Cottage Loaf, Thurstaston
The Wirral part of Deeside is a poem, an aroma, an ululating soundscape, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. A rolling down, triassic cliffs and the crunch of beach shale underfoot at half-light. A Sunday stroll then, a tranquil aperitif to the main event; the panto. Aladdin’s not my cup of tea but with a gaggle of children in tow, the boozer and watching the match is not really an option. Talking of tea, the beckoning cold had induced a need for a pitstop and some warming up. The nearby Cottage Loaf at Thurstaston, all lights, tinsel and glitter, seemed an appropriate watering hole. Inevitably, a birdlike squawk for food emerged like a creature waking from hibernation. I ordered some soup and plates of chips. This is when things began to go downhill. The pub was fairly busy, full of families, chatter, clinking glasses and clacking plates but still such a simple order couldn’t go awry could it? Sadly, yes. The order was taken down wrong and took more than 30 minutes to rectify. When the food did arrive I just managed to prevent Kate, four years 10 months, from devouring a staple which had garnished a pot of tomato sauce. Unusually, I couldn’t be bothered to complain but some free chatter amongst our crowd brought the manageress bubbling over offering profuse apologies. I just said fine, forget it. However, I did remark privately that were this America then a refund would have been offered immediately, no questions asked. Maybe Miss Bubbly’s radar is exceptional or she just has good customer service skills for an instant later she reappeared clutching a full refund in her hand. Not such a pantomime after all. Well done Cottage Loaf.