Always one for an accommodation bargain (£27), I booked the newish Trivelles Liverpool for my Merseyside jaunt. Trivelles has an exclusive range of hotels in the suburbs of Stockport, Salford, Bradford and Liverpool, which tells you all you need to know. There’s some mixed reviews on the web of the latter hotel but I can assure you it’s a little gem. There’s even locks on the doors.
My Thursday night stop was tucked away at the top of Stanley Road in the area I’d know as Everton, but no doubt I’ll be corrected on that by Bootle pedants. I could see Goodison Park, anyway. Perhaps only the renowned Bedfordshire pub expert Simon Everitt will know where the real Everton is.
As you’ll know, I never pay for transport when I can walk, and took a pleasant 2km stroll toward the bright lights of Liverpool ONE. I’ve walked (inadvisably) through the backstreets of Harare, Panama and Salford, and felt safer.
Stanley Road was a street of closed pubs, lads on street corners without cars to mind and the odd old fella in a Liverpool bobble hat asking if you knew where Anfield was. As it meets the A59 and the tunnel to Wirral the footpaths peter out completely, which is fun.
Liverpool is a great place to walk round, but a hellish place to walk to. It was an hour before I got to Pier Head, where the Three Graces looked as wonderful as ever, particularly the newest addition.
Four new GBG ticks in Liverpool this year, and as varied a bunch as you could hope. The Pump House is the building shown at the top, and is the most disappointing pub I’ve been I all year. Gorgeous exterior, chaotic and uninspiring corporate interior with half the pub closed off.
I chose the beer from the handpump that was dripping, my acid test for working out if any beer has been served that day. The transaction in full;
“Half of Roscoe please”
“That all ?”
“Just a half of Roscoe please”
Barman starts to pull wrong beer,
“The Roscoe please ”
Checks front of pump, starts again
“That all mate ?”
“Just a half of Roscoe”
Holds glass at the brim and hands it to me. It was warm beer as well. NBSS 2.
You had to be there really.
It was all uphill from there, through the shopping district which is wonderful, and up Wood Street toward Mackenzie’s, where things picked up.
QUIZ TIME – IN WHICH SONG IS MACKENZIE’S IMMORTALISED (SEARCH THIS BLOG)
The word that came to mind was immaculate, from the seating to the service to the inevitable Titanic Plum Porter (NBSS 4). They don’t like CAMRA, it seems, so weren’t offering discount on pints, but then they were £2. £2, in Liverpool central !
The problem with pubbing here is that you want to revisit old favourites, even the ones that aren’t in the Beer Guide like the Phil and the Swan, because they look the business. Instead I had to try to find the Pencil Factory*. It’s near the Everyman, but it took some finding tucked away in an unmarked basement near roadworks. I though it was a renamed Clove Hitch for a while.
The Everyman Bistro was a favourite of mine, the first place I had proper scouse for about £2 20 years ago. I don’t think the Pen Factory is quite as good, and the Mallinsons was average, but it was busy and pleasant, and had toy trains. Sometime toy trains are all you need.
I finished in the uninspiring North Western, the new Spoons at Lime Street, with an ace pint of Cotleigh something-or-other. A few yards north of the lights of Lime Street, it all gets gloomy again. That development of Great Homer Street, anchored by BM Bargains, can’t come quickly enough.
*Excellent review of that by Richard C here.