Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2021

The Best Buffet Bar None....

One place I am definitely looking forward to visiting again when they re-open is the Buffet Bar in Stalybridge. And whilst it will be great to pay a visit as soon as it is possible, that first visit back to the famous bar on the Manchester Piccadilly to Huddersfield trans-Pennine route will no doubt stir up in me a huge dose of mixed emotions.... Stalybridge Buffet Bar is one of the few remaining Victorian railway station buffet bars left in the country, and is probably the best-known. I started visiting the bar regularly in 2006, when my job meant I was working about a mile and a half away in Hyde. Back in those days, the bar was owned by John Hesketh, who had spotted the potential of the rambling old Victorian station buffet as a real ale mecca. It had originally opened in 1885, and had meandered on over the years quietly serving customers on the trans-Pennine route, but back then it was not known for its beer. John's idea of a good selection of real ales in an atmospheric bar cr

A Pint at The Free Trade....

If the so-called roadmap out of the country's lockdown comes to fruition, pubs will be able to open to serve customers outside from April 12th, and then welcome them inside from May 17th. Here is one place I am really looking forward to calling in again.... The Free Trade Inn in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is a solid-looking, brick wedge of a pub situated in a lofty position overlooking the River Tyne. It is one place I cannot wait to call in again, not least because when I last re-visited the city in July 2020, the pub had decided that it would simply not be possible or practical for them to open given the restricted number of customers they could accommodate due to social distancing requirements. And so, as I walked along the Quayside towards Ouseburn in the warm sunshine one afternoon, I noticed that as the pub came nearer into view, the beer garden on the slope below was unusually empty, with the Free Trade itself a forlorn sight, alone and seemingly abandoned on its eyrie above. So my