured me a fine pint of Landlord, presumably the first of the day.  Customers were few and far between, I could only see two others as I sat down, with a couple more arriving later, one of whom wanted to discuss a wedding reception, I think.

Next call was the Penny Lane Wine Bar, which I haven't visited since 2000:
I'm sure they trade on their name with Beatles tourists, but the memorabilia is not excessive in the pleasant and comfortable, albeit very cold, interior.  There was only one other customer, an old fella standing at the bar with a half and a packet of crisps.  I've never heard of Tags crisps before, but Google has:  Apparently it's a project from Dragon's Den - So presumably overpriced and trading on their TV fame.

No real ale so I had my usual Guinness.

On to Allerton Road and a new tick, the Three Piggies:
Much warmer than the wine bar, but still a little on the cool side, despite me sitting next to a stove.  The downside of a glazed wooden frontage which can be opened in the summer is the draughts in the winter, it must cost a packet to keep this place warm in January!

Anyway, the decor inside, distressed woodwork, bare brick, etc. is very pleasant, light and airy.  More importantly, four hand pumps served ales from less well known breweries, and the one I selected from Liverpool Organic was spot on.  While it's obviously aimed at diners, drinkers seem to be welcome.  I could only see three other customers although the pop of a Champagne cork (OK, probably Prosecco.) suggested there were others round the corner.

I must say this place looks a lot of fun, for example if you play the piano on certain evenings you get free drinks!

One of the women at the next table was the spitting image of Sarah Lancashire, I wonder if it was her.  With that scouse accent maybe not.  In the time I was there she and her friend didn't eat or drink anything, just chatted incessantly.  And why not.

Apparently, there's a function room called the Barn upstairs, which explains the sign in the photo.

Finally, on to the John Brodie.  Formerly a Yates's and not much changed inside, I think, since I ticked Yates's eighteen years ago.

I risked a pint of Bombardier from the sole operational handpump, and it was fine, and very cheap at £1.95 - Tuesday is cheap cask ale day here.  This place is a sort of Wetherspoon's clone, with less real ale but, judging by the menu, better food.

For the first time today, I was comfortably warm without my coat.  It was also the first place with plenty of customers.  Coincidence?  Perhaps not.  They've got the same "seven deadly gins" pun as I saw in West Derby.

Amusingly, despite having been renamed in 2012, the free wifi still identifies as Yates's.  A close examination of the menu revealed that the place belongs to the Stonegate Pub Company.

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