Oh dear. Thirteen days in to the year and I haven't done any ticks yet. Dryanuary? Oh no, I've enjoyed plenty of good ale this year already, just not in target pubs. Five pints, all excellent, in Birkenhead yesterday for example - Wetherspoon's, Swinging Arm, Gallagher's if you're interested. Actually, that day out with friends reminded me I need to do a Birkenhead trip to tick some pubs I wouldn't want to drag my pals to!
Anyway, I can't waste today's sunshine, so a train and a bus took me to the far end of Smithdown Road and I was soon in my first target, the Richmond Tavern:
This has always been a chain dining pub, but since my last visit way back in '06 it has been refurbished nicely and is now an Ember Inn. The pleasant interior is in their usual style.
Eight handpumps on the counter with only about three operational; my pint of London Pride was excellent.
Not exactly busy at two on a Thursday afternoon, but ticking over, mainly diners finishing a late lunch I think.
I recall a visit here with friends many years ago on a wet and stormy night, where additional drama was provided by the occasional roof tile crashing into the car park. We were glad we didn't come by car!
Now, down a side street to the never visited Fogherty's:
The style of the interior suggests the place has been here for a long time. Has it? Why have I never been here before? Researches on Streetview show it back to the first picture in 2008, and checking my archives reveals it has been in my database for at least twenty-two years, so there's really no excuse for my failure to tick.
Anyway, a traditionally done boozer in a large L-shaped room, very clean and tidy, and ticking over mid afternoon with blokes of my age and older enjoying ale and chat.
No handpumps, of course, so I enjoyed a pint of Guinness.
They've still got plastic screens between customer and bar staff here, let's hope this nonsense is finished before too long. I was pleased to see Aussie White on an optic behind the bar, it's getting harder to find nowadays.
Now, on to a place i didn't even know existed until I walked past it on the way to the Richmond, so it's a great bonus tick in 21st Amendment:
I don't know how to describe the decor in this large pub, but I like it. Umpteen "Tiffany" lampshades, dark green tile work on some walls, dark wood flooring, comfortable bench seats along the walls. It's all a bit eccentric and, to my mind, rather fine.
No real ale so it was Guinness again for me.
The large TV screen opposite me was showing a wood fire, but it didn't have the warmth of a real one!
Only a handful of customers, some gentle chatter mixed with the music.
In 1933, the twenty-first amendment to the US Constitution repealed the eighteenth amendment, and marked the end of prohibition.
Finally, just round the corner is the Dog House:
Big windows into the street on two sides of this rather fine bar with fun contemporary decor. Too big to be called a "micro" but it's in that mould.
Two handpumps were operating, offering a hazy brew from local Black Lodge, and Doom Bar. I've commented in the past that places like this should have an "ordinary" real ale for the customers who are scared of peculiar murky stuff. This place has nailed it! (I chose the hazy one, it was gorgeous.)
Not many customers at four, but gently ticking over. It deserves to be busy later.
OK, time for home, I think. There are enough bars around here to justify another trip, including Leaf, never visited, and the Tavern Company, last ticked in 1999. Four ticks, three never done before and one of those never even heard of; a good result.
Miles walked: 1.2
Maybe coming soon: Garswood