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Stockport's Top New Pub, £5 A Pint Debate And The Area's Most Colouful Food

Sleuth Wk 31, beetroot macaroons, overpriced ale, love, joy

Written by . Published on July 25th 2014.


Stockport's Top New Pub, £5 A Pint Debate And The Area's Most Colouful Food
 

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Stockport Gets A Cracking New Pub And Dungarees

We’ll be seeing a lot of Rupert Hill on stage in September. The ex-Corrie star is in the touring version of The Full Monty at The Opera House. ‘Chuffing brilliant’ said The Daily Mail; ‘Full frontal feelgood show', said The Metro.

Menu stand at Baker VaultsMenu stand at Baker VaultsOur roving beer correspondent Neil Sowerby was similarly enthusiastic, priapic almost, about Rupert’s latest pub side-project, The Bakers Vaults.

He wrote, 'Rupert and pals Jonny Booth and Jamie Langrish have followed their success in other boozer ‘rescues’, notably The Castle, The Eagle and Chorlton’s The Parlour, by taking over this pub in Stockport Market Place.

'Robinsons Brewery, just up the road, have spent big bucks doing it up handsomely. It's a cosy conversion generally, but the menu rack could be described as 'post-industrial'. There was no sighting of Rupert there the other day, with or without clothes, but the fashion accessory of this long hot summer was on display – dungaree shorts.'

Dungaree Shorts Style Statement Back At The Bakers Vaults

Style statement at the Bakers Vaults

The Scandal Of The Jazz £5 Pint

"£10 please."

"For two pints?"

"Yes, please."

"They're a fiver each?"

"Yes."

"What's the strength?"

"Er...3.8%."

Sleuth fainted.

The ale at Manchester Jazz Festival in the Albert Square hub is the most expensive in the city, especially at 3.8%. BrewDog Bar on Peter Street is more expensive on some price points but their beers are so strong a whole jazz combo could perform on the surface. No wonder people, despite the gorgeous weather in Albert Square, aren't staying beyond the second pint. Shame. Then it got worse. The slightly stronger ale at the Jazz Festival turned out to be a disgraceful £5.50. 

The offending item

 

The offending item

Saxophopissed 

The £5 pint was called Hop Sax and is a Thwaites' brew produced in association with John Helliwell, the saxophonist of the big 70s/80s hit factory Supertramp - he also likes ale and jazz. As Sleuth and the aforementioned Neil Sowerby sat looking through their empty wallets in Albert Square, Helliwell strolled by. "Maybe he's off to count the money," quipped Sleuth. "He's from Todmorden," said Sowerby, "used to meet on the train into Manchester. Nice fella." "With this profiteering he'll be able to afford a few Breakfasts in America," quipped Sleuth, trying harder. Nobody laughed but the nearby statue of the long dead John Bright turned its head and said, "I'm very old, but even I reckon that joke's out-of-date."

That man walking away from the camera is the worst picture of James Helliwell ever taken

That man walking away from the camera in between the trees comprises the worst picture of James Helliwell ever taken

Sleuth's New Favourite Terrace

Bill's afternoon teaBill's afternoon teaThis is the terrace behind Bill's Restaurant off John Dalton Street. It's largely traffic free with one of the tallest trees in the city centre - a London Plane since you're asking. 

It's a quiet spot too, good for loafing through an afternoon and chewing the fat.

Sleuth had afternoon tea there with Dig the City's Jennifer Middleton. The afternoon was priced reasonably at £9.95 a person as well (or just under two pints in Albert Square's Jazz Festival). Good event Dig the City and Sleuth is pleased to see that it appears to have forced the council's hand in relation to the city centre gardens. 

Bill's nice terrace

Bill's nice terrace

Dig The City Concentrates The Mind

St John's Gardens and Parsonage Gardens had been getting Sleuth in a strop. Two of the very few formal gardens in the city centre have been unloved, tatty, weedy, unmown and embarrassing this year. Then it changed. Suddenly gardeners were tending the beds and planting flowers in St John's. Even Parsonage Gardens was mown, which was a shame as Sleuth had alerted local farmers and they were about to come down and make hay while the sun shone. Then it clicked what had happened.

We were a couple of weeks out from Dig the City. 'The UK's largest urban gardening festival' runs from 2-10 August. This year it takes place mainly in St Ann's Square and along New Cathedral Street. With that area about to blossom the council no doubt felt motivated to tidy up the permanent 'gardens' in the city centre. It's the only reason Sleuth can see for the sudden improvement, he just wishes it didn't need an event to get something which should be performed as standard up and going. 

St John's is suddenly much nicer

 

St John's is suddenly much nicer

Colourful in Kerridge

The Lord ClydeThe Lord ClydeSleuth went to Cheshire on Thursday to visit the excellent Colourfield Gallery in Poynton, review to follow. He also scooted down to the Lord Clyde in a sweet rural area called Kerridge. This pub is run by the entertaining Ernst Van Zyl, a South African chef and his partner Sarah Richmond.

The food was surprising in its aspiration - there'll be a full review next week. The meal started with a stunning selection of amuse including the beautiful beetroot macaroon pictured below. "This is lovely, although not sure every chef would have the kerridge to pull it off," said Sleuth. "I think it will definitely enkerridge other people to come here," said his dining companion.

Exotic in Kerridge

 

Exotic in Kerridge

Sleuth's Woman With Bags For Feet Picture Of The Week

Bags for feet

Bags for feet

Mo Blow, No Show, Oh No, Who He Then?

Sleuth was sad this week to learn that double-Olympic and World Champion, Mo Farah, had pulled out of the Commonwealth Games in Glagow with a dicky tummy or something. Shame, thought Sleuth, two great chances of gold gone for England. So imagine Sleuth’s surprise when, rolling back with a belly full from Albert Square’s jazz ‘hub’ and still raging at paying £5.50 for a pint of ale, he bumped into Mo on The Avenue in Spinningfields. “Mo”, said Sleuth, “Sorry to hear about the Commonwealth Games, but what are you doing here?” “I heard the Oast House had started doing Quorn Hanging Kebabs,” said Mo, waxing lyrical. “And Tania wanted a new Mulberry Alexa. Tania wants, Tania gets.” “Good”, replied Sleuth. “Now do that thing you do…”  

Thanks Mo, you're a clever man who can point at his head with both hands simultaneously

 

Thanks Mo, you're a clever man who can point at his head with both hands simultaneously

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

AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

Couldn't agree more about the pricing at the Jazz Festival, absolutely disgraceful price for a pint. I am used to getting close to that if I CHOOSE to buy a fancy/craft pint, but for a pint of (bottom of the barrel) Bomber - excuse pun - its just plain extortion. It was also worth noting that the fizzy IMPORT lager was actually cheaper than the domestic ale!! Madness! Whatever the reasons, they should be ashamed.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

Sure we get the same complaint about the Christmas markets and anything else that sets up around town, the council charge so much to the business that they have to charge the punters like they do.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

£5.50 is a new high - low

AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

£5 a pint? Surely we need more holts' houses in town to stop this nonsense.

AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

Why don't you at Manchester Confidential investigate the level of prices ?.Is it the result of greedy operators or greedy landowners or excessive security charges?.

1 Response: Reply To This...
EvoJuly 28th 2014.

this would be a very good use of Manchester Confidential contacts and resources, and, due to the aforementioned, would probably take minimal effort to get to the bottom of it. More regular inexpensive markets/festivals in the city would attract economic benefits as well as a great atmosphere. Why can other cities do it so effortlessly and inexpensively? Where does the blame actually lie for not being able to get a pint for (a quite reasonable) £3?

jeezJuly 25th 2014.

that dungarees and pop sock combo. wowzers.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 27th 2014.

Naughty boy!!

Cee BeeJuly 25th 2014.

before the trend for craft ale - real ale used to be the cheaper option at the bar. £5 for a pint is ridiculous unless it's for some imported foreign beer at upwards of 6%. not really helpful in creating a festival atmosphere if no one wants to linger there.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 25th 2014.

Combination of profiteering by the council, and the operators. £5+ pint results. As you say - ridiculous.

Mick ProctorJuly 25th 2014.

dungaree shorts ?!?! I am appalled , what is wrong with humanity ?

LesJuly 26th 2014.

Dig the City might be approaching but the horrendous rubbish situation in Manchester's streets was in full view last night as we strolled through Exchange Square at around 9.30pm. This was only added to by promoters handing out leaflets at the entrance to The Printworks which were then thrown on the floor. Some of the promoters had dropped their stuff on the pavement too. When I politely suggested they pick it up I was ignored. It feels like the rubbish situation is getting worse in our great city. Thank goodness Home isn't relying on City Council to keep its new area tidy. Sad though. I hate to say it but in my experience Liverpool is miles ahead of us in keeping its city clean and tidy.

StephenJuly 26th 2014.

I remember the days when I'd wince at the beer prices on my trips to London. However Manchester has pretty much caught up, so I hardly notice the difference anymore. I find myself visiting Yorkshire a lot more often these days. Now they can teach us a thing or two, as they expect quality at a good price, and they get it!

AnonymousJuly 27th 2014.

Jazz makes my ears bleed

1 Response: Reply To This...
ConmanJuly 27th 2014.

I suggest the missionary position then.

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