Week 39: in which Sleuth discovers Manchester's best souvenir ever

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth

And the winner is...

Sleuth was at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards Dinner at The Principal Hotel on Monday. The winner of best speech of the night was Cold Feet actor John Thompson, who shared some entrepreneurial ideas with the guests. He said he was going to open a new vegan restaurant and call it ‘Finger on the Pulse’. That was good, but better was his idea for a Blindfold Darts bar called ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Missing’.

John Thompson Mfdf
Thompson putting his finger on the, er, well...

Sleuth's Food & Drink Awards 2017

Sleuth very much enjoyed the awards dinner, but was disappointed to see some of his favourite Manchester venues miss out, so has tagged on a few awards of his own.

Sleuth's Outstanding Achievement For How Is It Still There Award:

The Armenian Taverna, Albert Square

Sleuth's Best Pissed Off Granny Behind The Counter:

Chung's Chippy, Salford

Sleuth's Smallest Small Plates Award:

Egg & pickled onion, The Salisbury

Salisbury Pint Egg Onion
Winner of the 'Smallest Small Plates' award: The Salisbury

Sleuth's Ronseal 'Does Exactly What It Says On The Tin' Award:

Bar & Grill, Piccadilly Gardens

Sleuth's Sustainability Award:

Quill, King Street

Sleuth's Commitment To Black Tie Etiquette Award:

Lyndon Higginson, Crazy Pedro's

Matt White Lyndon Higginson
Lyndon (right) MFDF Award Dinner 2017

Sleuth's Best Casual Dining:

Kebab on the sofa

Sleuth's CAMRA Pub of the Year:

Menagerie, New Bailey Street

Sleuth's Best Exit From The Stage:

Gordo, MFDF (2016, but it's still very funny)

Confidential gaffa Gordo falling backwards off the stage at the Manchester Food & Drink Awards 2016 from Manchester Confidential on Vimeo.

Sleuth and the curious incident of the chef and the critic

Once the awards were done, the crowd flowed into the bar at The Refuge to mingle, fall over and spit nonsense at one another. Sleuth and Gordo (see above) got chatting to young chef Luke Cockerill, a nominee for 'Chef of the Year', recently departed from Urbis restaurant Rabbit in the Moon. Sleuth popped off to collect some pints, but when he returned was confronted by the most curious scene. Was Cockerill proposing? Or perhaps tying a shoe? At that moment the head chef from one of Manchester's most notable fine dining establishments walked past. "What's he doing down there?" the chef asked Sleuth. "No idea," Sleuth replied. "Well, I'll tell you one thing," said the chef, "if that's what it takes to get a Michelin star I want fuck all to do with it."

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What's he doing down there?

Manchester's best souvenir ever

Sleuth was passing the newsagent at the back of Central Library. It is one of several that sells Manchester souvenirs. Sleuth’s favourite is the fridge magnet of a field with an old-style telephone box and a sheep which carries the legend ‘Manchester’. After all nothing quite says Manchester like a telephone box in a field with a sheep.

171013 Sleuth Full Size Render
Nothing says Manchester like...

The origin of Manchester's best souvenir ever

Apparently there was a high-level tourism meeting in Manchester where the boss of Marketing Manchester, Sheona Southern, complained about the quality of city souvenirs. She exclaimed, “This isn’t good enough, we have to raise the bar!” Sadly, many in the room heard that as ‘baa’, and simultaneously conjured the image of a telephone box in a field with a sheep. The following morning orders were placed.

The best singer in French and the finest plasticine model ever

Lucy Hope, The Chanteuse, put aside her French language singing for a session to sing opening lines from Manchester music at a quiz at Manchester Food and Drink Festival. She’ll be performing her album live at the Sacred Trinity church on Friday 13 October at 7pm – all welcome (tickets here). One of the tasks in the quiz was to model something to do with Manchester in plasticine. The winning team came up with this remarkable figurine of Emmeline Pankhurst. Sleuth wonders if we really need the big statue that created such a fuss earlier this year. Surely this would save money.

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Diddy Pankhurst

Sleuth and the confusing toilet sign

Sleuth was at the splendid Mayfield event in Manchester on Tuesday. This was organised by the company that owns the site, U&I, and involved some fabulous entertainment and great food and drink. Sleuth was a little disconcerted at the sign to the toilets however. This read 'MALE & FEMALE TOILETS' and then 'unleash and inspire'. Sleuth really didn't know what to make of this request.

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If you say so...

Sleuth and the Spanish pig man

Sleuth met a man with the most Spanish name ever this week, José Vicente Alzola León, production coordinator for the Spanish Pork Lovers, who were in town to promote their meat alongside members of INTERPORC (a real organisation, apparently). Jose came to visit Sleuth in the office and tell him all about their big pink pig bus. "We just arrived from Edimburgo..." said Jose. "Edimburgo, is that in España?" said Sleuth. "No, it's in Edimburgo... in Escocia," said a confused Jose. Sleuth stared at Jose. "Sorry, you say Edinburgh... Scotland," explained Jose. "Ah, Edimburgo,"  said Sleuth, "what a wonderful word. And what do you call Manchester?" "Er, just Manchester," said Jose, turning back to photos of bacon.

20171110 Spanish Pork Bus Edinburgh
Next stop: Edimbuuuuuuuurgo