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Thread: The Guinness and Gold Cup Blog

  1. #71
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Monday Morning - Stockport Pub Crawl - The Pre-amble

    Are we really in danger of losing this Test Match to cricketing minnows Bangladesh. We seemed to be determined to play for the draw from the first ball and the run rate is something akin to an apathetic sloath.

    Right, how did Sunday start, well the first thing to report is that for the second time on this tour we had a fire alarm at the hotel. According to a couple I was chatting to in the lift it was about 2:30am and most of the guests were herded out onto the streets. I on the other hand was oblivious to the whole thing, I suspect we have no alarms up in the turret rooms, they just let us burn. Chris said he did hear it but it only went on for about 5 seconds and as he thought it was the phone he went back to sleep.

    It was therefore with some good fortune that we were alive and well to meet Grailhunter from the Cross-Country Express. A quick breakfast we thought, and there's a cafe just outside Piccadilly Station called Antonios which, despite hundreds of Southerners pouring out of the station for the Man Utd game, was surprisingly empty. We found out why when we went in, the service wasa best described as comedic. Once they'd managed to throw the tramp out we went to the counter and ordered three breakfasts and found a table. Just as we were sitting down we were hollered at to come and get our mugs of tea, two minutes later a similar holler and the fastest full breakfast I've seen was ready for collection, then the toast. When we got round to actually eating it I think we all agreed that this was one of the worst breakfasts we'd had, and we decided that the tramp may well have been a mystery shopper from Egon Ronay.

    A call from Andy told us that he'd got an hours pass from the other half and we arranged to meet him in the Crown and set off on the 11:35 train for the Stockport Pub Crawl.

  2. #72
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Monday Morning - Stockport Pub Crawl - The Main Event Part I

    We initially got off to a bad start following trainman's instructions to leave the station via the exit by Platform 6, we could only find 4 But we got it right in the end and headed down to The Crown. Got a little lost and ended up circumnavigating the bus station then asked a driver if he knew where the pub was. He said he wasn't good on pubs but thought there was one up the road just past a Kwik Fit place and a shop that sold clothes for big men. Why he felt the need to impart that last bit of advice I know not but it was sufficient for us to find the Crown, and Andy was already there. Fantastic pub 12 + handpumps with beers displayed on a chalkboard. Two parts to the bar and three nice looking snug rooms. I went for the Pictish Sonnet then a Ninkasi Bitter from the Vale Brewery. A pork pie supplemented the disappointing breakfast. Grailhunter took a walk on the dark side with the award-winning Rudgate Ruby Mild (not to be confused with the award-winning Maxtrad) and a Tar Barl stout from Allendale.Chris was predictably on the FP. Andy necked a few of the Sonnets before his other half very wisely came to pick him up.

    The barman gave us directions to the Swan with Two Necks which we found fairly easily. A Robbies House which appeared at first to only have the Unicorn on. This prompted Grailhunter to have a momentary aberration and order a lager Nice little pub with a small front bar, a drinking corridor and two attractive snugs at the rear. CAMRA newsletters available and we read up on some of the local pubs. Next was a walk though the shopping centre and we managed to tempt Grailhunter away from the kids merry-go-round. He'd bought one of these go anywhere all modes of transport ticket things and wanted to get his monies worth. Found the Queens Head, a tiny Sam Smiths pub that looks like it hasn't changed in 50 years. It was quite busy and we did have to keep Chris under control when a bunch of permatan Northern chavesses on a beano from Blackpool turned up but it was an enjoyable visit.

    A bit less enjoyable was the walk up the steps to Market Place. We lost our bearings a little but eventually found the Arden Arms with the help of, or perhaps in spite of, the map that GH had picked up from the Tourist Information Centre. I mean it didn't even have any pubs marked, what use is that. The pub confusingly has it's pumps behind the bar instead of on the bar and on first look we could only see Unicorn and Hatters Mild. It was only when we were about to leave that we saw three other pumps. They did seem a bit obsessed with food in here and much of the pub was set up for diners. We sat out on the decking in the beer 'garden' and Grailhunter entertained us with his amazing ability to identify aircraft as they flew overhead - sad fokker

  3. #73
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Monday Morning - Stockport Pub Crawl - The Main Event Part II

    The next pub was actually off the map but we found it quite easily. The guys were convinced I'd got it wrong and that the pub must be called the Railway Porter but on arrival we found that it was indeed the Porters Railway. Very scruffy from the outside but proving that you should never judge a pub by it's exterior we found an absolute gem inside. Eleven handpumps, draught continental beers and a fridge full of Belgian, German and various other bottled beers, all shown along with their ABV's and prices on chalboards. Beer really is the star in this place and everyone seemed to be drinking something special, not a Boddies or a John Smiths Smooth in sight.

    We started on the Pennine Pitch Porter which was very good. Chris had an Amstel but then on the second round he had some sort of epiphany and agreed to join Grailhunter with a Boon Geuze - perhaps this pub has magical powers as well I went for a cheeky little Duchess de Bourgogne for which they even found the correct glass. Chris surprised us again by saying he'd have another Geuze but they'd run out. He was offered a Boon Kriek instead which he was convinced tasted just like a Cherry Ski Yoghurt. I went for a Chimay Red but Grailhunter went for the trophy beer, the 10% Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, which poured from the bottle slower than a Geoff Boycott run rate.

    We now needed to address our strategy, it was still too early for the Olde Vic but if we walked back that way we could stop off somewhere on the way. The idea of walking didn't find much favour and the barman helpfully suggested that the Magnet was a good pub and not too far away (another on trainman's list) and called us a cab. Another pub that takes it's beer seriously, indeed when someone mention the F word the barmaid replied "Fosters? I wouldn't wash my dog in it". I went for the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale whilst GH had the Cottage Gold Rush. Chris was well into his stride by now and ordered a Timmermans Peche Lambic, which he said tasted like a Peach Ski Yoghurt. A couple of games of pool ensued where I was very unlucky to go down 2-0 to Chris. Next beers were Duvel Green for Grailhunter and I, which we'd seen on draught in a few places, and a Fruli for Chris, which of course he thought tasted like a Strawberry Ski Yoghurt.

    It was by now around 7:15 so we got another cab to the Olde Vic. Grailhunter and I went for the Allgates Caskablanca and Chris reverted to type by ordering a Harp lager, which he thought tasted of, well nothing really. Interesting quirky little pub this with crap & tat all over the place. A string of onions vied for wallspace space with a stuffed otter, a number of captain's hats, an old gas mask and an October 2008 calendar. We got a warm welcome including from the pub dog who didn't stray too far from a roaring log fire.
    Last edited by Millay; 22-03-2010 at 05:49.

  4. #74
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Default Monday Morning - Stockport Pub Crawl - The Aftermath

    The Olde Vic was the last pub of the crawl, and they'd all been good ones thanks mainly to Trainman's recommendations. We took the short walk back to the station and caught the 8:20 back to Mancheswter where Grailhunter continued on his journey to see how many different modes of transport he could use in getting back to his hotel. Chris and I found one of those dodgy kebab/pizza/chinese/curry/chip shops that will cook you almost anything provided they can deep fry it, and ordered fish and chips which we took back to the hotel.

    I don't know if we had another fire alarm last night but I was woken from my slumbers early with a nagging guilt about not having updated the blog last night. So here I've been for the last two hours, fortified by cups of tea and a packet of digestive biscuits, doing my duty and suffering for my art, all to provide you good people a little something that might just cheer you up on a miserable Monday morning back at work.

    So as the Guinness & Gold Cup Tour draws to a close thoughts turn to where the next trip might be. There is talk of Belfast in October and if it does happen you can be sure there will be a Belfast Blog - whether you want one or not.

  5. #75
    Former Pubs Galore Coder
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    Well I know I want to see the next blog. Been a thoroughly enjoyable read.

    Thanks for that.

  6. #76
    Roving RAT ROBCamra's Avatar
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    One of the questions asked on our Salford crawl was "Who was Mark Addy?"

    I didn't know. I do now.

    Mark Addy was a Victorian local hero who died in 1890 at the age of 51. He was famous for rescuing no fewer than 50 people from the then dangerous waters of the River Irwell and was the only civilian to have received the Albert Medal (Victoria Cross) from Queen Victoria. The pub named after him was originally a boat passenger’s waiting room for the new Bailey landing stage from where a regular packet boat service was in operation from 1807.

    Cheers to a local hero
    A pub is for life not just for Christmas

  7. #77
    We're not really 'ere! trainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millay View Post
    We initially got off to a bad start following trainman's instructions to leave the station via the exit by Platform 6, we could only find 4
    Sorry about that, I did follow the platform suggestion with a question mark (I couldn't recall how many platforms at Stockport but was trying to guide you out the 'rear' exit).

    Quote Originally Posted by Millay View Post
    we got it right in the end and headed down to The Crown. Got a little lost and ended up circumnavigating the bus station
    Now, if you ended up in the bus station, you missed the instruction to keep the viaduct on your right. I know, I know, you probably lost faith in me already!

    Anyway Millay, I think, especially after a hard-drinking week, that you all put in a sterling effort around Stockport to not only complete the course, but also slip in several jokers along the way. Bravo.

    And bravo, too, for another entertaining blog - a pleasure to read. Cheers!

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