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Food & Drink

Parts of Manchester city centre could be turned into huge beer gardens

This would be amazing!

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The council are looking into turning the streets and squares of Manchester into pedestrianised outdoor dining and drinking areas to kickstart the economy. 

Areas in the Northern Quarter, Gay Village and the newly pedestrianised stretch of Deansgate all could see outdoor dining and drinking options on the pavements and road to help bring hospitality businesses back on their feet.

We’re all wondering when we will be able to get a frosty pint again in reopened pubs, but the latest updates from the government suggest those with outdoor seating will be open first, with some reports saying they could potentially reopen as early as June 22nd.

In a bid to get Manchester city centre’s hospitality industry up and running, the council are looking into ways to get more businesses the outdoor spaces they will need to reopen. 

The council’s City Centre Chief has said a task force has been assembled to look into ways to bring together highways, licensing and planning officials to help businesses adapt after lockdown is lifted. 

Currently, establishments must have three types of permits to have seating and trade outside; planning permission to do so, a premises licence, and a tables and chairs licence.

The government is reportedly relaxing restrictions and giving local authorities more power with regards to restaurants, pubs and bars expanding their outside areas.

Communities Secretary Robert Jendrick has already said he is considering granting blanket permission for tables and chairs in pedestrianised areas.

Manchester is also working on adapting the tables and chairs license, including speeding up the process so more businesses can take advantage of the trade throughout summer.

Many factors have to align before these things can take place, the R rate needs to reduce, and pedestrian use, traffic flow and the interest of residents and general public safety all need to be addressed. 

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “The council is committed to doing everything within our power to support businesses and the economy of the city as we recover from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19.

“Its effects have been incredibly disruptive and we are under no illusion that recovery will be a challenging process.

“We have made it clear to the government that we need the regulatory power to help businesses get back to work in ways that are both safe but also profitable. Planning and licensing laws are there for a good reason – but it is clear that this is a time for pragmatism and flexibility.”

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The government has yet to announce its guidelines for the reopening of the hospitality industry but like many, it is expected to look very different to what it did pre-lockdown.

Many pubs have created prototypes as to how they will operate, including Wetherspoons. Other reports have said steins will be used to reduce the contact between customers and staff. 

What do you think, should Manchester have more al fresco dining and drinking options to help all our independent restaurant and bars reopen? Let us know what you think in the Facebook comments. 

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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