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Food & Drink

The five Greater Manchester pubs which have been voted among the ‘best in the UK’

Did your local make the cut? 

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@whynot_cafebar / Instagram & @tracybell63 / Instagram

A number of Greater Manchester boozers have been named as some of the best in the UK by voters in the Greater British Booze Off. 

The competition, run by The Daily Star across a period of three months, asks readers to nominate their favourite watering holes under ten different categories, such as live music pubs, live sport pubs and the most unusual pubs. 

And, low and behold, a massive number of pubs here in Greater Manchester were crowned as the winners in several categories, including a number of runner-up places. For example…

Best Pub (Overall), second place: The Bear’s Paw, Hindley, Wigan.

Google Maps

The Bear’s Paw in Hindley, Wigan, came in at second place in the category: Best Pub (Overall).

The boozer survived lockdown against the odds thanks to its new landlords Nathan and Matty. The pair have been described by their regulars as taking the pub from strength to strength and are a ‘formidable asset’ to the venue and wider industry in uncertain times.

One happy customer told the Daily Star that the landlords are ‘absolutely loved’ by locals and that they’re built a ‘fantastic’ rapport despite their short time at the Wigan establishment.

Best Live Sport Pub, first place: The Beehive Inn, Whitefield, Bury.

@tracybell63 / Instagram

Despite Manchester’s fierce blue and red rivalry, The Beehive Inn has become renown for housing both City and United fans without any trouble.

Rather than becoming a place for booze-fuelled scraps, this pub has established itself as a place of friendly banter welcoming to both sides of Manchester.

Visitors immediately recognise how proud of the city the pub is with the symbolic worker bee graffiti adorning the exterior.

The symbol came to particular prominence as a sign of solidarity after the Manchester Arena terror attack, and the Beehive’s garden pays tribute to the twenty-two victims who lost their lives.

Best Live Music Pub, first place: The Snug, Atherton, Wigan.

@thesnugatherton / Instagram

Despite the pandemic hitting live music venues hard, The Snug in Atherton, Wigan, managed to continue providing local music with its online ‘Snug Sessions.’

Landlady Rachel told the Daily Star that while it had been a ‘tough few months’ during lockdown, the struggle was worth it because of the ‘great little community.’

And what makes the venue even more special is the fact that it’s nestled away in a hidden location, as one TripAdvisor reviewer found when he unexpectedly stumbled upon the place.

Hindleylad wrote: “Great little place hidden away down an alley off market street. Charming look and feel. Helpful genuine staff. Good coffee – and I’m fussy – fresh cooked food and homemade cakes. Recommended.”

Best Live Music Pub, second place: The Boulevard, Wigan.

Google Maps

This hidden rock music gem has hosted countless bands and live acts over the years, and acts as a ‘second home’ to many Wigan locals.

It’s only fitting that the town that birthed iconic punk band The Buzzcocks should make it onto the Great British Booze Off list of definitive music venues, isn’t it?

Most Unusual Pub, first place: Why Not? Cafe Bar, Worsley. 

@whynot_cafebar / Instagram

Just one look at the exterior of this quirky boozer demonstrates why the Why Not? cafe bar in Worsley was crowned as the most unique and unusual pub in the UK.

The building looks more like a terraced house than anything else, but the owners have decked it out in an abundance of twinkling fairy lights and retro booze memorabilia to give it that special pub vibe.

Located in the Worsley area of Salford, it is a wonderful alternative to city-centre bars of Manchester.

You can check out the full list of Great British Booze Off winners and runners up here.

Food & Drink

You can now get Biscoff-flavoured gin and it looks incredible

Gin like you’ve never had it before…

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The Boutique Gin Co.

A revolutionary gin liqueur that tastes exactly like Biscoff biscuits is now a thing, and it looks absolutely bloody marvelous.

Now, you’ll all be aware that Biscoff has boomed in popularity in recent years – what was once the random little biscuit you’d get free with your coffee is now a cultural phenomenon.

These days, Biscoff is just as famous for its delicious smooth and crunchy spreads as it is for its original biscuits. You can also buy Biscoff sauce, Biscoff ice cream and Biscoff and Go pots. It’s a great time to be alive.

But now, possibly the best – and definitely the most boozy – Biscoff invention has landed: The Biscoff flavoured gin liqueur

@bwydallefydd / Instagram

Okay, people have already been making Biscoff espresso martinis for quite some time, but never before has there been an actual spirit flavoured after the stuff.

Courtesy of the Boutique Gin Co., Biscoff fans far and wide will be able to get their hands on a bottle of Ginscoffi, a gin liqueur which combines delicious notes of cinnamon and caramel to create a deliciously sweet and warming gin liqueur that is perfect for sipping on cold evenings.

The Ginscoffi creators suggest for the spirit to be enjoyed mixed with ginger ale or simply on its own over ice – they also recommend adding it to cocktails favourites to add a festive twist, such as in an espresso martini.

Layla, the Chief Ginnovator behind the drink, said: “I am a huge fan of biscuits such as Biscoff and biscotti so to me it made sense to try to combine those flavours to create a brand new flavoured gin liqueur.

The Boutique Gin Co.

“It has taken me almost a year to create the recipe, but I think the end product is something really unique. Even if you aren’t a gin fan, Ginscoffi will blow you away. Its sweet cinnamon and caramel taste is so versatile and is ideal for making chocolate or coffee based cocktails, and it has a lovely festive feel to it.

“We’ve been having so much fun using Ginscoffi to create loads of tasty cocktails. Fans can check them out on our website and social media pages.”

Ginscoffi is available to buy exclusively on their online store, drinkthis.co.uk. Make sure to follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram for exciting product updates.

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Food & Drink

There’s a new Pan Asian bottomless brunch with endless prosecco and cocktails

This could be the best bottomless brunch offering yet…

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Tampopo

A new bottomless brunch complete with authentic Pan Asian dishes and an abundance of cocktails and prosecco has landed in Manchester and it looks incredible.

Tampopo has been serving up wonderful dishes inspired by the far-flung countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan to Mancunians since 1997 and, now, it has launched its first ever bottomless brunch menu.

The exciting new deal offers a selection of Pan Asian delights alongside those all-important ninety minutes of free-flowing drinks – sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?

Tampopo

Diners can tuck into either a two-course or a three-course brunch special, which includes the likes of Thai Green Curry, Beef Rendang or a Katsu Curry. 

There are also a number of sweet treats up for grabs on the menu, including Tampopo’s famous ‘Little Moons’ and a number of refreshing sorbet options. 

On the drinks front, guests can then indulge in ninety minutes of bottomless prosecco, bellinis and Tiger beer, as well as a selection of mocktails and juices; ideal for those who fancy something a little less boozy.

Tampopo

The menu will be available every single day from 12pm-5pm at the Albert Square, Corn Exchange and Trafford Centre venues, with two courses costing £34.95, and three courses costing just a little bit extra at £37.95

Walk-ins are welcome, though bookings are advised to avoid disappointment.

Fancy it? Make your own booking here.

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Food & Drink

Price of a pint could rise by 25p in October, Sacha Lord warns

The humble pint is set to become even more expensive…

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@SachaLord / Twitter & @pintsofmcr / Instagram

Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord has warned that the price of a pint could be rising from October 1st.

Lord estimated that both food and drink prices will rise in line with the government’s hike in VAT for the hospitality sector – the tax rate for pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality establishments was reduced to 5% to help the hospitality sector survive the pandemic but, two weeks ago, it was announced that it will increase to 12.5% at the end of the month.

By 2022, it is expected to return to the usual 20%.

The price of an average pint in England is predicted to rise by 25p to £3.94, while the average glass of wine is likely to shift from £4.07 to £4.35 to cover overall losses felt by operators.

@pintsofmcr / Instagram

This week, Lord has urged the Government to rethink the increase, calling for the move to be delayed until the industry recovers to pre-pandemic levels.

He said: “The 5% VAT rate was the single biggest recovery measure for the industry over the past eighteen months, and has enabled venues to stay in business and staff to keep their jobs. Removing this relief will have a severe effect on operators across the country.

“VAT is the biggest expense in any business, and it is the quickest way to reduce cash flow. For businesses who have little-to-no cash reserves as a result of the pandemic, it could be last orders.

“Many operators will be forced to pass the increase onto the customer to stay afloat, and we could see prices across food and drink rise by as much as 7-10% from October as bosses attempt to recover losses and fight the dire financial situation they find themselves in.”

@louishansel / Unsplash

Lord continued by stressing that the VAT increase will see the permanent closure of many local and independent venues, before warning that ‘we have a tough winter ahead for our nightlife sector’.

He said: “Operators will take at least three years to recover from this pandemic, and I urge the Government to rethink this rise and extend the current rate until that point. The hospitality industry is vital to the UK’s recovery and growth.

“Cancelling a measure which will result in venues closing, staff being made redundant and VAT bills left unpaid through bankruptcy will only hinder, not help the economy. To punish the sector now will have devastating consequences just as it starts to recover.”

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