Saturday 18 May 2024

Melling, Waddicar and Fazakerley

As I wandered around Kirkdale last week it occurred to me that I was wasting the fine weather, and it was time to do some more out of the way pubs.  So today I began with a train ride to Maghull.  I turned away from the excellent Great Moghul by the station and walked out into the countryside. 

I soon reached the Bootle Arms:

It is twenty years since I was last here and although I can't remember details that far back I suspect not much has changed.  This is a classic country pub inside and out.  

I waited impatiently at the bar, eventually noticing the Ring Bell sign.  I rang it just as the barman arrived.  Three handpumps but only one cask ale so I had Hobgoblin Gold which was very good. But what on earth is that glass about?

Actually, it's quite comfortable to hold, I could learn to like it.

Rather quiet at one on a Saturday with only a handful of other people in, but there was a gradual trickle of custom coming through the door, all locals judging by the conversations with the bar staff. 

I looked at the menu of pub standards, fish and chips is £13.29 which I guess is about mid-range for prices nowadays.

Only a mile and a half of walking down pleasant country roads and I soon reached the Horse and Jockey:

A contender for the worst picture of a pub award!

I headed to the plain pleasant bar room in this two sided operation, and enjoyed a pint of Neck Oil as there was no cask.

Gently ticking over with a number of customers scattered around both sides.  I could see no sign of a food offer, because it is only in the other side, so I can't comment on the selection nor price.

Another mile, mostly through open fields, brought me to Aintree and the Blue Anchor:

There were Greene King IPA handpumps on the counter but they had no cask ale so I had Guinness.

A Hungry Horse outlet where fish and chips is only £8.29, a whole fiver less than the Bootle Arms.  Despite that, this very large pub was mostly empty; it was now half past two and one would expect to see more people than this on a pleasant sunny Saturday.  Ah, due to staff problems the kitchen is closed, no wonder I couldn't see any food.

The decor in the enormous open space was rather well done chain pub standard style.  Well cared for, clean and tidy.

All they need is a hundred more customers and this place would be doing well.  My mind went back to the Farmers in Morton last year which was a very busy dining pub, admittedly a bit later on a Saturday.

Next, a walk beside the racecourse ...

and on to Longmoor Lane, Fazakerley.  My first target was the Avenue Lounge:

A particularly desirable tick for me because last time I was here, back in February, I walked past without even noticing it existed.  Fortunately someone told me in the blog comments - Thanks James!

A rather well done shop conversion, plain yet pleasant and very comfortable.  Yesterday I ticked a newish shop conversion in Huyton, called Dos Urbano, and the one negative I noted was that all the chairs were wooden without padding.  People who know me might comment that I have my own padding built in, but nonetheless I think I want something a little soft to sit on.  No complaints on that score here.

Sadly, there were no other customers as I enjoyed my Carling.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I can't save the bar trade on my own, you all need to come out and get drinking!  What are you waiting for?  Use it or lose it!

Finally, just a short distance down the road, is the Foresters Inn, last visited in 2018:

Ah, so this is where all the Avenue's customers have gone!  Hardly packed, but certainly doing a good trade at four o'clock.  

Plain, pleasant, traditionally styled decor in the down market boozer style; apart from the lack of split levels this could be a classic Oak Lodge.  The customers, some very drunk, were definitely in the down market bracket; nothing wrong with that, they were enjoying their Saturday afternoon, as was I.  I looked around, it's not often I'm the youngest one in the pub, but this might be such an occasion.

What a fine survey:  Plenty of healthy exercise, one new tick, one twenty years old, all five "required", all that was needed to make an all time great research trip would be more cask.

Pub of the day: Bootle Arms
Beer of the day: Hobgoblin Gold
Miles walked: 5.1
Maybe coming soon: Bootle

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