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The Ship & Mitre

Liverpool Confidential's lowdown on drinking dens we have already found ourselves in this week

Published on January 14th 2010.

The Ship & Mitre

What’s the story?
A MERE stone’s throw from the grandiose buildings on William Brown Street, The Ship & Mitre hides its light under the bushel that is the horrible flyover at the start of Dale Street. Lurking inside one of the scant art deco buildings in the city centre, it’s also one of the most impressive beer pubs we've come across. Not just real ale, beer, in all its forms. You like?

Don’t be surprised to hear the place referred to as “The Mitre”. This is its original name, a mitre being a bishop's hat, or a word you see stamped on a football.

A pub has stood here for 150 years and, in days of yore, this was a sailors' hangout. Consequently the refreshment offered by ladies frequenting the establishment was often of the horizontal kind, making it the ideal base for seamen.

Why go there?
It’s been awarded a shedload of gongs, including the Liverpool and District CAMRA “Pub of the Year” numerous times.

The S&M, as it may or not be known to fetishists, whips up a stack of activities every night from curry clubs to quizzes, to whisky nights which are definitely a-go-go. Not to mention its own regular beer festivals to keep the punters regular.

Since the smoking ban, many pubs are doing food, but they do it well in here. The Confidential team have already ravaged wild boar burger (£6.50) featuring onion rings the size of a tortoise, home made fish and chips (£5.90) and the seafood lasagne (£5.20), also prepped on the premises .

What’s yours?
This isn’t viewed as one of Merseyside’s top real ale pubs for nothing. The owners claim their beer is the best. Check the big white board on your way in for the massive list of guests, as well as those coming soon. The choice is so vast (over 50 kinds) that it’s possible, just possible, that you’re going to need some help, in which case the knowledgeable bar staff will be happy to be of assistance.

We were recommended the Lakeland Gold and, after six pints, concluded we were not disappointed. There are also lagers on tap and over 100 imported bottle varieties from Belgium, Germany, Austria, and the United States.

Not a beer fan? We were particularly pleased to find bottles of Brothers lemon cider but we didn’t much fancy the parsnip wine. Perhaps you’d like to try “Malt of the Month” – a double for £3.

Who goes there?
Expect to see the CAMRA crowd – but not the paparazzi type. As it is near a lot of museums, you get both the ale and the arty kind. And with the Ship being pretty much next door to Liverpool Magistrates Court, you may also stumble across members of the judicial world, from briefs to the accused. Careful whose pint you spill.

That's entertainment
The clientèle includes quiz lovers on a Thursday night. On Wednesdays, buy any drink and you get a bowl of scouse “on the house”. There are quiz machines, fruit machines…a darts board. The “entertainment” is kept mainly to one side of the pub, meaning that in the other bit it’s good for talk.

What’s the crack?
We’ve already touched upon the activities but, primarily, this is an unhurried pub that you go to for the quality of drink. Because it's splendidly light and airy, it can attract a fairly Hugh-Grantish crowd at the weekends, which reminds you of all those Notting Hill type pubs that you would go in if you had, perhaps, Julia Roberts with you, gasping for a pint.

On the Ship & Mitre Facebook group, one punter says: “Boss pub! Perfect mixture of good ale, good atmosphere, no horrible Concert Square-dwelling dickheads, fit barmaids and good service...Best ale house in town”.

We couldn’t possibly be drawn. What do you think?

Where to find it
The Ship & Mitre
113 Dale Street
Liverpool 2
0151 236 0859

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bagheeraAugust 19th 2008.

it had to happen, I guess ........ couldn't hope to keep this jewel hidden from the rest of Liverpool for ever!And the food is First Class!!

BarstewardAugust 19th 2008.

I think you've had enough sir. It's time for you to leave.

Mac CainsAugust 19th 2008.

Here, them chips look like my dad used to make - down the factory. Champion boozer alright, but shirley it doesn't take miracles to make chips from real tatties, does it?

JonsonShineAugust 19th 2008.

I used to enjoy gurning my face off and tapping my feet to a beat that wasn't even playing in there... Really relaxed atmosphere, even if you have an imaginary Chemical Brothers gig going on inside the far reaches of your mind...

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