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Food & Drink

The hidden gem in Heaton Moor serving up extra special steak and chips that takes 45 days to make 

The chips alone take three days and nights to perfect…

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There’s a hidden gem in Heaton Moor that’s claiming to have the ‘best chips in the North West.’

A very bold claim, I know. 

But James Hulme isn’t messing around – the owner and head chef of The Moor, James trained under the critically acclaimed celebrity chef Marco Pierre White before landing himself in the kitchen at Quaglino’s in St. James in London. 

He then came back up to Manchester to open the popular Spinningfields spot 20 Stories and, more recently, the lesser known The Moor in the Stockport suburb of Heaton Moor, just a stones-throw away from Manchester’s city centre.

The menus at The Moor are ever changing, and James’ ‘no waste’ approach to cooking is evident. But, perhaps most prominently, James’ menus are known and beloved for their high quality and locally sourced produce.

Take the steak, for example. James exclusively sources retired dairy cows from a farm just outside Buxton for his beef – traditionally used in Basque cooking, chefs tend to use retired dairy cows based on the fact that once their time in the milking industry is over, they’re put out to pasture to fatten up and relax, a cushty lifestyle that adds to the maturity and marbling of the meat.

Once in the restaurant, the steak is cooked over charcoal made from the fell trees from the same farm in which the cow once grazed – that’s either heartwarming or eerie, I’ll let you decide.

The steak is aged for a minimum of forty days and absolutely nothing on the meat goes to waste; the fat is used for cooking the chips, the bones for stock and the trimmings go to make the sauces.

The fish is also sustainably sourced from local fisherman, who deliver whatever comes in on the boat on the same morning the order is placed, as is the locally sourced vegetables. 

But let’s discuss the real star of the show – those three-day long cooked chips.

Now, The Moor don’t hold back when it comes to the humble chip – their first step is to thinly slice their potatoes so that they’re paper-thin, and then mix them with the melted beef fat from the ribs and a sprinkling of thyme. Then, they’re baked in the oven until soft.

The slices are then pressed together overnight until they’re as compact as possible and sliced into the chunky chip shape we all know and love. And last but not least, they’re then deep fried to order, leaving them crispy on the outside and wonderfully fluffy on the inside. 

Though it is worth mentioning that the chips only come as a side with the rib steak, and can’t be ordered individually. Though is that really a bad thing?

The menu offers a whole host of luxurious options, including a mangalitza pork belly, the beef tartare, and the Dashi-cured chalk stream trout. There is both a lunch menu and a dinner menu, as well as a Sunday roast menu on, you guessed it, Sundays. 

The restaurant is now open and taking bookings – check out the full menu and get yourself a reservation here

Food & Drink

Greater Manchester chippies forced to close because of heat as kitchens reach 44 degrees 

The rain doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?

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Chips @ No.8 / Facebook

A full week of scorching temperatures across Greater Manchester has resulted in the closure of a number of our favourite fish and chip shops.

Throughout the last week, Greater Manchester has endured blistering conditions, with temperatures reaching highs of 30 degrees celsius.

Yet, while many have been enjoying the unusually warm weather in local parks and beer gardens, our chippies haven’t been faring so well.

Charlie’s Fish & Chips Urmston M41 / Facebook

Popular restaurants Charlie’s Fish and Chips in Urmston and Chips @ No. 8 in Prestwich had to close their doors this week when temperatures soared in their kitchens.

Chips @ No 8 was named one of the best chippies in the UK in the recent Fry Magazine Awards.

But locals haven’t been able to visit since Tuesday after the kitchen’s vital fan stopped working, meaning the temperature reached a staggering 44 degrees celsius. 

A sign in the window of the Prestwich business, signed off with a smiley face, read: “The kitchen supply fan has chosen today to give up.

“When the temperature in here reached 44 degrees celsius… So did we! Gone for an ice cream.”

Over in Urmston, meanwhile, Charlie’s posted on its Facebook page: “Closed today due to extreme temperatures. Health and safety comes first!

Though fans of the restaurants need not fear because, now that temperatures have cooled somewhat, they are both back open from today. To check their opening times, visit the Chips @ No.8 Facebook page and the Charlie’s Fish & Chips Urmston M41 Facebook page.

While there’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures here in the UK, gov guidance suggests a minimum of 16 degrees celsius or 13 degrees celsius if employees are doing physical work.

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Food & Drink

A new waterside wine and cheese bar with an outdoor terrace is coming to Manchester

Because there’s no such thing as too many wine and cheese bars

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Higher Ground / Facebook & Gerald England / Geograph

The team behind Manchester’s pop-up restaurant concept, Higher Ground, are bringing a brand new waterside wine and cheese bar to Manchester.

Based in New Islington, Flawd will specialise in natural, low-intervention wine and local beer, served alongside cheese and charcuterie while also featuring an outdoor terrace beside the bustling Islington Marina.

The aim is to shine a spotlight on small-scale wine producers and to ‘make natural wine approachable to anyone and everyone,’ while also creating the ideal venue for ‘after work drinks, an aperitivo before dinner, or a few drinks before a night out in surrounding neighbourhoods.’

Higher Ground / Facebook

There will also be a heavy focus on quality bottles of wine to share with friends.

On the food side of things, Flawd will be serving a selection of British cheeses, charcuterie, and ferments from Curing Rebels in Brighton, whose selection includes ‘Brighton salami’ and salmon pastrami.

Joseph Otway, co-owner, said: “We really just want to open a neighbourhood wine bar for the growing New Islington community.

Higher Ground / Facebook

“To create a space for people to drink great wine, relax and have fun.”

Higher Ground is made up of Joseph Otway, former head chef at Where The Light Gets In, and Richard Cossins, formerly general manager at Fera at Claridges in London.

They have spearheaded the trend of natural wines, small plates and Scandi style dining that is making waves through Manchester.

Flawd will be open from Wednesdays to Sundays in September. An official launch date is yet to be announced. 

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Food & Drink

‘Best restaurant in the world’ named and it’s only a short drive from Manchester

I know where I’m dining this weekend…

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Lakeland Retreats & TripAdvisor

An intimate restaurant came out on top of a worldwide review of restaurants in the 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards, created by review website Tripadvisor, and guess what?

It’s located a stone’s throw away from Manchester.

The Old Stamp House, an intimate restaurant situated in Ambleside, Lake District, stood out among businesses from across the globe, including its two-Michelin star neighbour L’Enclume, which was placed in a humble eighteenth spot. 

The elusive restaurant was opened in 2014 by brothers Ryan and Craig Blackburn, who work as the head chef and restaurant manager respectively.

The Old Stamp House Restaurant / TripAdvisor

It is housed in the former office of poet William Wordsworth, and seats just twenty-eight customers at a time.

It was awarded a Michelin star in 2019, has been named the Cumbria Life Restaurant of the Year, as well as receiving three AA rosettes.

A description on the Michelin Guide’s website reads: “The Old Stamp House is as quirky as its name implies. It sits in the centre of Ambleside – which in turn sits within the heart of the Lake District National Park – inside the cellars of an old house where William Wordsworth used to work as the Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland.

“It’s a tiny place, split over two low-ceilinged rooms which are hung with local art.”

KFTAYLOR / TripAdvisor

Using ingredients inspired by Cumbria heritage, the restaurant’s specialities include potted shrimps, cauliflower and spiced mead velouté, Yew Tree Farm Herdwick hogget, peas and locally foraged wild mushrooms, and a rum tart with brambles, pear and Cumbrian gingerbread.

Very posh, as you can see.

The North of England was also victorious in the National Parks category, where both the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District placed in the top twenty-five.

Check out the full 2021 Travellers Choice Awards winners, and visit the Old Stamp House’s official website for further details and bookings.

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