So, this was finally Manchester. Five minutes by taxi, and we were at our hotel. Maybe not the most luxurious I’ve stayed in, but up among the best. And certainly one of the most impressive. The Deansgate Hilton Hotel is a landmark, offering fantastic views over the city and its surroundings.
I was very lucky when I booked. I usually shop around at budget chains or hotles.com, but Hilton had a January sale which means we got two double executive rooms at more or less the same price as a worn down three star.
Our rooms were at the 21st floor, and we even had use of a lounge at the 23rd with free snacks and drinks. As the lounge was only open until eight, we went straight up. Good bread with tzatsiki, samosas, spring rolls. This being the North of England, there seems to be an imperative that a majority of the calories in any meal should be deep fried.
Lemonade for the boys, a glass of red wine for my wife. I looked in the beer fridge. Budweiser and Fosters Ice? I had to try it. A thin and watery beer with even more flavour removed? I did not finish my glass, being content that there would be more treats later on.
We went for a stroll, but it was Friday evening, and large numbers of men seemed to have gathered for the football match on Sunday. We decided to buy some snacks from a supermarket and head back.
Sure, I bought a few beers from the supermarket, but I should not have bothered. The box I ordered some weeks ago was waiting in the reception, they even brought it up for me.
We’re talking rooms with bathrobes and good chairs here. Get comfortable, turn off the lights, open the curtains to see the lights of Manchester below.
Just the time for a High Tide IPA.
Hazy gold, firm white head. Lots of American hops in the nose, fine, citrus, you know the line. Lovely long finish. Immensely refreshing. But anything would be by now.
Be patient. There will be a pub report. Did I ever let you down? Something from Old Trafford, too.