Pub Curmudgeon has been exploring Britain’s real ale deserts on his blog. It’s a good read, and like him, I’d rather see a busy keg pub providing an essential service to old folk than an empty ale emporium.
Westhoughton is one of those suburbs of Bolton (or Wigan) that in my mind I’d expect to have lost most of its cask in the last 30 years. It’s a one street town which looks to Horwich as much as Bolton or Wigan for it’s shopping, but remains well-pubbed and retains some lovely red brick edifices.
The keg pubs aren’t reported on WhatPub (yet), but a look at the cask pubs is a bit of a revelation. There’s actually a good, and increasing range of cask outlets, though nothing in the Beer Guide this year. Provenance offers scallops and apple torched cauliflower, the Fat Pig a £55 mixed grill, and new micro Beer School provides an arty blackboard.
In the rain, it didn’t feel like a town experiencing a beery renaissance, but then Mansfield surprised me a year ago. I wondered what the good folk packing out the Wetherspoons on Saturday morning thought of it all.
QUIZTIME – NAME THE BLUE NILE LP
I didn’t actually ask them; they were too focussed on their 3rd pint of Guinness.Even I couldn’t face a 10am pint of Lytham Stout, though one chap had a pint and a half of it. I always admire people who buy two drinks for themselves at the same time.
If I’m honest, I only stopped here for the magnificent Eggs Benedict , and to revisit one of my favourite houses. Even in the rain, this place on Victoria Street is quite stunning, particularly with a little dusting of snow. A bit too big for Mrs RM though.