An odd trip last weekend as I delivered a chest of drawers to the Wirral on the way to a night in Bootle. I’m not sure what the lady from Heswall at our church charity sale was doing down in Waterbeach, but she wasn’t expecting an offer of home delivery.  Most Hoylake Tandooris aren’t brave enough to deliver curry into Wallasey.

I never tire of the Wirral, surely the most interesting shaped area on the map.


One of the most varied socially too, stunning black and white commuter villages rubbing shoulders with some of our most deprived wards.

Thornton Hough

And so it was I found myself gawping at Thornton Haugh on the way to Penby. It’s the sort of place that would look down snootily on Alderley Edge, and give its address as Cheshire rather than Merseyside.

Image result for thornton haugh

A place where you expect to see a Brunning & Price, in fact.

I may have mixed views on these B&P restaurant pubs, but they do have one bonus for tickers. Open all day, licensed from 11 (even on Sundays !).

So I had time for a quick half in the Red Fox, quite possibly the shabbiest looking building in Hough (pronounced “Hoff“, said my furniture recipient).


I had to fight off overtake hordes of fascinator-wearing ladies (calm down) to get to the bar first.  It could have been Aintree, but of course there’s no posh pubs round Aintree.


The Red Fox is the sort of pub you could take your Mother-in-Law from Tunbridge Wells, as long as you don’t tell her how much you’ve paid for her Gin & Tonic.  I applaud their attention to detail, their cheery staff, and the retention of areas for drinkers though.

Slim pickings for BRAPA here. Typical line overheard.

That’s why the country’s on it’s knees

They’re so posh here they probably don’t use that second (possessive) apostrophe though.


Although B&P take on a vast range of country house hotels, I’m finding the interiors a bit identikit at present.

This dining room is interchangeable with Liphook or Worsley.


Even the soft porn in the Gents is tiring. Is it the same in the Ladies ? I need to know.


And of course you get the inevitable expansive range of beers you’ve never heard of, almost guaranteeing Beer Guide inclusion (joking).


Don’t they look colourful and shiny, and with pride of place on the bar.



Facer’s Sunlight or Peerless Skyline ?  How would you choose ?  You wouldn’t. You’d stick to Peroni or Prosecco, of course.

I’ve had excellent Peerless beers for about £2.50 a pint in Wigan, this was an adequate but clearly slow-moving example(NBSS 2).

Does anyone really visit Brunning & Price for a choice of seven unusual beers ?

And is it really supporting local breweries to present their beers in such dull condition ?




  1. Don’t understand the “beer miles” on that list. I assume it’s meant to be some sort of locale thing, but how can two Phoenix beers have different values? Do they have 2 breweries these days?


    1. I’d guess that as one is a house beer, the whole gyle gets shipped off to a B’n’P central warehouse whereas the brewery is happy to keep their “own” beer on hand at the brewery. Not seen the beer miles thing before, it’s a nice idea but doesn’t really work once you’re going over LocAle distance (30 miles). And obviously it assumes that the brewery has no other deliveries to make…

      I’ve had beer from all those breweries bar Phoenix, and there’s some crackers among them – Peerless seem particularly cute at playing the SIBA award game so have tons, and Full Whack made it into Protz’ second “Beers To Try Before You Die” book although I’m a bit meh about it. Dave Facer used to be the head brewer at Boddies so knows his way round a pale ale and has recently picked up various awards for his darks, think one was a finalist in last year’s Winter Beer of Britain. Cheshire Brewhouse makes some cracking beer which seems to mostly end up being kept horribly at food-led pubs (but is great if well-cared for), B’n’P seem to take a lot from them. Mobberley wish they were as good as Tatton and aren’t.

      Noone’s remarked on it – but 12 ciders? Even in bag-in-box, you’d be getting a bit worried about the state of some of those.


  2. I’ve heard of all the breweries, if not those particular beers. And full credit to them for supporting local micros rather than just the usual suspects which they could so easily have.


    1. Same here, and you make a fair point about local. But I doubt the average B&P customer has, and if the cask is as dull as I’m finding it on recent visits they won’t be forming a good impression of those local breweries.


      1. Yes, you get the impression sometimes that the main objective is to add a bit of local colour for all the wine-drinking diners.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A glorious return to Cheshire meant street parties in West Wirral the day the postal code changed from L to CH. Nobody except a lone writer to the Wirral Globe dared point out it meant Chester not Cheshire.

    I’ve never heard it pronounced Hoff. Though growing up in Wallasey I never heard it pronounced at all until I crossed the great M53 divide.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not one to really listen to other peoples conversations,but when in was in the Station Hotel in Hucknall last week,i did hear a loud short conversation,there was a group outside and a couple of women came into the bar to get more drinks,they were both in their 30s,an older bloke said to one of the women “whenever your dad comes in here he gets well pissed”she replied i know but he enjoys himself.

    Not pub related but today at work i went into the small canteen to make a cup of tea and was followed in by two workmates,one a woman in her early 40s and the other a young lad in his early 20s,she said “i am safe now because Alan is in the room”,he laughed,she then said “i have got a strawberry tattood on my arse and it says juicy” he replied i have got a tattoo of a sausage” she replied straight away i bet it is on your forehead,i was pissing myself laughing.
    He walked out and said to me i walked straight into that one,i took the piss out of him for the rest of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

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