Friday, 16 July 2010

Sparkle 2010 – Friday Evening – Restaurants, Clubs and Pubs

The makeup is still intact from the afternoon, so only minor touch-ups are needed.

And a change of clothing.

Knock, knock.

Laura and Billie arrive and we head out.

It’s a short walk to the Red Chilli restaurant – highly recommended by my daughter, Sarah.

We take seats and browse through the menu. The food is great.

Tina and Billie:


Laura and myself:


Later we head along to a bar along Canal Street.

“A half of Fosters, please.” I say.

A pint of Fosters arrives.

Oh well. I can cope. The weather is hot, the beer is cold.

“Do you have a Crunch Card?”


“Do you have a Crunch Card?”

Having no idea what a Crunch Card is or why I might have one, I admit that I don’t have one.

“That’s £2.50 then please.”

“Here you go … you can use mine.” offers a guy standing close by.

After a short discussion I get to use the Crunch Card.

“That’s £2.00 then, please.”

I head outside to phone home.

“Where are you?” asks Sally.

I look around and see a sign … “The Crunch Bar on Canal Street” I say. The penny drops and in a moment of enlightenment I figure out what a Crunch Card is.

Next we head for Eden. Just a little way down the road from the Crunch Bar and across the other side of the Canal.

We discover that they even serve Black Sheep at Eden.

Black Sheep is actually a beer, rather than a troublesome kind of person.

But maybe they server troublesome Black Sheep as well.

Billie and Laura head out on a voyage of discovery whilst Tina and I deal with the Black Sheep. They say just cross the bridge, turn right and we’ll be in whatever bar is first on the left.

We set off in search … calling in every bar on the left.

Eventually I get my phone out.

“We’re at a bar called ….” says Laura.




Eventually we manage to translate … the place is called Via.

We sit outside with a drink. You can see the Crunch Club in the background.


At about 11:00 pm we notice the tables and chairs disappearing around us.

“Sorry ladies … we need your furniture.”

It seems that after 11:00 pm there is no alcohol on the street.

We head inside and discover the Via bar is not all that it seems from the outside.

There are three bars, a dance floor and a whole mini labyrinth of interconnecting staircases and passageways. 

Like many of the bars on Canal Street, the Via bar looks as though it used to be a Cotton Mill at some point in its history.

The decor is quite quaint … parts of the furnishings looking as though they could once have been a part of a Church at some time or other.

We sit at a table beside a chair that looks like a min throne.

Here’s the chair.


Laura and myself …



And we all take a turn in the chair.







Time passes and we head for the Weatherspoons pub on Oxford Road … just round the corner from the hotel.

On the way there's a bar that

seems to have come up with an interesting mechanism for allowing people outside to smoke cigarettes and yet stop people passing by from sneaking inside. It’s a little like walking past a cage.



The inmates seem quite tame.

We’re the only trannie’s in Weatherspoons, but no one minds.

After a short while, a girl with her partner wanders over with two small bottles of perfume and asks us which we prefer … blue or yellow.

Laura tries the yellow:



And the blue:



And recovers:



Whilst Tina and I watch:



On the whole, the blue wins.

At 1:00 am it’s time to go.

A short walk back to the hotel.

Makeup removal.


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