I’ve been asked to date these reports, which makes sense. This was last weekend 19-20 Jan). I’m still a week behind with posts, but catching up slowly.
More of Salford, technically, though Worsley is a bit of a posh anomaly on the edge of that great City. Beer Guide entries over recent years have included a Brunning & Price, a Fayre & Square and an Ember Inn. So it’s only fair the John Gilbert gets a go.
Being (relatively) posh, it lacks those working class touches like metro and rail stations, so you have to take the (uneventful) No.34 bus out from the Crescent.
Which is fine, as the walk in the rain isn’t far and the John Gilbert is open from 9am, according to WhatPub, clearly my compensation for it being an unbranded Greene King dining pub attached to a Marriot Hotel.
I like to see a pub sign with the opening times on it.
Even if they’re different from the ones in WhatPub and the Guide. To be honest, no-one believes it when a pub says they’re open from 9am (with one exception), that’s just the time you can have cappuccino and carrot cake.
But the doors are shut at 10.45am as well. I really don’t fancy coming back here, ever again, so I stand in the rain and try to find out when it’s opening. Website, Twitter, telephone, banging manically on the window; nothing works.
Three Dutch* lads stroll up and ask when it opens. I have them down as fellow GBG completists until the tallest tells me they’re looking for a cash machine. In Worsley ? They walk off, looking very sad. I walk round the building, stunned by the originality of the inspirational messages on the wall. It reminds me of a Chef & Brewer in Milton Keynes. Yes, this one.
But at 11am (admittedly, that’s half a day earlier than your average micro), the door opens. Very smart it is, too.
Actually, despite being as un-pubby as anything this year, I quite liked it as an unashamedly over-the-top family diner.
Light and airy, with the sort of sofa dining and high tables that Pub Curmudgeon would go out of his way to avoid, but a pub ticker has no such discretion.
The more you explore this warren, the more interesting it gets; it’s almost as if they gave whoever they got from St Helens to design it loads of drugs** and free range to design what they like.
At the bar, the GBG place is quickly explained;
Bewildered by the usual excessive GK range, the nice lady gives me time to pick the end one, which turns out to be the Moorhouses Blonde Witch, and a very fine half too (NBSS 3.5).
She looks delightedly at my CAMRA card before working out the discount, and apologises for the delayed opening.
“Sorry. I was held up at the Post Office ?” Real Salford drama.
“Grief, are you shaken up ?” Look of bemusement. Oh, she means the old folk were slow.
I slink away and try to ignore the ambient pap.
Three Dutchman turn up and buy a packet of crisps between them in order to get some cash back. As a pub highlight, I’ve had worse.
*I can tell they’re Dutch because they’re all 7 feet tall. Probably from Utrecht.
** This blog in no way condones drugs, of course.