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Food & Drink

Lunya is closing its Manchester restaurant for good after five years in the city

They won’t be reopening after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Alex Watson

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Lunya is to close its Manchester branch after the restrictions are lifted due to COVID-19. 

Lunya Manchester is one of three Lunya sites in the North West, and the owners have stated that: “the impact of COVID-19 has been profound on our business and we cannot survive the future with three restaurant sites.”

To try and remain open, Lunya discussed with landlords, lenders and government agencies to secure additional funding and support but have been unsuccessful in any of these.

Lunya states: “In the close to five years that we have been open, Lunya has been taken to heart by Mancunians, supporting us every step of the way.

“Our highlights being awarded the MEN City Life restaurant of the Year in our first year of opening and being listed in the Good Food Guide for every year we have been open. We have been successful on so many levels and have loved every minute of it.”

The statement from the owners also explains that Brexit has had a hugely negative impact on their business, stating: “The last two years since the Brexit referendum have presented additional challenges for everyone in the hospitality industry, and especially us as a hugely import-focused business.

“With declining consumer confidence, a huge drop in the Euro exchange rate and large increases in business rates, general costs and overheads, this has meant significant cost pressures and taken together with the devastating impact of the closure from the Coronavirus, it has made Lunya Manchester financially untenable, and our current site too expensive to operate from for as long as we can see.”

The two Liverpool sites will remain open with the statement explaining that ‘we think we can manage with two sites opening with partial covers, whenever the government allows us to’.

Back in March, Lunya shared an impassioned tweet to the Prime Minister about the action from the government needed for businesses. It was seen by 2 million people.

The Manchester staff remain furloughed and Lunya promises to maintain this for as long as possible, envisaging this to finish at the end of August. 

They have started a statutory redundancy consultation and have urged any other restaurants looking for chefs, waiters, retail staff, bar staff and managers to look to their huge talent in their team.

The statement finishes with: We have wonderful customers and hope through our online, local deliveries and other events we will still enjoy their support and serve them – just in a different way. It will be more ‘hasta pronto’ rather than ‘adios’. Manchester hasn’t seen the last of us. 

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Food & Drink

Wetherspoons is slashing its prices for one day only next week

Good news for Spoons fans!

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Wetherspoon

Wetherpoons has announced it will be slashing its prices for one day only next week.

The pub chain has revealed it will be cutting its food and drink prices by 7.5% next Thursday, September 24th.

As such, you can grab a beer and burger meal for the reduced price of £5.82, down from £6.29, and an 11-inch margarita pizza and Pepsi will only set you back £5.08, reduced from £5.49.

Wetherspoon

If you like your ale, you’ll be pleased to know you can get a pint of Ruddles for £1.10, down from £1.29, while Abbot Ale will be reduced to £1.84 a pint – they were £1.99 before.

Prices at different Spoons do vary from pub to pub, so you’re best off checking on the app.

They’re slashing prices as a way of highlighting the benefit of reduced VAT in the hospitality industry, as part of a wider campaign to lower the tax burden on pubs – known as Tax Equality Day.

On top of that, Spoons has already slashed prices by up to 28% on some items, following Rishi Sunak’s VAT holiday announcement back in July.

Mike Hedgethorne/Flickr

Tim Martin, the Spoons founder, said: “Pubs have been under fantastic pressure for decades due to the tax disadvantages they have with supermarkets.

“We are urging the Chancellor to create tax equality between pubs and supermarkets by making the current VAT regime for pub food and soft drinks permanent.

“It will make pubs, cafes, coffee shops and restaurants more competitive against supermarkets.”

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Food & Drink

Morrisons’ Christmas food range includes mini pies and sticky toffee dessert bowl

This looks so good!

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Morrisons

It’s only September, but with all the recent festive news we’ve had it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas already.

Several supermarkets have already released their festive ranges, and now Morrisons has followed suit.

And their Christmas offering includes bite-size steak and ale and chicken and ham pies, so you know we’re onto a winner here.

Morrisons

You’ll be able to grab both flavours in a pack of 12 from November 12th, with each pack containing six of each of the varieties – so you can mix and match.

Sticking with meat, Morrisons will also be selling pork belly bites, little chunks of pork slow cooked and smothered in a barbecue rub, available from November 23rd in a 180g pack.

Morrisons

As for cheese, they’ll be doing a Wensleydale complete with salted caramel, which has been described as ‘crumbly cheese with ribbons of salted caramel’ – this is available from November 30th.

For those with a sweet tooth, you can grab a sticky toffee bowl dessert, which is essentially a sticky toffee version of a classic trifle.

Morrisons

It’s layered with a sticky toffee sauce, sponge, vanilla custard, and topped with whipped cream and golden balls, and will be available from December 9th.

There’s also star-shaped doughnuts, with each one sprinkled with icing sugar so it looks like they’re covered in snow. You can grab them from November 16th.

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Food & Drink

M&S selling light-up snow globe gin with glittery edible gold as part of its Christmas range

Take my money!

Alex Watson

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Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK/Facebook & M&S

M&S has launched a limited-edition gin that will make the perfect sparkling gift this Christmas. 

There are now less than 100 days left until Christmas, and with it being the only thing to look forward to this year, we may as well start getting festive. 

Luckily, shops are starting to sell decorations and there is plenty of food and drink starting to appear on shelves too, from Percy Pig Advent Calendars to a Winter Warm flavour of Vimto

M&S’ Christmas line is also now available in 70 stores across the UK, and there are 40 new must-have gifts that are perfect stocking fillers.

The new products include a ‘very important gin-nouncement’ that light-up snow globe gin liqueur is back on the shelves and customers are already going mad for. 

One person wrote ‘The clementine one was lush!!! Can we have it all year round please’, and another added ‘f*ck me! Going first thing tomorrow’. 

Other’s aren’t so keen that Christmas products are being advertised in ‘September’ which they say is ‘way too early’ to be talking about Christmas.

But we can ignore those people with our new light-up gin! 

M&S

The LED light base can switch on to reveal a woodland scene on the bottle. Once shaken, the edible gold leaf flecks glimmer in the light to make it look exactly like a (boozy) snow globe. 

Shoppers were obsessed with the clementine flavoured gin last year which was £3 cheaper than this year’s light-up version. 

Product Developer, Jenny Rea says: “For me, the switching on of the Christmas lights is a huge festive moment, and in honour of this Yuletide tradition we are introducing a show-stopping, light-up snow globe gin liqueur, complete with edible gold leaf for that extra wow factor.”

M&S recommend pairing the liqueur with tonic for a long drink or for a straight and sparkling drink add the Limited Edition Gold Conte Priuli Oro Prosecco (£10).

The Clementine and Rhubarb Gin Liqueur LED Snow Globes are in stores now for £18. 

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