View Full Version : The Scouse Blog

15-10-2010, 10:09
I was wondering whether or not to set up an actual blog thread for this trip but a couple of guys at work were asking so I thought I should. I think they just want to keep an eye on my travelling companion Meister to make sure he gets back safely for all that work he needs to do next week.

The Scouse tour has started and we are just leaving Euston in the luxury of First Class, as befits an undertaking of this magnitude. The other benefit is that Virgin provides free Wi-Fi so the magic box (technical name the Samsung NC10 Notebook) works without the highlighter pen thingy. It remains to be seen how well it works once we start moving.

Myself and the Meister will be scoping out a few Liverpool pubs tonight ready for the manic day tomorrow when the Mancs and Scousers arrive. I've sent a text to the Happy Frenchman, of Folkestone Blog fame, as there's always a chance he could make a surprise appearance.

So, first post completed, whether it's the last probably depends on how much beer I drink.

15-10-2010, 10:55
First beer of the day courtesy of Virgin, a can of Lancaster Bomber for me and a bottle of Cusquena Lager :confused: for Meister, it says it's imported beer, God knows from where.

If I needed proof that this is a Liverpool bound train the recent guard announcement has just proved it. Deriding some unknown passenger for bringing a bike on the train without a booking (presumably it's not taking up a seat) he's threatened that unless the owner claims it and stores it properly within 10 minutes he's going to "stop the train and throw it off". Friendly lot these Scousers.

15-10-2010, 11:24
Cusquena Lager Paddington bear washes his marmalade sandwiches down with it

15-10-2010, 11:33
Cusquena Lager Paddington bear washes his marmalade sandwiches down with it

Works just as well with Cheese & Tomato according to Meister, although he has just eschewed the dodgy lager and joined me in the Bomber.

Just stopped at Stafford, no sign of any flying bikes.

15-10-2010, 11:38
So you haven't made it to the greatest city in the Northern hemisphere and you've already started to slag the indigenous people off – somehow me thinks this doesn’t bode well for the rest of the weekend. Snowy Pearson will be pacing the floor trying to think of quick put me downs for you, although I suspect by the time he’s thought of them you’ll be back on a train heading south.
Talking of trains - this is becoming to be a bit of a regular thing travelling 1st class – has the pay structure changed that much over there!
Meister’s already drinking bottled beer, no doubt with a slice of fruit sticking out of the top of the bottle, you’ll fit right in at home up here mate, the local girls do like a man with a bit of class.
And so you only have 1 and a bit more hours before you hit Lime Street. I know that you're men of culture so, before you drink too much, have a look around the city, take in the sights, do the 3 Graces etc et as tomorrow will be a blur of a memory. Either that or there’s a couple of micro breweries that you could explore – don’t ask me the names or location as I can’t remember and anyway isn’t that what Google’s for.
So until tomorrow. Adios

15-10-2010, 12:01
What are you plans for today?

Andy Ven
15-10-2010, 20:43
I have a challenge for you.

There is no photo on Pubs Galore of the very ornate gents' toilets in the Philharmonic in Hope Street. Do you think you can photograph (preferably without any customers in view) and upload?

16-10-2010, 03:49
What are you plans for today?
I thought I'd book into a hotel, go out for a few beers and try to avoid you. Two out of three ain't bad ;)

16-10-2010, 03:50
I have a challenge for you.

There is no photo on Pubs Galore of the very ornate gents' toilets in the Philharmonic in Hope Street. Do you think you can photograph (preferably without any customers in view) and upload?

Meister did have his camera with him yesterday but not sure if he got a photo. Will attempt to get one over the next few days.

16-10-2010, 04:03
Having trouble with the highlighter pen thingy at the moment, hence why there was no late night post last night. To coin a phrase the lights are on but nobody's home. Either we're in a mobile deadspot or the hotel are deliberately blocking it so that I use their £5 a day service. Still, needs must and I now have up until midday to post as much rubbish as I can.

Right, what's happened since my last post, well we arrived in Liverpool, I knew we had because it was raining. Fortunately we were both able to book into our hotels straight away so by 2pm we were out looking for our first beer, and we found it in the Dispensary, the wonderful Titanic Chocolate & Vanilla Stout :drinkup:. Picked up a copy of the Liverpool CAMRA Pubs Passport leaflet and we were on our way. Next to the Grapes for some Liverpool Organic Brewery beers and a good chat with the guv'nor who confirmed all the good advice I've had on here.

Next to Roscoes Head and I couldn't resist the Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild, although Meister frowned on me ordering a half, however much I tried too explain the quality vs. quantity arguement. Here we got a call from, earlier poster, Lons who by chance had just finished an important business meeting near the Fly in the Loaf just up the road (honest Hodge) and we went to meet him. From here it was a short walk to the Philharmonic and pints of Orkney Dark Island before that run out and we went on to something dark from Skinners.

Back towards the station passing the Liverpool School of English - apparently Liverpool is the only city in the UK that feels the need to teach it's population how to speak proper English. I can't help thinking though that there must be people all over the world now speaking English with a thick Scouse accent. I think I might sign Meister up actually, so far his attempts to replicate the local accent have taken us from the West Country to Geordie via New Delhi. I think he's settled on something around the mid-Glamorgan area :lol:

Thought we should make a little sortie to the Head of Steam to check out tomorrow's meeting place. Not greatly impressed but did have a decent Arizona Gold from Phoenix. I imagine the reason they have a code for the Gents is to stop people nicking the air fresheners - it's not working :sick:

Said farewell to Lons who promised to be back tomorrow after despatching the family off to Ireland - there must be easier ways to get a pass Lons. Meister and I then head off in the rain in search of food. Asked a cab driver about a decent curry house and he directed us to a local one - that was closed, so much for the Liverpool Knowledge. We eventually found one only to discover that they didn't serve alcohol - not a great business plan in the middle of Liverpool but we'd probably had enough by then anyway.

Meister treated me to a curry and in return I bought us a couple of single malts back at his hotel the Adelphi (why does everyone laugh when he says he staying there) before heading back to my hotel and trying to fire up the magic box to bring you an update. Having failed miserably in that task I've been fretting all night about my adoring public awaiting news so thought I'd give you an early morning treat.

I see that, barring any more injunctions, Liverpool FC have just got rid of one bunch of Yanks in favour of another lot so I think the locals should be happy. I don't imagine Phil (Snowy/Bluenose Twat from 15 Blokes in Hamburg * (http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/9f24c/#TL) fame) will be though, supporting the blue half of Liverpool I'm sure he was hoping they'd go into administration and get docked 9 points.

That's all for now, duty done and conscience assuaged it's time for a couple of hours kip before a hearty breakfast and meeting up with Meister for a cultural tour of the city before the drinking starts again.

* If you did read through the Hamburg report you'll meet some of it's stars, Andy, Blue Phil and JC, later, along with Lons unless I can manage to avoid him this time.

16-10-2010, 09:30
Ahhh, The Adelphi.......Ha ha Ha ha ha Ha Ha ha ........

16-10-2010, 09:33
Ahhh, The Adelphi.......Ha ha Ha ha ha Ha Ha ha ........

Very handy for the Crown or the Punch and Judy or even McHales...lovely :D

16-10-2010, 11:38
Said farewell to Lons who promised to be back tomorrow after despatching the family off to Ireland - there must be easier ways to get a pass Lons. :lol:

Kids & wife safely on a boat (actually I didn't hang around to see if they had been safely despatched - howeverwhat's a man to do when he's got a beer calling him). Hanging around for a taxi so all going to plan I should be with you guys in 30 - 45 mins - unless I catch the same train as yesterday in which case it may be more like 2 - 3 days.

16-10-2010, 17:52
I have just loaded a photo I took in the gents loos in the Philly. It was a hurried photo as we had to get the blokes out sio I could get in. Waiting approval, but hope it is ok.

17-10-2010, 20:59
OK, we have a bit of catching up to do, let's take it one step at a time. I think I last left you early Saturday morning. After a good breakfast I walked to the Adelphi to meet Meister where apparently he'd had a few problems. Due to a largely octagenarian clientele blocking up the lifts and a non-functioning room key card he'd spent most of the morning running up and down four flights of stairs. He's done so well that I'm thinking of entering him for the next Empire State Building run, although he was sweating up a bit when I finally met him in the lobby.

We thought we should get in a bit of culture so headed for the dock area, which was frankly a bit disappointing. There's so much work going on it resembles a bit of a building site. Loads of new modern buildings which sit rather uncomfortably alongside the old historic ones. Meister spoilt my fun by refusing to pose for a photo alongside the massive anchor outside the Maritime Museum - I'll have to find something else for the caption competition now :whistle:

Back towards the centre and we found 'Beatles Street', a bit commercialised but there was a pretty good busker outside the Cavern Club. The wall of the club has the names of those who have played there etched into the bricks. There's also a brass plaque stating that the bricks for disgraced duo Gary Glitter and Jonathan King have been removed - which rather defeats the object. Called into the White Star for a beer and sat in the back room where the Fab Four often spent their time getting away from the crowds and trying to work out what the eff Lennon was writing about.

Coming up to midday now and the cultural part of the day was over, in the words of Father Jack it was time to DRINK ! :cheers:

17-10-2010, 21:13
Our plans fell apart straight away as the Head of Steam was closed, no idea why, perhaps someone had broken in and replaced the air freshners in the gents. We went over the road to Ma Egertons and were soon joined by JC who had bought Paul, a.k.a. the Beer Monster, along. Andy turned up shortly afterwards and rather worryingly went straight on the Stella. On to the Crown next which I think must have improved recently as it seemed quite a decent pub. Four handpumps and Cains at £1.85 a pint. Second pub in and Andy took stick for going on halves, although it was only because the Bombardier ran out as it was being poured and he got it for half price.

Next up was the Vines next to the Adelphi so Meister took the opportunity to get in a quick training run and pick up his jacket. No cask here so it was Manns Chestnut Mild for most.Here we were also joined by the obligatory FP (Fizzy Piss) Merchant Phil/Snowy/Blue Nose Twat, depending on how well you know him. Got a call from Lons and despite Phil trying to mis-direct him to the other Dispensary he found us in the 2010 CAMRA Pub of the Year. Most of the pumps had rotated since we were in there the previous day, ther Titanic Stout had gone but today's offering included Mark's Mild, Bishop's Farewell and Kelham Island's Are you Lonesome Tonight, among others.

Onwards to the Grapes where the brewer for the Liverpool Organic Brewery turned up and was delighted to see most of us on his 24 Carat Gold. A couple of the guys headed for the bookies as we pressed on to Roscoe Head where I had a palate cleansing cider, can't remember the exact name but I think it was Two Trees or something similar. This relentless journey continued in the Fly in The Loaf then further up the raod to the Philharmonic where we stayed for a couple - didn't manage to get the elusive gents photo though.

Things get a little hazy after this point so I'll need to think about it a bit further.

18-10-2010, 06:19
OK, having slept on it think I remember the rest of the evening, although if anyone present believes I've missed out a pub let me know. After leaving the Philly we went on a bit of a wander (as in I wander where the nearest pub is) and ended up in The Pilgrim in the Student Quarter - or the Knowledge Quarter as they quaintly insist on calling it. Not a great pub but they had a few ales on. Heading next towards the station as JC and the Beermonster were aiming for a train. Stopped off for a quick one at Renshaws on the way, just long enough for Andy to get involved in an informal Karaoke session with some drunk Irish bloke. Can't remember what they were singing, and I use that word loosely, but I suspect it was Goodnight Irene, it usually is :whistle:

Final pub of the day, I think, was the Globe in the middle of the main shopping area. Absolutely packed and our custom wasn't particularly welcome. Took our beers outside and, no doubt, talked bollox over the last pint. I remember Phil leaving and seeing Meister wander off (as in I wander if he knows where he's going) and at some stage I must have got back to my hotel - as that's where I woke up the next morning.

All in all a good day and we certainly got into double figures in both pubs and pints - which is always a sign of a good crawl
:drinkup: :cheers: :drinkup: :cheers:

18-10-2010, 07:23
Up surprisingly early after the previous day's exertions and after showering and breakfasting I decided to go out for a walk and try to work out which pubs we'd been in. I located The Pilgrim as that was one that we just stumbled across, almost literally, and then must have wandered a bit far, as in I wander where the hell I am. Did a massive loop and ended up near the back of Lime Street Station. Hadn't heard from Meister so gave him a call and he was just getting ready to check out so arranged to meet him outside St Georges Hall. We took in a bit more culture with a look around the art gallery and the chance to vote for the John Moores Painting Prize. Voting cards included some interesting comments ranging from "You can really sense the hesitation in the right hand side of the painting as the story unfolds" to a comment about this painting (http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/jm2010/exhibitors/ward.aspx) which just said "Coz it's trippy". I suspect I know where some of Liverpool's public spending cuts will come from.

Took a wander, as in I wander why my legs hurt so much, down Dale St. checking out a few pubs for later and arrived at the docks again around the Three Graces area. Meister was busy taking photos of as many municipal building as he could find whilst I was taking photos of as many pubs as I could find.

Coming up to midday now and Meister needed to get back to Lime Street for his train, the thought of walking back filled me with some dread so I bade him farewell and went for a coffee. Saw a sign for a free Beatles exhibition only to be faced with a ticket office when I got there. I think the free bit was the plethora of Beatles T-Shirts, books, music, keyrings mugs and other assorted tat that they were exhibiting in the obligatory souvenir shop. There were some good views across the Mersey and they provided binoculars so that we could see across to the cheap side. I might take a trip over there, of course I've heard all the grim stories about Birkenhead but it holds no fears for me, I went to Essex once.

19-10-2010, 07:25
Getting a bit behind with all this now, it's Tuesday morning and I haven't even written up Sunday afternoon yet, so here's the abridged version.

Went into the Pig & Whistle a pub standing rather lonely looking in a wasteland being used as a car park, no doubt some developer has their eyes on the place. Two handpumps but neither working. Wanted to find somewhere to watch the football and decided on the Lady of Man for the first half and Ye Hole in Ye Wall (Liverpools oldest pub) for the second half. Quite amusing in here when Everton scored and one bloke jumped up and cheered then looked around and sheepishly apologised to what was clearly a red pub. Did the JDW then the Crown and decided to go 'off piste' and with some trepidation went into Smokie Mo's Saloon Bar. This is where Liverpool's rednecks hang out and it did have the feel of a wild west saloon, with a large picture of the Magnificant 7 above one of the two bars. Music was interesting, they seemed to switch randomly through tracks giving each about one minute each, so we lurched from Come on Eileen to Relax to Blame it on the Boogie with, what I'd be lying if I called it effortless ease. Not one I'll be returning to but an interesting experience. Next up was the Liffey where half of Ireland seemed to be partying. Back to sanity at the Dispensary and I think that was about it for Sunday.

19-10-2010, 07:30
It's just occured to me that you might be wondering where Grailhunter is. He was due to join me on Sunday but unfortunately was unable to do so. I'm therefore flying solo for the rest of the trip. It's a shame really, I'm sure if Grailhunter were here I'd do a lot less bloody walking - and probably wouldn't have gone into Smokie Mo's Saloon :D

19-10-2010, 13:35
Just in case you thought that this is going unappreciated, I am thoroughly enjoying it, I just have no intelligent replies (nothing new for me).

19-10-2010, 15:13
Sounds like you're doing the place more than justice. Wish I could be there.
I take it the Happy Frenchman has not made an appearance this time.
And you're right about the walking. Definitely not if I was around !
Hope you've managed to do some more exploring. Did you get to Chester ?

20-10-2010, 10:56
Sounds like you're doing the place more than justice. Wish I could be there.
I take it the Happy Frenchman has not made an appearance this time.
And you're right about the walking. Definitely not if I was around !
Hope you've managed to do some more exploring. Did you get to Chester ?

No, the Happy Frenchman couldn't make it either, although I believe he is following proceedings by lurking on this blog. Didn't make Chester or Southport, enough to do in Liverpool. Did make a trip across the water to Birkenhead though - wish I hadn't bothered.

On the way home now and need to write up the last two days events, hopefully the internet link will keep working.

20-10-2010, 11:21
Monday morning was a bit wet and windy, and the weather wasn't too good either. Had a late breakfast and, deciding not to go too far afield, took a stroll down to the Pier Head and caught the 11am ferry for a 'cruise' around the Mersey. Resisted the temptation to go for the Gerry & The Pacemakers impression and concentrated on staying on my feet, it was a bit choppy out there. The 'wonderful historic waterfront' that they kept banging on about didn't impress me much, most of it was new glass and metal tower blocks. The view of the Three Graces was spoiled a bit as a) the Cunard Building was covered in scaffolding and b) they've built a ferry terminal building right in front of it.

Off the ferry and walked up Princes Drive to the rather sorry looking pier. Now in the heart of the commercial district, all a bit souless, full of office blocks and very few pubs or bars, wonder what this lot do for a lunchtime pint. Eventually found a pub called the Cross Keys, decent enough place and a couple of handpumps. Unsurprisingly it was filled with office workers on their lunch break, but inexplicably they all seemed to be eating, they do have some funny old ways up here ;)

22-10-2010, 07:02
Sorry for the slight delay in finishing this thing off, I've had a few urgent things to sort out following my return home.

Should be able to bring you the final chapters this weekend.

22-10-2010, 11:25
Should be able to bring you the final chapters this weekend.

23-10-2010, 06:23
Up early to watch the F1 qualifying so thought I should finish this thing off.

I left you on Monday lunchtime having just visited the Cross Keys. From there it was to Shehanigans, a good old scruffy Irish bar that judging by the signage was once The Rising Sun. On to Dale St next and the Vernon Arms where I had a couple of excellent pints of Brimstage Oystercather Stout and a bit of lunch.

The nearby Bier Keller was next and apart from the fact it's downstairs I don't think I've seen anything that looks less like a bier keller. Lots of bright white walls, sofa seating in the lounge side and distinctly un-Bavarian music. They do sell a good range of beers including a couple of casks. I opted for a Chimay Red (£4), which unforgivably was served in an Erdinger vase. Not a great experience, although the quiz machine was particularly generous to me :)

Down Dale St to Thomas Rigby's and was much more impressed. Eight handpumps with an extensive bottled range and continental lagers. Rose & Crown next, an honest decent boozer, advertising cask beers but didn't see any, they are coming soon I was told. A great pub next, the Ship & Mitre, to circumnavigate the bar and see what they had on. Managed to find Doctor Duncans for a good pint of Cains Raisin.

I then found myself in the sprawling Punch & Judy for a £2 Guinness and listening to a Karaoke session hosted by someone who looked alarmingly like Lons I encountered the most movingly delivered but awful version of Flying Without Wings, so bad that I thought it should have been renamed Singing Without Tunes :D

Finished the day in the dodgy looking Chinese Buffet next to my hotel.

23-10-2010, 07:06
Tuesday was raining on and off all day so the obvious strategy would be to make sure there was always a pub around to take refuge in ;)

Got myself a day ticket for the underground and caught the first train that turned up at Lime St. It was going across (or more accurately underneath) the Mersey into the Wirral and I went to the end of the line New Brighton. Unfortunately it was closed, not the station but almost the entire town. Certainly the 'promenade' was a desolate and unforgiving place in the wind and rain. There were a few amusement places and dodgy looking clubs but if they are trying to emulate Brighton they've got a long way to go. Most of the pubs were closed so just got a few 'drive-by' photos and back on the train.

Was tempted off the train at Birkenhead Park, which delivered less than the station posters promised, and again at Hamilton Square which I'd been told was Birkenhead's cultural centre - God help them.

Back on the train to the relative sanity of Liverpool and got off at Moorfields station, just as another rain storm started. Took refuge in the Vernon Arms where I was delighted to see that the Oystercatcher was still on (:notworthy: BotW contender). Into the nearby Poste House next, a tiny locals pub that sits in a side road between Dale St and Victoria St. This was the first pint I had to send back here although it was exchanged with an apology and the clip turned around. £2.10 for a pint of Holt's Touchwood was pretty good.

23-10-2010, 07:43
Tuesday afternoon was spent wandering around, in that I wander if I can find any pub that Old Boots hasn't been in, and popping in to the occasional pub. As time went on 'occasional' turned into 'frequent'. Here's the tale of the tape.

Richmond Pub, small corner pub in the shopping area serving Bass.

Swan Inn, what a find in a street largely filled with late night bars. Eight handpumps with prices at £2.10 to £2.40, apart from the star attraction Wobbly Bob at £3.20. The heaviest of heavy metal jukebox and an upstairs (no cask) bar for the evening crowd.

The Nook, Chinatown, truely awful depressing place. You can see where four handpumps would have stood but looks like they went years ago. Basic keg beers, two fridges were completely empty apart from a solitary can of Guinness. Quick pint under the suspicious stare of the locals, risked a trip to the gents and left. Thought I'd got one up on Old Boots here but later found that he'd tried it as well :notworthy:

After that experience I needed solace and found it in the familiar Grapes with a pint of the Liverpool Pale Ale. Actually it was a pint and a half as it started raining again. When it stopped I got directions to the Belvedere and headed off.

Spotted The Pilgrim, one of Saturday's pubs, and called in for a half and a proper look. Decent cellar bar with a cheap menu as befits a student pub.

Then noticed Ye Cracke and was glad I did. Three halves here of differing types as recommended by the friendly and enthusiastic barmen. First was a smoky beer followed by a fruity one then summat special, it wasn't that special but that's what it was called. Wish I'd found this place earlier :drinkup:

The Belvedere next where the beer choice was a bit disappointing, then the Blackburn Arms and the Caledonia. Can't remember too much about these pubs and from my rapidly deteriorating notes it seems they were all fairly similar and there wasn't much noteworthy.

Definitely downhill from here as I next found myself in something called the Baa Bar :eek: I'd got a photo earlier in the week and presumably wanted to get a review. Wasn't worth it, large empty place, and if the name wasn't bad enough it's also allied to the Wok It Noodle Bar.

Hope & Anchor next, another student place, had Brothers Cider on draught but their till seemed unable to cope with halves so had to have a pint.

Although I don't remember it I must have gone into the Philharmonic as I have "that photo" on my camera, different angle to Gill's so I'll upload it later.

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to try my luck in the Mint Casino :pray: and somehow managed to blag the guy on the door to sign me up as a member. I suspect he thought I was so pissed I'd lose all my money. As it was I had some sucess on the Blackjack tables and think I came out about £10 up.

Dredging my memory bank I think the last pint was at The Blob Shop where I rushed down a pint of Guinness as they were putting chairs on tables and rather agresssively calling time.

I recall a late night attempt to order room service but must have failed, there was no congealing food or cold pizza sitting outside the door the next morning anyway :D

Quite a long day and quite a few beers, but it was my last day in the City. I think it proved my theory that there were enough pubs to seek out in Liverpool without having to go to Chester or Southport.

Farewell Liverpool and thanks to my fellow tourists.