|One of the dining areas|
(barmaid not included)
They'd kindly reserved a table of ten for us, but as around 16 turned up, several were standing. The pub is popular with diners, with waitresses dashing in and out of the kitchen at high speed. You can't help noticing that nearly all of the staff are very good looking young women - coincidence? Regardless, all the staff were helpful and friendly.
Despite the food, this is still a pub, not a restaurant with a real ale sideline, demonstrated by the fact that there were seven real ales on, of which I had four. There were three from the on-site brewery (Burscough Brewery Company), which is behind the pub: Hop Vine, Ringtail, and Mere Blonde. I know blond beers are two a penny nowadays (figuratively speaking, unfortunately), but I did like this well-balanced pint. There were two from Northumberland Brewery, Strawberry Blonde and Summer Gold, and one from Prospect, Gold Rush, which I have to say was my favourite, although all the beers I drank were fine.
Just before I left, I was chatting to one of the barmaids who said she enjoyed working there; she had begun as a waitress and after a while transferred to bar work, which she much preferred, as it can be more sociable. I don't suppose there's much chance to chat to customers when you're waiting on tables.
At the meeting, someone said that Mike, who owns the Hop Vine, is planning to open a beer shop in Ormskirk, along the lines of Southport's Inn Beer Shop, mostly with bottled beers and some cask. Lucky Ormskirk!