I took a bit of a gamble today, the BBC said over eighty percent chance of rain so perhaps it would be unwise to do a survey with significant walks involved, but the sun was shining brightly so I decided to risk it.
The 61 bus "goes round Will's mother's" as my mum used to say, and then we met a very oversized load on a lorry which meant a twenty minute delay. There's no excuse for this sort of nonsense, these loads should be moved at three in the morning, not on a Saturday afternoon.
Anyway, eventually the bus reached its closest point to my first pub and I jumped off. The skies were darkening as I walked a mile and a half, and very light rain was starting as I finally reached a pub last visited so long ago that my records note Greenalls Bitter! The Griffin:
This is a very nicely done out pub, mostly knocked through, in an old building with some very old wooden beams and brickwork. Having said that, my notes from 1999 describe the decor as "all fake", so who knows? Very attractive, anyway.
Being in the Chef and Brewer chain it is concentrating on food, and doing a roaring trade at two on a Saturday. There was a queue at the bar (Which I think I jumped somewhat, sorry guys.) but there wasn't much delay before I was served a decent pint of Deuchars.
The place was packed out with family groups dining, the muzac completely drowned by a hubbub of cheerful conversations.
There wasn't a menu on the table I eventually found after a tour of the busy pub, so I can't comment on the food offer.
Some kind of charity event was happening in one part of the room, suddenly loads of people congregated at that end and I could hear occasional applause and cheering. Eventually they all returned, some having suddenly gained shaven heads!
Next, another long walk took me to the oddly named village of Clock Face, and its eponymous pub, last ticked in 2012:
I'd forgotten what an excellent pub this is, inside and out are immaculate and very pleasant. Two sided, plus a side room and a designated restaurant.
I had a quick look at the menu which doesn't seem to be in a chain of any sort and I must say it looks very good, although not at the cheap end of the price range with fish chips and peas at £12.50. Chicken, bacon and black pudding Caesar salad looks like a tempting option.
From my seat I couldn't see directly outside but I could tell that the sun was shining. So I was somewhat disappointed to see, from the gents window as I made my departure, that it was also raining quite hard! (See picture above)
I can ease off on the walking now, it's (just) under a mile to the next target, the listed (in two meanings of the word) Wheatsheaf:
Having done the left hand end in 2018 I thought I'd try the right hand half of this wonderful building. "Can I help you, have you booked a table? Or do you just want a drink?". Once I'd made my intentions clear it was "Out of the door and in the other end." I obeyed and soon found myself in the drinkers end of this glorious mess of a pub, where you can't get from one side to the other without going outside (Or through the servery) and everything is on a slope or, as my mother would say, "on the huh".
I was soon enjoying a pint of Shipyard in one of the rooms, admiring the woodwork and the leaded glass gantry.
In the corner was a cage containing a grey* parrot, I can't immediately recall the last time I was in a pub which had a parrot. There was a bloke sitting next to it so I was too embarrassed to attempt to engage it in chatter.
[* That's grey as in the colour, not necessarily a breed of bird.]
Actually, now I think of it I remember a rather sad looking parrot in a scruffy smokey bar on Berry Street with a sign warning that he bites. Ah yes, the Saint George was the bar. Today's parrot looks a lot more lively and active than that one did.
On to the Millhouse:
A very busy two sided operation this, I thought I might cheat the throng at the counter by sneaking through the door to the bar side to join the pool playing and rugby watching crowd but the barman was on the ball and served people in order before eventually bringing me an excellent pint of Landlord
The bar side was filled with younger men, chattering and playing pool, it's good to see a pub this busy. The "posh" side was equally busy with diners, so they've got both ends of the spectrum covered, well done.
While I was enjoying my pint I noticed a sign on the counter asking people to go through to the other side for service. Did I buck the system? I don't think the sign was there when I was waiting but I can't be sure?
Time for a train home, I think.
Beer of the day: Landlord
Miles walked: 4.6
Maybe coming soon: Anfield, Wavertree