You left me in the warm cosiness of the Unicorn, waiting for my Chinese takeaway (which will remain anonymous).

This is always the high point of an evening away, the anticipation of the crispy beef, the dilemma of whether to do one last pub visit I’ll instantly regret.

But I resist the walk out to Burslem; my Singapore rice would be cold when I got back, and instead wandered south,

placing my precious foot in the hole on the pavement (US : sidewalk) and nearly ruining my status as the fastest ticker in town.

I hobbled south of Potteries Way to collect my tea from a place so full of character it could have been a boozer in Mossley.

The joy of staying in a Premier Inn is you can make as much mess as you like in your room, eating rice with a teaspoon while I read your blog comments.

Not the greatest crispy beef (NCTSS 3), to be honest, but then my benchmark takeaway sets a high standard.

In the morning I did Stoke’s Cultural Quarter. You might not think such a thing exists, but there’s even a cafe called Quarter that does breakfast pizza (NBPSS 4.5) with one of those little cutters, which sounds pretty cultured to me.

Across the road, there’s a statue of BRAPA looking at his GBG for an alternative to the Colmore, which had just refused him entry on spurious grounds.

Street art is in its infancy in Hanley, but I enjoyed the way the girl on the wall looks like she’s pushing the shopping trolley.

The landlord at the Coachmakers was very proud of Stoke’s industrial heritage, and if you ever get bored of the pubs you should do the art trail that leads to the Potteries Museum,

which used to entertain our lads for free digging up golden hoards or something a decade ago.

Now it displays one of the last Spitfires in the country.

You can probably get oatcakes in the cafe. I’d recommend that.


  1. From now on whenever I leave a comment I will imagine you reading it while eating rice with a teaspoon.

    That story about Simon sounds like the opening scene of a comedy sketch in which we next see him having returned dressed as a woman and speaking in a Pythonesque high pitched voice.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Simon has given us more pleasure than he will ever know, hasn’t he ? The image that came to mind last night was actually Simon dressed up as Emily from Little Britain demanding entry. “I’m a lady !”.

      Don’t you eat your rice with a teaspoon, Mark ?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I lived in Stoke for three years as a student at the poly in the early nineties and only really drank regularly in three pubs there, Marston’s Victoria in Boothen, opposite the football ground of the same name, both of them now gone, Banks’s Glebe near the King’s Hall, which I revisited a few years ago and was impressed by what Joules had done with, and the Albion across the road from the Victoria Hall in Hanley, no idea what that’s like now.


  3. Rice with a teaspoon making mess of Prem Inn bed. Been there! That epitomises overnight pub ticking more than anything I’ve ever read.

    I did take out the GBG outside Colmore and wonder ifCraven or Bull worth it but ultimately squashed in Christmas Market hell. Coffee at New St drank well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think sometimes you just take the five ticks, enjoy the day with your dad (#hero) and move on, don’t you. Tough times ahead irrespective of Covid, with random January closures etc. And as you complete more of the Guide you get less opportunities to do six pubs in a compact area.


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