Saturday, 10 February 2018

Central Manchester

Finding myself at a loose end in the middle of Manchester on a Saturday (See another of my web sites to see where I had been.) I decided it was time for some pub visits.

I started at the magnificent Peveril Of The Peak:
A beautiful architectural gem, ceramics outside, more ceramics plus carved wood and leaded glasswork inside.  The lounge service is from a small counter in the corridor.

It was very quiet at 13:00 on a Saturday, just a couple of other customers as I enjoyed a pint of Titanic Plum Porter.  Quite a lot of pulling through, and a visit to the cellar, was required before I got my (superb) pint - I wonder why this place has lost its GBG entry?

Next, on to the Britons Protection:
The historic interior retains a layout with the lounge rooms served from a hatch in the back of the servery.  Some nice ceramics and 1920s style leaded glass in the doors also survive.  And footwarming pipes along the bar front.  I had a rather fine pint of Briton's Protection - I wonder who brews it.  Much busier than the Peveril, there were plenty of customers coming and going, both regulars and tourists.

A large mixed group came in, cleverly they'd organised an advance party, a girl with a notebook, with their complicated drinks order.  Fortunately they decided the bar, where I was sitting, was too full and headed round to the lounges.

A few minutes later a large gang of blokes came in, one dressed as a pigeon for some reason.  They too decided there was more space in the lounge side, and their order, at the hatch, was much simpler:  "Twenty-two pints of Jennings"!  By the time these had been pulled and topped up there was quite a throng at the counter waiting, but the lone barmaid coped admirably and soon had everyone served.

On to the Rising Sun:
It was a bit calmer in here but still doing a good trade at 2pm on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon.  International rugger was on the telly but not many were watching.  Compared to the preceding two pubs this is no historic gem, but it is pleasant, warm and comfortable with a decent range of real ales from which I again chose the house beer.

Final call was the City Arms:
A small hidden gem this one, a pleasant, very busy, two-room boozer sandwiched between Wetherspoon's and another pub.  My Plum Porter was once again lovely, and even came in a Titanic glass this time.  Every table was occupied, but I managed to squeeze in on one end of a bench, the lads occupying the rest of this corner said it was my round next!  To complete the "set", I sat my pint on a Titanic beermat.

Not much architecture here, except for some fine ceramics at the entrance to the gents.

A small notice advertised that Plum Porter was on all the time, enough on its own to mark this as a great pub!  What more could one want?

My corner seat meant I had a good view behind the bar, and I could observe umpteen pints of cask ale being pulled as the pub got busier and busier.  Now I'm no expert, but even I know that if the beer in the glass goes down when the handle is pushed back, then the seals are worn/defective and the beer engine needs some maintenance.  The pumps in here certainly do.

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