A very quick post from the Piccadilly Tap (updated in the North Staffs) to reassure our US readers I haven’t been murdered by Stokies furious at my choosing London murk over their Plum Porter on Saturday.
I’m staying in Stoke, which is fun. Good train connections for Mancly and Stone, which has a rare new Guide tick.
Stone is a small market town whose highlights are the surprisingly attractive walks just to the north around Oulton, the canal, and some great pubs.
The pedestrianised high street looks a little careworn, though if I’m honest that might reflect the foggy drizzle. It’s certainly well equipped with sweet shops and old fashioned cafes to cater for an older crowd of shoppers. More like Market Drayton than Leek.
The pub scene is thriving too. After years of surviving on the Free House (Swan), the family brewer (Royal Exchange) and the decent Spoons, Stone has got a micropub/brewery bar at last.
Fans of industrial estates will love the setting, but the interior is a world apart.
The Boar Hole is a gorgeous little place, full of sofas and real fires. I’m a sucker for Double Diamond and Watney tat too. One of the more convincing brewery taps.
Quietish on a Tuesday lunchtime, but the Stone Cutter was fresh and hoppy (NBSS 3.5), and the thanks on leaving a rarity. The pie menu was tempting, but I was saving myself for chips and curry at the Etihad. Only the best for Retired Martin.