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Food & Drink

Huge hot chocolate platters are the new winter food trend and they look so good

Hot chocolate heaven!

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Classmeetsmodern & everyday_tables /Instagram

The only way to make hot chocolate better is to add it to a board of all your favourite chocolate and sweet treats.

As the temperature drops and we battle to stay cosy in lockdown, its time for the return of the best winter drink, the humble hot chocolate.

A simple staple to any winter diet, a steaming hot cup of cocoa with whipped cream and plenty of mini marshmallows is the perfect way to warm up. 

It might seem this festive drink is perfect but food bloggers have found a way to make it even better…

Introducing the Hot Chocolate Charcuterie Board, or platter, and they look just as incredible as they sound. 

Taking hot chocolate to the next Instagramable level, use hot choc staples like cookies, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, chocolate sprinkles and anything else with chocolate you can get your hands on.

It’s the perfect way to make a sharing board out of a humble drink, perfect to fix lockdown boredom for at least a few minute while you build and munch your way through it.

Make it an ultimate festive affair with gingerbread men, candy canes and add on Terry’s chocolate orange or Quality Street for good measure.

Take inspiration from Chipper Shop with melted sauces like salted caramel and dark chocolate and have plenty to dip, including all your favourite sweet treats. 

Or go large with an actual crockpot full of hot chocolate biscuits, chocolate fudge, doughnuts and even M&M’s like everyday_tables attempt.

Classmeetsmodern even put some pink wafer biscuits on theirs and I am not mad about it.

Will you be making one this festive season?

Food & Drink

Popular Italian launches new menu with fresh cheesy pesto pasta and king prawns

If you’re in search of an authentic Italian dining experience in Manchester, look no further than Italiana Fifty Five

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Manchester's Finest Group

A popular Italian restaurant in Manchester has launched a new A La Carte menu.

Italiana Fifty Five has added some appetising new dishes to its menu to expand its offering this spring.

Diners can sample the newly added seasonal items and its authentic classic Italian favourites at all three of its Manchester sites – at the Great Northern, Liverpool Road and Didsbury.

Manchester’s Finest Group

The new A La Carte dishes include Gamberoni Grigliata which is tiger prawns cooked in garlic, butter, lemon and fresh chilli and served with toasted altamura bread for  £13.95.

Also new to the menu is the Zoupa which is a hearty seafood soup with king scallops, king prawns, and muscles for £13.95.

Brand new appetisers include the Insalata Tricolore with avocado, beef tomato and buffalo mozzarella for £9.50, and the Bruschetta Speciale made with toasted sourdough bread and buffalo mozzarella spread, roasted heritage cherry tomatoes, garlic, onion, fresh basil and pesto for £9.75.

Manchester’s Finest Group

And if that’s not enough to entice you, diners can also tuck in to the new risotto and pasta dishes, including Risotto Zafferano which is a saffron risotto with parsley, garlic, onion and pecorino cheese for £14.95.

And the Trofie ala Pesto made with trofie pasta in homemade pesto sauce, finished with buffalo mozzarella for £14.95.

Complete your visit on a sweet note and indulge in one of Italiana Fifty Five’s best-loved desserts such as the Tiramisu or panna cotta.

To find out more or book a table at Italiana Fifty Five, click HERE.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant famed for ‘cheese wheel pasta’ and ‘towering lasagnas’ looking to come to Manchester

A taste of la dolce vita could be coming to Manchester

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Big Mamma Group & @bigmamma.uk / Instagram

The ‘OTT’ group famous for its pasta served in a wheel of cheese and 10-level lasagnas is reportedly looking to open a new Italian restaurant in Manchester city centre.

French-based Big Mamma Group, which owns over-the-top Italian restaurants in London – Gloria, Carlotta, Jacuzzi, Ave Mario and Circolo Popolare – will open a new venue in Gary Neville’s under-construction St Michael’s development off Deansgate.

Its restaurants are known for their flamboyant, retro interiors, resembling vintage maximalism Italian eateries, as well as US-style red sauce joints.

Big Mamma Group

The regularly changing menus feature a variety of Italian classics, including fettuccine alfredo al tartufo, spaghetti with meatballs, a famous ’10 level’ lasagne and carbonara served in a huge cheese wheel.

The Manchester restaurant will be the first UK venue to be located outside of London and will – sit alongside the also announced Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Chotto Matte, also to be built at St Michael’s.

The move follows a host of other operators in the capital choosing to open new sites in Manchester.

Big Mamma Group

Soon to arrive in the city will be the likes of Caravan, Flat Iron, Soho House and Blacklock.

Big Mamma – which was founded in 2013 by French entrepreneurs Victor Lugger and Tigrane Seydoux – has more than 20 restaurants across Europe including Paris, Monaco, Milan, Madrid and Berlin.

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Food & Drink

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU offering 30% off in March

Take advantage of vibrant Japanese dining experience

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MUSU

High-end Japanese restaurant MUSU is offering 30% off in March for customers who sign up to its new free rewards programme.

The contemporary Japanese eatery, nestled in the heart of the city centre on Bridge Street, is launching its own membership rewards programme.

The scheme is free to join and will give members 30% off their food bill throughout March upon signing up.

MUSU

Rewards customers can enjoy discounted prices on menus including the Omakase – the theatrical, educational sushi experience which is served individually to diners at the restaurant’s six–seat omakase counter. 

This also includes the full Land of the Rising Sun tasting menus, which take in a range of cooking styles from all over Japan, devised by chef-patron Mike Shaw.

Then from April, members of the programme will be able to take advantage of a series of other rewards, including 30% off any food bill when dining at lunch time, 10% off when dining at dinner on any menu, and a 10% discount on private hire and private dining.

MUSU

The restaurant has a closed-off area for its private dining experience for guests to enjoy, which is regularly used by celebrities and food critics alike.

On top of this, members celebrating their birthdays at MUSU will receive a complimentary drink, and every reward programme member will be entered into a monthly prize draw to win a 12-course Land of the Rising Sun experience, complete with wine pairings.

You can get early access to the restaurant’s special events, like its live tuna cutting experience, where a whole bluefin tuna is carved in front of diners, while its expert sushi chefs talk you through the provenance of the fish and the skills displayed in this ancient craft.

You can sign up to MUSU’s free rewards scheme, HERE.

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