I was a little concerned that a cold and wet Tuesday 2 January isn't the best time to survey back street boozers, and when i reached the Prince Alfred the shutters were down:
Fortunately, a little further down Rice Lane the Prince Leopold was open:
Just across the side turning is the Bakery Inn:
A lot more popular that the Leopold, there were about a dozen other drinkers, mostly chatting and laughing. I notice they sell Sam Smith's Alpine Lager 2.8%, might as well have a fizzy water!
As I swigged my Guinness, I eyed up the vertical pole in the middle of the room. Was the ceiling in danger of coming down? I recall the sadly missed Bree Louise in London, which had an "Acrow" prop holding up the ceiling for many years. But no, this one was chromed, with a small stage at the bottom, so presumably for pole dancing. I don't know if that sort of thing still goes on in backstreet pubs, I remember one of the pubs in Vauxhall (The Goat, I think, now closed.) used to have "exotic dancers", but never when I was there. Honest.
Plough, which looks like it's only function rooms now, and a couple of former pubs - The Oakfield Inn (Couldn't find it) and the Prince Of Wales, now a hotel. Eventually I reached the Northcote Bar:
Next, on in the gloom and rain to the Prince Arthur:
The walls of the lounge room are completely filled with pictures, on various themes - The corner where I sat had football teams, Liverpool architecture, Mohamed Ali, Elvis, and Marilyn Monroe.
Of the pubs I've done today, this was the busiest - plenty of regulars in both bar and lounge sides creating a cheerful hubbub - and also the warmest. I was called upon to confirm the symbols on one of the locals' scratch cards, because he couldn't read them without his glasses. Sadly it wasn't a winning card - I might have got a drink out of it!
Finally, the Queen Victoria at the end of Rice Lane finished my survey. A very dimly lit two room boozer, quieter than the Arthur but still ticking over. Once again, racing on the telly with no-one watching.
Opposite the Queen Victoria was a bus stop whence I headed back to Liverpool.
It was difficult to spot pubs in the wet through misted up bus windows but I could see County Road features a number of places in need of a visit, and the Wetherspoon's is covered in scaffolding.
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