On the table in our living room lies a small brochure, a seemingly unassuming, unprepossessing little affair which we picked up in The Didsbury last week. Yet do not be fooled by its modest exterior; indeed, so momentous are its contents that every so often Mr Liz is forced to pick it up, caress the cover, and check that the words inside still send the same, joyous message. For the Chef & Brewer "This Season" booklet contains the following boy-friendly information:
1. This year's Cask Festival runs until Tuesday 29th March, offering thirsty punters the chance to try a selection of ales from around the country. The line-up changes every week; this is week two, so while the bad news is that some of you will have irretrievably missed out on week one, the good news is that you may be able to get your hands on Black Sheep Best Bitter (not specified in the brochure but undoubtedly made from real sheep), Everards Tiger Best Bitter (brewed from actual Tiggers - not bouncing now, eh?) or Caledonian Over the Bar (made from, oh, er, Scottish things.)
This is obviously a stellar array of beery talent, and I can identify only two possible flies in the ointment (Flies in the Ointment Best Bitter...now there's a thought...) Firstly, a tearful Mr Liz has already discovered that not all the beers are on when they should be, and secondly - and more importantly - I don't really like cask ale. However, as The Didsbury will provide gallant ladies with a large glass of very nice house red for £3.75 I will kindly agree to tag along.
2. After the success of the Burns' Night Supper, we're off to fly the flag for St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, yes, but more famously the patron saint of Guinness and frankly drinking more than is good for you and running about Didsbury in a giant leprechaun-style felt hat. The St Patrick's Day taster evening is available between Sunday 13th and Tuesday 15th March, and promises the following for just £17.99 per person:
- Oven baked salmon with whiskey cream sauce
- Seared scallops with pan-fried white pudding and garden pea puree
- Irish Beef & Stout Pie (I assume the latter refers to its alcohol content rather than the pie's portly frame) served with colcannon
- Lime meringue pie
- Irish Coffee
You can even pretend it's not a school night and add a bottle of wine for just eight quid if you're not convinced that there's quite enough alcohol in the menu already.
Full details of both events can be found on The Didsbury's website; or, you could pop in and pick up a copy of the brochure for yourself - I'm trying to convince Mr Liz that looking at the pictures of beer in the booklet is almost as good as going out and actually drinking them...