Two nights in Manchester, and an excursion into Bradford for three new GBG winners.
It feels a bit like sacrilege not to actually stay in the Eternal City and wobble back to a budget hotel after a Dhansak and gallon of Mango Lassi, but frankly I needed to get Bradford ticked. The suspense was killing me.
You can bank on Bradford to deliver the goods, though the last few years has seen an escalation in new entries, not all of them in crafty North Parade.
The city looked as good as ever, buoyed by the new shopping centre and the Sunbridge tunnels. Even Ivegate shines.
Outside The Queen (top) you find the smokers and mobility scooters; I must pop in sometime.
In contrast, the Old Bank mops up the lunchtime dining market, particularly since Spoons closed the Sir Titus. You could be in Glasgow.
The Bank (was it once a Mansfield house ?) could equally be a Goose or a Smith & Jones or whatever. So what sets it apart from the pack and puts it in the Guide ?
The Naylors, which I’d long forgotten whether it’s any good, is served with a Northern head even Richard would approve of.
The “Chicken In A Basket” was attracting more interest than the Coach House, astonishingly.
The downstairs is worn-in but a bit “high table” for me, so I pop upstairs to admire the ceiling.
Really impressive, could have been a bank. Is that what we call stucco ?
Impressive, spacious but with plenty of discrete corners, decent ’60s soundtrack (Sam Cooke, Supremes), decent but unexceptional beer (NBSS 2.5/3).
An adequate start, but better awaited.