Anyone who read my somewhat effusive Royal Wedding post will know that I enjoyed myself very much on Friday. A bonus day off, spent with the kind of valuable friends who encourage you to start drinking early and make supportive noises about your choice of headwear, enjoying the very best of Didsbury's thriving food and drink scene. It was almost perfect, in fact. ALMOST.
For when I got home on Friday night, I checked my emails (yes, yes, I know - blame the iPhone and its jaunty ease of use, not me) and found there was one from Moss Nook, one of my very favourite restaurants in the whole entire world. And this is what Derek Harrison had to say:
"Pauline and I have been in business at these premises for 50 years, 38 of those years as the Moss Nook Restaurant, which opened its doors in 1973.
It is therefore with great sadness and difficulty that we announce to all of our clientele that we will be closing the restaurant."
Now, I know this is just a place to have dinner, and that there are far more important things in the world to worry about etc etc, but this news has made me incredibly sad. The Harrisons cite economic conditions for the closure, saying they have run at a substantial loss for the last three years, and it is true that every time we have been in the last couple of years there have been fewer and fewer tables occupied. But from a purely selfish point of view, I wish to climb aloft one of those tables with its beautiful linen cloth and shout "you can't close! You are one of the very finest restaurants in Manchester and have been Moss Nook since before I was born! You even bring the main courses out under silver cloches, for goodness sake!"
And yet I know this is selfish, because although I do love Moss Nook, I only go about twice a year, and in my less self-absorbed moments I do fully understand that a business cannot go on operating at a loss just so that I may parade my finery and dine on lobster once every six months. The restaurant is due to close on Saturday 28th May (although obviously this may change) and if you get a chance to go then please do. You will be rewarded with a gem of a restaurant, a charmingly old-fashioned oasis where the staff are unfailingly polite and the food is never less than excellent; you would never know it was just a stone's throw away from Manchester Airport with all its ugly modernity. I attach a link to their website, although when you see the message emblazoned across it you will understand why it saddens me to do so.
So with Moss Nook closing, Paul J leaving The Didsbury, and unconfirmed rumours that Didsbury's Loch Fyne is also closing (although to be fair, it never really felt like it belonged), I reluctantly feel the winds of change beginning to blow my way. Good luck to Derek and Pauline - enjoy your retirement, and please indulge me in my hopeful belief that when you dine at home, you will produce your meal from under one of the Moss Nook's silver cloches.