Medical matters once again took me out, this time to Rainhill, so why not tick a few pubs? Starting with the CookHouse Pub and Carvery:
Never mind all the history, what's it like now? Obviously aiming at diners but welcoming drinkers, it is a standard chain style food led pub. The above average decor, pastel coloured walls, distressed wooden counter front etc. looks very good.
Not surprisingly it was quiet at ten to twelve on a Thursday, but there was a steady trickle of early lunchers coming in and ordering food.
I scanned the menu: Fish, chips and peas £12.95, so not the cheapest, but Rainhill does have pretensions of poshness! (That's another group of readers alienated.)
As I enjoyed my Guinness the place got busier and busier, they are really doing well.
Next, the Black Horse:
Pleasant decor here, with mostly light and dark grey paintwork. One part of the space is designated as the dining area, but there are people eating elsewhere as well. With fish, chips and peas costing £8 the food is significantly cheaper than the previous place.
Once again there was a steady stream of dining customers arriving, one group were told there was a thirty minute delay on food and decided to go elsewhere. The landlord (or barman?) wasn't happy about this and commented to me (after they'd left) that good food can't be instantly cooked, and if your meal comes out in five minutes it must have been already prepared in the kitchen. He's right, but thirty minutes is a little on the slow side; I'd hate to come here when it was busy!
Next, I'll double back though the middle of Rainhill to the Rocket, named after the famous locomotive, of course. But wait, who's that shouting my name across the road? A former colleague and his missus, I haven't seen them for a number of years so a quick chat before I headed to the Rocket:
Pleasant and popular is the short answer, the bright cheerful well done interior has quite a lot of customers keeping the chatter level up.
One corner had a substantial buffet laid out, covered in cling film, so I'm guessing there'll be a wake before too long.
Unlike the other two this place isn't about food, no menus nor diners were in evidence, although as a sign says, special occasions are catered for.
Poor old Everton were on the telly. Are they playing on a Thursday afternoon, or is it a re-showing of a previous game? Losing as usual, anyway.
It's been great today to see three "ordinary" pubs doing well, long may they continue. Time for home.
Pub of the day: Too close to call.
Beer of the day: Guinness
Miles walked: 2.1
Maybe coming soon: Prescot, Thatto Heath, Wavertree