Visit the Shut up about Barclay Perkins site

Or rather my kids and their Spoons. We've recently been in Manchester. Much of it spent in Wetherspoons. Mostly to feed the boys without ripping a gigantic hole in my wallet.

We tried three of the four city centre Wetherspoons. They were surprisingly diverse. In beer selection, atmosphere and service. The beer quality was good in two. *

Paramount was top for me. My hand twitched involuntarily as I cruised along the bar and spotted a DIPA, a 6.5% Porter and stuff that reminded me how poorly I've been keeping track of of Britain's brewery explosion. I should have stuck with the Porter. For, well, ever. Totally my kind of beer. And in proper condition. I liked it so much, I went back again just to have another pint.

The kids preferred the Moon Under Water. Mostly because the wifi was better, but also because it's roomier. And I have to say that the service was top class. Very friendly staff who clearly enjoyed their work. The beer selection wasn't as wide or interesting, but all the ones me and Dolores tried were in good condition. And we got stroll arm in arm down Speicher Straße** with pints of Kingsdown Ale. Not that I particularly want to remember Swindon. I've spent much of the last 20 years trying to erase all trace of it from my mind.

The poshest looking Wetherspoons, the Waterhouse, was was disappointing. Tables too close together, rubbish wifi and an undrinkable pint. The staff weren't that nice, either. We left within 10 minutes.

Comparing the Paramount with the Port Street beer House - reckoned to be one of the best beer pubs in town - was revealing. I preferred the beer in the Paramount. And not just because it was half the price.

Where would we be without Spoons? Trying to eat soup with a knife and fork.

* I only had one pint in the other, so it could just have been one duff beer. I should say that I ordered a single pint. I couldn't drink it all, it was so revolting.
** How Google Translate interpreted Memory Street.