I headed out towards Breck Road, Everton on a very chilly Saturday afternoon, starting at the Brunel:
My pre-flight checks had warned me this closed in 2021, and it would appear to belong to the local Baptist church now.
A little further along is the Royal:
At first glance I thought this might also have closed, but through the steel grills I could see people moving about inside, so I went in and sure enough found a plain two sided boozer with a fair number of customers.
The interior seems to have lost the fake beams I noted last time. It's a little tatty, perhaps, but clean and tidy. And comfortable, albeit a touch chilly.
The spelling on the various notices is appalling: "premesis" indeed! I blame the
teachers education system.
On to the Lutine Bell:
This one looked closed as well: Shutters down on the front door and a man on a ladder working on the side door shutters. But no, there are people inside. Advised by the shutter menders, I headed round to the back yard entrance and in through the smokers area.
Once inside I found a plain beautifully maintained pub, well occupied by regulars at half one on a Saturday.
The rather bright mustard yellow paintwork I recall from my last visit, in 2017, has become a cheerful but not over garish red. And it's warm in here as well.
There were enough people in the place to make the main sound a hubbub of cheerful chatter; of course they all know each other. This really is the archetypal friendly boozer, long may it survive.
It was pleasing to see a barmaid kept busy all the time I was here, an almost non stop flow of drinks over the counter. She did occasionally have time to stop for a chat, but mostly she was pouring.
A little further along is the Windermere:
Another one that looks to be closed, and this time it is, I'm sorry to say. With the benefit of hindsight I wonder if I should have pushed on the door?
I carried on, passing the long closed but still standing Richmond Arms, last ticked in December 1998, when they had hand-pulled Walker's Bitter:
And on to the Cabbage Hall:
This is a nicely done family dining sort of place, very different from the Lutine - And just as successful.
A well decorated and spotlessly clean interior with nothing historic remaining in this fine 1920s or even earlier (guess) building.
Quite a few family groups were eating, although I wouldn't call it busy.
I've heard of "doggie bags" for taking left over food home but the group sitting near me had plastic glasses for left over lager when they departed, I've not seen that before.
I'm not sure if I've discussed the odd name previously: It is said that a large manor house nearby had the wall on the street decorated with stone pineapples; this was fashionable in Victorian times - And nowadays as well. The local people had never seen a pineapple and so named the house cabbage hall.
The closed Brunel, expected, and Windermere, unexpected, leaves me short of targets so now I have a choice: Go home after three, redo a pub done last year, or go for a slightly longer walk. I looked at my map, there's one isolated target in Tuebrook, so walk it is...
I last visited the Flat House in 2017, I wonder if it has changed?
The answer is it is basically unchanged but a little cooler and, I'm afraid, a lot emptier. I remember last time I was here - in 2017 - rejoicing over the discovery that "proper" traditional boozers like this were continuing to do well. I had to perch at the corner of a table, because there was nowhere else to sit. Today I had the same table to myself and there were plenty of others available.
It would be warmer in here if the smokers would "put wood in't hole" when they went out the back for a smoke. Actually, after I'd written that they mostly did, and the room felt a lot more comfortable without the icy draught.
There was a steady flow of customers in and out, and many of them knew each other and/or the rather attractive barmaid / landlady.
They've got that mysterious "Caines Lager" here; where does it come from? Only £2 a pint in February. I guess my Carling marked me out as an idiot, because Carlsberg is also £2, but I paid somewhat more.
OK, only four ticks today but I think I'll head for home...
Beer of the day: Carling, again.
Miles walked: 1.9
Maybe coming soon: Southport, Everton, Edge Hill