7 Days: All the nice things which have happened this week

A few weeks ago, after an especially horrid week I wrote a blog post listing the things I was thankful for. It felt good to think about all the good things and helped me focus a little less on the bad stuff.

In a similar vein, I’ve had a run of a good few days where I’ve done nice things with nice people. I thought it would be good to note them down for me to look back on when I’m not having a nice time.

On Tuesday I went to The Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays to watch Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild. I had an interesting and thought provoking evening, but one thing puzzled me. Why was this seat the only one in the theatre with a plaque on it and why does it bear the name of comedian Stewart Lee? Answers on a postcard to the usual address please.

All the nice things which have happened this week

On Thursday I had a night out with my friend Lucy. We were invited to The Stokers Arms in Didsbury. It was their 3rd birthday and they were launching their new menu. I am a regular at Stokers, they’re incredibly dog friendly and we often pop in for a pint and some dog treats when we go for evening walkies. 

All the nice things which have happened this week

It was really good to sit down and have a proper catch up and natter with Lucy. I don’t go out with her as often as I’d like really. We had a couple of bottles of wine, sampled some beer from the Bluepoint Brewery and tried out some of their new menu.

We were hungry, so we tucked into this sharing board – known as the “Hipster”. It was piled high with good stuff. Halloumi and chorizo kebabs, chicken lollipops, breaded chicken with a delicious katsu dipping sauce and a pile of nachos. The board came with a huge portion of tobacco onions (finely cut and deep fried so the looked like rolling tobacco) which were spicy and hard to stop picking at.

All the nice things which have happened this week

The menu at The Stokers is excellent for soaking up beer and designed for sharing. We had such a good night out, we won’t leave it so long next time.

The weekend was a lovely sunny one. I was mindful that the fine weather wouldn’t last. So while I was at work on Saturday the boys got the paddling pool out. They had a splash and a water fight and made the most of the sunshine. I was a bit jealous when I got home, but I was glad they’d had fun together.

All the nice things which have happened this week

The road we live on is lined with trees. April is the very best time to walk up and down the road. The cherry trees are covered in blousy blossom. I wanted to take some pictures before the delicate blossoms disappeared. On Sunday, St George’s Day we went out in search of pink petals with my little knight of the realm. 

All the nice things which have happened this week

We were not disappointed. The pavement was awash with soft pink petals, it was quite a lovely sight and a lovely end to our week. 

I’ve had a lovely fun few days. It’s nice to feel the warm sun again, to spend time with friends, to laugh and do nice things. Nice things are underrated. Go on, go forth and do nice things.

The Stoker’s Arms – Didsbury

We were invited guests of The Stokers Arms and were not asked to pay for our food.

Note: The Stokers Arms closed in 2021.

Today was a very Good Friday (see what I did there). Not only did I manage a 9am lie in, but I also got to amble over to The Stoker’s Arms in Didsbury for their soft opening. I went with my chum Liz, aka Things To Do In Manchester and I was pretty keen to check out the latest Didsbury opening.

It’s where O’Neills used to be, but they’ve completely ripped out the old faux-Irish interior and replaced it with a lovely, eclectic mix of comfy furniture and they’ve brightened the whole place up. The bar is pretty huge and looks like it’ll be able to cope when it’s three deep on a Saturday night.

But we really went to try the food. At first glance there didn’t seem to be much on for vegetarians, but I was told that there would be plenty coming up in the next few weeks as the menu evolves. We ordered a round of G&Ts and gave the menu a proper once over.

I ordered the soup of the day, which on this day was a tomato and red pepper, served with a warm wedge of bread and a pat of salty butter. Liz went for the salt and pepper squid. I loved my soup, it was hearty and robust and had I been in the comfort of my own home I probably would have licked the bowl clean. Liz enjoyed her squid, which was perfectly cooked but she thought could do with a bit more punch in the seasoning.

I ordered the vegetarian gnocchi, but it turned out there was none left in the kitchen, so I went for the as yet not mentioned on the menu, lentil and bean burger, served with coleslaw and fries. Liz had the pork and chorizo burger topped with extra pulled pork, which again came with fries.

Stoker's Arms

I’m often really disappointed with veggie burgers, they can be really bland, but this was lovely, full of lentils and with a gentle tickle of spice, I’d very cheerfully order it again, in fact my mouth is watering while I’m typing this…always a good sign.

We’d both consumed two hearty courses, so naturally we decided to have pudding. We decided to share a salted caramel and chocolate tart, which came with a dollop of clotted cream. It was amazing. I have a serious salted caramel habit and this was a particularly fine example. The top of the tart was scattered with salt crystals and it was unctuous and just divine. It’s worth visiting just to have that tart.

The food was really good value. They do a three course fixed price menu which is a bargain at just £11. It’s not shonky pub-grub either. I couldn’t find any mention of scampi and chips!

They have a decent list of gins and whiskeys and a good range of draught and bottled beers and ciders. I reckon The Stoker’s Arms will be finding its way onto my list of preferred local watering holes.

The Stoker’s Arms is located at 655-657 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 6RA

Disclaimer: We were invited guests of The Stoker’s Arms and we weren’t asked to pay for any of our food or drink. However, these are as ever my honest thoughts and opinions.