Wednesday 16 December 2015

To Boldly go

I went into the Bold in Churchtown, north Southport, last night. My main reason for going was to check whether the Southport Swords, friends of mine, could dance there as part of their customary Boxing Day dance tour, but I also wanted to see how the pub looked after more than £300,000 had been spent on refurbishing it. I wrote about this pub and its neighbour, the Hesketh, in July last year.

A few weeks ago, our local paper, the Southport Visiter, published an artist's impression of what the renovated pub would look like, and it was really quite hideous with wooden slats on the ceilings and walls. I should have realised the artist's impression was sheer guesswork when I noticed that, through the pub windows in the picture, you could see traffic going the wrong way down the one way street.

The separate rooms and nooks and crannies that I previously wrote about still exist, as does the old carved woodwork, including the arches over the bar. The floor is now either wood or stone, which will increase the noise levels when the place is full, and some of the tall new tables are on old wooden barrels with high stools, but most of the furniture is more conventional. Overall, I'm quite pleased that this pub, which dates to at least the seventeenth century, hasn't been spoilt.

The real ales that were on at the time of my visit were:
  • Churchtown Best Bitter (the house beer, brewed by Greene King).
  • St Austell Tribute.
  • Tetley Mild.
  • Greene King IPA.
  • Hardy and Hanson Rocking Rudolph.
This isn't the most adventurous range, but a lot of people like standard beers like Tribute and Greene King IPA. I chose the Rocking Rudolph which I quite enjoyed: it's certainly preferable to its boring IPA stablemate. The presence of a cask mild is to be welcomed. While I am well known as someone who doesn't like Tetley Bitter - I was once booed at the CAMRA AGM for stating what I thought of it - I always used to find Tetley Mild more acceptable. I haven't drunk it since the Tetley brewery in Leeds closed, but perhaps I should try it some time in the interests of research.

I also noticed among the whiskies, Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I can only assume that the word does not have the same connotations in the USA as it does here, rather like the surname of a certain obnoxious American presidential candidate. The pub offers a reasonably priced standard pub food menu with a specials board, and there are televisions for sport. 

Chatting to one of the staff, I mentioned how inaccurate the picture in the paper had been. She suggested that perhaps the idea was to make it look so bad that you'd be relieved with whatever lesser changes were made. She was joking, but I wonder whether she might have a point.

Incidentally, the Southport Swords will be dancing there on Boxing Day at around 12.15pm. Times for their whole tour can be found on this page.

1 comment:

  1. Prices gone up;as expected!!! Of course we're all rolling in money north Southport end.Thankfully have travel pass that will take me to centre of Liverpool where prices are usually cheaper.


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