The Central Manchester Slow Pub Crawl - Day 6


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Day 6 - Thursday 13th February 2003 (Map)

Pub 39 - The Old Orleans (The Printworks)

It's pleasantly still out, but unpleasantly chilly.  Spaceman arrives a few minutes after barney who has got the beers in.  Two pints of Kronenbourg for £4.80 - strong lager!  There was the choice of Miller but barney thought it was 5% too - spaceman says that this is not the case, it's about 4% or so.  Spaceman tries to jot this down but spaceman's hands are too cold too write properly.  Spaceman isn't happy because of an early start working in Leeds the next day.


So what's this place like, spaceman wonders aloud.  It's reasonably busy, but this is Thursday night.  "It's like being in Louisiana... but not" ventures barney.  It's very musical - "like Hard Rock Café 200 years ago - but not that hard" gibbers barney.  Happy hour is 3-7pm and all day Thursday, but different happy hours for different types of drinks. Confusing.  Looking out the window, the place opposite is boarded up and looks like it's going to be a new bar or restaurant.  We'll be back to the Printworks, it seems.  Time for the next one up in the Printworks...


Pub 40 - Henry J Beans (The Printworks)

We don't waste any time, as if we ever do - two pints of Fosters for £3.00.  It's happy hour until 8pm on those and John Smiths.  We decided that Nando's, which was on the way, was a restaurant only - is it Mexican?  There was no bar visible so we moved on.  This place looks a more dingier set up than, say, the Old Orleans - it seems more set up for nightlife.  There are stools around high tables, a dance floor and a designated dining area in case you get hungry.  We perch in the middle on a couple of stools.  We do have the option of sofas, but they are positioned as such that we'd be encroaching the personal space of a snogging couple.


There are open heater things - are they to warm us up or to make it look like a brothel, says barney.  (Hang on, how does barney know that?)  As we wander out, we notice a sign saying that the capacity for HJB's is 620.  Oh.  It's off to the final bar in the Printworks (for now)...


Pub 41 - Lloyds No 1 (The Printworks)

It's another Wetherspoons pub - surely they are breeding - and it does a little bit look like the Waterhouse.  But more open.  The toilets are certainly similar (same design, more fruity, less IKEA-y and what appears to be spit on the wall - nice) with a heavy door on entrance/exit.  There is a small bar upstairs, where the toilets are located.  Cheap beers too as two pints of Carling set us back £3.58.  We debate how many Wetherspoons there actually are in town.  Six?  Three new style ones and three grotty old ones.  Barney wants a plasma screen the size of the one on the wall behind the bar, but it just seems to play Lloyds No 1 adverts and the like, a bit like Bar Med used to and RSVP still does.  It's not Coronation Street anyway (or whatever).


Barney thinks the place is meant to be laid out like a ferry, what with the low ceiling things and funny vents.  Well, it's got spaceman sold.  All we need is a slow rocking motion.  We (well, spaceman - barney is reluctant to rise from the sitting position) fancies a go on the quiz machine nearby after seeing someone come away with nothing.  After putting in £3, the Cluedo game suddenly becomes generous as, having got £1 in the bag, spaceman goes for £2, gets it, and the machine happily doubles it to £4.  Profit!  Flush with this win, spaceman calls it quits (we have no beer left anyway) and we head out of the Printworks and into the wilderness...


Pub 42 - The Hare And Hound (Shudehill)

It's starting to get to the more unfamiliar part of town - the deep, dark north.  Spaceman has certainly never visited the H&H before.  We order two pints of Castlemaine for £3.86 and notice (in the professionally critical way we always do...) that the place is a bit smelly.  It looks a bit like someone's lounge, with BBC1 on the TV and a fireplace.  Barney seeks out the toilets - the gents are downstairs and the ladies are upstairs.  "Victorian" says barney, meaning the gents, presumably.  This is another one of those pubs that time forgot.  It really is dead in here - there are 4 or 5 people watching Rogue Traders as if that's what they came here to do.


They all sit at different tables and make fun of the people on the TV.  A notice in the toilets says that it is national pub week from 22 February to 1 March according to the Campaign For Real Ale.  We'll be there, as always.  We discuss the aforementioned murky unknown side of Manchester that faces us next.  We will be a little lost for the next couple of pub crawl nights as we try to make sure we visit any pub in the area.  It's off to somewhere relatively familiar, though...


Pub 43 - The English Lounge (High Street)

They stopped serving food at 8pm, which it is past now.  That buggers up our plan.  We now start contemplating a curry at Nawaab.  This used to be one of the Hogshead chain, but it  changed a few months ago.  It's definitely been "done up" - it looks very comfy with sofas replacing the hard seating of old.  It generally looks a lot better - but is equivalently more expensive, with two pints of Heineken costing us £4.80.  The barmaid, forgivably unaware of our mission, suggests the Printworks for food - but we tell her that we've been there already.  Having finished our beverages, we leave what seems to be just the barmaid and her boyfriend having a conversation.  There doesn't seem to be anyone else around.  Barney once more takes over the navigation side of things as we head to...


Pub 44 - The Unicorn (Church Street)

Another new place for spaceman and, presumably, barney.  Spaceman doesn't ask how barney knew about this place.  Two pints of Carling are £3.40.  We ask if it is happy hour - "no" deadpans the barman "it's always this price".  Toilet review:  there are two doors in the toilets - one is a WC (the pan), the other is a urinal.  Quite a homely place, but full of old people.  Stomachs empty (except for the beer, of course), we drain our glasses and head off into the night in search of Indian delights.  Unbelievably, given its relatively close location, spaceman had never really heard of Nawaab.  (Barney may have mentioned it, but spaceman may have switched off.)


Anyway, it's highly recommended based on this visit.  The food and service are excellent - spaceman asks the waiter what to have, mentioning fondness for the rogan josh and the jalfrezi, and also a little bit of spice.  The waiter nods sagely and knows exactly what to bring - which spaceman can't remember the name of.  Spaceman also persuades barney to avoid the chicken tikka masala (CTM to regulars) and suggests a jalfrezi.  Unbelievably, barney cannot manage a full pint of beer and leaves some (unwisely, perhaps, we shun our usual late night water).  Even more unbelievably, barney leaves some food...  It is not the case for spaceman who moves onto to try barney's once finished.  Stuffed to the brim, it's time for bed as spaceman lazily flags down a black cab for the journey...



On to day 7