I don’t work Mondays, the shop’s closed, the child’s at school, so I’m a free man. This Monday, domestic obligations complete by about 1pm & pick up time not until 3.10, the sun was on full beam & I was thirsty. A short stroll & I emerge from the bright light squinting in the dark interior of The Top Dog (The Dog & Pheasant to give it it’s Sunday name).
A Marstons’s pub this so you won’t find anything exotic, but what you will find is 5 cask ales served in excellent condition & a friendly welcome. Plenty of dog-eared beer books are lying around should you want to geek out for a while, but I was here for beer & sun. I got myself a perch on a bench outside, perfect for that most relaxing sport – solo beer enhanced people watching.
Hang on though, there’s no people, no one really walks down this road unless they’ve got a dog. Plenty of cars & bikes going past though & I started to realise the tables had been turned, lots of people were looking at me. As they rushed by getting on with their important business I could see a flash of green in their eyes. Look at this jammy tw#t they were all thinking, nothing better to do on a Monday than sit in the sun supping ale.
I had a single hop Flyer, solid first pint, then a Sunbeam which was the best I’ve ever tasted it (it’s a summer regular in the Dog). Seemed juicier than usual & it’s condition was spot on, perfect beer/weather/location/mood alignment.
Food pairing – Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken crisps.
It was still sunny when the other half returned from a hard day at the office so I took the family back to the Dog. More Sunbeam fortified with beef & onion muffins, cheese & onion pie, fish fingers, chips & onion rings, all excellent.
The Dog & Pheasant is located at 528 Oldham Road, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire, OL7 9PQ