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Published on January 24th 2008.

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78 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

johnthebriefJanuary 24th 2008.

Tristan - any chance you could archive or delete some of this rant? It's 2 years old, and it's so long that if I try to access it my computer sulks for 10 minutes

GordoJanuary 24th 2008.

I agree, u ok with that Jonathan, it goes on forever; the new design will solve it but it's a ba****d on my iPhone

Tristan - tech legendJanuary 24th 2008.

You're wish is my command. (Well, you're website based wish).

AvoJanuary 24th 2008.

Got an Iphone have we Gordo?

Gordo Knows WhoJanuary 24th 2008.

Hi Gordo, you got money out of me !, just signed up as a friend, The petal wont let me be a hero as she stated singles is not for me, (shame)

GordoJanuary 24th 2008.

GKW, she doesn't need to be too worried! If you got a sniff of another woman it would bloody kill you!

GKWJanuary 24th 2008.

Think I,ll stick to the goose liver patethat's a better way to go !!

SnottyJanuary 24th 2008.

I miss Gezabelle's rant about the Spice Girls at the MEN already.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Meeself, I miss the Jonathan from Ithaca rant already; and that was only three days ago :)))

C 2 The GJanuary 24th 2008.

Just wanted to say thanks to Man Con for a great Heroes night at Ithaca last night! FREE champers for most of the night and lots of great sushi - brilliant and bring on the next event. PS they even had a python there (no gags pls)

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Fuuny that. I went to the event at Ithaca last night, launch of a new bling champagne. I downloaded the invite from the Ithaca web site - I'm not a 'hero', and clearly don't need to be. This was an event available to all, don't be fooled

Beefy StewJanuary 24th 2008.

Thanks for the heads up mancon on the Ithaca do, it was a good one, they have redeemed themselves. Anon above, it wasn't billed to us as exclusive, so no one was being fooled. So far Mancon have got me a table for my mum and dad at San Carlo, they were booked out till Christmas and drank the bar at The Mark Addy dry last week at the Heroes supper party and met some great people. For ten quid a month, this has been a great deal. I wouldn't have had a clue about the party last night otherwise.

Fat and UglyJanuary 24th 2008.

That sushi at Ithaca was great last night, not at all sure about the raioactive colours mind you.

Fink of a NumberJanuary 24th 2008.

That Jon@Ithaca reply was special. It really should be featured in a book of how not to use a theasaurus. That being said, his reply really was just poorly expressed, pompous nonsense but he did make a decent offer to the complainer so, fair play to him.

GJHJanuary 24th 2008.

Reverse auctions? As in back of the star reverse auctions? Brand suicide?

GordoJanuary 24th 2008.

I'd have a go if i was you GJH, it hasn't been the most succesfull thing we have tried ;-) there's about a one in ten chance of winning the sodding thing at the moment... it's winking at me in the office...

Carl AustinJanuary 24th 2008.

Budget Gyms = Budget Service and Budget StandardsLast Thursday morning I went to see how good Pure Gym in Spinningfields was going to be as I had joined in August with a lot of promises being the best fitness / gym in Manchester at a fraction of the cost. It had been open now for just over 2 weeks and due to work commitments this was the first opportunity I had had visit. What a disaster...After typing in my 8 digit id number into a dodgy key pad for the third or forth time as the numbers kept sticking I was able to pass through a very tight turnstile, with my gym bag it was a very tight squeeze then my bag got stuck – I felt rather embarrassed, but then as time went on the same thing seemed to happen to everybody who came in. I then went to the changing room – again having to put in my ID code, it only took 3 attempts this time. Very basic, but what do you expect for a £9.99 / £15 per month gym. In the main gym area it looked very industrial. I went to use a fit ball, however these were all very soft and deflated so no use – as no staff were present nothing could be done. I then went to the weights area – the floor was filthy and black marks all over the “new” floor. Most of the weights were all over the place – none stacked correctly on the stands, the dumb bells that were on a stand were again all over the place – no two weights the same next to each other. I then went to use some of the weight machines, old dirty bottles that had been left in the drink holders were there to greet me. As I went to use the pec machine already the cord you use to stack your weight was broken off and just loose next to the equipment. Sweat was all over the seat and grease on the head rest – I went to get a paper towel and some spay to clean it down, however this is not available. A small sign is the only thing visible saying “please provide a small towel to wipe down equipment after use”. Again no staff on hand to advise. After my short session I thought enough was enough, I went for a shower, again having to put in my code.... In one shower cubicle it was disgusting – lots of pubic hairs visible, another had a used milk carton in and another had a used shampoo bottle in it. After finding a clean shower I was disappointed that the pressure was none existent, you can’t control the water temperature and it turned on and off when ever you moved away from the sensor, then when trying to dry off it would turn its self on again. After managing eventually to get dried and dressed I informed a member of the “fitness team” of my issues only to be told – guess we won’t be seeing you again......I guess she was right. These budget gyms can’t compete with the quality of service you get from established Manchester Gyms. Carl Austin

JulesJanuary 24th 2008.

I went to Ithaca last Friday dining on the Strictly Confidential menu and was really very disappointed.Firstly we were told only one glass of wine came with the meal, yet it says 'half a bottle' on the website. Consequently, my boyfriend and I ended up paying £10 for another glass each that I thought was part of the deal!?The starters were actually very tasty, raising our expectations for the mains. My duck was overcooked and dry and my boyfriend's chicken was also similarly overcooked. The rice was cold, although we did get a replacement when we complained. The flavours were interesting, but it seems the execution was lacking.As for pudding - when I was offered a 'selection' of ice cream I was not expecting 2 balls of coffee and one of vanilla (I don't like coffee!). It seemed as though they were trying to get rid of that coffee flavour. The pannacotta was tasty, though it was served with that coffee ice cream again.All in all I was expecting a much better dining experience than I got, and I think I should get my £10 back for purchasing 2 glasses of wine that should've been included!!

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Jules, hang on for Jonathan's response.............

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Jonathan at Ithaca that is, not Schofield

ocntact? deitorial?January 24th 2008.

Thank you, someone will ocntact the winner soon.

thelloningradJanuary 24th 2008.

Yup, thought as much. Disappointing but not especially surprising. Did think you'd have a thicker skin though. Or is that criticising ManCon is a members-only privilege now?

BoomerJanuary 24th 2008.

I've spent half an hour on this site trying to submit a restaurant review. This seems to be impossible. The contact us button seems to be for advertisers only. This site was reccommended to be but I'm not very impressed

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

I spoke to a director at Ithaca last night and he had nothing good to say about Man Con and the offer. He said that they are not the kind of restaurant that does cheap deals and the deal has been more hassle than it is worth.

scoteeeJanuary 24th 2008.

surely if that was the case then they wouldn't have done the deal and if they are not capable of delivering it properly then it's no wonder it's a load of hassle.Seems a simple enough deal to me they just damged their reputation further by entering in to it half heartedly.The food and service clearly isn't at the same high level as their ego.

EmmyJanuary 24th 2008.

Anon, your comment sort of makes Ithica look worse than ManCon though- 'they're not the kind of restaurant that does cheap deals'? Then why do it. It shouldn't be too hard to administer something that they've agreed to. The whole thing smacks of very poor management which, according to you, they're now trying to shift on to ManCon.

Mark Garner, the PublisherJanuary 24th 2008.

@ Anonymous, would you kindly tell who that 'Director' was, you can do so privately by email if you wish markg@planetconfidential.co.uknospam. We have some issues that need to be resolved with them.

GJHJanuary 24th 2008.

Whilst I have had a good chow at Ithaca, I have a rule not to buy anything off anyone who takes a lovely car & destroys it with a cheap body kit, rubbish paint job & a crap munchausens number plate. Which now rules it out.

lord help usJanuary 24th 2008.

Chow? what has happened to the english language?

GJHJanuary 24th 2008.

Sorry lord (should that be Lord?!...and should it be a capital W?!) - I meant a good old nose bag.

scoteeeJanuary 24th 2008.

Nose bag- is that West Yorkshire dialect?

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

That's rich coming from Ithaca - they don't do 'cheap deals'? Really? The restaurant has been advertising various 'cheap deals' for most of the year. 50%, 40%, 30% and 20% off on different days of the week; two-for-one lunches and dinners and so on. They really are so far up their own backsides, it's laughable. Ithaca is no different to any other restaurant suffering through a recession but they seem to think they are better than than everyone else.

Names have been changed to protect the innocentJanuary 24th 2008.

To be fair Anon, 50% off doesn't represent a cheap deal at Ithaca; they're still a complete rip off even at half price.

snJanuary 24th 2008.

is Joe Akka still involved at Panacea?

HaHaJanuary 24th 2008.

Ithaca has gone bust as stated in Crains today. Shame NOT

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

I went to Ithaca in the summer found the food interesting and acceptable. It was the clients I did not like.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Really HaHa? Tell us more, can't see anything in Crains

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Yep, correctabout Ithaca; it's on the front page of Crains

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

I imagine they will see out Christmas, the receivers will move in and that'll be that. Funy really, they were still employing new members of staff last week......

JeffJanuary 24th 2008.

Just like to say thanks to Jonathan and the team for an excellent tour of the tunnels this evening. Really, really enjoyable, count me in for the next walk. Shame we had to miss the drink, but hope everybody else made good use of our drink tokens.

PhilboJanuary 24th 2008.

I'll second that Jeff. Really enjoyed the tour, it's good see parts of the city that you never realised were there. And the pint was good as well. Looking forward to the next heroes offer!

The TruthJanuary 24th 2008.

What Crains haven't explained clearly is that what has happened is what is known as a 'pre-pack', where the company has gone into liquidation and a deal by new management buy the assets off the liquidator on the same day takes place. This has been very common over the past year. The new company running Ithaca, which probably has the old management involved somehow, have a clear run at managing the business without all the old debts. Whatever we think of this, it is legal and helps ensure that the staff keep their jobs. Mind you, I would be sacking a few of the front of house people myself; the foods remains tip top, but the kitchen brigade are hugely let down by the old front of house people. So, it is here to stay.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

My thoughts initially The Truth. However, Ithaca went in to voluntary liquidation in November but this was followed this month by a creditors winding up order. Confused? You should be

GJHJanuary 24th 2008.

Involountary, voluntary, winding up orders.....the business evidently does not make any money. They have just delayed the inevitable. The crowd they market to do not like good food. Just expensive drinks.

GJHJanuary 24th 2008.

You do promise that my £120 heroes membership will be worth 5 X the reduced friends doncha? You have my faith! Tour yesterday was excellent btw, ten quid saved already on that.

RRJanuary 24th 2008.

Surprise as ManCon £2 per month offer extended! This is the first time that I've found myself at odds with ManCon. Despite being out of work I'm considering paying £24pa to enjoy the full site but 'threats' of having to pay £60pa if I don't sign up by Dec xth have a negative impact on my thinking.I would have liked there to have been, say, a two week free period after the launch of the new site and then I'd be in a better position to decide whether to spend my (err) hard-earned benefit or not.If the site's as good as promised, I'd sign up. I don't like being bounced into it and I certainly dislike the 'extended offer' bollox. I know it'll be £24pa whenever one signs up because, if you don't get people to sign up at £24 before the site is restricted, there isn't a chance in hell of getting them to sign up at £60 when it is.Admit it, guys. It's going to be £24pa. And, let us take a look before we commit to spending our dosh.

GordoJanuary 24th 2008.

RR, the curent thinking is that in line with normal publishing models, the maximum you will get discounted is 40%, with certain terms attached, from time to time, exactly the same as my New Scientist subs. If you believe you aren't getting your moneys worth, email me and I will give it you back.

on the moneyJanuary 24th 2008.

can;t please all of the people all of the time - i'm signed up and went on the tours last night, great fun. whatever the new site looks like i know what mancon is about now which is why i signe dup

RRJanuary 24th 2008.

Gordo, I don't understand your reply!Are you saying that only 40% of your future subscribers will sign up at the discounted price or that 40% of the total price is the cheapest the subs will ever be?I'd like to take your New Scientist analogy to show you how your future policy won't work. Far fewer people would sign up for a magazine subscription if they were not able to see the whole magazine before deciding to do so. You can see the NS before you subscribe. Apparently, you won't be able to see Man Con. yet you're expecting people to sign up from such a position.I'm pretty sure that £24pa will be good value for Man Con. I really like your articles, (your style and the content) and that of the other contributors and so, I will almost certainly justify a subscription. My argument is that you really will have to keep the subs at £24 (or thereabouts) for late-comers too or else I think you'll find it very hard to attract new punters!Whatever you decide to do, I wish you good luck.

GordoJanuary 24th 2008.

Thanks for that RR, we are commited now to the strategy and so far, so good, the early birds are getting in and getting a good deal for buying blind, which is a compliment, but most people have been reading us and taking advantage of our advice and offers for three or four years now so they know what they are getting. As to future incentives to make people buy, the % we knock off our 'rack rate' will probably be a maximum of 40% off the £60 annual fee, ie. £24 discount bringing the annual membership down to £36 for the year. Without giving too much away, we may well be allowing people a month free in the future, but that will probably come in around february having made sure that the software is debugged. Whatever we do, the aim is to have the best online site for the North West possible.

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2008.

Pardon? So your're prepared to let people pay for something now, but are polishing it up a bit until it reaches sufficient standard to give it away for free? Bit weird.

Lower echelon manconeerJanuary 24th 2008.

Jarwol mein Helen

Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 24th 2008.

Thanks for the feedback on the tunnel tours folks. Really appreciate it. It was a pleasure and privilege. We'll be doing more fun, intriguing and intelligent activity like that next year.

Tunnel ToursJanuary 24th 2008.

Jonathan, I went on the tunnel tour a couple of years ago and on the tour you asked everybody to email their photographs to you. Rather than email a large file, I burnt them onto a disc and went to the trouble of driving to your offices (not easy to find) from Rochdale to deliver the photographs by hand. I telephoned on several occasions and sent emails to see if you had received them safely as there was something I wanted to mention about one of the images, but not a single reply. Common courtesy costs nothing.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 24th 2008.

Tunnel Tours, I'm very sorry about that.

Tunnel ToursJanuary 24th 2008.

I sent one of the photographs to a couple of photographers that I know and they weren't sure what it was on it, if I can dig it out would you like me to email it to you?

Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 24th 2008.

Tunnel tours that would be lovely: jonathans@planetconfidential.co.uk

Tunnel ToursJanuary 25th 2008.

I have sent them over. Thanks for replying and all the best for Christmas!

The TruthJanuary 25th 2008.

Black is white actually

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2008.

Could we have a wake (in the Mark Addy no doubt) for all the eateries on ManCon Manchester Restraurants list that have passed on to the great feast in the sky, or more like it. a roasting on the burning braziers of the lower place.

fiJanuary 25th 2008.

Any news on how the Mark Garner Christmas lunch went at the Mark Addy? After this year I need to hang up my pinny and take everyone out to lunch instead. Could do with somewhere like this if it's good. Report please Mr. Garner

Mark Garner, the PublisherJanuary 25th 2008.

Fi, it was great. The best thing was the problem with people not travelling because of the weather, everyone finished up with more food than they could shake a stick at. They roasted off whole turkeys as well, so none of that boned and rolled tasteless nonsense.

scoteeeJanuary 25th 2008.

Any one of you councillors that read this site should have a word with the team of gritters that supposedly grit Oldham road.(one of the the main route in to the city centre) the lack of grit was nightmare this morning I have never ever experiened such dangerous conditions. Black ice is all over the place,The road has not been gritted atall I almost became fourth party to a three car pile up this morning.It's Just not good enough and it is clear that this stretch of road has had no treatment atall last night or this morning !!!

CasJanuary 25th 2008.

Any food reviews due? You haven't done one yet this year you lazy sods ;)

BrownJanuary 25th 2008.

Anyone know where I can get some lovely pancakes on Pancake Day? Pancake House has left a gaping hole in my life for years...

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2008.

What's happening at the MEN? There's only about 4 stories on their website daily, they've got front page website stories that go back to last year. At the weekend they don't update the news, the sports section has gone to pot, the jobs section is a shadow of its old self and the standard of journalism has nose dived. Are they winding it down so they can dump it on the scrapheap with less uproar?????????

Dear GordoJanuary 25th 2008.

Can you fill me in on a cpl of details rgds manconf going forward please. When are you guys playing a change and will there remain to be a free platform obviously with restricted info etc or is it the paid way or the highway??

GordoJanuary 25th 2008.

Dear Gordo, the 15th of January and we shall be part free part membership, click on the button top left to find out the details. If you a regular you will want to join.

Dear GordoJanuary 25th 2008.

Thanks, had a look and dont think i'll bother. Cheers tho.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2008.

Can you clarify these figures please as they have now been updated at last. "December unique visitors: 122,190• December page views: 1,003,524• December subscribed users: 268,818• December readers: 268,818• Average time on site (minutes): 06:45"

HAHAHA...!!!!January 25th 2008.

268k+ Readers???? are you having a laugh??? when this strictly confidential nonsense bombs the same way those confidential cards did that figure will be about 10, not 10k, just 10

coldbufferJanuary 25th 2008.

When i saw discounts for Confidential Heros, i thought you were meaning REAL HEROS, ie our boys and girls of the Armed Forces, it is an insult to use the word heros in this context

scoteeeJanuary 25th 2008.

Oh ,Shut up you tart!

Mark Garner, the PublisherJanuary 25th 2008.

Cold buffer, I have given your rant some thought. I think that you are being rather sensitive on the meaning of the word Heros. Actually, are top level members are called Heroes. But that is nit picking. I am however bound to say that i do think our boys and girls fighting on our behalf are Heros or indeed Heroes and therefore, any member of the armed services who have been deployed in combat zones will be entitled to a free Heroes Membership for life, or as long as I a the publisher of Confidential.

Mark Garner, the PublisherJanuary 25th 2008.

My apologies for the awful writing in the previous blog. I am fretting for my bacon and egg toasted sandwich.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2008.

Bacon and egg an toasted sandwiches? Surely you ought to be reporting on breakfast round town starting at the top...the Lowry and working down. Will Heroes get a reduction?

Mark Garner, the PublisherJanuary 25th 2008.

Anon above, showing a bit of class there you are my friend. We have a pretty cool list of 20% and indeed, 25% off all food on the complete table at any time for people coming onboard and whilst I can't yet confirm the Lowry, they are great friends. The Mal is also brilliant with its breakfasts whilst I have a soft spot for the Abergeldie, but only do that twice a year as you will undoubtedly fall over dead if you do a third.

OJanuary 25th 2008.

Johnthebrief... at the bottom of Thomas Street where the road meets Shudehill, opposite the bus station

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