The English Lounge 64/66 High Street, Manchester M4 1EA. Tel: 0161–832 4824. The English Lounge, (formerly the Hogshead, and originally the Wheatsheaf), carries one of Manchester’s best selections of real ales with up to 15 on offer at any time, half of them guest ales, as well as a notable selection of fruit wines. Also famous for its sausages, with 14 varieties on offer. Lunchtime meals, and bar snacks all day until 7.00pm. Featured in The Manchester Evening News in 1882, after a daring rescue of a trapped barmaid by the landlord, following a severe thunderstorm when the pub was struck by lightning and 2 storeys collapsed.
Grand Central 80 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH. Tel: 0161–236 0890. A traditional pub and a nightly entertainments venue (the Subway) beneath it. Pub lunches served and Sunday roasts, trimmings and sweets. Speciality nights and cheap drinks at certain times – enquire!. Function room available for hire.
The Shakespeare 16 Fountain Street, Manchester M2 2AA. Tel: 0161–834 5515. Website: www.theshakespeare.com An inn has stood on this site since 1771. The present building actually dates from 1656, and used to be “The Shambles Inn” in Chester, until it was dismantled, transported to Manchester and reassembled in its present form in 1928. Reputedly haunted by the ghost of a young girl who died in the last century, having been raped by by the chef, who later hanged himself – the rope marks are still visible on a ceiling beam! Real ales, good food, popular with workers and shoppers. Also hot and cold snacks, vegetarian and children’s menus. Evening meals . Thursday quiz nights, Friday and Saturday discos. Private function room available for hire.
The Unicorn 26 Church Street, Manchester M4 1PW. Tel: 0161–834 8854. Bass and Stones beers are sold at this Victorian pub. It has a distinctive central wooden bar and oak panelling all round – very traditional – very English. Particularly colourful on market days when it is the haunt of local street traders.
Mother Macs 33 Back Piccadilly, Manchester M1 1HP. Tel: 0161-236 1507. Hidden away behind Piccadilly Plaza and the Piccadilly Hotel is this small pub serving Whitbread ales. Curious atmospheric pub with a long and ancient history.
Port Street Beer House
39-41 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ. Tel: 0161-237 9949.
The Old Monkey 90 Portland Street, Manchester M1 4GX. Tel: 0161-228 6262.
Lloyds No 1 The Printworks, Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS. Tel: 0161-817 2980.
Hare & Hounds
46 Shudehill, Manchester M4 4AA. Tel: 0161-832 4737. A rather forbidding green tiled exterior belies the warm greeting ambience of the interior of this pub. Tiles, wooden panelling and etched window glass, and the remnants of a once thriving market culture still abound here, even though the market has long since gone. Light snacks and sandwiches available.Has live music from 4.00pm to 7.00pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays when the organ is played (also karaoke Sundays from 5.00pm.)