Christmas is a great time of year, but it’s also the most expensive, and can leave your bank balance feeling as rough as your head on Boxing Day.
But fear not, if you’re going to have to budget in the New Year you can still have a good time – by taking advantage of some of Manchester’s biggest and best deals on food and drink.
As we’re feeling extra festive today, we’ve put together all of the best offers, deals and savings to be had in our city this January, so sit back, relax, and have a gander at these beauties.
Merry Christmas everyone:
La Bandera – 50% OFF FOOD
Everyone’s favourite Spanish restaurant will be offering a whopping 50% off all food on their menu this January. It’s available from Sunday to Friday from January 2nd. All you need to do is book online (use the button below) and make sure you pop ‘MF50LB’ in the comment box. Book It
Cottonopolis – 5 Courses for £18pp
The Northern Quarter’s answer to Japanese cuisine has created a special menu for January which includes 5 courses for just £18pp. You have to book in advance and I’d do it quickly if I were you. The Set Menu is available Monday – Friday and booking is required. Book It
TNQ – 50% OFF FOOD
TNQ is offering 50% off their A La Carte menu from January 2nd until the end of the month. It’s available Monday to Friday from 12pm–10.30pm. All you need to do is quote ‘JAN SALE’ when booking Book It
BAB – 50% OFF KEBABS
This January, you’ll be able to get 50% off kebabs at BAB – from Monday to Wednesday. Get their Halloumi Chip Shop beaut down you – I promise it’ll be one of the best things you eat this new year. Book It
The Bay Horse Tavern – 50% OFF FOOD
Everyone’s favourite boozer, The Bay Horse Tavern is offering a massive 50% off food throughout January. As if you need an excuse to go in. It excludes Saturday and Sunday though – so don’t even bother asking for 50% off your bottomless brunch. They’ll also have a new menu out this Jan – so it’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the new dishes. Book It
Alberts Schloss – 50% OFF FOOD
The busiest place in the city, no matter what bloody time it is, Alberts Schloss will be offering up to 50% off their food this January. All you need to do is book it in advance and get half off. Available Monday to Friday all day from January 6th– 30th. Book It
Almost Famous – 50% OFF BURGERS
The dirtiest (and some would say best) burgers in the city will be half price this January – thank you very much Almost Famous. Available at both sites, in the NQ and the Great Northern. Monday to Thursday from January 6th– 30th. Just the burgers though – so dash the fries and have two instead. Book It NQ Book It GN
The Refuge – 6 dishes, carafe of wine & dessert for £20pp
The 2020 January Introduction offer includes 6 Voltini dishes from the chef’s selection, a carafe of wine and the iconic sharing Chocolate Fondue Dessert, all for £20pp. The offer is available from 6th Jan–21st Jan, Mondays–Thursdays 12pm–2:25pm & 5pm–9pm and Fridays 12pm–2:45pm & 5pm–6:45pm. Must be booked online. Book It
Second Floor Bar and Brasserie @ Harvey Nichols – 3 Courses & a Cocktail for £23
January 7th sees Harvey Nichols launch their new menu with the choice of 2 courses and a cocktail for £19, or 3 courses and a cocktail for £23. The menu looks fantastic, and go for 3 courses so you can have some cheese at the end too. Book It
Tattu – 30% OFF Food
Tattu is not only the place for a cracking Insta pic, but it also offers incredibly delicious food with a serious element of theatrical surprise. Throughout January they’re offering 30% OFF food, which means it’s imperative you opt for the decadent show-stopping dessert, the Chocolate Brownie Pagoda, layered with mascarpone and winterberry. Discount available Sunday to Thursday 12pm–10.45pm and Friday 12pm–4.45pm, on à la carte menu only and excludes all Wagyu Beef and Lobster dishes. Book It
Manahatta – 50% OFF FOOD (+ Double your Tab)
Deansgate destination spot Manahatta is offering 50% off the main menu Sunday to Friday throughout January. Not only this but they’ll also be offering to DOUBLE YOUR BAR TAB (Sunday to Friday). All you need to do is pre-order your bottles and they’ll double up your bar tab – can’t say fairer than that. Book It
Noi Quattro – £10 Lunch Deal
This Northern Quarter favourite are bringing back their £10 Lunch Deal this January, where you can get yourself a pizza, salad and a drink for just a tenner. Only available at lunchtime 12pm – 3pm, Tuesday – Friday. View Menu
Seed + Cherry – 50% OFF FOOD
Fantastic Northern Quarter coffee shop Seed + Cherry will be offering 50% off their food menu during weekdays from 2nd Jan until the 24th Jan. They’ve got a brand-new menu coming out in Jan too, and there are some outstanding dishes on there. In particular their Pulled Brisket, and their Turkish Eggs. View Menu
Restaurant MCR – 20% OFF ALL FOOD
High-end Restaurant MCR is offering 20% off all its food this January, well, from the 14th (when they re-open) until the 7th Feb. You can get 20% off both their a la carte and tasting menus. It excludes Saturdays and all you need to do is let them know that you saw the deal on Proper Manchester when booking. Pop it in the comments section. Book It
Dakota Grill – 3 Course Meal for £25
Dakota will be offering its fantastic Prix Fixe menu this January, where you can get yourself 3 courses for only £25 per person. You can get 2 courses for only £20 too, but you’re going to want 3 really, let’s face it. Available all through service Monday to Friday – just make sure you pre-book it in advance. Book It
Tast Catala – £15 Set Menu
Tast are offering a set menu this January, available from 12pm – 4pm, Tuesday to Friday. Each day there’s a different option available, such as the Burger Tast on Tuesday, Pork Ribs on Wednesday, Poussin Chicken on Thursday and Squid and Rice on Friday. Check their website and socials for more information. Book It
Bill’s Spinningfields – FREE Main Course
That’s right, you can get yourself a FREE Main Course this January courtesy of Bill himself. All you need to do is order two main courses and the cheapest one will be free. It’s available from 5th Jan ’til the 30th Jan and runs Sunday to Friday. Just click the link below, pop your details in and you’re all set. Book It
WOOD – 2-4-1 on 5 and 7 Course Tasting Menu
WOOD is going all out this January, offering a brilliant BOGOF deal on its Tasting Menus. Choose either 5 course or 7 course and you can get 2 for the price of 1 – all you need to do is make sure you book it in advance and it’s between Tuesday and Thursday (all day) or Friday lunch time. From Jan 2nd – Jan 31st. Book It
Three Little Words – 50% OFF FOOD
Brand-new gin distillery, bar and restaurant Three Little Words is offering a very welcome 50% off food this January. Just book in advance and make sure it’s during the week and not the weekends. Lovely. Book It
Hawksmoor – 3 Courses & a Cocktail for £35
Not the cheapest January Deal on this list but it’s Hawksmoor, so you just know you’re going to get a good deal no matter what. You can choose either 2 courses and a cocktail for £30 or 3 courses and a cocktail for £35, and the menu includes their stunning 35 day dry-aged rump and chips. Book It
Common – 25% OFF FOOD (+ £2.50 FREE)
They’re launching a new app at Common – called the Common & Co App – which will give you a FREE £2.50 credit when you download it. This can be used in Common, The Beagle, Port Street Beer House and The Pilcrow Pub. That’s not all though. It’ll also give you 25% off food this January – Monday to Friday. More Info
Dive NQ – 50% OFF food
This year saw a kitchen takeover at Dive NQ by Zumu, and it proved so popular that they’re here to stay. And you can bag yourself 50% off food throughout January, meaning you can get Chicken Katsu Curry for under £5. What’s more, there’s the fantastic happy hour continuing throughout Jan, where you can get £15 bottles of Prosecco, 2-4-1 spirit mixers and plenty more. AND you can even get £5 knocked off all-inclusive drinks tickets on Saturday club nights. What you waiting for!? Book It
Alvarium – 50% OFF Food
Calling all vegans, there’s an entirely dedicated vegan restaurant tucked away in the Northern Quarter and they’ve got you covered for January offers! They’re offering 50% OFF food, all day, every day. And what’s more, there’s a dead happy Happy Hour alongside which includes 2 for £10 cocktails, 2-4-1 bottles of beer and even a house bottle of wine for £9. Bargain! The Happy Hour is available Sunday – Friday (4-8pm). Book It
River Restaurant and Bar – 3 courses & wine for £23.99
The newly renovated River Restaurant and Bar in The Lowry Hotel has a delicious set menu on offer throughout January with 3-courses starting at Lowry Hotel £19.99 and 2-courses with a glass of wine for £19.99. Dishes include Scorched Mackerel or a Merlot Roasted beetroot to start, Slow Cooked Chesire Farm Beef or Frankie Bird’s Chicken Breast for a main and Sticky Toffee Pudding or a cardamom Panna Cotta for dessert. Book It
Volta – Dinner for 2 for £25
Throughout the year, Volta created 3 specials every single week. To treat their customers to an extra special January they’re offering everybody’s favourite specials throughout the year in a Volta Dining Experience. The menu includes 6 Voltini dishes, enough for dinner for 2 for just £25. The menu includes Meat, Fish and a Vegan option. Available Monday – Friday. Book It
Dog Bowl – 50% OFF Food
Get hot dogs HALF PRICE! No need to say anymore is there really? Everyone loves hot dogs. Get weird, get creative and definitely try the 100% pork sausage dog topped with peanut butter and caramelised sliced banana. Is it a dessert, is it a main, is it m-essert? Who knows! Book It
Banyan Bar & Kitchen – 50% OFF Food & Double your Drinks
Double your money and drinks this January at Banyan. All you need to do is pre-pay your bar tab and Banyan will double it for you! If that’s not enough you also get half-price food. What a bloody treat! T&Cs apply. Book It
Alston Bar & Beef – 2 Course Meal and any Gin for £15
You can opt for 2 courses or go all out and get 3 for just £18. On the menu is a range of signature dishes included mushroom risotto to start and plenty of steaks to choose from including Tweed Value 250g D-Rump Steak. Available from 6th January, Monday – Friday 12pm – 6pm and on Saturday 12pm – 4pm. Book It
Cibo – 50% OFF FOOD
Try some of the most authentic Italian food you can get in Manchester at Cibo. Throughout Jan they’re offering 50% OFF the A La Carte menu. So if you’re after real deal Italian, get to Cibo. Book It
BLVD – 50% OFF FOOD
Spinningfields’ newest addition BLVD is offering 50% off its a la carte menu from the 2nd until the 31st January. You can get involved from Sunday to Thursday – all you need to do is book in advance with the code ‘BLVD50’. Book It
Thaikhun – 40% OFF food
Thai food is one of the best cuisines out there – that’s just a fact. Thaikhun in Spinningfields is offering 40% off your a la carte food bill between Thursday 5th January and 30th January 2020. All you have to do is book a table and eat delicious food for 40% cheaper. Offer is subject to availability and to the manager’s discretion, so make sure you’re nice. Maximum 6 guests per table. Book It
Home Sweet Home – 50% OFF food
Whether you’re going to go all out for brunch or treat yourself to some American diner style chicken, burgers or sandwiches, there’s something for everyone at Home Sweet Home – and throughout January there is 50% OFF food. T&C’s apply. Book It
Brasserie Abode – £15 Set Meal
They’ve come up with two separate set meals this January at Brasserie Abode, both of which are just £15. There’s the ‘Behaving’ menu of healthy dishes including a glass of non-alcoholic bubbles, Poached Scallop with a crisp apple and celeriac salad, Healthy Fish Pie and cauliflower mash, and a Guilt-free Chocolate Mousse. The ‘Misbehaving’ menu consists of a glass of Prosecco, Baked Scallop ‘Coquilles St. Jacques’, Braised Beef Bourguignon and a Rich Dark Chocolate Mousse. It’s available daily for lunch and dinner until 7th Feb. Book It
The Beagle – 25% OFF FOOD (+ £2.50 FREE)
Just like Common, The Beagle is using the new Common & Co App, which will give you a FREE £2.50 credit when you download it. This can be used in Common, The Beagle, Port Street Beer House and The Pilcrow Pub. That’s not all though. It’ll also give you 25% off food this January – Monday to Friday. More Info
Salvi’s, 40% OFF Food
One of Manchester’s best Italian spots is offering 40% OFF food throughout January. So forget about that whole ‘diet starts in January’ spiel and get involved with some delicious pizza and pasta. You know you want to. T&C’s apply. Book It
Mamucium – 3,2,1 Deal for £40
Tucked away in Hotel Indigo right next to Victoria station, Mamucium is a belting restaurant that offers a great menu of modern British dishes. This January they are putting on a ‘3-2-1’ deal for £40. That’s 3 courses, 2 people and 1 glass of wine each – all for just £40. £20 per person (if you struggle with maths). Book It
Yard & Coop – £1 Prosecco
Let’s just all take a moment to absorb that information. £1 Prosecco. With every main meal in January, you can get Prosecco for just £1 a glass at Yard & Coop. That’s not even just one drink either folks, that’s every glass you purchase while eating your main meal! In the spirit of responsible drinking, your drink will be replaced once finished. The offer is available all day, every day, you just need to book and quote. Offer not valid on lunch menu, doesn’t include Monkey Balls, Wings, Hot and Cold Sides or Fries as a main meal. Book It
Mughli – 50% OFF Curries
Just picture how cold and grim January is going to be, the only way to make it cheerier is with a dead good curry. And what better place to treat yourself than Mughli, who are offering 50% off any dish from the ‘curry menu’. Offer is available any day between 1st and 31st January 2020 and is limited to one curry per paying guest. Book It
Grand Pacific – 50% OFF food
An opulent venue on King Street is offering 50% off your food bill. so long as you book between 2nd January and 31st January and dine with them any time Thursday or on Friday and Saturday until 4:30pm. The offer excludes the Sunday roast menu and afternoon tea but other than that you can tuck into some delicious food for half the price. Book It
Canto – 3 dishes for £15 all-day
The offer includes a menu of a number of Canto’s signature dishes in a menu of 3 for £15 all day, every Sunday to Thursday, throughout the month of January. The menu includes an array of Mediterranean tapas including Peri Peri Chicken, Crispy Fried Squid, Jamóm Croquetas a large selection of desserts and plenty more. Book below! Book It
Cocoa Cabana – 50% OFF brunch
Who says you can’t continue having chocolate for breakfast in the New Year?! The lovely chocolate shop in Ancoats, Cocoa Cabana are offering up 50% off their brunch menu on weekdays throughout January. Book It
The Daisy – 50% OFF drinks
Everybody’s favourite hidden drinking spot in the Northern Quarter are offering up 50% OFF drinks before 10pm from Thursday to Saturday throughout January. And they have an impressive selection of Absinthe based cocktails that you must try. Enquiries
Evelyn’s – 50% OFF food
I’m sure you’ve been to Evelyn’s to try brunch, but have you had their evening menu? Well, apparently it’s dead good – and throughout January you can get it for half price so it’s definitely worth a try! There’s 50% off their evening menu Monday to Friday throughout January. It has to be booked through their own website and not a third party, however. Book It
Gusto – 50% OFF FOOD
From 2nd January to 31st January, Gusto is offering 50% off food on their a la carte menu. The offer is available from 12pm Thursday to Sunday closing time every week, and if you sign up to a Gusto Gold Rewards card you can get access to the sale all day Friday and Saturday too! Book It
Trof NQ – 50% OFF FOOD
NQ staple and all-round bloody good place to eat and drink Trof will be offering us jammy bastards a full 50% off food this new year. Available all day, Monday to Friday from 7th Jan to 7th Feb when booked in advance. Book It
Tariff & Dale – Dinner for 2 for £35
Treat yourself to a 2 course meal and a bottle of wine to share for just £35 in the basement restaurant of Tariff & Dale. The first course includes a choice from the Pastry or Little Menu and the second course is anything from Large/Burgers/Pizza Menu. The wine is either a bottle of house red or white and the deal is available Monday – Thursday at any time. Book It
Black Dog – 50% OFF Food
With just about something for everyone on the menu – from pizzas to chicken wings to burgers, hot dogs and even salads – whether you’re partaking in a January diet or not, you can be sure you’ll find something delicious at Dog Bowl. Book It
The Pilcrow Pub – 25% OFF DRINKS (+ £2.50 FREE)
Just like Common and The Beagle, The Pilcrow is using its new Common & Co App which will give you a FREE £2.50 credit when you download it. This can be used in Common, The Beagle, Port Street Beer House and The Pilcrow Pub. That’s not all though. It’ll also give you 25% off drinks this January – Monday to Friday. More Info
Red’s True BBQ – 51% OFF FOOD
Looking to go ONE further this year, Red’s True are offering 51% off their main menu food, available all day Sunday to Thursday. You’ll need to book using the link below – no other bookings will get this discount. Enjoy lots of meat and have a couple of Pickle Backs on us. Book It
Iberica – 50% OFF FOOD
Spinningfields tapas restaurant Iberica will be offering 50% off food Sunday to Thursday this January. You’ll need to reserve in advance and there’s a maximum table size of 8 peeps. Not valid with any other offer and excludes drinks, deli items, paella, ribeye & crispy cabrarroca. Book It
The Alchemist – 50% OFF FOOD
Head to any of the three Alchemist branches this January and you can get yourself 50% OFF your total food bill. It’s available all day – all you need to do is book in using the link below. What a treat! Book It
Foodwell / Firefly – 50% OFF Food
Stick to your new year’s resolution and enjoy 50% off every day. Foodwell, the Californian inspired mindful Restaurant serves healthy brunch from 10am – 2pm and lunch from 11.30pm – 5pm. From 6pm onward, the space is transformed into Firefly where their indulgent evening menu is served in the restaurant, and small plates are served in the bar area. This offer is excluded from any food ordered from 5pm onward on Saturdays. Book It
Gorilla – 50% OFF FOOD
Famed for their gin, their awesome roast dinners and of course for putting on some of the best gigs in the city – Gorilla are treating us all to 50% off food this January if you book in advance. It’s available Monday to Friday, all day from 7th Jan to 7th Feb. Book It
20 Stories – Two-courses for £18.50, three-courses for £23.50 (including aperitif)
With their ‘Beat The January Blues’ offer available from Monday to Friday, celebrate this January somewhere high with Manchester’s best view. Enjoy Salmon Tartare, Braised Beef Short Rib and Crème brûlée from their exquisite set menu, and their delicious aperitif alongside. Available for groups of up to 9, the offer is available on weekdays from 12pm – 3pm and 5.30pm – 6.30pm. Book It
The Pen & Pencil – 50% OFF FOOD
Northern Quarter favourite Pen & Pencil are offering a whopping 50% off their food menu this January, and you can take full advantage of it from Monday to Friday. Book It
The Deaf Institute – 50% OFF FOOD
Much like their neighbours over at Trof and Gorilla, The Deaf Institute will be offering 50% off food this January – all day, Monday to Friday from 7th Jan to 7th Feb. The difference? Only their massive (and brilliant) dedicated veggie and vegan menu that’s full of some choice delights indeed. Book It
Australasia – 30% OFF FOOD
Book in at Australasia this Jan on the link below and you’ll get 30% off your food. It’s not available for walk-ins and on Friday or Saturday nights. The discount also doesn’t include black cod, lobster dishes, oysters, Wagyu steak, surf & turf. Book It
The Jane Eyre – 25% OFF FOOD
Ancoats favourite and multiple award winner, The Jane Eyre’s offering is very simple this January. They have 25% off food all month, Monday to Friday. There’s not even any need to book. Just walk in and get eating away. View Menu
Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn – 50% OFF Tacos and Burritos
Fans of Cali/Mexican mash-up filthy food rejoice! Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn are offering 50% off their tacos and burritos this January. Running from Monday to Thursday from the 6th Jan – 30th Jan. Please note: it’s all about the ‘Well Fit’ Burrito. Book It
Firebird Hope – Vegan Burger + Fries for £5
In both their location at YES and in their pop-up in the Arndale, Firebird Hope will be offering up their outstanding vegan burger and fries for only £5. All the time. Just go on down and get your hands and mouth on it all. See Menu
Get Chucked – 50% OFF Burgers
Urmston favourite and quite possibly the best burgers this side of Texas, Get Chucked will be offering a whopping 50% off their burgers from Sunday to Thursday this January. You’ll have to book in advance to take advantage of the offer – so just click the button below and get enjoying some dirty burgers ASAP. Book It
Masons Restaurant Bar – 50% OFF FOOD
Masons on Bridge Street will be offering 50% off their a la carte menu this January. It’ll be available if you book online (or on the phone) and quote ‘Happy 2020’. They’re doing it from the 2nd Jan – 31st Jan and it’s not valid on any other menus or after 6pm on Saturdays. Click below to book. Book It
Foundry Project – 50% OFF FOOD
From the 2nd Jan until the 31st Jan, between 12pm and 9pm you can enjoy 50% off food at the Foundry Project in the Northern Quarter. All you need to do is book in before and you’re laughing. Have yourself a pint of Estrella in there too while you’re at it. Book It
NAM – 30% OFF FOOD
Ancoats Vietnamese street food venue (with one of the best sound systems in the city in the basement) will be offering a rather attractive 30% off food this January. All you need to do to take advantage is book 24 hours in advance and use the code ‘NAM30’. Book It
Lawn Coffee – 25% OFF Brunch & Afternoon Tea
Hidden away in Princess Street Hotel, Lawn Coffee serve up some very impressive (and tasty) brunch dishes – which you can enjoy with a lovely 25% off this January. They’re also offering 25% off their Afternoon Tea too, as well as 15% off a hot drink when bought with a pastry or cake. Book It
Sunset by Australaisia – 2 FREE COCKTAILS with Afternoon Tea
They’ve got 30% off food in Australasia, while at Sunset they’ll be offering 2 complimentary cocktails with their Exotic Afternoon Tea when booked through their website. It’s available from 2nd Jan – 31st Jan. Perfect for treating your mam. Or dad. Or anyone really. Don’t discriminate. Book It
Port Street Beer House – 25% OFF DRINKS (+ £2.50 FREE)
Just like Common and The Beagle and The Pilcrow, Port Street Beer House are using their new Common & Co App which will give you a FREE £2.50 when you download it. This can be used in Common, The Beagle, Port Street Beer House and The Pilcrow Pub. That’s not all though. It’ll also give you 25% off drinks this January – Monday to Friday. More Info
The Botanist – 40% off food
The Botanist Deansgate, MediaCityUK and Alderley Edge is doing 40% off food from Sunday to Friday, including its new Vegan Hanging Kebab, hearty pies or cheesy garlic bread basket.
From Low Alcohol, Alcohol Free and Vegan beers, amazing Vegan dishes – include the Vegan Hanging Kebab (made with Tofurkey Sausage) or classic cocktails that are also available alcohol free, let us help you stick to those new resolutions!
Check out The Botanist website here.
The Oast House – 40% off food
The Oast House is doing 40% off food for members of The Oast House email database. Simply show your discount email when ordering at the bar, running from Tuesday 7th-January 31st Sunday to Friday.
Or get involved with ‘Try January’ and weekly drinks discount. This is running from Sunday to Friday from Sunday 4th to Friday January 31st and includes:
Week 1 – BOGOF Ale Anthology (cheapest free)
Week 2- BOGOF Spritz Cocktails (cheapest free)
Week 3 – BOGOF House Classics (cheapest free)
Week 4 – £19.95 House Prosecco
Collect a Friend of The Oast House loyalty card to tick off each offer and if you manage to tick off each week, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher to spend at The Oast House.
Sign up to The Oast House email here.
So there you have it, the very best the city has to offer in January – don’t say we never treat you to owt.
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