Didsburydad's Blog

From the not so mean streets of M20, blog about being a dad, Didsbury and dealing with parental confusion

Archive for the tag “The Stokers Arms”

Didsbury’s Christmas Tree shines brighter than McBusted

Wednesday night saw Didsbury Village at its best for the Christmas tree switch-on. Stewards in Santa Man. City outfits telling us Santa’s not a red, it was a coca cola conspiracy. A host with a microphone full of enthusiasm and a unique lyrical skill, led us through free mulled wine and pizza, bags of satsumas and women handing out sweets. It was magical. The mulled wine was provided by The Stokers Arms and delivered by Bisou Bisou’s lovely Front of House – a kind of McBusted for the village. Santa arrived on a fire engine with a sound system playing Chris Rea and The Mighty Headed Boy, gently crushing my shoulders from the top down, cried as though Chris Rea himself were coming to sing.
The tree lit up, the sweets were snaffled and a good time was had by all. Only the darkness where once was Cafe Rouge reminded us that not everyone has there own French Patisserie – but we do, happy holidays.

N.B. I have no idea who McBusted are. I even watched I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to see if they were there.

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Ready for the big night out

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The stars came out

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The Mighty Headed Boy v Santa

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Urban Legend, Political Campaigns and an Apology

Didsbury Son is on a scout camp in the middle of nowhere. There will be lots of gung-Ho camping, climbing and sharing small spaces with other people. Thank The Lord for CRB checks and the lovely Scout Leaders who pass them and give their free time to teach him skills for living and learning. The Remembrance Day parade is always moving and their scouting means I don’t have to expose myself to any camping experiences or weekend slumming it in the name of bonding. If I can wriggle out of going fishing, the summer is looking good.

Urban Legend 1: Didsbury is full of focaccia-eating, self-obsessed yummy mummies and daddies. That’s Alderley Edge, we’re only half full.

There are some serious issues that need addressing:
The Stokers Arms’ free lunch offer booked up before I could get my date confirmed. It’s gone from being O’Neills which you wouldn’t want to go near to The Stokers which you can’t get near.

Urban Legend 2: Gourmet Burger Kitchen once had a queue of almost 6 people that stretched to the door before the financial crash of 2008.

2. I owe a big apology to the owners of The MudFlap Cafe in the centre of Didsbury. Their quick Felicini’s demolition and ludicrous early publicity put me off. On the recommendation of several people we braved it… And were a bit bowled over. Didsbury Wife is a water sign, I am Vegan Intolerant and The Mighty Headed Boy gets upset by food beginning with W. No bother. The food was good, the coffee spot on the staff treated us with a welcome throughout that normally evaporates when the first missile leaves a high chair bound toddler or the fiifteenth chorus of Incy Wincy Spider shakes the window. Thank you, we are coming back.

Urban Legend 3: in 2008 a man looked the wrong way on Wilmslow Road and didn’t see a 42 bus for over 8 minutes.

Finally, before festival fever takes over ( It’s only 2 weeks to Didsbury Festival – I love Didsbury Festival, I’ve directed dozens of festivals in many different genres and cities but nothing beats Didsbury Festival on a warm day in June). I want to start a campaign for Pram Lanes in Didsbury. I walked to Withington today (always good to go to the edges of M20 to see what gives and hang out with my brothers from a different mother and school). On the way our double buggy met 3 other double buggies, 16 single buggies, two wheelchairs and a tourist from Chorlton. This entailed much wiggling and stopping to share the pavement whilst the cars hogged the road selfishly.
With prams being such an essential accessory it must make sense for the inside lane to be pram only between 8 and 6 on weekends. All right thinking people must join the fight. Let’s be honest, people were stupid enough to vote UKIP so this might have a chance.

This week we are listening to 6Music, watching Episodes and The Little Princess and getting excited about Wine & Wallop on Lapwing Lane.

Goodbye Gourmet Burger Kitchen – Hello Summer

Childhood is so fleeting. It feels like a finger snap since I walked a blondini Didsbury Son up the disused railway line; poking trees, reading graffiti and talking rubbish together. Then we would savour a trip to Gourmet Burger Kitchen whose wide open spaces always a had a slightly anxious and over-zealous welcome. Didsbury Son loved GBK Olympics – running unfettered from table to table and the burgers were Mmm, ok. But it had to end. Our nature trail is now the Metrolink and GBK is gone, joining Nido, Cibo and the other Os as a footnote rather than a memory. All of which makes Sol-I-To’s (no idea) bid to replace Cibo, back on to new Ashley Brown and be the flagship of Warburton Street even braver (my money was on a Nandos).

It’s a unique enclave. The grumpiest bookshop in Britain still enthrals, the physio makes you limp over cobbles to arrive and No. 4 is one of the best independent restaurants in the city.

Thankfully the old guard of AiryFairyCupCake, Alpine Cafe, The Now Wholly Croatian staffed Didsbury Deli and The Art of Tea survive. Cafe Crema has gone. It’s combination of poor service and average fare not grabbing the attention, but our teenage protege in Applebey’s fights on for a 2nd summer. It is not easy.

In pre pre DD days I spent a spell of my “portfolio” career running live music venues. I know about dry and wet sales, have a recollection of Health and Safety (it was the 90s) and learned how to spot the sad notes that signal the end – the staff take up less space, the saleable furniture dwindles – the doors shut.

So good luck Solito, The Stokers Arms, Chalk Bar Grill, Wine & Whallop on Lapwing Lane and Urban Grille 2. If Kansas Fried Chicken is a symbol of hope in the village as well as a sweaty eyesore then grasp it and go large.

* There will be a candlelit vigil for all the businesses that were not properly thought through at this year’s Didsbury Festival – possibly.

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Kabuki comes to Burton Road

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Sol-I-To; the new Cibo or the new La Tasca?

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