So two weekends in one in this post. First the 5th of December, we did our annual day out at Ashton Village Christmas fair, followed by Carols Round the Dovecote at Walkden Gardens. To be honest the Village fair was a bit of a disappointment this year! There was some lovely singing from the kids, the Sally Anne band was playing, but somebody forgot to get the road closed sign! So all the stalls were squashed on the pavement and the cars were going up and down the main road and there was no mulled wine from the pub! After going round the stalls and chatting to a few people we decided to leave early for Walkden Gardens. On the walk there we stopped at one of our regular haunts, The Steam House where we had a warming coffee, with a shot of Old J Spiced Rum in!
Then it was off to Walkden Gardens, we have been going to Carols Round the Dovecote for about five years now and we always have a good time, mulled wine, sausages, mince pies, Dutch Apple Cake, German beer and good friends, what’s not to like. As usual there were some lovely stalls a tombola, I didn’t win the rum, but I did win TWO MUFC Santa hats! The Scouts were toasting marshmallows and we had a different children’s choir and the Sally Army band again. From there it was across the road to the Moorfield to use the facilities and a quick pint. Then Alison, Jenny and myself went to the Steamhouse to take advantage of there pizza and prosecco offer, a pizza and a bottle of prosecco for £18. We ordered two pizzas, garlic bread with cheese and two bottles of prosecco, as always the pizzas were prepared fresh and were very good, we had a vegi feast and a pepperoni.
Friday the 11th of December was Alison’s works do, but before that we had an early start with a bracing walk round Dunham park, then coffee and a teacake in the cafe before going to pick out our Christmas trees. Alison’s do was at Zizzis on the Leftbank at Spinning Fields. Alison said the food and service was good, although they were a little late handing out the prosecco that was included in the deal. I had agreed to meet her at Zizzis and then we would go on somewhere, I arrived a little early so had a look round the Leftbank and nipped into The Slug for a swift pint of Estrella. After meeting Alison’s work colleagues we had a walk through Spinning Fields and made our way to another of our favorites, Mr Coopers House & Garden at the Midland Hotel. It was quite busy in the bar when we got there but we quickly found a table and were given glasses of water whilst we perused the cocktail menu, Alison had a The French (plum sake, rhubard, sparkling wine and egg white) and I had a Broken Flowers (Aperol, sherry, violets and pink grapefruit). We were joined later by our friends Vicky and Ian who had both been on their works dos, Ian went for a classic a Espresso Martini, Vicky for a Strawberry Daiquiri and I asked for something nice with dark rum, the mixologist made me a rum Manhattan and used orange and chocolate bitters rather than Angostura, it made a very nice dry drink.
Saturday was the Nomads Christmas cabaret, always an enjoyable affair. We decided to try out a new place in Sale before going, its only just opened and is called Verace Kitchin, not so much an Italian restaurant more an Italian cafe, when we arrived there was a family already eating. You find a table, decide what you want to eat and drink and then go and order at the counter again the pizzas are made and cooked to order. I had a Parma (Mozzarella, Parma ham, rocket and Grana Padano), Alison had the Russia (tomato, Mozzarella, anchovies, tuna and onions) and Panissa to share (a chip style snack made with gram flour. They use their own sour dough for the pizzas and they are cooked in a brick oven. To drink we had a 1/2 bottle of red wine, a Chianti and a bottle of Moretti la Rosa, an Italian ruby beer, both the wine and the beer were Italian imports. We both enjoyed the food and will be back again. From there it was off to Nomads to watch the Christmas cabaret and consume some mulled wine and mince pies.