Let me tell you a few things about where I live, work and play.
I have mentioned before how much I love living in Hoole, and not the least because there are great watering holes and eateries just a few steps away from my front door. Obviously there’s the added bonus of great specialist boutiques from clothes and accessories to wine and craft beer, delightful delis and fab flower shops but to be honest, it’s the overall proximity of all these things that makes it pretty awesome to me.
But Hoole is great for those who don’t live at its doorstep too, and if you haven’t taken the ten minute stroll from Chester train station or a few minutes longer from city centre, you totally should. Hoole is a great night out and not short of places to treat your thirst, no matter what your poison.
In the name of research (ahem) I visited and listed the brilliant pubs and bars all conveniently placed along the Hoole highstreet (OK, one is around the corner) for a nice little pub crawl. You can thank me later.
An institute in it’s own right, you might at first glance miss the Lodge if it wasn’t for the absolutely enormous beer garden. Plonked on the top of Hoole high street this hotel bar is always buzzing and filled to the brim with locals. Don’t let the fact it’s a hotel bar and bistro fool you; the Lodge takes great pride in serving some great cask ales, probably the best selection in Hoole (all less than £3 a pint as well) and their Sunday roast is the stuff of legends. And there’s few places better to catch some rays on a sunny day. This is definitely the place to start your pub crawl.
The Royal Oak
The Oak is the first pub walking down the Hoole high street so naturally this should be your second stop. Not long ago it was run by the legendary landlady Angie with her even legendarier pub dog Reggie and whereas much loved by the locals the pub was somewhat dated. Angie has since then retired and the pub is under new management and has a new, updated look. There’s no escaping the soul of the place which is sports, sports and some more sports on multiple screens but the Oak is always full of friendly folk enjoying a pint. The back of the pub also houses Hoole’s best kept secret; a large beer garden with, yup, you guessed it, more screens for sports!
The Bromfield Arms
One of the longest serving watering holes in Hoole, the Brom has fairly recently had a face lift too. The pub has invested into a modern decor, new food and wine menus as well as craft beer and some new lines of cask ales. The Brom hasn’t lost its boozer charm though, it’s not trying to be anything apart from what it is, and that is probably the best thing about it. If you’re looking for the latest hipster craft brews you probably won’t find them here, but they have a stable selection of the big players in the fridge and they also have a beer brewed just for them. You can accidentally find yourself staying here a lot longer than you initially intended!
Just across the road from the Brom, the Faulkner is very much a modern bistro. Boutique decor aside, it’s a relaxed place occasionally enjoying spouts of live music and a great fourth stop on the high street pub crawl. There’s plenty of different offers on most nights for food and drink so if you time your visit right, you might enjoy half priced mains or a steak and a wine for a tenner. They also have a fair selection of cask ales, lagers and wine to flush your grub down, and a great little beer garden at the back to enjoy the last rays of sunshine.
Last but by no means the least on the list is the award winning Suburbs, just around the corner from the Faulkner. Sporting by far the quirkiest decor in all of Hoole, this cocktail and wine bar is open the latest and therefore usually my last stop on my jollies around the area. I’ve had the most amazing martinis and a fabulous glass of pinotage and some pretty rocking shots in this bar. It’s narrow but long and perhaps because of this it does get pretty packed in the weekends. My favourite time to visit is usually in the week nights when the atmosphere is still buzzing but you fit in just nicely.
Have you popped in the Hoole watering holes? What’s your favourite? Let me know in the comments!