TAKE THE FIRST TRAIN FROM LIME STREET

Back from Aigburth to Liverpool Central,

to admire the station’s collection of independent stores and liver bird.

With Merseyside ticked and half an hour till I could escape to Manchester, I contemplated which classic Liverpool pub I could nip in for a quick half.

The blokes were at Anfield, and despite the drizzle the centre was party central as the hordes descended on the fun pubs.

There’s less Beer Guide entries in the centre than you might think (see also : Nottingham, Newcastle) with the classic locals like the Globe edged out by newer places near the Uni with Misery in the title.

Some great looking keg bars here, too.

Oh, whatever, let’s do the Spoons.

Liverpool must have a dozen Spoons, but the John Richard Blackler is the first one you come to leaving Lime Street Station (ignore the one ON the station), and your best bet for Prosecco punch-ups and Plum Porter.

Actually, quite a bit of cask being served to the blokes, particularly from the Peerless taps round the corner.

Isn’t it great to see young people congregating round tables drinking cheap lager again ?

Oooh, that carpet is making me dizzy.

So was a third pint in 90 minutes, to be honest, and I struggled to finish it (NBSS 3+) before the 6 minute dash to platform 9.

The RJB is also your best chance to see the cultural experience of p*****g on the stickers left by away fans that morning.

In this case, Port Vale fans on their way to Tranmere. Wherever that is.

Despite the bile spouted against Spoons on CAMRA Discourse, a trip to their pubs is always a cleansing experience, even if you then feel guilty about not doing the Crown.

Which I did.

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