Food & Drink
This Rochdale pub has been voted the best in Greater Manchester
Have you been?
The best pubs in the UK have been named, and one Greater Manchester pub is in the top 16.
The Campaign for Real Ale has once again ranked Britain’s best boozers – as they have since 1988 – and this year there’s some strong contenders.
CAMRA broke the awards up into regional categories, with an overall winner also crowned.
Claiming the absolute top spot is the Bell Inn in the village of Aldworth in Berkshire, who managed to bag the coveted Pub of the Year award, with judges loving its relaxed atmosphere and great beer.
As for Greater Manchester, the top pub in the region is the Flying Horse in Rochdale, located right in the heart of the town centre, just next to the historic Town Hall.
The Flying Horse has been involved with the Good Beer Guide since 2002, and boasts an impressive range of traditional real cask ales and ciders, lagers and bottled ciders.
CAMRA judges select the top pubs on numerous criteria, including atmosphere, decor, service, welcome, community focus and beer quality.
CAMRA Pub of the Year organiser Ben Wilkinson said: “Nothing can beat the combination of good beer, great food and warm heritage pub.”
As for nearby boozers, the best East Midlands pub is The Smithfield Pub in Derby, the best pub in Yorkshire is The George & Dragon in Hudswell, the best pub in West Pennines is The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire, and the best pub in Merseyside is The Cricketers Arms in St Helens.
Have you been to the Flying Horse, or any of the other regional winners?
Food & Drink
Wetherspoons selling cheap pints from as little as £2.15 starting this week
Calling all beer lovers!
Pub chain Wetherspoons has announced it is hosting a 12-day celebration of all things ale — with pints costing as little as £2.15, starting this week.
The chain’s Real Ale Festival runs from Wednesday March 22nd to Sunday April 2nd, just in time for beer garden season. Exact prices will depend on where you live but the average cost is still expected to be below £3.
A range of 30 ales will be included in the deal, which is part of the pub chain’s real ale festival, from citrusy IPAs to deep dark rubies, available at extremely tempting prices across all of its pubs.
Some of those beers – 24 in total – will also have been brewed especially for the Wetherspoons event. Vegan and gluten free beers will also be on sale as part of the festival collection. Included in the selection of tipples will be offerings from leading British breweries as well as brewers in countries such as Switzerland, USA and Belgium.
Wetherspoon operations director, Martin Geoghegan said: “The festival is a great celebration of real ale. It will allow our pubs to showcase a selection of superb beers over a 12-day period, at great value for money prices.
“It will also give our customers the opportunity to enjoy a number of beers which have not previously been served in the pub, including those from overseas.”
The annual festival arrives as Spoons prices have risen by around 7.5 percent and a number of its venues have been put up for sale. Despite this, boss Tim Martin said that he remains ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the brand’s future.
The full list of ales is:
- Robinsons Brewery, Citra Pale Ale 3.4% ABV
- Rooster’s Brewery, Blind Jack 3.7% ABV
- Wainwright, Amber 4.0% ABV
- Butcombe Brewery, Vincent 4.0% ABV
- JW Lees Brewery, Vanilla Cream Pale 4.0% ABV
- Vale Brewery, Brass Monkey 4.0% ABV
- Exmoor Ales, Upside Brown 4.2% ABV
- Hook Norton Brewery, Merula Stout 4.2% ABV
- Theakston Brewery, Double Cross IPA 4.2% ABV
- Adnams Brewery, Extra 4.3% ABV
- Daleside Brewery, Seafever 4.3% ABV
- Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, 1822 4.3% ABV
- Greene King Brewery, Spring Break 4.4% ABV
- Sudwerk Brewery, Reeds Ale 4.4% ABV
- Glamorgan Brewery, Fresh 4.5% ABV
- Redemption Brewery, Steam 4.5% ABV
- Brombeer Compagnie, Freddy Export 4.6% ABV
- Titanic Brewery, EBA 4.6% ABV
- Cairngorm Brewery, White Lady 4.7% ABV
- Orkney Brewery, Cliff Edge 4.7% ABV
- Liberation Brewery, Defiant ESB 4.8% ABV
- Moorhouse’s Brewery, Totemic 4.8% ABV
- Saltaire Brewery, Triple Choc 4.8% ABV
- Batemans Brewery, Spring Breeze 5.0% ABV
- Hawkshead Brewery, Five Hop 5.0% ABV
- Nethergate Brewery, Umbel Magna 5.0% ABV
- Sambrook’s Brewery, Valhalla 5.0% ABV
- Oakham Ales, Buckle Up! 5.2% ABV
- Otter Brewery, Head 5.8% ABV
- Cambridge Brewing, Flower Child IPA 6.0% ABV
Food & Drink
Zouk’s bottomless curry buffet is back for Ramadan with an entire stuffed lamb
It will be available for everyone throughout the entirety of Ramadan — Zouk have it covered!
Zouk is bringing back its epic bottomless buffet, available throughout the whole of Ramadan, consisting of their best-loved dishes — including a whole stuffed lamb.
Every evening starting from Thursday March 23rd, the colossal all-you-can-eat buffet will be open for everyone to feast on — the perfect way for families to celebrate Iftar and break their fast.
Guests will be greeted with a gift of stuffed dates on arrival plus fruit chaat, dates and water on the table. Once seated, customers can go up to the buffet and enjoy the daily selection of food which will include salads, starters, curries, lamb raan and a selection of accompaniments.
Zouk have created two sittings this year, so the Ramadan buffet is available for a longer period of time each evening — with a rotating menu in case you want to come back for more.
There will be one sitting at Iftar with a second sitting an hour earlier or later, depending on BST. All you have to do is simply select the time that best suits you and your fellow diners when booking.
The Ramadan buffet is £25 per person for adults, £12.50 per child (under 12s) and free for children under five. Throughout the month, Zouk will also be supporting a number of local charities by donating both meals and money to help with the homelessness crisis across Manchester.
While walk-ins are welcome, it is advised to make a reservation to avoid disappointment. Get booked in here.
The rotating menu is as follows:
Salads (a choice of three every day including)
Mint & Cucumber
Starters (a choice of five every day)
Mixed Vegetable Pakora
Dhai Balahi (yoghurt based dish served chilled)
Whole Stuffed Lamb Raan (weekends)
Leg Lamb Raan (weekdays)
Curry (a choice of four every day)
Chicken Sindhi Biryani
Chicken & Spinach
Lamb & Potatoes
Assorted Naan breads
Mango Mumbai Mess
Raspberry Mumbai Mess
Food & Drink
This Manchester food hall has been named best in entire UK
Three Manchester food halls made it into the top 10 list
A food hall in Manchester has been named as the best in the UK for its ‘exceptional’ food.
Mackie Mayor, based in the Northern Quarter, beat competition from London, Liverpool and Sheffield as it was voted best in the whole of the UK. Two other Greater Manchester food halls also made it to the top 10; Altrincham Market House and Society food hall, coming in fourth and eighth respectively.
Mackie Mayor scooped the top spot and was praised for the ‘exceptional’ food from its many food and drink operators, while second place went to Italian-inspired concept Eataly in London.
The news was announced by global travel site Big 7 Travel and hospitality specialists Enjoy Travel, who teamed up to find the best food halls in the UK. Venues were ranked on several factors including range of cuisines, selection of vendors, unique and special events and overall atmosphere.
Mackie Mayor food hall is located inside an 1858 Grade II-listed market building that was once Smithfield Market Hall. The site reopened as Mackie Mayor following a huge refurbishment in 2017.
The Swan Street plot was given a total revamp by the same team behind Altrincham Market — led by Nick Johnson — after lying empty for years. The team behind both food halls also run the Picturedrome food hall in Macclesfield.
Featuring a range of food and drink operators, all under its huge glass roof, Mackie Mayor holds the capacity for almost 500 people. The current line-up of vendors includes Tender Cow, Eagle Street Coffee, Honest Crust, Pico’s, New Wave Ramen, Mumma’s, Chilli B and BlackJack Brewtap.
Taking top position above Eataly in London and Cutlery Works in Sheffield, the description for Mackie Mayor said it was ‘crammed full of top-notch food and drink vendors’ and one of Manchester’s ‘most popular spots’.
It added: “Honest Crust serves exceptional seasonal sourdough pizzas, FIN Fish Bar is beloved for its sustainable day-boat fish cooked whole over a chargrill and Baohouse serves up the steamiest little Taiwanese buns. At Tender Cow, punters can tuck into lesser-known cuts of beef from some of the best producers and farms in Britain. Groups of 10 or more people can book a table too.”
The other Manchester food hall making the top ten was Society, located in the long-vacated bar site next to Bridgewater Hall on Barbirolli Square, serving up a range of street food, craft beers and cocktails.
Current traders at the food hall include Chaat Cart, Yoki Social Table and Vocation brewery.