Tuesday 4 April 2023

Closer To Home

I headed out on a sunny Tuesday afternoon for a short walk to a new bar.

Soon I reached Bowring Park Golf Course, and their new nineteenth hole, the Coach House:

Apparently this has been open since last November but I only learned of its existence yesterday.  Inside the ancient building I found a very pleasant bar, pretty busy with only one or two free tables.  The attractive interior has a stone floor, bare brick walls and, above, naked beams.

My Guinness was slightly delayed by a problem with the contactless machine, soon resolved by the barmaid wiggling the wire.

Many of the customers were enjoying food, and the slightly echoey room was filled with happy chatter.  I can't quite put my finger on why but the whole place had the feel of a well run successful establishment.  Long may it continue.

I noticed the food from the kitchen seemed to come via outside.  Don't order if it's raining unless you like soggy chips!

Next, just a short distance back towards home is the Derby Lodge:

Nothing much has changed since the last time I was in here, fifteen years ago.  There's really no excuse for a gap that long on a pub an easy walk from my home!

The handpumps on the counter looked to be long out of use, last time I tried cask in here it was awful so probably just as well.

The decor, pleasant and well cared for, is, what do you call it, er, Ember Inns style, you know what I mean.  (It's not an Ember Inn, being a Table Table location.)

Just a few customers at two on a Tuesday, although I didn't check the restaurant end of the building.

Part of the same complex was a regular haunt of mine back in the 1990s.  Natterjacks is still there, looking like it only closed last week rather than 25 years ago:

Next on my walk homewards is the Stanley Arms, the eagle and child resplendent on top of the sign:

Unchanged since my last call three years ago, immaculately maintained and I think that might be a new carpet.

A disappointing lack of customers here, I suppose half two on a Tuesday is not a peak time.  I had the large back room to myself.

My Guinness followed today's trend of getting cheaper, £5 in the Coach House, £4.55 in the Derby and then £4.10 here if I remember right.

I noticed if you park here you have to enter your reg number on a computer, otherwise I guess you get a nasty bill.  I suppose pubs like this have to get their income where they can, but it seems a bit unfriendly.  It would be interesting to find out the ratio of 'customers who've failed to register' to 'non customers exploiting the car park' in this revenue stream.

Finally, the walk home passes the Crofters, it would be rude not to go in:

In the same Sizzling chain as the Stanley, this one was also quiet but not deserted, with just a few customers scattered around the well maintained interior.

A bloke at the bar had the biggest dog I've ever seen, no idea what breed but it was enormous.  Luckily it was well behaved and spent most of the time relaxed on the floor.  The owner said he weighed nine and a half stone.  (Er, that's he, the dog, not he, the owner.)

There seemed to be more locals that know each other in here than in the Stanley, I could hear quite a lot of chit-chat despite the place being mostly empty.  Many of the regulars said hello to the giant dog, before he led his owner out.

It was good to do an impromptu survey without having to worry about buses or trains: Rather relaxing, and it was also helped by the splendid weather.  I guess cutting the grass will have to wait another day!

Pub of the day: Coach House
Beer of the day: Guinness
Miles walked: 1.9
Maybe coming soon: Rainford, Rice Lane, Southport, Everton

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