Up the High Street
From the city centre we make our way to suburbia, well sort of. Wavertree, situated about
three miles from Mathew Street is almost right in the middle of Liverpool and so obviously
a great place for a pub lined street to be for all those thirsty surrounding Liverpudlians.
What makes this place such a good area is the mix of pubs on offer. Old or young, student or scouser there is
a pub for you. Years ago in my heady days before I noticed the lines under my eyes appearing I
did say I would one night have a drink in each pub all the way down to the Labour Club.
These days however I realise even a half in each pub would kill me so I'll have to settle for second best and have a cyber-pub-crawl instead!
Zone 2 Wavertree High Steet, Liverpool 15
Picton Clock Liverpool, at the very top of Wavertree High street. This is the place I have spent many a new year celebrating even though the time on Picton Clock is never right!
At the top of Wavertree High Street at the corner of Church Road is
the Coffee House.
This pub dating from the 19th century is a pleasant place to start the night. With it's ornate fixtures
and fittings most pubs now try to re-create in plastic the Coffee House has a nice atmosphere and
attracts a good mix of people who either like to relax of a week or can't be bothered 'going to town' at the
weekend because they feel they don't need to.
This pub ranks amongst my favourites as for almost ten years I have been coming with my friends and
like characters out of the 'Rovers Return' we have been sitting at our corner table, although
these days I tend not to end the night by sitting under it!
Our regular attendance has led us to believe that maybe we should move to sitting in the 'snug' although
by the look of the people who drink there we have got another seventy years to go yet (8 out of 10)
For more of a 'cosy' atmosphere round the corner is the Clock which is named
after the nearby 'Picton Clock' which even gets a look in on the opening credits to 'Brookside'.
Inside the wallpaper may be peeling and the clientele hardly swigging back fancy cocktails, but thats part of the
attraction. The Clock is just a down to earth scouse pub with plenty of people having a laugh while having loads to drink! (7 out of 10)
The Clock generally gets quite crowded as drinks are cheap if you are looking for a guaranteed quiet place head next door but one to
the Barley Mow.
Now I did say the Clock had seen better days but compared to the Barley Mow it's the swishest place on Earth. My Mum
told me she used to go with my Dad before they married and I reckon that's about the last time the place got a lick of paint. (3 out of 10)
On the odd occassion I have been inside I have never seen anyone else and had quite a wait for any staff to appear too. You could
say 'at least it's not commercialised', but give me a themed bar anyday
That's lucky as over the road there is the Lamb which until a few weeks ago was called the 'Fold and Firkin' before
reverting to it's former name.
The Lamb is an older pub than the Coffee House although in the last few years those owning it have tried their best to
disgard anything original, instead opting to stick platic sheep on the walls in line with the 'theme'. The 'Fold' was always a place you had just one drink before going somewhere else. It does however serve 'Dogbolter' the beer that's guaranteed to get you going, (and get you throwin' in the mornin') Although the Fold wasn't bad I have higher hopes for the Lamb in the future (7 out of 10)
The biggest theme in Liverpool has to be the Beatles as is evident up Mathew Street. The domination of the fab four has
now spread as far as the High St as over the road from the Lamb is Harrisons which was named after.....well lets face it it isn't Ringo Starr
As George Harrison once lived only a mile away the owners of this new pub obviously thought they would cash in and open a 'Beatle Bar'. Unfortuantly things
don't seem to have been such a success as nobody seems to go there. I did go myself on the opening night but soon realised the Job Centre next door probably had
more atmosphere so never went again (3 out of 10)
A more traditional sort of pub is the Cock and Bottle It had to be traditional though as lets face it who would call a new pub that? Once part of the present building was 'the smallest house in England', were supposedly some seven foot bloke lived! The Cock and Bottle has recently been re-decorated and enlarged (no jokes please) and although it's no longer a £1 a bottle on a Tuesdays the pub is still worth a visit (7 out of 10)
Wavertree Town Hall has never been a town hall, I don't think. And on a road full of pubs even if it was it wouldn't be one for long.
Having recently undergone a refit I have yet to see the new look after keeping away since a particularly embarrasing karaoke night. Quite popular with the young'uns (5 out of 10)
The Prince Alfred or 'P.A' to those in the know is another favourite of mine. Although attracting the more 'mature'
person it is another good Liverpool pub. The P.A may have bed pans hanging off the ceiling for decoration but I have always had a good time partying with the oldies! The best thing about the place however are the 'stay behinds' which mean the doors are shut but the bar stays open till the
early hours(8 out of 10)
Over the road again and
you come to the Thatched House which was built in the 50's so doesn't have a thatched roof.
I don't visit the 'Thatched' half as much as I once did, maybe because these days I tire easily of drinking with people who live in shell suits.
Saying that the drinks are reasonable and although the people drinking there may all be 'professional scousers' the ale's cheap so what
does it matter (6 out of 10).
Over the road is Chile's which has made a bit of a name for itself amongst teenagers too young
and not sophisticated enough to get into the 'Paradox' nightclub in Aintree. From miles around the youngsters come, to the extent that of a weekend the place is heaving
with lads in their 'Lacoste™' shirts and girls in... well not much really. Maybe it's just me getting old but it's not my cup of tea (5 out of 10)
If you have had a drink in each pub, by now things are probably becoming a bit hazy. Next door to Chile's is Cuffs which can't be
that great as even when Chile's is bursting Cuff's is hardly half full (7 out of 10).
A bit further away nearing Picton Road is the Rose Vaults which is the only pub so far I have not actually been in. I don't think many people
under 60 have to tell the truth (3 out of 10) Further down is the Sandown which isn't so bad(6 out of 10).
Other places include Chequers which used to be quite a good Irish pub before changing into, er something else (4 out of 10).
Having come to the end of the High Street the pubs continue up Picton Road, there's the Wellington, Legend's, Oasis Bar, Labour Club, Belle Vue, Bridge Inn, Cambridge, Leigh Arms, and others...
I have yet to get that far as some of these pubs as after three or four drinks these days I have had it so am unable to share my opinion of these places. Have a try though and maybe e-mail me with your views at
The Lamb Hotel (left) and Wavertree Town Hall
Now y've 'ad had a few up de 'High St' d'ya fancy goin' inter town for a few more bevvies eh? Try me Mathew Street pub crawl.
Find out more about the City of Liverpool and my views on it
Copyright © Kenneth Neil Pulford 2000