After Bolton, just enough time before City’s late kick off v Newcastle (20/1/18) for a detour to Swinton, and who can resist Swinton ?
I’d forgotten how long the walk was from station to the clutch of “improved” pubs along Worsley Road, which compare sharply with the more basic (and interesting) fare to the north. I suspect the really scary Sam Smiths pub has long gone*.
New (and sadly lone) Swinton GBG pub Cock & Swine faces this imperious redbrick house across the road, some of the best Holts I’d had in Manchester. The Holts pubs in north Manchester still have a bit of swagger about them.
In contrast, the Cock looks a bit plain, a bit “Wigan suburb” if you like.
AtWill** have done a similar job here to Stockport’s cheery and unpretentious Cocked Hat. It’s not Sam Smiths, but it’s a proper pub nonetheless.
Two sizeable rooms full of proper seating, a bit dominated by TV football that no-one was watching. Mind, there were only three young folk in there drinking San Miguel on a Saturday afternoon, which either suggests this is an evening venue or that North Manchester takes Dryanuary more seriously than Northumberland.
Three drinkers on the posh lager doesn’t suggest the cask is going to be great, and the range is on the high side of ambitious.
But it was superb, cool and sherberty (NBSS 4). You never can tell. With a soundtrack that could have been “Unknown Pleasures” but wasn’t, and some robust banter,
“Whatever you do, Keith,stay f*****g sober”
it was better than I suspect it looks here. But once that trio left, it was also very quiet, and I had a train to catch.
*It was the Windmill in Pendlebury. Still going, now keg. Thanks to Pub Curmudgeon for research.
**AtWill’s pub estate was up for sale before Christmas but I’ve no idea of the current state of affairs.