|Shut pub alert - Craftbrew, Salford Quays|
I found a posh looking woman peering in, she didn't look like your stereotypical BRAPster so I went over to ask what her game was. Well, it was her son who'd had the private party last night, he'd lost his scarf, so she'd come along to see if she could get it back for him. I'll just let you digest that sentence for a minute.
We chatted on BRAPA, she told me she was from Lymm, I asked if it was in Greater Manchester and she looked mortally wounded and told me Cheshire. He husband appeared, didn't seem to trust BRAPA as a concept, and they left. I found a barman, he told me pub wasn't open to after 12, he wasn't apologetic, I was not happy, I got a tram back to Manchester.
After that palava, I was dying for a pint and I finally found a pub ,,,,,
|Feel the quality|
886. Vine Inn, Manchester
And it was another little city centre gem in the Grey Horse ilk, I'd been in a pub next door called City Arms before which was spoilt by a local who slagged off my job cos I wasn't a biochemist, so I much preferred this place. It had that happy Saturday morning feel that 11am openers do, putting a brave face on the hidden chaos, as it to say "yes we are open and we are pleased to serve you" whilst secretly scurrying around looking for a clean glass. The barmaid and landlord (who was doing some paperwork) where both very welcoming, and as always happens in a new pub, I walked in the opposite direction to the loo and had joke "they are always in the last place you look". I climbed some stairs and enjoyed a quality Tim Taylor Landlord in the pre-punk calm. A large group came in and after another pub singalong (this time Inspiral Carpets, so an improvement on Sade), they debated whether or not it was true that Shakespeare died on his birthday. I'd like to have added that he was more likely to be a Staffs Aleman than a writer of all those tales, but I know people get very sensitive about such possibilities. Lovely little pub this.
My next pub was right next to the venue, so a good place to base myself before the music restarted. But hang on, this looked familiar, 99% sure I'd been here before without realising!
|My Landlord strategically positioned by the stairs.|
|Looks lovely, isn't.|
887. Salisbury Ale House, Manchester
It was my birthday in 2014 when in the Lass O' Gowrie (a pub I'd like to review one day), a jolly barman waxed lyrical about this fantastic new real ale place under the arches near Oxford Road. We got there and were left unconvinced by dodgy Holt's Two Hoots and some miserable locals at the bar who we even tried to chat to. Today was much the same. Despite the beautiful looking building from the outside, freshly watered hanging baskets, and an old mutli roomed interior, history repeated itself. Despite obviously looking at the handpumps, the 5 or 6 barflies refused to budge even when I was peering around them (this is in a near empty pub) so I can only assume they'd wanted to hold their territory against a potential punk invasion, meaning anyone with a festival wristband was treated as the enemy. My J W Lees was near vinegar, but I didn't return it mainly cos I didn't like the pub atmosphere. And it was all a bit dreary and dirty feeling otherwise, a bit like an extension of the railway arches looming over the pub.
|Interior shot of Salisbury proves it could be a very good pub.|
|Unlikely pre-emptive? Thirsty Scholar bar.|
|Worse for wear? Enjoying a Joseph Holt's bottle with the sis towards end of festival|
Great fest, productive pubbing. Join me next time for a review of Tuesday's trip to South Yorkshire.