Yes. The source of that famous quote can now be revealed*.

“At some point maybe pop in to the Philharmonic for a wee!”. Me pointing out that “The toilets are nothing compared to the main rooms of ‘the most ornate pub in England’”  – Paul Mudge


The most famous PubMan of them all (per RetiredMartin, anyway), can’t even pop in the Gents at the Philharmonic for a quiet p***, ithout pub bloggers hunting him down for autographs.

Anyway, as good as ever, even if smaller than I remember.

Do the job

The journey to the Phil had taken us through the heart of nostalgia-mad ‘Pool.

Dangerous walk past shops
Name that pub
Certainly is
Mitchells & Butler ?

We strode past the Primark where Ringo bought the suits the lads wore in Hamburg, stopping only to see if the Bass was on in the “World Famous” White Star.

Paul peers

Unbelievably, it was !

Just a half of Bass then ?” said Paul

One can never have a half of Bass”.  We marched on, past the long-ruined Everyman bar.

Oh yes, still lovely, even if it is long out of the Beer Guide.

Pies and dogs


Looks quite quiet, doesn’t it ?


It really wasn’t. Paul nabbed the last table in the main room, full of Sunday diners. There were some good views from there.

Some ideas for Mrs RM’s next refurb of Taylor Towers

Paul did the honours at the bar.  Note that Nicholsons are sticking to “Beers you’ve heard of” to guarantee The Phil avoids the Beer Guide ticking crowd.  Wise move.


The Pride was drinking well, as McCartney probably sang on a 1972 Wings B-Side. Cool, chewy, great lacings, NBSS 3.5.  Probably cost a bit more than the pint in Spoons later though.


My first visit for a decade, and I’d forgotten how multi-roomed it was. If the coffee cups had been cleared away we’d have nabbed this table.


Anyway, there’s the classics, though you might add the Ship & Mitre, Baltic Fleet, Peter Kavanagh or the Cambridge, depending on your preferences.

We had craft to do. 

*For the truth, as always, read Boak & Bailey here.

25 thoughts on “THE PRICE OF FAME – A QUIET P*** IN THE PHIL

      1. I went to Peter Kavanaghs the previous day and the Roscoe Head both days.
        Of thirteen pubs the Roscoe Head was undoubtedly my highlight of the weekend.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. visited the Phil when the CAMRA AGM was up there, have to say I wasnt as impressed, dont get me wrong its a nice building with bag fulls of history,even if its not lit well to show off its best features, but the beer was below average even for a Nicholsons, and we found a free table, in what seemed a very busy pub with standing room only at the bar, and then worked out why it was free, because it was nearest the entrance to the toilets, and the toilets absolutely reeked,like they hadnt been cleaned since John Lennon had actually last visited.

      It certainly struck us at the time, as very much one of those tourist trade places that does well off just being a Beatles place to visit so wasnt putting much effort in. So I wasnt surprised to see it drop out of the GBG and far preferred the Roscoe Head, though it was the Baltic Trader which was our favourite pub

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “and the toilets absolutely reeked,like they hadnt been cleaned since John Lennon had actually last visited” – as if something he left there couldn’t possibly be flushed away ?
        I couldn’t fault the Roscoe Head on either day.
        I don’t know a Baltic Trader pub but, and I’m not quite sure why, I was disappointed with the Baltic Fleet which was just yards from where I was staying.


  1. I first visited The Phil at the age of 17. We were on an A Level Geography field trip. Our tutor bought all of us a pint each. For the life of me I can’t remember what beer it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wes,
      That depends when you were 17.
      Up to 1921 it was a Cains pub, then probably Walkers, Tetleys and Allied Breweries before possibly being a free house when I remember Draught Bass on freeflow electric pumps as being the only real ale.


      1. It was in 1981. For some reason I think it may have been Ind Coope Burton Ale. Was definitely served by hand pump. I didn’t become aware of electric pumps until I was a student in Sheffield in 1982. Even then most pubs had beer engines.


      2. Yes, DBA in an Allied pub during 1881 sounds about right.
        It was mostly Banks’s on my Geography field trip in Aberystwyth nine years earlier – not that there’s anything wrong with Banks’s ( as we all know ) but I thought I might find something less familiar to me having travelled 115miles.


  2. “Do the job”

    I think you’re getting that mixed up with the stalls. 😉

    “Dangerous walk past shops”

    For most of us married men that’s a given (with the better half of course!). 🙂

    “Certainly is”

    Indeed. Consider (excessive) drinking affects the liver then ‘liver’ is most definitely the pool of life. 😉

    “Mitchells & Butler ?”

    Tsk, tsk. Surely that’s the famous orthodontic team of Mitchell and Bartlett (and Bell):

    “We marched on, past the long-ruined Everyman bar.”

    You could’ve shared a pint with two straws.

    “Pies and dogs”

    My cynical side says the ‘speciality pies’ on the left are due to the ‘dogs’ being allowed on the right*. 🙂

    * – a la Chinese restaurants and cats 🙂


    They named a table after one of Pratchett’s characters?

    Bloody beautiful pub though to be sure.



  3. Yes. Beers you’ve heard of. Which is why on my last visit I walked in, looked round and walked out. The Philharmonic is not the pub it used to be, as others allude, it’s a tourist attraction.

    Fair play to Nicholsons for taking it on and keeping it going. It’s just not the pub its used to be when I used to drink in there regularly, but like I say, it’s still there and accessible to everybody. Mind you, 35 years ago the beer wasn’t much special, in fact in 80s Liverpool you’d struggle to find a very good pint of real ale anywhere, unless you asked the bloke in the corner who could always sort you out with whatever you wanted.


    1. Richard,
      But tourist attractions make a significant contribution to the British economy.
      I have always been interested in history and would far rather be sat with a pint of St Austell in the Philharmonic that plod round some National Trust property alongside folk even older than myself.

      Liked by 2 people

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