Friday 23 March 2018

The Crown in Lime Street

The Crown, Lime Street
The Crown in Lime Street, Liverpool, is quite impossible to miss: you are immediately struck by the extravagant exterior with its scrolled lettering that still advertises the former Walkers Brewery. The Art Nouveau-style interior is just as impressive. The two ground floor rooms have wood-panels, intricately-moulded ceilings with details picked out in gold and a bar with an unusual ornate front.

A wooden spiral staircase under a glass dome leads to the upstairs dining room which still retains its original stained glass windows. The pub is on CAMRA's National Inventory of pubs with architectural features of national significance, and is featured in the CAMRA book “Britain's Best Real Heritage pubs.

The pub serves eight real ales: three regular beers – Greene King IPA, Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Liverpool Organic 24 Carat Gold – and five guests which when I visited were: Thornbridge Jaipur, Fuller's London Pride, Hook Norton Hooky, Kirkstall Black Abbey and Shed Seven Instant Pleasures. The three I tried were well-kept. They also have a good choice of whiskies and gins.

The door to the rear room
An extensive menu offers reasonably-priced food every day, with meal deals available on weekdays, and the busy staff were run off their feet keeping up with demand. The dining room is available for private functions, sometimes hosting receptions for weddings from the magnificent St George's Hall across the road.

Children are admitted with groups that are having a meal, and assistance dogs are welcome. On Mondays, Philosophy In Pubs meet in the pub from 2.30pm, and Tuesday is Chess Night. Live sport is sometimes shown, and there is free Wi-Fi for customers.

The pub has a website and is on Facebook and Twitter. It is next to Lime Street Station and a five-minute walk from Central Station. Although they were very busy serving meals and drinks, the staff I talked to were helpful, friendly and happy to take the time to answer my questions. I also found myself chatting with another drinker at the bar. This is a popular pub in a fine building with good beer - definitely worth a visit.

This is one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and the Ormskirk Advertiser. Previous reviews are here.

Monday 12 March 2018

Fine words butter no parsnips

I welcomed the statement by CAMRA's National Executive (NE) on discriminatory marketing of drinks and discriminatory behaviour by CAMRA members. It chimed in well with the subsequent anniversary of some women gaining the vote in this country. Also around a century ago, women workers were engaged in an additional struggle, that of being accepted by the trade union movement, as I wrote on another blog here.

It consequently seems perverse to me for CAMRA to announce that the organisation's new National Chairman is a woman called Jackie Parker. I accept that there are people, including some women, who will consider this unimportant, but if the campaign is as serious about discriminatory actions as the NE stated, it must also tackle discriminatory language within its own structures. If it doesn't, it is at best inconsistent and at worst hypocritical.