I’ve done all the easy counties now.


Time for the remote ones (West Wales, Devon), the ones with micro heaven/hell (Hants, Lancs) and the one with gastro dreadfulness.  Yes, a return to Cheshire, so much less since they lopped off Stockport and gave it to the Mancs.


I start at the place which can console itself that at least it’s not Hartford.

Here’s what you think Northwich, Cheshire will look like;

Yes, it’s a Spoons
Upmarket bingo at the Plaza
A butchers called Birtwisle’s – note lack of a “t”
Future Brunning & Price, surely ?
Ooh ! Nice tiling

And it does.  But there’s also this;

Are you Skelmersdale in disguise
Faded adverts from the 1930s (guess)
Surely a Merton micro, not another Northwich butchers ?
Barons Quay

As an aficionado of shopping and leisure centres, I reckon Barons Quay is a cracker.  Not that I’d ever do any actual shopping or leisuring (?) there, but it’s smart and functional and integrates well with the long pedestrianised High Street.

I’d only ever been to Northwich a few times, last time for the Spoons (the only recent Guide entry) and a solid 1-0 Cambridge win at the Vics.

But I’m here for the (inevitable) new micro, albeit a micro with possibly the most ornate frontage so far.

Rare clear signage on a micro
Ornate depiction of Mr & Mrs RM with pints of Cloudwater in the Green Dragon, 1772

Actually, less micro, more gig venue-cum-café bar. A Krakatoa (keep reading this blog) for the cappuccino crowd.

Nice seating by the window
Nice seating next to the drumer

Some top BRAPA faves coming up soon, including the attractive Vibrators w/Vomit.

Weirdest £ sign so far

A pleasant atmosphere for an 11am coffee, but what about one of those unpredictable pale beers from Cheshire’s endless range of microbrewers.

All your favourite brands.  Oh, two dark ones

I “ummed” and “ahhed” and randomly chose the Spellbound, presumably by Merlin, just hoping it wasn’t soup.  It wasn’t soup, it was lovely (NBSS 3/3.5), so that’s told me.

I admired the gig posters, I identified the rockabilly (always the Stray Cats), I applauded the pubiness of the back room with pool table, I contemplated a new feature for Mr Crilley’s famous YouTube channel.

Possibly not that Mark

Thanks”  I said, returning my glass.

“It’s a pleasure mate” said the lovely barperson.

It really was.


  1. “I’ve done all the easy counties now.”

    The shaded area looks a bit like a goose.

    “A butchers called Birtwisle’s – note lack of a “t””

    I was just thinking that.

    “Future Brunning & Price, surely ?”

    Or they could rent out the top bit to re-enact a certain scene from Romeo and Juliet. 🙂

    “Faded adverts from the 1930s (guess)”

    Surely they’ve been banned since 2007?

    “Rare clear signage on a micro”

    That’s a micro?

    “including the attractive Vibrators w/Vomit.”

    Now I can’t stop thinking about using a vibrator in such a way as to induce vomiting.

    “Possibly not that Mark”

    Argh! Took me a second to get that (blush).


    PS – I take Norwich lost out in the naming department as it’s just a bit further south than Northwich? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shout out, Martin. If I do start a “question the mark” feature, you’ll know where I got the idea!

    Please don’t tell the bands I said this, but “The Vibrators” and “Vomit” sound like names a middle aged comedian would come up with, trying to poke fun at band names that are deliberately meant to shock people. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I recall having this sort of conversation with a mate, many years ago, proposing we formed a spoof covers band called ‘Flamboyant Vomit & the Big Bits’, quoting Tony Blackburn (that dates it!) as saying ‘I like the big bits’. Funnily enough, once we’d sobered up, it never got off the ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully that’s you agreeing with my assessment, John, rather than someone confused by Ashford in the Northwich post!

    Actually, pub wise there’s similarities. Only a Spoons troubling the Beer Guide for years.


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