Thursday, March 28, 2013

Local Ale

Before Pip and I moved to England, we'd made certain assumptions about how life here would be. Spending countless hours in pubs, hearing about football non-stop from anyone we dared to interact with, and being shamefully up-to-date with Coronation Street.

What we did learn though was for us it doesn't matter where we live, we will (and should) get involved only in things which 'we' enjoy doing. To that degree we spent more time sipping coffee, talking about music non-stop, and being shamefully out-of-date with any TV shows at all (We haven't had a TV the whole time we've been here, and we've not missed it).

The point I'm trying to make is that Pip and I have learned a lot about ourselves and what 'we' find important. Much of this will be taken back to New Zealand with us.

The exceptions to these rules do however pop up from time to time and generally involve a bit of large quantity drinking, or a few back to back episodes of 'One born every minute' on the laptop. Last night Pip and I were treated to a local tour of a few hidden drinking establishments across town. Having finished his last week at work, my workmate Anthony wanted to have a catch up before he leaves to live in Australia for a year. It was great to see him outside of work and he took us to a few drinking establishments to give us a look-in at a few interesting spots.

Our first stop was 'The Angel Pub', a cosy tavern with a fire, a concert piano, and some guitars littered about.  The Angel Pub has a huge selection of local ales, from which we made our selections before retiring to a corner to chat and observe the goings on in the pub. If you click here you can see what it looks like inside (Although it is much darker and rougher than it appears in the photos).

We then made our way to the 'Marble Arch' which was an absolutely beautiful pub and I wish we'd known about it when Pip's Dad was here a few months ago. We couldn't stay as it was packed out with nowhere to stand or sit but if you click here you can see how nice it is. I also love how one of its slogans is "Not serving Fosters for 125 years".

So on we went, now heading back toward the Northern Quarter and onto a less-traditional English pub called 'Odd' where we sunk another ale and shot the breeze some more. Click here to see what this one is like.

Being shown around by a local lad to taste local ales is not quite the cliché pub experience we'd held in our heads. It was a wonderful way to see a side of Manchester Pip and I would not have usually bothered with or even know about. And although we are both very excited about traveling and returning back to New Zealand soon, it is nice to see that Manchester still has plenty going on to hold its appeal to us. It's not all about football and bar fights.