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Thread: The Guinness and Gold Cup Blog

  1. #1
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default The Guinness and Gold Cup Blog

    I thought I’d set up a thread to cover the events of an upcoming trip. Some of you may be familiar with previous ones covering trips to Bath and to Folkestone. The title of this one is more about the timing than the destination as it will cover both St Patrick’s Day next Wednesday and Cheltenham Gold Cup day on the Friday. On St Paddy’s Day I’ll be in Edinburgh and by the time Gold Cup day comes around I should, trains permitting, be in Manchester. Gold Cup day in Manchester is a regular trip for me when I meet up with a few work colleagues who take a half day and trawl around the pubs watch the racing and have a few beers on the way.

    At various stages during the tour I will be accompanied by mates Graham (fellow PG member Grailhunter) and also Chris. You may recall Chris as FP (Fizzy Piss) from the Bath Blog. We may possibly also encounter the Happy Frenchman of Folkestone Blog fame. Who knows what the week will hold but provided I can get my netbook to work I’ll let you know.

    The pubs of both cities are well known to Graham and I so I expect we will be visiting a few old friends and maybe discovering some new ones. The Oxford Bar in Edinburgh will no doubt be on the agenda plus the Halfway House – although all those bleeding steps always put me off. In Manchester it will be the old favourites, Marble Arch, Smithfield, City Arms etc., plus I also want to visit the ‘refurbished’ Castle Hotel. On the Sunday we’ll probably be looking to get out of the City Centre, given that it’s the day of the Man U v Liverpool game at Old Trafford, so if anyone has any ideas for a day trip with some decent real ale pubs let me know.

  2. #2
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Sunday Morning

    Up early for a Sunday to watch a bit of the cricket, which seems to be going well. Also going well are my carefully designed preparations for the Guinness & Gold Cup Tour. From a mental perspective I am slowly getting all thoughts of work out of my mind. I managed to get enough done in the last couple of days so that I could go on holiday with a reasonably clear conscience, whilst still leaving enough work so that they might actually realise I’m not there (Sorry about that new deal from GR that I left T, it really didn‘t look like the sort of thing I should have attempted on Friday afternoon).

    On Saturday I assuaged another conscience with a first visit to my parents since Christmas, armed with chocolates and flowers, not only for Mothers Day today but also for Mum’s birthday tomorrow. This was despite work colleagues C & J pouring shed loads of beer down my throat on Friday evening

    So not having had a drink yesterday, and wishing to follow my Great Escape methodology of having a dry day the day before embarking on a big tour, the logical consequence is that I must have a load of beer today. I mean back-to-back dry days I can cope with but three days off and I’m afraid that I might get out of the habit (or even worse properly sober up). So not wishing to let Grailhunter down on the first leg of the tour I shall be visiting St Albans this afternoon for a few beers and probably watch the Man Utd v Fulham game. For the sake of my Fantasy Football team, United thumping them 4 - 0 with a couple each from Rooney and Evra would be good.

    We could really do with getting these Bangladeshis out, 271-7 now and these two are closing in on a century partnership. We’ve gambled on four frontline bowlers for this game, one of whom has just come back from injury and another, local Watford boy Steven Finn, on debut
    Last edited by Millay; 15-03-2010 at 04:46. Reason: Removed that flag waving emoticon now that Rooney and Evra have done their thing.

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    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Hi Millay, if you are going to the Castle, you could also try The City Pub (133 Oldham St) which is a recent real ale 'gain' (tho I can't personally vouch for it yet). I've also still to do the Black Lion & Kings Arms which, in addition to New Oxford & Crescent, make Salford worth a visit, though it would be heading further toward the belly of the beast so not on for Sunday.
    Have you previously done Stockport justice? 8mins train from Piccadilly; Crown (Heaton La. - my national #1), Swan with Two necks, Queens Head, Arden Arms, Railway (Porters Railway, Avenue St), & Olde Vic (not open til 19:00 weekends). I'd add the Magnet, Wellington Rd North, which should be great with 14 handpumps, but I've had quality issues on both my visits. If you did walk up there, then you could add The Railway, further along same road, recent award winner. That should do you for the day, especially as you'll want jokers in the Crown, Olde Vic & Porters Railway.

    Now I've just seen that ludicrous emoticon in your last post, I'm not sure I should divulge this information. Oh, go on then, since it's you.


    http://www.pubsgalore.co.uk/crawl/vi....php?crawl=494
    Last edited by trainman; 14-03-2010 at 06:46.

  4. #4
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks Trainman, hadn’t heard about The City Pub so will definitely seek that one out and report back. Salford looks good, I’ve stayed there once but didn’t drink there much. It may be a good option for the Saturday as Grailhunter is staying out that way somewhere. I’ve only paid a fleeting visit to Stockport and stayed close to the station with the Armoury, the Florist and an awful place called the Jolly Crofter. Thanks for the recommendations it’s looks promising, I’ll do a bit of research and we may do that on the Sunday.

    Sorry about the emoticon, I should probably get rid of it. It doesn’t represent my actual allegiances (I’m a Spurs man like RogerB - although not as obsessed) but I have to think of my FF team. I certainly won’t be waving any red flags around in Manchester, I seem to remember Bar Fringe on Swan St being popular with City fans on match days.

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    This Space For Hire gillhalfpint's Avatar
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    We had a couple of good Acorn beers in the City Inn in Manchester in January when we did a crawl round. Also did Smithfield, Bar Fringe and Crown and Kettle as they are all within about 5 minutes from each other. If you go up to the Marble Arch call into the Angel on the way as they are getting a good reputation for real ale again and you have to pass it anyway. Salford Crescent and New Oxford are still first Class.

    Enjoy!

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    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Thanks gill, another vote for this new City Inn then, will have to try it. Normally get to the Smithfield and if we make the Marble Arch will drop into the Angel. Salford looking good as well.

  7. #7
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Smile Day 1 - Monday morning

    The cricket is going well this morning and even though it’s the day to ‘Beware the Ides of March’ it’s difficult to see any soothsayer forecasting that even with our depleted attack we won’t be able to bowl the Bangladeshis out within the remaining five sessions (score at lunch on day four 45-2 chasing 513) . It’s actually an historic day for cricket as on this day in 1877 the first ever England v Australia Test Match started, the Aussies won.

    I’ve headed this post up as Day 1 of the Guinness & Gold Cup Tour despite the fact that I’m going nowhere. Grailhunter is though, as he is due to be flying up to Edinburgh on this very day. This does probably depend on him having successfully completed last weeks work assignment though. He told me he was working in Tash, Kent last week and although I googled it I couldn’t find anywhere called Tash. It turned out to be Tashkent in Uzbekistan an ex-Soviet country ruled since independence by mad President Karimov who grows madder and ever more ruthless as he clings on to power.

    Grailhunter must have really pissed someone off to be sent there. I’m told that inflation is such that although the exchange rate is about 2,500 Som to the Pound the highest value note available is 100 Som, so even if he was able to find a decent beer he’d probably have needed to take a suitcase of cash to pay for it.

    Hopefully a decent beer will be a bit more accessible in Edinburgh.

  8. #8
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    Hi there. Well here I am sat at Birmingham airport in the departure lounge psyching myself up for the week. No beer yet today but I can see a bar behind me with three handpumps so it would be rude not to imbibe I think. Must admit I'm a bit concerned to read that Millay is having a dry day today because that means he's likely to be a bit 'perky' when he gets to Edinburgh tomorrow. So maybe I should go a bit careful today, on the other hand.........
    Just to report I survived Uzbekistan although I'm walking with a limp where I had to walk around with pocketfuls of notes. The largest note was actually 1000 Som,but as that was only equivalent to 40p and practically nowhere took credit cards it meant walking around with about 100 notes in your pocket just for a normal evening of a few beers and a meal. What a crazy way to carry on. Mind you it did make me feel rich every time I came to pay and pulled out one of my pocketfuls of wedges.
    The local beer was called Sarbast (or was it Starburst ?) and came in three varieties, original at 4.2%, Special at 5% and Extra at 5.6%, all in bottles. It was surprisingly good actually although I was a little disappointed to see on the label that it was brewed by Carlsberg, Uzbekistan branch. These multinationals are taking over the world.
    Anyway I'm off to the bar now to see what's on those handpumps. If it's only Greene King IPA I'll be back in a minute !!

  9. #9
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Hi mate, I was going to send you a text to ensure that Uzbek Airlines had delivered you safely home.

    BMI permitting, I will be arriving Edinburgh around 2pm tomorrow afternoon. I'm aiming to check in and make my way to the City Centre before the rush hour traffic picks up. I'll give you a call late afternoon to see what you're up to.

    Looks like Salford on Saturday and Stockport on Sunday might be a plan for the weekend. Trainman's Stockport crawl looks a good one.

  10. #10
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    Well, I'm back from the bar. Turns out it was a Wetherspoons. No IPA thankfully but the only choice was Ruddles Best, Pedigree or Abbott ! So had a Pedigree which came in at £2.19 with a CAMRA voucherand decided to keep the thirst until I get to Edinburgh where hopefully I'll be able to find somewhere with a little better choice.
    Salford and Stockport sound good. Never been to either so look forward to trying some pastures new. Heard quite a bit about the Crescent in Salford but never made it there before.

    Well I'll have to board the old Tiger Moth in a minute so have to go. Must admit I'm not sure about flying in a plane with propellers. They always look a bit fragile to me so fingers crossed I'll get there in one piece. Mind you, can't be any worse than Uzbek airlines I suppose ! Might just have to have a 'recovery' pint at the Wetherspoons at Edinburgh airport and use another voucher.

    Adios for now.

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