I took a day off work yesterday to go for a few drinks in Manchester with ex-colleagues, Paul and Dunk, something we do every 2-3 months. Adrian joined us this time too.
We usually meet at one of the bars in the Printworks, but this time we met just around the corner in the Hare & Hounds – a proper old-fashioned drinkers pub. A couple of pints of Joey Holts’ in there and then we were off to the Marble Arch Inn.
Although it doesn’t look much from the outside, this is a fantastic pub with it’s own 100% organic microbrewery which is open for viewing. It’s not really the kind of pint you could drink all day, but the wonderful Ginger Marble Ale went down very well indeed with a Bockwurst lunch. 😀
The weather was nice so the plan was to do a tour of the bars around Castlefield. We failed to flag down a taxi so ended up walking, with a few stop-offs along the way. Cask Boddingtons was on offer at The Old Wellington, next door to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar. I’m not a big fan of Boddies, but the Cask stuff isn’t bad at all. It’ll be a shame when they close down the Strangeways brewery.
From there to St Anne’s Square and a quick pint in dingy Corbiere’s , which is supposed to have the best jukebox in Manchester. Then through some dodgy alleyways to Deansgate and more Cask Boddies at a soul-less pub that I can’t remember. Edit: Apparently it was the Pig & Porcupine, cheers Dunk.
We sat on the upstairs terrace at the Knott Fringe drinking Mexican Honeyed Ale but the good weather was turning against us. After shivering by the lock outside Duke’s 92 with a pint of something called “Insomnia” we started making our way back into town.
A quick pint of Hobgoblin and a couple of games of table football in the sickly-green tiled Perveril of the Peak, then off to one of the strangest bars I’ve ever been in, the Temple of Convenience. Unfortunately it was standing room only, so we gave those Belgian beers a miss and went on to the Waterhouse for a pint of Pedigree.
Traditionally, we finish off the day with a pint or two of Timothy Taylor’s at Mr Thomas’s Chop House before getting the train home. I’m not sure how it came about but there was some kind of disagreement between Paul & Dunk. 😥 Edit: Happily this is now sorted.🙂
We finished our drinks and rushed to Victoria station to catch trains home. Dunk had to run for the Metro and I dashed off to catch the last Oldham train. I’m not sure what Adrian did, it was all a bit of a rush at the end. When I got over to the platform Paul was still waiting for the train, which hadn’t turned up. After about 10 minutes we asked a guard when the next train was and he sent us to a different platform, telling us we’d now have to go via Rochdale.
We boarded and were having a good old chat when I suddenly realised that we were passing Smithy Bridge station – we had completely missed our stop and were on our way to Leeds! We got off at the next station, Littleborough, just as the last train back towards Rochdale was about to depart. Shouting for the guard to hold the train, we ran underground to reach the other platform and jumped on. The guard told us we’d struggle to get back from Rochdale to Oldham at this time of night, so Paul phoned Caroline and asked her to pick us up. We started walking up Oldham Road and got as far as Kingsway before Caroline met us.
I’m feeling a bit fragile this morning though. :sick: