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22-07-2011, 17:00
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The Stockport area now has a new gastro-pub in the shape of the Pointing Dog (http://www.pointingdog.co.uk/index.php) in Cheadle Hulme, which opened last week. This has been developed by the Felicini Group (http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news.ma/article/90804?Ntt=felicini&Ntk=All&PagingData=Po_0%7EPs_10%7EPsd_Asc) from the former Smithy pub. As you can see, it’s a strikingly modernistic wood-clad building that doesn’t look remotely like a pub. The Smithy had for years pursued a youth-oriented policy and had became very run-down, so few tears will be shed for it.

The Pointing Dog is very much a “restaurant with bar” rather than any kind of pub, but there is an area set aside for drinkers at the front on the right. It even had beermats and a few bench seats! The dining area had a sign saying “Please wait here to be seated” and there were no informal bar snacks. There’s a very large part-covered outdoor seating area at the rear.

There were four cask beers – Theakstons Best Bitter, Deuchars IPA, Dunham Massey Big Tree and Castle Rock Harvest Pale – and the lager choice included Sagres, Amstel and the Derbyshire-brewed Moravka rather than the usual suspects, so they are making an effort on the beer front. However, I was charged £3.60 for a pint of the 3.8% ABV Harvest Pale, which is by some way the most I’ve ever paid for a “regular” cask beer. At least it was a decent pint. The beer was served in a heavy, straight-sided handle glass. I would expect the lagers to be over £4.

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Needless to say, it’s unlikely to become a regular haunt of mine, although I wouldn’t condemn it out of hand, just say it’s not my sort of place. You could actually just go there for a couple of drinks without made to feel unwelcome, which isn’t the case with many gastro-pubs.

I couldn’t see any sign of a price list – maybe they thought it might be a heart attack-inducing health hazard, but even so Trading Standards might not be too happy. I couldn’t see a menu either, so can’t comment on the food prices, but I’m assured they’re at least double Wetherspoons’.

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