Tuesday 27 February 2018


Once again, snow failed to deter me from my mission as I took a bus ride to Picton.  Actually, as you can see in the photos, it had all melted by the time I arrived.

I started in the Coffee House:
This rather fine well preserved pub almost looked closed with access blocked by the roadworks outside, but once I found my way in past the end of the barriers I discovered the splendid interior remains.  Careful refurbishment has retained the excellent ceiling plasterwork and an ornamental arch with an RC & sons crest.  (Robert Cain)

Just the friendly barmaid and me at 1pm on a Tuesday, the weather was keeping everyone else at home, she said.

I decided not to risk the first Doom Bar out of the pump, and stuck to my usual Guinness.  Eventually a regular arrived to double the number of customers.  I've always considered it a great honour when you go into a pub and they pour your usual without asking.

An ominous black cloud approached from the east as I moved on to the Clock, passing the former Lamb, now an office:
A rather quirky pleasant interior in the Clock, made to look a little untidy by a scattering of electric heaters about the place.  Three other customers chatted with the barmaid while I enjoyed my second Guinness and watched the suddenly heavy snow outside.  Luckily it didn't seem to be settling, and soon eased off.

The small dance floor I noted in '03 was occupied by a pool table today, but the glitter ball and other lights suggested they probably wheel it away sometimes.

I walked past umpteen pubs to find my next destination:  The Barley Mow (open), the Cock and Bottle (open), the Town Hall (closed and To Let), the Prince Alfred (open), Cuffs (open), the Thatched House (open), Chillies (shutters down) and the Rose (open).  At last, I headed up a side street to the Edinburgh:
It looked like it might be closed, but the sign on the door agreed with the internet that it should be open, so I cautiously tried the door handle and in I went.

This beautiful Victorian end terrace is a tiny two room pub.   I was the only customer and the landlord pulled through the Liverpool Organic Cascade before serving me a perfect pint.

It must be great to have a comfortable boozer like this as your local!

It would have been even nicer if the real fire was lit, so far in today's researches I hadn't taken off my coat, and I wasn't going to do that here either.

The background music, Classic FM, was an uncommon and pleasant change from the usual pop one listens to in pubs.

Outside it got a lot darker suddenly, and snow started again but it soon stopped.  Eventually, as I neared the end of my pint another customer came in, swigged a lager and left.

Back to the main drag, and to the Rose Vaults:
A pleasant plain split level one room boozer, this, with more customers than any of the other places visited so far.  The decor is what I call "traditional", that is some dark woodwork, some leaded glass panels, and modern repro cut glass lampshades, very much in the style of an Oak Lodges pub.

More importantly it was comfortably warm.  As I was served a regular lit up a cigarette before the barmaid ordered him out to smoke it, giving the place a faint nostalgic smoky smell.

The music here was back to normal after the Edinburgh, and yet still wide ranging in taste: The Eagles, Genesis, The Wonder Stuff, and The Carpenters!  Sadly, these were followed by a terrible cover version of one of the ultimate tear-jerkers - Seasons In The Sun.

Next, on to Cuffs (because it's in the old police station, I presume.)  Some of the signage outside says Pound Pub:
Much busier than the preceding ticks, with lively chatter from twenty or thirty customers drowning out the quiet muzak, but my goodness, it's cold in here.  Nonetheless, the leather sofas scattered around the large open room were very comfortable.

The "wandering salesman" was selling coffee, a new one to add to my long list of what I've been offered in pubs (CDs, foreign holidays, bed linen, batteries, aftershave etc etc.)

Time to head for home, there's plenty more pubs in Picton to justify another visit.

Coming next:  Maybe Old Swan part two, or how about Moreton?

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