The Bay Horse Tavern, Manchester

Music | New places - Nicolai Heidlas


Gift a gal an opportunity to go out for dinner (and make that opportunity pub-shaped so her bf wants to come along) and, oooof, you’ll have your hands snapped off because….food, aye?!

Not yet visited since its from-The-Bay-Horse-Pub facelift, He and me popped our hungry selves into The Bay Horse Tavern for a pub-grub-filled evening (and his first Boddington’s since we arrived in Manchester….15 months ago….) in their downstairs dining quarters, bellies revved to the give-us-all-the-food max thanks to our 8pm booking time (He not back from a day of speech-giving in Sheffield until just before).

Perusing the menu like a couple o’ ravenous dogs, we opted for a small plate each for a starter; British tapas-style dishes ranging from Fish and Chips, to Duck Heart with Blackberry Puree, and our choices – Ham Hock Terrine with Pease Pudding (aha, that’s what that was! We couldn’t remember, nor could we work it out!) and Piccalilli, and the Scotch Egg. The hunk of hock that came out was very our-eyes-are-bigger-than-our-bellies, and super easy to tuck into (which meant Sir was feeling full even before mains began), and the Scotch Egg’s many-layers were all palette-detectable (which I've decided means one is able to taste all the flavours of the individual layers, ha!), albeit a little runnier than my egg preferences lie!

Mains appeared under ferocious, let’s get stuck in gazes, with us both snap-your-fingers-off tucking in as they appeared on the table. Beef for He, and chicken for me, we swiftly understood why we’d seen someone’s empty-but-for-the-chips plate head to be cleaned in the kitchen (my exclamations before I’d eaten – ‘who would leave CHIPS of all things? What is wrong with people?!’…and my exclamations after - ‘please have some of my chips, I can’t eat them all’), full-to-the-brimming ourselves with layered forkful after forkful of (melt-off-the-bone, in my case) meat, (crispy…the best way they can be) chip, and a dip-of-veg (extra cheesy cauliflower cheese, and creamed spinach), leaving just enough space under ribs into which to tuck in the dessert.

After clearing plates, Jacob (our sweetly-attentive server for the evening) returned to list off that day’s dessert-y specials, alongside their everyday sweet treats, which left us with quite the ‘eenie meanie’ conundrum, before we went with the Carrot Cake (his fave!) special, and the Mixed Berry Crumble, Salted Caramel Icecream and Custard in respective accompaniment. As sweet as it was sharp, I’d far-too-eagerly chowed down on the crumble-bit, leaving me to dip the berries into the custard (as you do), all the while watching him polish off the cake and icecream, no probs!

All in all, ‘twas a jolly good visit - if you’re looking for somewhere to stop with friends and have a mid-level appetite, I’d definitely suggest ordering a few of the small plates and getting stuck in together (oi oi, I don’t mean that quite as it sounds!). A little light on the veggie dinner options, and unfortunately without anything for our vegan friends (no excuses in this day and age), I’d say this is somewhere for meat-appreciators to enjoy dins alongside a pint or two (or a glass of lemonade, as I!) - there aren’t too many choices to send you into a decision-despair, and what they do offer is very British pub, thus perfect for when you’re nursing a meat-and-two-veg appetite!

The Bay Horse Tavern is in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, on St Thomas Street. As of right now on Google Maps/Search it is still coming up as its predecessor ‘The Bay Horse Pub’, so keep that in mind when having a rummage around for its whereabouts!

Our meal was complimentary, but all thoughts, words and (the egg was too runny) opinions were of course my (rather grateful for the opportunity) own!