The Gas Lamp on Bridge St holds the crown as my Favourite Manchester Bar – not an accolade given out lightly. A subterranean haven a quick stumble away from one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, it is a welcome bolt-hole of relative peace and quiet, with a particularly fine beer menu and friendly folk manning the pumps.
When I descended its steps for the first time I remember feeling almost illicit, like I’d stumbled across some great secret; a speakeasy or gambling den, with its curiously tiled walls and its sturdy old fireplaces. And it still feels like I’m a member of an exclusive club because the place is rarely full. But not for lack of quality: the drinks are better than you’ll find anywhere nearby and a secret back room allows for plenty of breathing space.
On a more personal note, The Gas Lamp has taken on a special meaning to me when it became home to my writing group. There’s six of us; local wordsmiths who meet monthly to pass rough critique over each other’s creations. We’ve come to cherish the relaxed atmosphere of the place, a rare spot where we can spill our mental juices and not get bothered or questioned. It’s never let us down yet.
Unassuming, friendly, and unpretentious, it’s rare these days to find a drinking spot that ticks all the boxes, but The Gas Lamp does just that.