Yesterday I couldn’t even remember to tell you the name of my GBG tick (it was the King’s Arms in Bethnal Green), so it’s back to basics today.
But there’s a thread running between these posts. The star of Thursday night was Bill Ryder-Jones, late of Wirral popsters the Coral. He’s very proud of his Cheshire heritage, anyway.
Often wrongly lumped in with the rest of Scouseland, the Wirral has a very distinct character, and some singular musical talent. Five points if you can name two indie-pop classics about the Wirral; my definition of “classic” applies.
I stayed in Wallasey, which has some cheap and cheerful accommodation, proper pubs, and plentiful Merseyrail stations. But it’s New Brighton that draws me back.
An underrated beach, some classic local boozers, Bass by the Mersey, and almost unlimited redevelopment potential if BrewDog ever get here.
I doubt the golfers of Hoylake and ladies who lunch in West Kirby make many trips to Wallasey. I hadn’t spent much time on the western tip of the Wirral, several attempts to walk to the Hilbre Islands thwarted by my shameful inability to read tidal charts, and Mrs RM’s dislike for getting her feet wet.
This has always been the most likely home of a craft “offer”, and Spitting Feathers’s West Kirby Tap seems a perfect neighbour to “Swanki“, whatever that is. The little strip of bars round here is no doubt like a Little Chester on a hot summer’s night.
Although a bit barn-like, it had plenty of proper seating, and despite the sort of beer range that terrifies me (more than two pumps) the Thirst Quencher was cool and tasty (NBSS 3).
Away from the coast and close to Prenton Park there’s a prime example of a solid suburban Greene King dining pub. The Wirral is pretty much the ultimate “mixed” area, with some shabby areas around contrasting with the golf courses and handsome properties around the Caernarvon.
There was a mature clientele, no doubt attracted by this being a completely child-free zone, something I don’t think I’ve seen in a chain dining pub since Ember relented years back.
I almost warmed to the pub, but another vast Greene King range certainly contributed to a dull Dizzy Blonde, which isn’t a good beer name (NBSS 2.5). Plenty of cheap lager being drunk by daytime boozers, little cask. There’s a Greene King trend here.