There are plenty of pubs in central Liverpool overdue for a visit, so I headed into town, and took a stroll up Wood Street. I started my researches near the top end, in Belgica:
Here I found a pleasant split level interior, the walls covered, of course, with Belgian signs and posters, some beer related. The ceiling was barrel vaulted brickwork, presumably genuine.
The place was deserted apart from two customers, with no one serving. I eyed up the beers on offer while I waited for the waitress who took some food to the other customers and then returned to the counter to serve me a Delerium Red, in a proper glass. Delicious!
The background music was rather good, although not noticeably Belgian - Probably just as well, non stop Plastique Bertrand would soon irritate, I think. I'm probably demonstrating my ignorance of music here, I can't think of any other Belgian musicians. Pause ... slaps forehead! Of course, the wonderful Soulwax.
I took a look at the beer menu. A bit short for a Belgian bar with only thirty or forty beers, but they've got my favourites in bottles including Rochfort 10 so that's good as far as I'm concerned. I also perused the food menu, very tempting but where's the moules? And more importantly, the sauce andalouse.
So should I stay here and get drunk on 11% trappist beer? Perhaps not.
While I'm in the area it would be rude not to go in the famous Swan Inn, so I did:
Nothing changes in here, I'm glad to report, including decent real ale, I had Wobbly Bob. Just a handful of customers at one on a Thursday, but significantly more than in the Belgica.
The rock jukebox was doing its stuff as always, this is definitely not the pub for a quiet conversation! The really heavy metal is not to my taste, but it also played slightly gentler tracks such as Sweet Home Alabama, I enjoyed Lynyrd Skynyrd live twenty-odd years ago.
It's not just great cask in here, I noticed: They've got Erdinger and Erdinger Dunkel on tap, the latter is uncommon on draft in this country I think.
Next, further down Wood Street is the never visited Woodys:
Before the apostrophe police come crashing through the door, I should point out that the rule for the Merseyside Pub Guide is "as written on the sign".
I wasn't sure what to expect here, thinking it was some sort of night club, and I was surprised to find it open at two in the afternoon, but it was, with about a dozen customers keeping the place ticking over.
The dark atmospheric interior is rather well done, I think, but despite the "sports bar" branding, all the TVs are showing "Magic TV". Actually, they play a good selection of music, I think I'm suddenly in love with Dido.
One customer sitting at the counter was very drunk and very noisy, the remainder enjoying their drinks quietly.
I had a Guinness here, and it was only £2.70. I thought it might be a bit thin after 7.5% and 6% beers but in fact it tasted as good as ever.
I continued down Wood Street and the next new tick was Soho:
I've never been in here before. Soho is a rather odd place, with a large outdoor area in front, and a rather well done nightcluby interior with the largest number of glitter balls I've ever seen in one place. Half two on a Thursday is not really the best time for a place like this, and there was only one other customer.
Nonetheless, as I sat alone bathed in the sparkles from the glitter balls and listened to Don't Look Back In Anger I must say I rather liked the place. I bet at eleven on a Friday night it's really lively. (Actually, I'm showing my age here - It'll probably be dead at eleven, and get busy after 1 am!)
My Guinness cost a lot more than in Woodys, at £4.50, perhaps they don't want the down market drunks here! It was served in one of those "hard plastic" glasses which feel like glass until you lift it half empty and nearly throw it over your shoulder.
Good grief, it's only half two and I'm well bevied, there's only one thing to do, drink more...
At the bottom of Wood Street is O'Neill's:
It's twelve years since I was in here, and it hasn't changed a bit. Still an above average "Irish" pub, better in my opinion than most. Obviously I had another Guinness.
The background music was gentle here, often drowned by the cheerful chatter of the customers.
I see they've got one of those bubbling Corona fonts I wrote about the other day, I reckon the bubbles on display are nothing to do with what you actually drink, at least I hope so.
I checked the menu, it looks rather good I must say. And good value.
Anyway, time to head for home even though it's only a quarter past three. A splendid crop of three new ticks taking me to 1,397. The next two I've got lined up require the bus strike to be settled.
Miles walked: 1.5
Maybe coming soon: Crossens, Southport, Heswall, Prescot