Last Wednesday night was football night, and the coldest of the season so far. The Etihad always looks at its best in the hail.
Several of the obituaries to City fan Mark E Smith mentioned his regular appearances at the Crown & Kettle, another gorgeous theatre, but of pub life in this case. I never saw him before Blues matches, but to be honest Mark would have blended in quite easily with City supporters of a certain age.
Having burst into the Guide after reopening a decade or so ago, the C&K dropped out recently, and I’ve read a few groans about quality from folk I trust. But there’s loads of non-GBG pubs in central Manchester that would walk into the Guide in the South (or Scotland), and a revisit was overdue.
Yes, it’s a bit scruffy. So is life. But the beer lines are clean, there’s no reserved signs, and people smile at you. That’s all I want from a pub.
Perhaps the beer benefits from quicker turnover on match days, but the Squawk was immaculate, just as the Tickety Brew was on the last visit. Cool, tasty and with a perfect scummy head for us folk who like our scum. NBSS 4, perhaps higher.
Loads of proper seating in three distinct rooms, with 60s music (“No Milk Today“) and some banter about mortgage repayments rescheduled until you’re 75 intruding on the assessments of Sane’s injury at Cardiff. MES would have written a song about it.
The only thing that lets it down is the intrusion of Evil Keg Supporting CAMRA magazines from Berkshire.
Anyway, some people think the ceiling is nice, so here’s your famous ceiling;.
The pies in the Crown & Kettle are good too, but there’s only space in my tummy for one pre-match delicacy.
The beer choice at the Etihad gets no better year-on-year. But this will all be deemed “quality” by 2020, of course.