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Food & Drink

The UK’s biggest Italian food festival is coming back to Manchester this summer

Festa Italiana will boast the very best cuisine and culture Italy has to offer

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Festa Italiana

Manchester is in for a treat this summer with the return of the UK’s biggest Italian food festival.

Described as ‘the country’s most exciting and vibrant festival of Italian food, drink and culture’, Festa Italiana is a unique celebration of all things Italy, and will once again be gracing Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens for the August bank holiday weekend.

The festival found life five years ago by the family-run Italian restaurant group Salvi’s, and was quick to grow in popularity, with over 38,000 people visiting during last year’s event alone. 

And this year, a number of the festival’s most popular faces will be returning alongside some exciting new additions. 

The festival’s famed workshops and demonstrations will take place once again, alongside some of Italy’s finest cuisine courtesy of celebrated Italian chefs Giancarlo Caldesi (Return to Tuscany, Saturday Kitchen, Sunday Brunch), celebrity chef and award-winning restaurateur Aldo Zilli (The One Show, This Morning, Celebrity Masterchef), Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno, and, of course, Festa founder Maurizio Cecco.

Specialist pastaia Carmela Sereno Hayes will also join the line up, where she will host her acclaimed pasta-making workshops across the weekend. 

And like previous years, some of Manchester’s most celebrated Italian food and drink traders will be dishing up their own takes of Italian cuisine, 

On the drinks front, some of Italy’s most popular drinks brands will be on hand to help guests wash down their pizza and pasta, including Gin Mare, Luxardo and Poretti. 

And brand new to Festa this year will be an Italian art exhibition, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Alongside a line up of live musicians and entertainment across the weekend, there will also be activities to keep children entertained while their parents feast upon pasta, pizza and Aperol… so families need not worry.

Festa Italiana will take place at Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens across the late bank holiday weekend from August 26th-28th, and will be completely free to enter.

More details will be announced in the coming weeks – visit the Festa Italiana website to stay posted with news and updates.

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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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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