Saturday 4 January 2020

New Year in Town - Part II

Another day, another varied selection of pubs in Liverpool, starting with a place I've never visited:  This used to be Tom Hall's until it went bust last year, now it's Jurgen's Bierhaus:
I pulled my hat down and hoped none of my Evertonian friends were around to see me as I quickly sidled in.

Inside I found a large cellar bar in three rooms, decorated with lots of LFC memorabilia, and mostly painted in their colours.

Surprisingly quiet on a Saturday afternoon, just seven people in the large "boot room" where I sat to enjoy my Guinness.  Live football on umpteen tellies, luckily silent, not Liverpool though.  I wonder if it'll be busy in here for the derby tomorrow.  Sadly I'll be 200 miles away by then.

Mercenary as always, I can't help wondering how much Herr Klopp gets paid to allow his name and picture to be used.

Next, just round the corner to a place I haven't visited since 2012, Ma Boyle's:
Here I got a pleasant surprise, as there were three handpumps on and my pint of Lister's Christmas Ale (All the way from Sussex.) was excellent.  Many years ago this was a wonderful place for real ale, and on one occasion I was even allowed to pull my own pint, possibly the only time I've done that.  So you can imagine my disappointment in 2012 when there was no cask, and my pleasure today on finding it's back.

Quite busy with people drinking wine or cocktails, and eating - the menu looks tempting I must say.

Music at just the right volume plus happy chatter formed the soundtrack of this rather fine pub.

So, this place can go back on my list of Liverpool's hidden gems, although judging by the trade there's not much "hidden" about it.

Where next?  Although not due for a tick, the Pig and Whistle's not far:
A visit here is always a little disappointing as I can remember the historic interior before it was refurbished away back in aught five.  Nonetheless, it's still a pleasant boozer, and my pint of Unicorn, the only real ale available, was fine.

The tiny stage in the corner was equipped for a solo performer.  I guess they also do Karaoke and a sign says "NO VALERIE, NO ANGELS, NO BARBIE GIRL, NO 500 MILES"  That's a shame, with two of my favourites excluded.  (It's left as an exercise for the reader to guess which two!)  I've never sung Karaoke but one of those four is the one I'd probably choose if I was ever stupid/drunk enough to do so.

Pretty quiet in here, and by the time I'd finished my pint it was just me and the barmaid.

Finally, another Liverpool classic, not visited since 2014, the Carnarvon Castle:
This tiny gem was busy as always but I managed to find a seat to enjoy my pint of Director's and write this.

A lively throng of Saturday afternoon shoppers came in and out and as soon as anyone vacated a table someone else wanted it.  Sadly the ceramic frontage and the wonderful collection of dinky toys have long gone, but it's still a wonderful traditional boozer, long may it continue!

No music in here, just a hubub of cheerful scousers.  When I was younger a pub where you had to stand up was fine, of course, but nowadays I need a seat!  On the other hand, it's not often I'm the youngest person in the pub, but I may have been here!

I must say it's a little surprising here slap bang in the City Centre to find I've got no mobile signal.  (I wanted to check my train home)

Pub of the day: Carnarvon Castle

Thursday 2 January 2020

New Year in Town

My first call of a couple in town was somewhere I haven't visited since 2011, The Bridewell:
Why haven't I been in this wonderful place for nine years, missing a number of name and ownership changes?  You can sit in a cell in this former police station, which has been very well done out since my last visit.

The friendly landlord pulled me a pint of a superb stout from somewhere.  There were five handpumps on, offering a wide selection of different ales.

Very quiet in here and with the music at a sensible volume the main sound was the cheerful landlord chatting with customers.

There's an upstairs as well, I think, but I didn't visit it.

On to the Hub, but it's not called that any more.  Albert's Schenke:
I marched past the "Please wait here to be seated" sign without noticing it, and joined the throng at the counter to order a beer.  Service looked a little slow, but in fact I soon had my drink and bagged one of the few empty tables.

Well well, it's changed a bit since I visited the Hub in 2011, but the one thing they've kept is a small range of quality real ales, I had an excellent pint of Liverpool Pale.
It's now decorated in a sort of German bierhalle style which I have to say I rather like.

Very busy in here, there were only a few free tables, and the majority of people seemed to be drinking rather than eating, perhaps not surprisingly at three in the afternoon.  The only sound was a loud hubbub of happy customers.

After a while I realised why I like this place so much:  It reminds me of "German" bars I've frequented around the world, the Paulaner Brauhaus in Beijing being a particular favourite.  Of course, none of those places serve real ale!

The area around here is full of new eateries and bars, so perhaps it's time to try one new to me; how about Lock and Key:
I think this is mainly a "boutique hotel" (whatever that means) but on the ground floor is a rather well done tiny bar with a couple of Love Lane brews on tap.  Very nicely decorated, I'm not sure how to describe the styling, apart from "pleasant".

Despite it being a cold grey Thursday afternoon, the place was ticking over nicely although not full, and the quiet background muzac was mostly drowned by conversations.  Custom thinned out as I enjoyed my beer, at least one of the clients was only here for a coffee and the free wifi. 

Pub of the day: The Bridewell