I always love my trips to Blackpool, particularly when it enjoys what looked suspiciously like sunshine. A great day to appreciate the local culture.
Two of my new Guide pubs are as far from this side of Blackpool as it gets. Poulton le Fylde is a small market town that seems able to rely on Blackpool for all its leisure facilities except pubs, the benefit of being five minutes on the train.
It seems harsh to say there’s not much to see, as St Chads Church has a stunning carpet of flowers at the moment, and the pubs that surround it are also impressive.
Certainly worth half an hour of your time, and there seemed to be a fair few retired gentlefolk admiring the square around the church.
I can vouch for the quality of the two pubs above on a busy Friday night a year or so ago, with probably the best beer choice in the Blackpool area. Yesterday, though, I had a mixed experience in the Poulton Elk, the new Guide entry and a relatively new Spoons.
It’s attractive, but was unusually quiet early afternoon. That seemed to account for a warm pint of Barnsley, which was changed without demur for a rather better Hook Norton festival beer (NBSS 3). The manager popped over to apologise, and had clearly tested the temperature (15 degrees) himself when I questioned it.
That’s typical good Wetherspoon service, though confirming my view that there’s a fair few more beers sitting in the pumps for hours now than there used to be.
A fairly regular bus service still operate in the Wyre, and Little Eccleston’s Cartford Inn was worth the trip, if only for the views across to the majestic Forest of Bowland. This is a great area for walks, if not pubs.
The “Bar and Restaurant with Rooms” itself is more of an art gallery than a pub. Pub Curmudgeon would love its creative use of bovine motifs etc etc. It was worth the price of a dull half of Moorhouses (NBSS 2) just to see the art though.
This place was packed with diners, next to none of whom seemed to be drinking from a sensible real ale range, again explaining the condition of the beer.
For a town smaller than Cheadle or Ely, Poulton does well in terms of Beer Guide entries, four including an Ember Inn on the Carleton border. That may say something about the paucity of good beer in the rest of Fylde though. Luckily Preston awaits down the road.