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Food & Drink

A FREE Michelin-starred food and drink festival is coming to Manchester this summer

Celebrated chefs from across the country will be joining forces with Escape to Freight Island for one weekend only

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Escape to Freight Island

The KANTINA Food and Drink Weekender is returning to Manchester this summer with a whole host of Michelin-starred talent.

And better yet? This year, it is completely FREE to attend.

Billed as a ‘feast for the city’, KANTINA 2022 will see national guest chefs, restaurants and bars pairing up with the existing traders in Escape to Freight Island for a whole host of tasty and unique collaborations.

As a part of the weekend’s line-up, Brad Carter’s One Star Döner Bar will partner with Michelin-starred chef Tom Brown who founded Cornerstone in London, alongside renowned independent food consultant from Birmingham, Lap-fai Lee.

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Escape to Freight Island

Famous for her South-East Asian cookery, Pippa Middlehurst ‘Pippy Eats’ will be returning to KANTINA for a follow-up collaboration with Mi & Pho, while the upscaled tacos from Madre will be teamed up with AngloThai’s co-founder and head chef John Chantarasak.

And Carnival – the popular new collaboration concept at Escape to Freight Island – will be taken over by award-winning chef, butcher, restauranteur and food writer Richard Turner, formerly of Hawksmoor.

There will also be an exclusive supper club will be presented by Luke French, the head chef and owner at the acclaimed JÖRO in Sheffield, which holds an impressive 3 AA Rosettes and Michelin Guide 2021 Recommended.

And for those with a sweet tooth, there will be a tantalising selection from ice cream sandwich connoisseurs Happy Endings will be available alongside offerings from Gooey and Batard.

Escape to Freight Island

Escape to Freight Island

On the drinks side of things, Soho House will take over Escape to Freight Island’s bar in the sky at The Jane Eyre, while the Pomona Island taproom will provide a whole range of beverages across the board.

And in true Escape to Freight Island fashion, the festival will host a vibrant roster of entertainment, varying from live performances, DJs, satellite events and more across the weekend.

KANTINA 2022 will be hosted at Escape to Freight Island on Friday June 10th (from 4pm until 1am), Saturday June 11th (from 12pm until 1am) and Sunday June 12th (from 12pm until 9pm) and will be completely free to attend.

Get your table booked here.

Food & Drink

NEW OPENING: The bakery serving school dinner cakes and cookie dough tubs

This all looks incredible!

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Manchester's Finest Group

Dedicated dessert cafe Little Blonde Bakes has opened a brand-new site in the former Lazy Tony’s site on Radium Street in Ancoats.

The bakery began life back in 2016 and has since gained a huge cult following – they’re now moving from an at home business to a fully fledged takeout venue.

Serving nostalgic bakes and a huge menu of indulgent sweet treats, you’ll find old-school cake and custard, millionaire’s crepes, milkshakes, ice cream sundaes and more.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

Already famous for its mammoth portion sizes, Little Blonde Bakes will also offer bespoke cakes and cookie dough tubs, which come in a variety of flavours.

For now, the bakery is operating as a takeout and collection spot only, and it’s open Thursday to Sunday.

Those with a sweet tooth will be able to order through Uber Eats for their bakes to be delivered straight to their door, or just take a short walk to Radium Street in the heart of Ancoats.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

As well as its massive range of milkshakes, brownies, cookie dough and crepes, Little Blonde Bakes will also curb any nostalgic cravings, as the bakery also serves a range of school dinner cake with custard that provides the ultimate winter warmer – including mint custard!

Little Blonde Bakes is now open – find more info and place an order here.

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Food & Drink

Baileys launches boozy hot chocolate bombes in time for Christmas

How good do these look?

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Baileys

It’s not officially Christmas until the bottle of Baileys has been opened, is it?

It’s a festive favourite, so what better way to enjoy it than in an incredible boozy hot chocolate while you wait for Santa to climb down the chimney.

Well now you can, as Baileys has relaunched its hot chocolate bombes in time for Christmas.

Baileys

The hot chocolate bombes were a hit last year, so much so that Baileys has decided to bring them back again for 2022.

They consist of an outer shell made from velvety dark chocolate and flavoured with Baileys, and are stuffed full of fluffy mini marshmallows.

To activate the bombes, simply pour hot milk over them until they dissolve into creamy hot chocolate.

Baileys

Baileys teased on its website: “Who fancies something really special? And we mean, REALLY special.

“Enjoy two of the greatest indulgences… chocolate and Baileys, in one decadent drink. Welcome to hot choccie heaven!”

You can get yourself a 130g box on Amazon, so make sure you don’t miss out!

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Food & Drink

Spanish tapas restaurant in a cave reveals stunning new look after refurb

This looks stunning!

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Manchester's Finest Group

If you’ve ever fancied enjoying some incredible tapas in a cave then we’ve got just the place for you to explore.

La Cueva is an iconic ‘cave-like’ restaurant in Cheadle’s Old Rectory Gardens, and it’s just reopened after an extensive refurbishment which saw the venue double in size.

The authentic Spanish tapas bar has been in the heart of Cheadle for years, gaining cult status for its incredible salt cave interior, which features cascading walls and ceilings filled with pink Himalayan salt lamps.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

However, it’s not just the interior that entices customers back for more – La Cueva’s mouthwatering menu of traditionally prepared tapas is all made fresh in house.

The diverse range of dishes hail from all regions of Spain, and includes Empanadas – oven baked pastry filled with minced lamb, beef, bell peppers, onion, garlic and olives – and special imported Chorizo.

Read More: This beautiful village with its own castle and caves is just an hour’s drive from Manchester

Also on the menu is Pollo Alla Crema, a chicken breast cooked in cream with smoked cheese, roasted garlic and parsley.

You can also get Gambas Pil Pil, king prawn tails sautéed in olive oil, garlic, fresh chilli and tomato sauce, and Guso De Mariscos, which is mixed seafood stewed in rich tomato sauce with garlic and aromatic herbs.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Manchester’s Finest Group

And if you just fancy an afternoon drink, La Cueva’s Cava Sangria is something special – it’s all made fresh in-house and is bursting with fruity flavour.

Since the renovation, the restaurant has also acquired a van that it will use to serve paella from, as well as for future event planning, festivals and private hire events.

La Cueva is open Monday to Friday, 5pm-10pm, and Saturday to Sunday 4pm-10pm – get yourself booked in here.

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