Friday, December 16, 2011

No. 119 The Commercial Hotel

Visited on 15/12/11. Built by one of Chester’s most famous architects, Thomas Harrison, in 1817 (he of the Grosvenor Bridge and other fine early 19th century Chester buildings), ‘the Commercial’ is located in St. Peter’s churchyard right in the heart of Chesterville. What a magnificent building it is. And what a magnificent turnout there was to mark the occasion. All bar one of the CBP regulars (hardcore plus ‘casuals’) were out, plus a number of guests. So thanks to Algy’s mates and in particular Andy from C-BAS for coming along. It was nice of Luke from the Pied Bull (No. 86) to pop in and say hello as well. I remember this place back in the 80s being a largely unaltered, quirky old school boozer with a time-warp feel, full of old people drinking keg mild. Since then, it’s suffered at least one disastrous refurbishment followed by a failed re-launch. However, the current proprietors have now created a pub (with associated restaurant and hotel) that strikes the right balance between the old and the new. ‘Traditional trendy’ – it’s the new ‘shabby chic’, dontcha know ? Imagine Oddfellows (No. 43) on a smaller scale, without the excess and with added real ale – and even then, that’s nothing like this place. I don’t know why I wrote that to be honest. Anyhow, in terms of ale, it was a great start to the night – Everard’s Sleighbell, a light and thankfully quite dry Christmas beer. Twas excellent. So good we had a couple of rounds in fact. It was soon time to leave though, and after pausing briefly to admire the original stained glass window above the front door, we headed aross the courtyard to the FINAL pub of the Chester beer project...

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