I’d been hoping that the Botanic Gardens in Churchtown would have a shiny bistro for lunch like the one in Blackpool the other month, but it didn’t look like it.

so I visited the Greene King family diner instead. Chain pubs need our support too, you know.

This was a multi-roomed Tetley Guide pub when I visited in 2003 from our luxury base at (checks notes, twice), Southport Pontins. What Pub reckons it still is.

IPA, Abbot and Black Sheep, and high tables near the bar.

So I took the low seats, ignoring the “Wait here”, “Book your table on the App” etc etc and just getting on with it.

But despite a flurry of activity with servers attending to phone-less gentlefolk reading out the entire menu, I did use the Greene King App, and within 5 minutes had a pint of what was once Britain’s favourite pint.

You know my views on the beers that folk actually drink, but I’ve never got IPA. This was a foamy, straw-tinged, tasty pint I scored NBSS 3+.

They may be sticking to the knitting beer wise, but Greene King have tried to replicate the craft bars on food, adding squid and bao buns. Not terribly authentic, no bargain, but tasty and quick.

It’s always worth a look at what’s happening in the real world of pubs, outside the craft/GBG bubble, but really this visit was all about “Jo” (no “e”). “See you later my lovelies !” . “On the vodka again, are we !“.

Really cheerful folk leave an impression, and “Jo” treated me as a valued long-term customer who’d just spent £200, like the tables of gentlefolk round the corner.

Is this table OK for you ?” she asked a group from Tarleton (probably, you can tell).

We LIKE this table ! We had a memorable night at this table !”.

I wanted to know all about that memorable night; I really didn’t.

I paid in cash, left a tip and was asked if I’d leave a review on Trip Advisor.

Being useless, I immediately left a review on Google, no doubt you’ll find it.

Meanwhile on Trip Advisor;

I do hope I’m not that “older gentleman”.


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