Several venues across Manchester have confirmed they are now taking bookings or getting prepped for walk-ins on April 12th.
Following Boris’ unveiling of the roadmap out of lockdown, many restaurants are firing up the ovens and dusting off the chairs ready to welcome punters back in!
Here’s everywhere already taking bookings or walk-ins…
One of the best restaurants in Ancoats will be opening up the terrace on Cutting Room Square again on April 12th. Expect their legendary brunch, Sunday roasts and everything in between.
Dive Bar and Grill
Ready with a brand spanking new (and heated!) terrace, Dive Bar and Grill will be open from April 12th. Walk-ins are also welcome but pre-booking is advised.
You can now book a table for al-fresco dining and drinks on the heated outdoor terrace at the boutique hotel, Dakota. Reservations for accommodation and Bar & Grill visits can be made for after May 17th too!
Cane & Grain
Coming back with their large outdoor (and covered terrace) and a brand new menu including the likes of ribs, burgers and their fantastic mac and cheese.
One of my personal favourite stomping grounds, Alvarium the garden-themed bar tucked away just off Tib Street will be back serving frosty pints and a delicious new food menu on their terrace. See you there.
The Oast House
Famous for their massive outdoor terrace, it’s only right the Oast House are opening up on April 12th. I’d be quick though – when bookings were announced that many people tried their website crashed!
The Con Club
Altrincham favourite will be opening the ground floor and secret hidden terrace on April 12th for walk-ins only.
Enjoy some alfresco dining or just a frosty drink at the Wharf. You can either book or try your luck on the day. Any bookings made for after May 17th will be for inside tables only.
Hatch is back baby! There’s plenty to choose from too from Grandad’s Sausages, FUKU and even Parmo’s from Parmogeddon. There are plenty of drinks too!
Zouk Bar & Grill
The award-winning Indian Halal restaurant just off Oxford Road has bookings live for reservations on the terrace between April 12th and May 16th.
River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel
Opening on April 15th, the large terrace that extends down the length of the River Restaurant at The Lowry Hotel will be open for food and drinks.
The Bay Horse Tavern
With thanks to the pedestrianisation of Thomas Street, Bay Horse can reopen in April instead of May. Bookings open on March 6th.
You will be able to have The Refuge experience in their hidden Edwardian courtyard. Spaces are limited.
Bookings are now live for Ancoats’ Vietnamese Bar and Kitchen. They’ve even just launched a brand new Sunday Dinner menu with doughnuts and pho gravy.
Marble Tap Room
The Beer Yard at Marble breewry will be open from April 15th. Walk-ins welcome.
Both Peter Street and Ancoats sites will be out open so you can get your Neapolitan pizza fix.
With amazing views of the city and cracking cocktails – you’ve got everything you need for a mint April 12th.
You’ll be pleased to know that both the Northern Quarter and Bridge Street Crazy Pedro’s sites will be back open. The Bridge Street terrace has also just got an extension meaning it is now massive so even more people can enjoy the bottomless pizza and booze offering!
Wolf at the Door
The NQ favourite will be back serving up tacos and bao buns as well as cocktails, natural wines and plenty of guest beers too.
Catch up with your mates in Impossible’s massive outdoor terrace overlooking the Great Northern. You’ll have your spot for two hours.
Feel Good Club
The cafe that makes you feel good will be opening their little outside terrace on Hilton Street so you can enjoy your coffee and cake and watch the world go by.
Lust, Luck, Liquor & Burn
The NQ terrace will be open from April 12th for walk-ins only. Tuck into some massive burritos, nachos and plenty of margaritas.
Sugo Pasta Kitchen Altrincham
Everyone’s favourite pasta place is back – only in Altrincham though for now. You’ll have to wait until May for the Ancoats site.
The independent Spanish restaurant will be back for some alfresco tapas and sangria!
One of the busiest outdoor terraces in the city at the best of times will definitely be welcoming punters back on April 12th.
Home Sweet Home
Open for all your sweet treat needs including Milkshakes, Cocktails, Cakes, Pancakes, Burgers and everything in between.
The small cafe just outside Pop Boutique on Oldham Street serve up delicious brownies and brunch dishes.
The popular Instagram hang out spot will be swinging open the metaphorical doors of their terrace so you can enjoy some bubbly with your pals.
On the corner at the top of Oldham Street, Mecanica will be opening their outside area from April 30th for walk-ins.
The Rose & Monkey Hotel
This hidden terrace is perfect if you’re after a night tucked in the corner, putting the world to rights.
The Botanist MediaCity
The massive terrace outside the Botanist will be open serving up their lovely grub and fantastic selection of beers.
One of the smallest terraces on the list – but at least it means you can enjoy some fresh poke!
It looks like VietShack are opening up a brand new terrace on the new pavement on Great Ancoats Street just in time for April 12th. Perfect.
The perfect sun trap in Stevenson Square and the one everyone flocks to when there is a glimmer of summer, Eastern Bloc will be up and running for April 12th.
Opening up with a couple of new tables out on the front so you can satisfy all your sweet cravings.
Seven Brothers Middlewood Locks
The new Seven Brothers will be opening up the veranda so you can enjoy a few cold ones in the new Middlewood Locks development.
Scene Indian Street Food
Down on Spinningfields, Scene has a huge terrace perfect for April 12th’s shenanigans.
CITY GUIDE: All the best festive markets and events across Manchester this Christmas
‘Tis the season to be in Manchester…
Christmas is nearly here and, luckily for us lot, Manchester is one of the best places to be (outside of Lapland, obviously) throughout the festive period.
There’s going to be a ton of fun and Christmassy things to do over the next couple of months so, just to help you plan and organise your Christmas celebrations accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of some of the must-do events happening across the city.
Here’s what’s on…
Winter Island at Escape to Freight Island
Earlier this month, it was announced that the popular open-air food hall Escape to Freight Island will be transformed into Winter Island, the UK’s largest fully-heated outdoor winter market.
Winter Island will boast a whole array of festivities including a Christmas Tree Forest, Christmas films nights, karaoke and a bonfire night gathering. There will also be an impressive line-up of new festive traders and stalls offering food and drink, including Great North Pie Co., a bratwurst grill, traditional hog roast, a mulled wine and hot cider hut, local chocolatiers and artisanal cheese stalls.
There will also be a huge firework display on the opening night and a whole line-up of live entertainment courtesy of the Untold Orchestra and a number of other local musicians and DJs.
The Winter Island will run from November 5th to December 31st – for more information and to book tickets, visit the Escape to Freight Island website here.
Ramona’s Winter Village
A magical ‘winter village’ experience will be descending upon Ramona and The Firehouse this Christmas, complete with tequila cabins, teepees and open log fires. What more could you ask for?
The whole of Swan Street, which is home to the two adjoining restaurants, will be transformed into the festive winter village, with the existing outside space to be developed to provide more shelter to those wanting to escape the cold Manchester weather.
The plans for the festive village include cosy Colorado-style log cabins, each with its own fire and chimney, and those all-important teepees with open-log fires. It will also welcome pop-up stalls from independent traders in its own scaled-down Christmas market.
Ramona’s winter village will open next month on November 4th and bookings are available now, so head over to the Ramona website to get your reservation secured.
Manchester Christmas Markets
Last year, the annual Manchester Christmas Markets were cancelled as a result of Covid-19 and, let me tell you, it wasn’t very Christmassy.
But this year, the markets are back with a bang – though they’re going to look a little different. It was announced last week that, while the markets will be making a return, the main hub will be moved from Albert Square to Piccadilly Gardens as a result of renovation works at the Town Hall.
The area will be transformed into the ‘Winter Gardens’, with all the usual yuletide bars, market stalls and food huts we’ve all missed so much – though it is worth noting that extra measures will be in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The markets will be open to the public from Friday November 12th through to Wednesday December 22nd.
For the last two years, Manchester’s Heaton Park has been graced with Lightopia, a festival of immersive lights, lanterns and mesmerising installations and, low and behold, it’s coming back for its third event.
The never-before-seen illuminated trail will feature magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations, illustrating a story of an imaginative and fantasy festive world. There will also be the ‘Fantasy Forest’, an area home to the most extraordinary and mystical animals to uncover.
Other attractions will include the ‘Fantasy Universe’ with a supernova display and bioluminescence plants, ‘Dragon’s Land’ featuring two huge 40m dragons and fabled fairies, ‘Fantasy Bees’, the trademark Manchester’s bee brought to life in a fantasy world, and the ‘Wonders of the World’.
Lightopia will be open to the public from November 18th 2021 until January 3rd 2022. To get your own tickets, visit the Lightopia Festival website here.
Christmas Karaoke Huts at Bar Hütte
Alpine-themed Bar Hütte recently announced the return of its famed karaoke huts, and they’re going to be bigger and better than ever before.
The brand Bar Hütte village will be located at Manchester’s Great Northern, where it will transform the current Great Northern Beach Club site into a ‘magical wonderland inspired by a ski resort in the Alps’.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the familiar festive huts, all of which will be decked out in their usual cosy furnishings, fairy lights, live music sessions, endless drinks and, of course, those all-important karaoke machines. Bar Hütte has also become well known for its iconic ‘Shot-Ski’s’, which features four shots of limoncello served up on an actual ski, so you and your pals can tip back together before butchering another rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas is You.
Bar Hütte will be landing at Great Northern from Thursday November 4th 2021 through until Sunday January 9th 2022 – get yourself booked in here.
The iconic Winter Wonderland is coming home to Trafford’s indoor venue EventCity to celebrate the 2021 festivities with magical Christmas experiences such as reindeer, elves, fairies and even Father Christmas and his famous grotto.
There will also be a number of child-friendly theatrical performances taking place on the main stage with daily performances ideal for the whole family, including shows like the Ice Princess Show, Christmas Meltdown and the return of Winter Wonderland’s spectacular Christmas Circus.
And it wouldn’t be a Christmas bonanza without an abundance of festive food, would it? From German bratwursts to waffles and crepes, plus lots of Christmassy games stalls to keep the kids happily entertained, there’ll be something for everyone to feast upon. Elsewhere, a German bar will also be serving up fresh Bavarian beers and other festive drinks and adult refreshments.
Located at Event City next door to the Intu Trafford Centre, Winter Wonderland will be running from Saturday December 4th 2021 to Sunday January 2nd 2022. To book your own tickets and for more information about the event, click here.
Van Gogh Alive
While this many not be the most Christmassy of events lined up this winter, it’s certainly a good one and will make for a fantastic day out for you and your family.
Van Gogh Alive will allow guests to experience the artist in a multi-sensory art exhibition that gives a unique glimpse into the life and work of Van Gogh as you travel.
Over 3,000 images from his vast catalogue of work – including iconic works like Starry Night, Sunflowers and lesser-known paintings that were inspired by his love of Japanese woodprints – will explore and showcase different periods of the artists’ somewhat troubled life.
The exhibition, which is the most visited in the whole world, will be at Media City until January 23rd, 2022. For more information and to book your own tickets, visit the Van Gogh Alive website.
The Refuge Christmas Carol
The Refuge is bringing back it’s iconic Christmas Carol, a wonderful line-up of festivities spread across twelve days.
Kickstarting the festivities will be a performance from The Hallé Ancoats Community Choir, who will be joined by a special guest appearance from the first of the season’s Town Criers. There will also be a dog fancy dress competition, a Christmas wreath making workshop, and a line up of Christmas Fairs with traders like Manchester Union Lager and Deadstock General Store.
Guests will also be able to enjoy ‘Christmas in the Dining Room’, where a feast consisting of butter-roasted turkey breast with cranberry and apricot stuffing, goose fat roast potatoes, cranberry-glazed pigs in blankets and an abundance of festive veg will be dished up.
The Refuge’s Christmas Carol will be starting on November 12th and will right up until Christmas – visit their website for bookings and more information.
The Oast House Curious Tipi
It wouldn’t be Christmas in Manchester without the Oast House’s legendary tipi, would it?
Billed as a ‘winter escape in the heart of Spinningfields’, the Curious Tipi proves to be a massive hit each year, with thousands of people descending upon the site to enjoy a steaming mug of mulled wine next to an open fireplace – you know, those proper Christmas vibes.
Throughout the winter, there will be a number of Christmassy events taking place within the cosy tipi, including the iconic Oast House cinema nights, their annual wreath making classes and, of course, plenty of those famous hanging kebabs.
Bongo’s Bingo ‘A Tropical Christmas’
Fancy a game of Christmas bingo that isn’t with your nan at your local Mecca Bingo? Well, Bongo’s has you covered.
Everyone’s favourite game of bingo will be throwing a massive Christmas bonanza in the run-up to the big day, where there will be festive sing-alongs, conga lines, dance-offs, ‘cash cash money’ and tons of quirky prizes to be won.
Guests are also required to don their best (and ugliest) Hawaiian shirt to make the occasion extra tropical – because Christmas jumpers were so last year.
‘A Tropical Christmas’ will be taking place at the Albert Hall on December 19th, December 20th, December 21st, December 22nd, December 23rd, December 28th, and December 29th. Get your tickets here.
CITY GUIDE: The best places to enjoy a gin & tonic in Manchester
The perfect excuse to indulge in a couple of gins tonight…
It’s International Gin & Tonic Day which calls for one thing and one thing only; a definitive round up of the best spots to enjoy a G&T here in Manchester.
Now, it’s no secret that here in Manchester we’re spoiled for choice on where to enjoy a tipple or two. And, if gin is your tipple of choice, you certainly won’t be left wandering the streets aimlessly in search of that perfect drink.
So, without any further ado, here’s our favourite Mancunian spots to enjoy a gin & tonic…
Three Little Words
Because of course Manchester Gin’s very own distillery and bar was going to make the ultimate G&T list. The venue, located down Watson Street, features distillery on site which means every last drop of Manchester Gin is made there and then on site.
The Spirit of Manchester Distillery also also gives guests the opportunity to make their very own gin, as well as learn the ins-and-outs of distilling.
On the actual drinking side of things, their bar boasts every variety Manchester Gin has to offer, including their new Oyster Gin, as well as a whole array of other gins from across the U.K and beyond.
Three Little Words, 2-13 Watson Street, Manchester, M3 4LP
Found at the bottom of Deansgate, Atlas Bar is definitely one of the better known gin bars in the city. Boasting a massive collection of 560 gins – both local and global – guests are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting their tipple.
Atlas Bar also features a heated outdoor terrace, perfect for both summer evenings and those chillier winter nights.
Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
The Old Bell Inn
A little bit further afield in the village of Delph, Oldham, stands The Old Bell Inn, which is an actual world record holder thanks to its vast collection of gin – all 1,100 of them.
You can’t compete with that, can you?
And, as well as it’s extensive gin offering, The Old Bell Inn is also well loved for its classic ‘countryside pub’ vibes and dazzling views of the Saddleworth Moor – the perfect place to sit back and relax with an ice cold G&T, if you ask me.
The Old Bell Inn, Huddersfield Road, Delph, Oldham OL3 5EG
Yes, I’m well aware that I’ve included a taproom on this list but hear me out; the iconic Salfordian brewers have recently dabbled in the world of distillery by launching their very own gin brand, Sis4ers Distillery.
Their distillery has produced a number of different botanical blends with tasty flavours such as strawberry, lime and thyme, espresso and passionfruit.
Seven Bro7hers, 39 Blossom Street, Ancoats, M4 5AF | Lockside Lane, Salford, M5 4YP
Having opened just last week, the Northern Quarter’s newest tiki bar Lono Cove features two floors of ‘contemporary’ tiki fun, including treasure chest cocktails and an abundance of greenery… Oh, and plenty of gin.
While tiki bars are usually associated with rum (there’s plenty of that, too), Lono Cove boasts an impressive selection of gins that can be enjoyed with tonic or in their many cocktails.
Lono Cove, 14 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1DH
For some reason, G&Ts taste better in a cosy pub setting, so of course The Blackfriar had to make the list.
The iconic Salford boozer recently reopened after eighteen years of no action and a massive transformation, and it is now the place to enjoy some gourmet pub grub and a couple of gins, either with tonic or in the form of a tasty cocktail.
The Blackfriar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford M3 7DB
CITY GUIDE: The cosiest pubs in Manchester to enjoy an autumn pint
It’s officially cosy pub season and we couldn’t be happier about it
Summer has officially departed and, while we may be sad to wave goodbye to our beloved beer gardens for another six months, we’re undeniably very excited to welcome back those log fires and warming Sunday roasts.
Yep, Autumn is here and that means Manchester’s cosiest pubs are back open for business, offering all those lovely Autumnal treats such as mulled wine, warming fire places and those iconic cosy corners.
And luckily for you lot, the city is teeming with wonderful pub offerings to keep you occupied throughout the colder months.
So without any further ado, here’s some of our favourite spots…
This historic boozer has recently reopened after eighteen long years out of action following a massive investment by property giants Salboy, who have transformed the building back into the cosy pub it once was, with a fine dining section and green oasis through the back.
But round the front, guests can settle down in front of a roaring fireplace and indulge in all those comforting pub grub classics like fish and chips and pie and mash alongside a lovely pint of Guinness. It doesn’t get much more autumnal than that, does it?
The Blackfriar, 41-43 Blackfriars Rd, Salford M3 7DB.
Famous for it’s enormous front-facing beer garden in the summer (and for being the first stop in the famed Didsbury Dozen pub crawl, of course), The Didsbury is also well loved for it’s snug interior throughout the autumn and winter months.
Here, you’ll be able to sit back and relax with a beverage directly next to a crackling fireplace built within a lovely exposed brick wall – dogs are welcome too, incase you needed any more convincing.
The Didsbury, 852 Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, Manchester M20 2SG
The Didsbury Website
Located at the heart of the old Potato Wharf in Castlefield, The Oxnoble is one of the city’s most historic pubs, having being built all the way back in 1804.
And you know what they say about old and historic pubs; they make for the best winter boozers. The pub’s low ceilings and creaky floorboards give it a very comforting nostalgic feel, with its old-timely fireplace pairing perfectly with the many beers and bitters on offer behind the bar.
71 Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4NQ
The Oxnoble Website
The Circus Tavern
The ‘smallest bar in Europe’ was always going to make the cosy pubs list, wasn’t it? Admittedly, many may consider The Circus Tavern to be more on the claustrophobic side than the cosy side but still, it’s an undeniable gem for those colder months.
While there isn’t a roaring fireplace to snuggle down next to (that’d be a major health hazard in such a small place, don’t you think?), there is plenty of those old-worldly pub vibes knocking about. Plus, famed footballer George Best did frequent the pub back in the day, if that helps.
The Circus Tavern, 86 Portland St, Manchester M1 4GX
The Marble Arch
A short walk away from the Northern Quarter down Rochdale Road, The Marble Arch is undisputedly one of Manchester’s most historic and iconic boozers, having stood the test of time since 1888.
Providing those ‘proper pub’ vibes among a sea of trendy craft beer bars, The Marble Arch brews its own beer and is a definite must-visit when looking for some solace from Manchester’s icy wind and rain.
The Marble Arch, 73 Rochdale Road, Manchester, M4 4HY
The Marble Arch Website
Sam’s Chop House
A pub once frequented by artist LS Lowry (there’s a massive statue of him propped up at the bar if you don’t believe me), Sam’s Chop House is as cosy and old-worldly as a pub can get.
Guests have to take a rickety and narrow winding staircase down to find the pub and fully functioning gourmet restaurant nestled underground, alongside an extensive drinks menu (the Guinness is really good here, too).
Sam’s Chop House, Back Pool Fold, Manchester M2 1HN
0161 834 3210
The Briton’s Protection
It doesn’t get much cosier than this; The Briton’s Protection is one of Manchester’s oldest pubs (are you noticing a pattern here?) and specialises in possibly the most wintery drink there is: whisky.
The pub can showcase up to 300 whiskies at any given time and features those classic old pub stools and circular tables crammed into a warm corner. Picture that on a cold Friday night after work… You can’t beat it.
The Briton’s Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5LE
0161 236 5895
Peveril of the Peak
Of course Peveril of the Peak was going to crop up at some point – it is one of the most recognisable pubs in the whole of Manchester, after all (just look at that two-toned yellow and green brick exterior).
But on the inside, the Pev provides a seriously good atmosphere, the kind only achieved by the most traditional of boozers. Inside, guests can sit on original wooden benches among stained glass window, etched mirrors and brass bells. Classic.
The Peveril of the Peak, 127 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JQ
The Peveril of the Peak Facebook
The City Arms
The historic City Arms, located smack in the middle of Manchester’s city centre, has been a regular entry in the Good Beer Guide for years and boasts all those lovely old pub features, including those built-in Chesterfield sofas and circular tables just begging for a packet of crisps to be opened and spread out upon them.
As is the case with this style of old-age pub, The City Arms really comes to life in the colder months and provides a comforting and cosy abode for Mancunians escaping the rain.
The City Arms, 46-48 Kennedy St, Manchester M2 4BQ
0161 236 4610
Ah, the Bayhorse Tavern, a haunt well known and loved by all those city-centre dwellers. While it may not be an ideal layout for those hot summer days (yeah, all three of them), it is the perfect spot to shelter from the rain.
The Bayhorse has a cracking selection of beer and also do a banging roast on a Sunday – the ideal place for the whole of autumn and winter, then.
Bayhorse Tavern, 35-37 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA