I finally left Southport after a Spoons breakfast enlivened by an Old Boy singing “I’ve had the time of my life” loudly to the barmaid.
No problem with his rendition, but I resisted the beer.
If you study to become a Good Beer Guide expert (correspondence course £29.99 + P&P from D. Mackay Esq, Paisley), you’d assume the three biggest trends in UK pub-going were bottle shops, Brewhouse & Kitchen, and Brunning & Price. Actually, the big trend is for pubs not to be open at all in order to stoke up demand.
The main benefit of B&P is that because they’re identical, you can use photos from one blog post in another, and no-one will ever know the difference. Except Russ.
The Sparrowhawk is one of their many former country house hotels. The upkeep on those must be high enough, but they also seem to employ all the local gardeners not snapped up by local golf courses.
This is why your pint costs £4.20 instead of £2.
I feel instinctively I’ve been here before as I march under the chandeliers to the bar at 10.30am; early opening being the other B&P selling point.
It’s like Preston, but with Scouse accents. Your money, your choice.
Oh, good grief. Plum Porter at 10.30 in the morning !
As you’ll see, I went Pale.
So what do you do at 10.35am in a Brunning & Price, where the sole banter of note is when the Barmaid takes a call from local brewery rep.
“I’m sorry. Is it Spitting Feathers, did you say ?”
Play Battleships solo ?
Listen to a Gentleman reading out the Amber Rudd resignation letter line by line to his wife ?
No. Just admire other peoples trousers and socks.
And consider that a cool, tasty beer such as this Hawkshead (NBSS 3.5+) is worth paying a bit extra for.