Delectable Dark Beers: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Ten of the finest dark beers – mainly milds, stouts, and porters

At this time of writing we are in the midst of Black Friday, an American import which marks the first shopping day after Thanksgiving Day. Thanks inevitably to the internet it has become an international phenomenon. In these parts, it is associated with people fighting over 62″ screen television sets at knockdown prices.

This year, the media seems to have focused on plush toy carrots instead of flatscreen televisions. I suppose it makes a nice change from Brexit, where our attempts at trying to leave the EU could drive us to drink.

This reminded me of Guinness’ Black Friday ad, stating that every Friday is a Black Friday. Pure genius. As dark beers go, Guinness isn’t the only one on the market; our latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at another ten great dark beers. Which have been sampled by yours truly over the last two decades. Let’s tap and vent our ten barrels.

Continue reading “Delectable Dark Beers: A Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten”

Lost Items From The ‘Spoons Menu: A Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten

Ten items we have loved and lost from the J.D. Wetherspoon menu

Kings Hall, Cheadle Hulme
A Lost ‘Spoons: appropriately for our post on lost Wetherspoons menu items we find a picture of a a former J.D. Wetherspoon house in Cheadle Hulme. Image by Adam Bruderer, 2010 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

Few entrepreneurs would consider naming their business after a teacher they dreaded. In October 1979, Tim Martin did just that with a London pub. Nearly three decades on, it became one of Britain’s best loved (and equally most derided) brands. Today, any town centre worth its salt is not without a Wetherspoons house.

Continue reading “Lost Items From The ‘Spoons Menu: A Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten”

The Correct Use of Sauce… on Chips: Feast of the M60

Feast of the M60’s forthright views on the correct use of tomato sauce, brown sauce, and similar condiments on chips

On this sceptred isle of ours (and countless other small islands around the UK mainland), there are several things that can never fail to polarise our nation. One is the long term effects of the 1979 – 97 Conservative Government. Another is the Laurel/Yanny sound played on our radio stations this week. Or the blue/black dress dilemma which reminded me of the Father Ted “priest socks” reference.

If there is one dilemma that is set to outlast our opinions on the above, it is something that is close to our hearts. The answer lies with your nearest chippy.

Continue reading “The Correct Use of Sauce… on Chips: Feast of the M60”

The Correct Use of Toast: Feast of the M60

Feast of the M60’s opportunist/timely post celebrates National Toast Day

Random slice of toast
“A little bit of…” toast, will mop away your bean juice. Image by Peter O’Connor, 2009 (Creative Commons License: Attribution Share Alike).

There is only one foodstuff that turns a cooked breakfast from SkyBet League Two to Barclays Premier League status. It is a five letter word which is also used to celebrate a momentous occasion. After about five minutes under the grill it goes well with baked beans, cheese, or a dippy fried egg. No prizes for guessing which one (it is too easy for a Midday Money question). Continue reading “The Correct Use of Toast: Feast of the M60”

The Stores That Tesco Ate: A Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten

A look at ten supermarket chains absorbed by Tesco since 1945

For social historians and retail commentators, the recent history of Tesco is peppered with twists and turns. Contemporary hagiographies focus on the store chain’s tax affairs, or their presence on our High Streets.

Much of the groundwork was set in the 1960s and 1970s thanks to Jack Cohen. After organic growth, the end of the 1950s onwards saw Tesco buying regional chains like Irwins and Hillards. Even so, their integration wasn’t all plain sailing: for example, outstanding debts; unsuitable sites; and planning issues. Its turning point came when Ian MacLaurin joined the Tesco board after being a management trainee. As Managing Director in 1977, he ditched the Green Shield stamps, a gimmick which only ten years before, drew shoppers to their stores.

The rest, they say, is your favourite humanities cliché. It set the store chain onto an upward trajectory. Stores grew in size as well as numbers: standard sized supermarkets; plus Extras, Metros and Expresses. Then global domination, and a loyalty card scheme that took the retail world by storm.

In our Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten, we look at the ten store chains that Tesco have acquired since 1945. Continue reading “The Stores That Tesco Ate: A Lost Precinct Not So Perfect Ten”

The Joy of the Micro Pub: Top Beer

A look at the rising popularity of the micro pub

In George Orwell’s ideal pub, the Moon Under the Water, the author favoured a Victorian ambience. No pretence. Even the stale tobacco smoke, a sight that few people born after 1990 are able to remember in public houses. Lager had yet to make its presence known properly fifteen years after his article was published in the London Evening Standard.

Continue reading “The Joy of the Micro Pub: Top Beer”

Eatymology: A Tea Potted History of the Superstore Café

Feast of the M60 looks at how the superstore café has evolved in the last fifty years

Please forgive me for taking a well trodden part for this introduction. In my formative years, the supermarket café seemed fairly exotic. Supermarkets, when I was young, were small, in town centre locations, and a bit chaotic. The edge of town supermarket with its vast car parking seemed otherworldly. Back then, the Fine Fare hypermarket in Hyde, Ashton’s original ASDA, and the Shopping Giant stores in Droylsden and Denton were notable exceptions. Continue reading “Eatymology: A Tea Potted History of the Superstore Café”

Pub Food Classics: The Cheese Toastie

Feast of the M60 muses over what seems to be a dying art in public houses

East of the M60 does not endorse the use of borderline nationalism on this savoury snack. The opinions of the toastie are separate to that of this blog. And the person who photographed this image in 2012 (Image by Annie, Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

On the rare occasions that you go to the pub (for anything besides family occasions), you may fancy a quick snack with your pint. You yearn for something quite filling though not over facing. A quick sandwich, a tasty ham muffin or the like – anything besides pickled eggs, salted peanuts and crisps. Continue reading “Pub Food Classics: The Cheese Toastie”

Nutritionally Incorrect Anthems: A Feast of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape (Volume #11)

20 Golden Greats, of the nutritionally incorrect variety

Burger King, Manchester
24 Hours from Whopper: Burger King, Mosley Street, Manchester. Image by Mikey (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Take a good look through your record collection. Can you think of any memorable songs or instrumental tunes extolling the joys of Iceberg Lettuce? Have you heard of a concept album dedicated to tofu? Or even a song? Well, apart from Killer Tofu by The Beets (the fictitious group in Nickelodeon’s/Jumbo Productions’ animated series, Doug), little of note. Continue reading “Nutritionally Incorrect Anthems: A Feast of the M60 Rebellious Mixtape (Volume #11)”

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: