On a warm Saturday morning a group of us boarded the train at Euston Station London and settled in for the two and a half hour journey north to Liverpool UK. I was glad for the rest. Earlier, the rush to St Albans station from home had me hot and bothered. I wandered into the newsagent inside the station and found at the back of the shop a cooler going full bore. Well I stood over it with my shirt pulled out catching the cool breeze for a good 5 mins. Turning around and around like a pig on a spit. I got a few odd stares from customers but that wasn’t going to stop me, in fact I’m sure a few of them were wishing they had thought of doing it as the morning was exceptionally warm.
As we headed further north it begun to cloud over and I relaxed back and watched the city disappear and the countryside emerge. Vast green fields scattered with sheep and horses. Little cottages and farm houses snuggled into tiny valleys, the odd giant wind turbine. Of the seven of us traveling together three of them were named Kev. MP and I figured that at any time we forgot who’s round it was there was a 60% chance that it was Kev’s !
One of the first stops was Dead Crafty Beer Bar in Dale Street. The heavens opened up and so it was decided to stay for one more and wait out the rain. It soon became clear that there was no end in sight for a break in the weather so we made a dash for it, hailed a couple of cabs and headed to The Baltic Social in Parliament Street. This was more of a family bistro, there was no bar service only table service. We sat around one long bench table with beers while at the table next to us sat four ladies with pretty china cups, saucers, pots of tea and a plate of scones. Kids ran about the tables as if they were at the local playground, their brainless inconsiderate parents making no attempt whatsoever to reign the little brats in. I did consider putting my foot out to trip one of the rug rats up but thought that just my luck his dribbling snotty nose would land on my shoe and ruin the swede so instead I drank up and left.
The weather had cleared and the rest of the crawl was on foot visiting The Black Lodge in Kitchen Street ,which was in an industrial area and a brewery and tap house. I had a nice porter there but no time to dwell as there were other pubs to see including one called Fly in the Loaf in Hardman St. I selected a Pale Ale that the barman managed to spill all over me I’m sure he was one fly short of a loaf. As a result I spent most of my visit to Fly in the Loaf in the loo cleaning myself up!
The next stop a few doors down and on the corner of Hardman and Hope Street is the famous Philharmonic Dining Rooms, known locally as ‘The Phil’. It is considered the most ornate pub in England. Built 1898-1900 with ornate plaster work, copper panels and copious amounts of mahogany and stained glass.
I had only just bought half a pint ……
……………….when Big Mick, one of the blokes on the crawl with us, grabbed my hand, led me away from the bar saying “come with me to the gents”. ‘Now hang on a minute ! I don’t bloody think so mate’ I thought. I glanced over my shoulder at MP who was standing there with a big grin on his face and nodding. What the hell was all this about? Mick and I stood by the entrance,……….
…………he told me to get my phone out to take some photo’s but don’t let anyone see. My mind was spinning, MP came over, ‘phew’ I thought, he is going to rescue me but instead he said that he would keep watch while Mick took me in. Oh my god…how do I get out of this one? What the hell was he thinking? Sure enough MP signaled the all clear and Mick walked me into the gents urinals. Well the smell was as bad as you would expect but the sight was one to behold. Constructed in the most beautiful roseate marble and ornate tiles.
They were the quickest photos I have ever taken and I skedaddled out of there.
We carried on down Hope Street and stopped for a swift half at the Pen Factory and Club 23 then headed back towards the station, bought some fish and chips for tea and boarded the train back to London. Whenever I think of Liverpool it won’t be the famous Mersey Ferry or the Museum of Liverpool. It won’t be its harbor or Cathedrals …nope .. it will be the gents at the Phil !!
Stay Posted….. Love L