19th January 2023.

I’ve been sharing a £299 season ticket for City with the boys this season. That’s £15.74 a game to watch what was the best team in the League till we sold our best players to Arsenal as some sort of North-South levelling up.

James has been more than me, and seen City slip up against Everton and Brentford lately, so it was time for me to take control of things.

What better than a night in Manchester staying in the Ibis in Piccadilly, lunch with Matt, and an ill-advised after match pint or three ?

And a lot of walking. 27,240 steps as I explored the building site south of Deansgate,

an area a bit bereft of character but full of high rise.

much of it rather beautiful.

I should have gone to the new North Bar across the road from Matt’s salon, but got distracted by the Kiwi burger and kumara chips in Tahi. It’s about time New Zealand cuisine took over the UK, even if it is the same as brewery tap cuisine.

City v Spurs was a classic, Mahrez and co. back on track, though the light show beforehand showed you can sometimes try too hard.

An 8pm kick-off, 10 minutes of added time and 20 minutes getting out of the Etihad meant, despite being the fastest old walker* in town it was approaching 10:30 when I reached Ancoats.

Cask is always rammed; what does Beatnikz say ?

Ooh, Plum & Cherry Pie Porter ! And they want the football trade. It’s 30 seconds from Matt’s flat; he might join me.

In we go. Closing time 11pm it says, time for a couple.

Sorry mate, we’ve stopped serving“. It was 10:32 !

They work hard, they can close when they like, but odd advertising their beers to football fans and then shutting before they get there. I like Beatnikz, I’ll try again.

Port Street Beer House was still open, of course, and although I’m not the greatest fan of the seating the Track Sonoma was even better than the one from Track’s own tap (NBSS 4). Lacings Never Lie.

In the morning I met Matt for breakfast in Idle Hands, coincidentally next to Beatnikz. Breakfast in Manchester is one the great treats, and the Turkish eggs were wonderful.

Admit it, you’re jealous.

*That’s old walker, Scott. As in the singer.


  1. Ah, Manchester, one of my – if I’m honest – rather too many homes. I miss some more than others e.g. Greenwich, Camden, Nottingham, and even Macc, but feel no special pull back to Manchester.

    Here I am now in Cardiff, and I spot – on the top shelf of my local – the 2023 GBG. “New entry!!!” the landlady proudly proclaimed.

    You’re here soon I gather. I’ll be on stilts, wearing the stick-on rubber chimpanzee ears, Martin, so easy enough to pick out.

    Just name the day and hour.


      1. My mobile is in the first bit of the spoof emails in commenter details, Martin

        WP won’t let me use my email ‘cos I deleted an account under that once…


      2. Aha!

        Now then Young Martin – as someone would say – do you mean “new” as in 2022 or in 2023?

        The delightful staff at The Halfway in Pontcanna insist that they are a new entry in GBG2023.

        So – take note all you lovely readers – if you don’t want it while you’re here, then you’re not ticking it?

        Is that what’s called a Moment Of Truth 😉?


      1. Even the pubs in Mossley shut on time, not many years ago you could stay as long as you wanted. It did help if you were drinking with the landlord though.


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