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Food & Drink

Michelin-guide restaurant to cook without gas or electricity to protest soaring energy bills

‘We’ll be cooking solely on charcoal’

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While many of us are struggling with rising bills, our favourite hospitality venues, whether it be our local pub or go-to restaurant, are also feeling the pain – some to the point of closure.

To highlight this, a Michelin-guide restaurant in Cheshire is protesting the impact of spiralling energy costs on the hospitality sector by opening without using electricity or gas.

Next Door’s ‘Back to Basics’ event will take place next Wednesday, October 19th, and will feature a nine-course tasting menu – with no gas or electricity being used on the evening or in the preparation of the dishes.

Next Door / Facebook

Head Chef and co-owner Richard Nuttall said: “We’ll be cooking solely on charcoal, using no refrigeration, no technology, all by candlelight! We are 100% committed to zero power, even in the preparation of the courses. It’s pushing us well out of our comfort zones to operate like this and keep up our usual high standards. 

“Our suppliers have been incredibly supportive of our ambition and are delivering fresh goods immediately before they are due to cook due to the lack of cold storage”

The move comes after accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young reported a 64% increase in the number of restaurant insolvencies this year compared to last, with more than 1,400 premises permanently closing.

Next Door / Facebook

Next Door has built a reputation as one of Cheshire’s best rated fine dining destinations, but a perfect storm of rising inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and soaring energy costs is creating a huge challenge for the business.

Whilst the government has stepped in with a scheme to push down energy costs for businesses, the support will only last until March 2023 and bills remain far in excess of their previous level.

Sommelier and co-owner Vicki Nuttall added: “This event is a bold statement of independence and defiance against the ever-tightening constraints faced by our sector

“We’ve already watched some of our favourite restaurants and pubs forced to close their doors, despite being busy – this is our way of showing that this isn’t acceptable.”

Next Door / Facebook

The one-off evening has been months in the making, with every element carefully considered to ensure that quality is maintained at all times. 

Customers are invited to leave behind modern-day comforts for the evening, dining by candlelight with live instrumentals, no electronics, no heating, no card payments, and no Wi-Fi.

Vicki concluded: “this is a light-hearted way to make a serious point about our industry.”

You can head over to their website to find out more.

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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