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Five bars.... with a real fire

And we're not talking about the sort that have been torched by scallies

Written by . Published on February 24th 2012.

Five bars.... with a real fire

This week, the nation's sly boozers have been targeted.

You know, people who sit at home on school nights, central heating blazing, addressing scores of non-friends on Facebook in sentences that can get ever more maudlin and accusatory as they knock back the vino collapso. 

But not for long. Alastair Campbell presented a BBC Panorama highlighting your secret shame and the Government is determined to put higher taxes on supermarket booze to knock it on the head. 

Ha ha. Not so fast Mr Cameron. With gas and electric prices on the up too, it's time to fight back. 

The solution: Grab your coat, forget the CityVille and go and talk to some real people for a change while someone else pays for the heating.

Here are five good bars that have a solid fuel fire.

Pogue Mahone's, Wood Street, L1.
By real fire, we're talking one that burns wood or coal and has to be lovingly tended to throughout the day and night.

Pogue Mahone'sThey are not as common as you would imagine and neither is good Guinness in this city.

Under newish, efficient management, Pogue Mahone's is better than its silly name and addresses both these needs.

Its Guinness has been voted the best in Liverpool for the third year and you can mull it while staring into the leaping flames from its handsome fireplace with plenty of seats all around for everyone. There's home made grub from a new menu too, and friendly faces all to send you away with a red-nosed glow.

Verdict: Black and tanned. 


Baltic Fleet

Baltic Fleet, Wapping, L1
This is one pub that would be a lost ship without its fire. Even the name sends chills. Situated on Wapping, by the river, it shines like the mother vessel on bleak and choppy seas. 

Their embers come from a stove, actually, which pipes up a chimney holding the building up. You can detect its woody aromas as you approach from the dock. Drink marvellous ales brewed on the premises, eat pies and enjoy the warm blissful vibe.

In fact, forget you have a life elsewhere.

Verdict: Smoke on the water


Belvedere, Sugnall Street, off Falkner Street, L8
This is a favourite pub among musicians from the nearby Philharmonic Hall and a long time refuge of the emotionally challenged local resident who claimed it as his and her own 30 years ago.

Some owners have tried to gentrify it, but the Belvedere, or its crowd, is not for changing.

This is a tiny, unfussy establishment that is now in the stable, rather than shaky, hands of the people who used to run the excellent Lion Tavern in Tithebarn Street. What we have now is a real ale, and a real fire lover's paradise in the back room as you climb into the sort of conversations you thought you'd left behind when you closed that laptop earlier on.

Verdict: Log on


Que Pasa, Lark Lane, L17.
Owned by Liverpool Football Club's Daniel Agger, to its and to his credit, this is no fancy WAG hang-out.

Que Pasa: No smoke without fire
Instead, Que Pasa has become a sort of squeaky clean alternative to Keith's in the past couple of years, so expect to find the remnants of the crowd who used to make the latter a great place to hang out on the lane until their drinking pals grew up or died.

The day to day running of this pleasant bar is left to manager Jools and the drinks are cocktails and reasonably priced wines at around the £12 mark for a bottle.

On a cold day after cavorting around Sefton Park there is no finer place to hang out than in front of its delightful hole in the wall watching the merry flames while munching tasty nachos or chicken wings (£4.95) from its hearty Mexican-style menu, listening to music and the hurdy gurdy talk of Daniel's Danish mates.

Except when our operative went to investigate. “A tile fell off so we are having it repaired,” said Jools. “The cement is wet. It will be a couple of weeks till we light it again."


Verdict: Grate expectations.


The Scotch Piper: Bag a seatThe Scotch Piper: Bag a seat

The Scotch Piper, A5147, Lydiate
This is the nearest you will get to a country pub, with farmland all around and it has long been a central point for masses of bikers on a Wednesday night.

However, it was the landed gentry who were in last Saturday afternoon, apparently having a fancy dress party where the theme was hunting garb.

The Scotch Piper, Lydiate
With its thatched roof and basic décor, the room to the right is the place to head for. Bare floors are made homely by the roaring fire as the saddle sore nurse pints of Banks and turn their rumps to the flames.

Established in 1320, this is reputed to be the oldest inn in Lancashire.

Originally it was known as the Royal Oak, until a highland piper, injured in the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, allegedly took refuge there and fell in love with the owner's daughter.

Or, as legend has it: "She was only the innkeeper's daughter, but she pulled the wrong pump and got stout."

Verdict: You're fired.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Angie Sammons shared this on Facebook on February 24th 2012.
PC49February 25th 2012.

I do hope these establishments comply with the Clean Air Act and only burn smokeless fuel rather than the "wood or coal" mentioned in the article.

Evenin' all.

Reader XxxFebruary 26th 2012.

As my dear mother-in-law once said: "If you had a front room like that you wouldn't need to go out". God bless her.

Jonathan GardFebruary 27th 2012.

Jools in Que Pasa is bloody lovely :)

AnonymousFebruary 28th 2012.

We don't care about smokeless zones. This is Liverpool. Lung cancer capital of the UK

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