Last night we ate in The Barbridge Inn, to say it was busy would be an understatement, I rang and booked a table for 8pm. the chap on the phone warned me then that it would be busy and full. We walk over arriving just before 8 and got drinks, the waitress had our table ready for 8pm. She warned us when we sat down there would be an hours wait for food and she was spot on. The food was very good, hot and freshly cooked. We ordered our deserts, but they were a long time coming, When they did arrive the waitress firstly apologised and then said we wouldn't be charged for them. In my opinion a place with that attitude to customer service deserves to succeed, we will go again.
This morning most of the boats had gone before 9, some to Venetian Marina and some to Bunbury. its obviously a recommended stop for the last night's hire. We pushed off at ten continuing north along the Shropshire Union stopping at the Calveley Cheese shop to buy some local cheese, I must say its a lot cheaper than the shops.
I was rather taken by their outside seating area for the cafe, all made from old pallets with clear plastic table tops.
This must be CRT's way of telling boaters that they have trimmed some of the offside vegetation, the sign is not needed, we can see where its been done and also where its needed.
Once we were stocked up with cheese, (something I shouldn't eat) we had to continue north for about 20 minutes to the winding hole so that we could turn and return to Barbridge Junction, on the way we passed this what I think is an old Lime Kiln on the offside.
We then stopped for water at Calveley service point, this is in the middle of some long term mooring so I suspect one or more of those moors who have created and maintain this little garden.
At Barbridge Junction we turned left onto the Middlewich arm fully expecting to join a queue at the locks but we were wrong, a steady stream coming up but no one going down.
At Nanney's bridge the wood sticking out through the hedge onto the towpath has now been replaced with corrugated iron, its made me wonder if these items have been delivered by boat and unloaded through the hedge.
The cowslips are now in full bloom and seem to be everywhere there is a bit of grass now, I don't remember seeing so many before.
We moored at 3 pm at Church Minshull and went for a walk into the village, as The Badger was open it seemed silly not to go in and check the beer was still up to scratch before continuing round the circuit to return to the towpath back at bridge 11.
Today's Journey 9.7 miles, 2 canals, 2 locks in 4¼ hours