Friday, June 3, 2011
No. 53 The Boathouse
Visited on 2/6/11. It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Fish are certainly jumpin’, but thus far cotton cultivation on Chester’s water meadows hasn’t really taken off. Ahem, anyhow…the Boathouse is practically on the river – if you sit by the window, it feels as if you’re afloat. The views are stunning and the location is one of the best in town. Does this mean then that it’s one of Chester’s best pubs ? Well it certainly should be, but based on our experience, the answer to that question is a resounding NO ! Upon arrival I was pleasantly surprised to see three hand pumps on the bar – all had the labels turned around though. I asked the barman if there was any real ale on and he simply responded with a gormless expression. “That”, I said, pointing at a pump. “Oh !” he replied before attempting to pull a pint of fresh air. I ordered a pint of Guinness. The landlady then appeared and turned all the real ale labels round the right way. “Is there any real ale on”, I asked (again). “No”, she replied and walked off ! This was comedy central. The landlord then appeared with a bucket and began pulling a new cask of ale through one of the hand pumps. The landlady re-appeared and as she stood next to the landlord pulling the ale through, again I asked if there was any real ale on and again she said no. In the meantime three quarters of a pint of Guinness arrived, which I sent back to be topped up. The rest of the CBP crew then appeared. “Why are you drinking that shite ?” they politely enquired, before ordering up a round of Lees bitter, which was then promptly dispensed from the hand pump – by the landlady ! Jesuz wept. The bogs stank an’ all. And whatever happened to ‘the Ale-taster’ – the Boathouse annex which functioned as a half decent pub in it’s own right ? Closed down and moth-balled by the look of it. A bad start to the evening, but at least things couldn’t get any worse. Could they ?