Saturday 7 April 2018

The Derby In The Derby

Regular readers of this blog (if there are any) will already be familiar with the Woolton Pub Crawl, which nowadays isn't a pub crawl but a friends' reunion.  My plan today was to tick off some of the Woolton pubs we don't do any more on this annual event.  And perhaps to find some we should.

The bus, when it eventually turned up, carried me to Woolton and I started my research in the Derby Arms:
This pleasant comfortable pub was busy and everyone was watching the derby match on various tellys.  This included the bar staff, I had to rather rudely rattle a glass on the bar to get some attention, after which I was served a fine pint of Weetwood Cheshire Cat.  I retreated to a corner where I could see the football without blocking anyone's view.

Some great-looking food came out from the kitchen to tempt me, but I resisted and soon finished my pint.

Why does the sign have a picture of a racehorse?  Shouldn't it be the coat of arms of the Earls of Derby?

Next call was the Grapes (Picture from 2012):
This is usually skipped on the Woolton Pub Crawl because it has no real ale and was deemed a bit tatty inside.  The latter is no longer true (If it ever was.) and the antique interior is rather good with some old-looking woodwork and a fine fireplace.

With no footy in here it was much quieter, although still ticking over nicely, so I settled on a comfortable bench seat and enjoyed a Guinness while typing my notes for the Derby and here.

The result was 0-0 by the way.  I must say to my inexpert eye the bit I watched had 0-0 written all over it.  (If anyone from the telly is reading, I'm available as a pundit and I'll do it for half what the crisp spokesman gets.)

On to the Loft:
Despite a number of name changes over the years, this place hasn't altered much, although it has slowly moved upwards in quality, I think, and become more food-oriented.

I seem to remember back when it was Chardonay's it wanted to be a bistro but no-one wanted to eat, but now it was ticking over nicely, with most customers eating at 3 on a Saturday afternoon.  Not all customers though, a number of drinkers - including me - were welcome as well.

The "barn" construction makes for a noisy echoey atmosphere, I imagine it's deafening at busy times.

To finish, the Coffee House:
Good grief, why is my least favourite pub in Woolton the busiest?  The place was packed, with every seat taken and lots standing as well.  The barmaid was efficiently serving two people at once.

To be fair, the place is much tidier and better decorated than it used to be, making for a pleasant appearance.

I eventually found a shelf where I could rest my pint and type this.  At twenty to four it already had a Saturday night atmosphere and noise level.  Nothing wrong with that, but it's not really my sort of place.  Maybe twenty-five years ago!

Suddenly I spotted a group of people had left, so I moved to a comfortable corner while the on-the-ball staff buzzed around clearing tables in between providing good service at the counter.

The level of custom brought back memories of Friday nights out in my younger years, perhaps I need to do more research at peak times because I haven't seen a pub packed like this for yonks, and I was experiencing nostalgic feelings as I swigged my Guinness.

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