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Gordo's Bits'n'Bobs: October 2014

The Fat One on James Martin, Iberica, free booze, Yank beef, posh butchers, annoying trees and bitterness

Written by . Published on October 2nd 2014.

Gordo's Bits'n'Bobs: October 2014

James Martins Birthday

Off to James Martins restaurant in Casino 235. A six-course dinner cooked by young Jimmy and sponsored by Moet. Which, please dont forget, is pronounced 'Mo-Et', with a hard T. Gordos trainee father-in law, Michael T Hague, a past president of the solicitors wine society had a tip with this stuff. The non-vintage that is. Buy a case, put it under the sink and forget about it for a year. When you bring it out, it drinks like a premier cru.

It was 70/30 women to men, many of whom were having little wees every time Jimmy came out and mentioned the B word.


Really good food; whilst its rumoured that Jimmy isnt there every night, the place got the seal of approval from ManCons editor-in-chief Jonathan Schofield (see here).


At the press table, hosted by the Echo PR goddess Kat Booth, Gordos ex-Managing Director was in situ, looking glam. La Grande Dame, Helen Ramsbottom, has recently become a publisher and along with her business partner, Grimesy, has recently published a new homoerotic magazine called Getbit. Or is it Getabit? Actually it might be Get Bitten. Whatever.

Her editor has a great eye for photos, but he couldnt decide, for the front page, between the young boy dressed up as a butcher holding a large piece of meat in front of his crotch, or the young boy dressed up as a boxer, holding a large red hanky to his face.

So they did a 50-50. 


Mind you, Gordo would have advised a nice picture of a criss-cross grilled sirloin, with béarnaise sauce, a crispy baked potato and fried onion rings. Or, if they are running low on funds, get Grimesy dressed up as a fireman, stripped to the waist, putting out a barbecue with a great big hose. Its rumoured hes got one. And, hes looking buff these days.

Gordo wants you to know, dear reader, that there is no truth in the rumour that he is re-naming Bits and Bobs Bitter and Twisted.

New homoerotic magazine for MCRNew homoerotic magazine for MCR

Over at Grenache

Chef proprietor and frustrated PR man, Mike Jennings, has his tail up. He has recently bought his restaurant, Grenache, one that has been awarded a couple of AA rosettes, been listed in The Good Food Guide and now features a listing in the Michelin Guide.

Mike invited Gordo up to the restaurant, situated in Walkden, north of Manchester, to the celebration party. Frosty the Butcher was there, motoring through the largest goldfish bowl of white wine Gordo had seen in a while. Both Juliette, Frosty's fabulous missus, and Gordo were looking on in awe. Gordo ordered three more glasses from the barman.

Thatll be £27.60 please sir,said the barman.

“Blimey!" says Gordo. “What time did the complimentary booze finish?

Ten minutes after you all arrived sir,came the reply.

Rest assured, dear reader, you can book in advance with confidence. Mike wont be going skint anytime soon.

Jennings fondling a massive crabJennings fondling a massive crab

Macdonald Hotels.

Several years ago, Gordo was invited to the opening of the new MacDonalds Hotel in Manchester. He decided to stay in the Abecrombie pub drinking beer instead.

It turned out that it wasnt the Yanks, but a Scottish crew owned by a Mr. Macdonald, who is very particular about the provenance of his food. Recently, the Manchester Macdonalds has had a new manager, the irascible Paul Bayliss MBE, well known to Gordo from The Midland.

Paul invited Gordo to dinner, which fatty gratefully accepted having eyed a great looking piece of USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) prime sirloin in the cold cabinet. The cattle are mainly grain fed, with great marbling, as you can see in the picture. Some say that UK grass fed cattle have better flavour and Gordo wanted to compare.

They're too different to call but it turns out the Macdonald Hotel restaurant has some really stunning beef; its a hidden gem. You should try it.

Usda Striploin At MacdonaldsUSDA Striploin at Macdonald's

Tweet Exchange Fun

Schofield, our Editor, is an architecture pervert and has, for some time, been whinging on about a tree being in the line of sight of the newly located Cenotaph on St. Peters Square. If youre normal, it wont have worried you.

So, Gordos advice is, as always, dont get involved. Unlike this poor soul on twitter:

@citycentrevoice: “Do you know Sir Richard Leese agrees with you about the cenotaph obscuring tree?

@jonathanschofield:  Good. Lets shift it back to where the dead tree is

@ghostlytom (protesting for the tree): “…Its autumn, trees do that at this time of the year…”

@jonathanschofield: “Its dead, unless it started autumn four weeks early.

@Ghostlytom: trees can suffer from shock when moved, wait till spring and see

@jonathanschofield: “Its an urban space, not a woody bower. View's more important. Move it.

Loosing the will to live, and to prove to himself that no one ever wins an argument on twitter, Gordo scrolled down to see who had the final word.

@Ghostlytom: “maybe its people who get in the way of the trees?

God give Gordo strength.

Annoying treeAnnoying tree

Gordo On Tour: Mayfair, Allen’s, Iberica and Scotts.

Gordo had a meeting with the gaffer of Iberica, the soon-to-arrive-in-Spinningfields Spanish gaff down in That There London.

The first encounter with the remarkable Marcos Fernandes-Pardo, gaffer of the Iberica group, started at 12:15 pm with Good to meet you Senôr Garner; I have an hour…” It finished with Gordo being decanted from a car to catch the 8.10pm from Euston.

They got on pretty well.

Gordo, at the second meeting, arrived earlier and after a more business-like meeting wandered off to The Connaught Hotel, a tricky little gaff in which he once lived for six months. Very upmarket and in the old days, very aristocratic. Gordo noticed that the loo seats still have little metal handles on them (see picture).

Gordo asked his best pal, Count von Ledebur, or 'Heroin Johnny' as he was better known at the time, what the handles were for.

Buggery grips Gordo, didnt go to public school did you old chap?

Lets not go there.

Loo Seat HandleLoo Seat Handle

Across the road is arguably the world's most old-fashioned butchers shop, Allens of Mayfair. Its still the dearest. Gordo bought a couple of sirloin steaks to take back to Manchester with him. Wandering down the road, Fatty decided to have lunch at Scotts, one of the capitals best restaurants. He sat at the table famous for Nigella getting a throttling off her old man, the deeply weird Charles Saatchi.

It was then that Gordo noticed the carrier bag that his steaks were in. No wonder Allens have been around for over a hundred years, they dont waste money. This was August.

Posh ButcherPosh Butcher

Xmas Has Come Early At AllensXmas Has Come Early At Allens

Just over forty years ago, a teenage Gordo sat in the window of Scott's and had dinner with his father and a very nasty London gangster. The following night in November 1975, the IRA threw a bomb through the window and into the packed restaurant, killing a couple and injuring many more, some badly.

When the four culprits were finally let out of the prison after 23 years, Gerry Adams introduced them to the 1998 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis as 'our Nelson Mandelas'.

The IRA murder squad had, across their fourteen-month campaign, killed 35 people and maimed many, many more.

Sadly, in Gordo's opinion, terrorism always succeeds.

Scott's WelcomeScott's Welcome 

Agent Provocateur  

Gordo found himself walking past Agent Provocateur on King Street. It’s still worth walking past (see the picture). Brings a smile to Gordo’s face.

Agent ProvacateurAgent Provacateur

Respect from the staff.  

Gordo’s reporter in deep dark West Didsbury, Lottie Moore, was being given instructions by one of Gordo’s staff via SMS for a shoot she had been assigned. Ms. Moore can expect a late paycheque this month…

Lottie Moore Looks For The SackLottie Moore looks for the sack

Gordo’s Local.  

Gordo finds himself living in a Georgian Town House on Salford’s Crescent, 200m from where he was born. His local is The Crescent. Fatty wants to introduce his readers to the barmaid, Emily, who is remarkable. You can see this wonder, who kept Gordo and The Boy Mullet rooted to the bar for three hours a few Friday nights ago.

Now now, lets not be jumping to conclusions here boys. Emily, apart from being arguably the fittest barmaid in the city, is also doing a Masters in Astrophysics at Salford Uni. 


Whilst Gordo is giving shout out’s to local establishments, he’s found a top chippy, Chungs, on the corner of The Crescent and Oldfield Road. Sublime fish and chips always cooked to order.

EmilyEmily of The Crescent

Wine News

Gordo arrives at the Journos table at the MFDF awards, and sits down between Dianne Bourne and Andy Cronshaw, a couple of pals from the Manchester Evening News. 

Dianne to Andy: “Can I have some of your Gnarly Head please Andy?” 

Gordo went pink. He then realised she was talking about the Viognier supplied by the apparently fabulous new wine bar Salut, just round the corner from Gordo’s ex local, The City Arms. 

Gnarly HeadGnarly Head

Whilst we’re on about wines, do yourselves a favour if you like Rioja. La Rioja Alta, Gran Reserva 904, 2004, is on sale for about £33 at Booths in MediaCityUK. It’s a bargain, and would stand up to a second growth claret.

However, Edwin Booth is having a wine sale at the moment, and you can get three for the price of two. That brings the price down to £22 a bottle. This stuff will blow yer skirt up. You have till Sunday 6 October.

And no, before you ask, they ain’t advertising with us.

Happy trails, 


Wine TipWine Tip

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

AvoOctober 2nd 2014.

My girlfriend always shields my eyes when we pass Agent Provocateur and I have to be led across King St like a blind man. One day, I'll get run over by one of the Rolls Royces leaving Rosso. Anyway, to the steaks at the MacDonald Hotel. I see that they're wet aged. I've always been led to believe dry ageing is better. What's your view Gordo?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Mark GarnerOctober 2nd 2014.

Used to live off wet aged Argentinian back in the seventies, strip loins were unbelievable. I like both, celebrate the difference.

Mark GarnerOctober 2nd 2014.

They have some fantastic Scottish beef as well, which is what they specialise in.

AnonymousOctober 2nd 2014.

I ate a full English once at Wetherspoon's. It's what they specialise in.

GordoOctober 3rd 2014.

£ for £, the Wetherspoon breakfast is bloody good. Or were you being a sarky tw@T anon?

Vicki GallagherOctober 2nd 2014.

You know what, only yesterday I looked up at the windows of the Georgian houses on Salford Crescent and noticed that one of them looked like a posh apartment rather than an office. Reminded me of the lovely flat I rented for £12 a week on Liverpool's Hope Street in the 80's.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark GarnerOctober 2nd 2014.

That'll be moi

David DuffOctober 2nd 2014.

I'm appalled that twatty Lees agrees with me about the tree, gutted.

AnonymousNovember 7th 2014.

Gordo what a sleazeball.

AnonymousNovember 25th 2014.


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