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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?

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Food & Drink

A new Blues, Bourbon and BBQ joint called The Blues Kitchen is opening near Deansgate

My kind of place

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theblueskitchenmcr/Instagram

The Blues Kitchen will be bringing a flavour of the Deep South to the city with live music, bourbon and BBQ!

A new two-storey venue comprising of a restaurant and bar, as well as a stunning concert hall, is set to open on May 20th. 

Taking over 13 Quay Street, an old Victorian Eye Hospital, The Blues Kitchen will transform the site with new additions as well as restoring some of the original features. 

The concert hall is set to open for seated performances on May 20th subject to further guidelines, before fully opening for standing gigs and club nights on June 21st.

theblueskitchenmcr/Instagram

Guests will be transported to the Deep South with flavours, sounds and smells of Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi & Texas all on offer.

The venue will be filled with décor that emulates the roots of Blues, with a gospel roof constructed with reclaimed 19th century tin plates from a derelict church in Manhattan.

Plus there will be a stained-glass ceiling, fashioned with the original stained-glass windows from Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey, where one of the true blues greats, Woody Guthrie, once resided.

There will also be an original 1920s Air Stream Caravan that has been revamped to provide the ultimate retro private party space.

theblueskitchenmcr/Instagram

Located on the ground floor is a restaurant and bar specialising in American Soul food and rare and vintage bourbon.

There will be everything from brunch, lunch, supper and dessert covered with proper classic comfort food. 

Expect the likes of stacked-up burgers, creamy mac n cheese, finger lickin’ buffalo hot wings and succulent smoky ribs.

Behind the bar, guests will have the choice of 80 bourbons as well as a dedicated menu of cocktails, beers, wines and other spirits.

The whiskey menu covers everything from Single Barrel (aged 12 years), Rye, Corn & Wheated, Small Batch, Tennessee, Rare & Vintage as well as whiskeys from around the world.

theblueskitchenmcr/Instagram

Guests can also expect a curated live music programme every single day of the week on the ground floor while you sip on whisky and tuck into a burger. 

Heading upstairs to the concert hall, the space will host concerts with international headliners to 500 guests. There will also be in-house gigs and club nights with a variety of genres.

Steve Ball, CEO of The Columbo Group, which owns The Blues Kitchen, said: “We’ve been looking for the perfect site in Manchester for years and have finally found it.

“We’ve taken a great deal of pleasure in restoring the building over the past year, and we’ve managed to get hold of some incredible vintage features from The States so it’s really going to be quite something. We’re really excited to reveal it all soon along with our entertainment programme once restrictions have lifted.”

Keep up to date on their Instagram.

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Food & Drink

Crazy Pedro’s is doing bottomless pizza and booze every day from April 12th

I’m heading straight here on the 12th…

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Finest Media

As we approach the dates laid out by Boris Johnson for easing restrictions in his ‘roadmap’, hospitality venues are starting to reveal details of their reopening plans.

On April 12th pubs, bars and restaurants will be able to reopen if they can offer outdoor service, and many of your favourite spots will be doing just that across Greater Manchester.

That includes Crazy Pedro’s, who have announced that not only are they reopening on April 12th, they’re bringing back an offer which will make you very happy.

Finest Media

Back when we were in Tier 3 and we had to order a ‘substantial meal’ with every drink, Crazy Pedro’s came up with an incredible concept – bottomless pizza and booze.

Well they’re bringing it back from Monday April 12th, and you can take advantage of it while relaxing on their new and extended outdoor terraces.

Not only is the Bridge Street venue huge outside, but they’ll also have a large outside area in the NQ branch, and it’ll be both under cover and heated so you don’t get a soggy slice in the Manchester rain.

The offer will be available every day until 9pm, and the Bottomless Pizza & Booze deal will cost you £25 per person for 90 minutes .

It’s available for walk-ins and includes bottomless slices, Hooch, frozen margs, beer and prosecco.

Finest Media

You can make bookings on the weekends between 12pm-5pm (the booking links will go live on Sunday March 7th).

On top of this, their legendary happy hour (5-9pm Sunday to Friday) will also return, as well as the lunch deals (12-3pm Monday to Friday) with 2 slices and a beer for £6.

You’re definitely going to want to head down to Pedro’s on April 12th – in the meantime you can stay up to date on the website here.

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Food & Drink

Escape to Freight Island is now taking bookings for April 12th

Can’t wait to be back here!

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Jody Hartley

Platform 15 at Freight Island is set to reopen from April 12th.

The first step in Boris’ lockdown easing plans involves allowing restaurants to open again and serve if they have an outside area.

This means the massive Escape to Freight Island can reopen! 

The safe and secure outdoor area features the likes of Baratxuri, Belzan Pasta Kitchen, Madre, Mi+Pho, Voodoo Rays, Patty Queen, Krum and a brand-new sweet addition, Sundae the in-house ice cream brand. 

Jody Hartley
Jody Hartley

Platform 15 will reopen seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 4pm to 12am and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 12am. 

You can book now on this link. 

The site will continue to operate under the world leading ‘Safe + Social Manifesto’, meaning Escape to Freight Island is committed to maintaining a safe environment for everyone.

This means it’s: “A space where you are able to socialise safely with your party, maintaining social distance from others and remaining alert to the risks of coronavirus, while being part of the overall urban festival atmosphere of Freight Island”.

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