South Cheshire has some of the biggest contrasts between adjacent places anywhere. Old fashioned Nantwich struggles against craft-capital Crewe, while Sandbach and Holmes Chapel feel a world apart from the salt mining towns on the Weaver and Wheelock rivers.
Middlewich has a pleasant canal network, but it was harder to see the merits of Windford on a long walk from the station to a rare Guide pub in the town. I know it has an exciting tapestry of roundabouts and Morrisons to the north, but not on this route.
I’d assumed No.4 was in the New Town development, a rival for Skelmersdale in the scary shopping centre stakes, but was actually further along the “High Street”/dual carriageway. As in Chester, not the best 40 minutes walk of the year. The beautifully named Bottom Flash was probably the highlight.
Delamere Road is strictly in Over, but clearly is where Winsfordians come for their takeaways, dog grooming, and beauty treatments. No. 4 is a wine bar like place, familiar to anyone who’s been in Lymm’s Brewery Tap, though perhaps with lower-end wine sales. The Phoenix Spotland was good (NBSS 3.5), but it wasn’t very pubby with posing tables throughout.
The older pubs looked more inviting, at least from the outside.
The Wetherspoons looked horrific from the back, but was one of the friendliest and cleanest Spoons of the year, with a Bragdy California to match (NBSS 3.5).
The walk to Little Budworth (surely a Bill Bryson book title) was gorgeous enough, but the Red Lion was something else. It felt different century to Winsford, let alone world. The pictures below give a slightly confusing picture
Tickety Brew on handpump, craft keg from the wall, a chap dressed straight out of Jeeves and Wooster, outside loos and Belgian-style urinals against the wall.
It was the centre of village life on a balmy Friday, full of locals enjoying a beer and children enjoying the bucolic countryside from a garden with furniture made from beer barrels.
I too against it with a passion. Why ? That’s the question for today.