I know how much you like my Posts of Pain, so here’s a corker from the Cheshire Plain.
I’ve had lots of good things to say about Northwich in the past; Moulton’s Lion being a corker of a village boozer.
But, as so often, Cheshire insists on putting food-centric café bars in the Guide, mostly those one word places that long to be in Chorlton.
You wouldn’t know that from a quick walk round The Green, the centrepiece of an ambitiously designated Conservation Area (read: posh people don’t want you changing anything about your house). I do enjoy being stared at by old folk at 10.30 on a Sunday morning, mind. Nice church.
Simon and Duncan will be overfamiliar with the Chime look by now, familiar from new GBG entries from Oxton to Wilmslow.
Someone is bound to say “Why didn’t you go in the Red Lion? That looks nice.” . You can do a lot worse than Black Sheep and John Smith’s Cask, but of course that doesn’t get you in the Beer Guide with the universe of tiny Cheshire breweries out there to support.*
No. To get in the Beer Guide you need to serve Merlins and Mobberley.
The décor is, as they also say, not to everyone’s taste.
As always in these situations, I need to be clear on the positives;
- It opened at 11am on Sunday. For beer.
- It was full of happy, smiling families.
- It had stairs. Stairs are good.
- No children actually bumped into me.
And now, the downside;
- You can’t actually get to the bar for bar stools (see top)
- The bar area itself is a cluttered mess.
- The staff ignore you. Repeatedly.
- The beer is warm (NBSS 1.5) (My fault. I should have taken it back).
There you go. I can be balanced.
But the real drama came with the half pint premium.
“But that’s a half !”
“Oh yeah” I counted out my £1.65 in pennies, like old blokes do.
“£2.10” “£2.10 !!!”
That’s an exciting 27.2% premium, folks.
They didn’t even have real plant pots I could pour my beer into. As I pushed past a forest of pushchairs, they put Simply Red’s “Stars” on.
What more can I say ? What more will Simon say ?
That’s the cask ale lottery for you. Sometimes you lose, but at least you get a blog post out of it. Another basic GBG pub in Northwich proper is long overdue though.
*Can you feel the steam coming out of my keyboard ?