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A huge outdoor food and drink festival on May Bank Holiday weekend has been announced

‘Kantina Weekender is an opportunity to finally come back together and share in the joy of food and drink’

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escapetofreightisland / Instagram

The team behind Escape to Freight Island over at Depot Mayfield have announced a brand-new food and drink festival for 2021: Kantina Weekender.

With vaccines being rolled out across the country at rapid speed, we’re all hoping that by the time summer comes around things will be a bit more back to normal, and we can start enjoying the things we love again.

The guys at Freight Island are optimistic we will be able to enjoy some cracking food and drink, with Kantina Weekender set to run from Friday May 28th to Monday 31st at Depot Mayfield.

Escape to Freight Island is a new, vast industrial fairground of food, drink, music and entertainment, and was the standout success in Covid safe hospitality last year.

Home to some of Manchester’s most loved restaurants and bars, Freight Island is made-up of a grand Ticket Hall, a covered outside courtyard and a brand-new Pavilion – filled to the brim with plants, creating a calm, green, oasis in the city.

Jody Hartley / Escape to Freight Island

Kantina Weekender’s lineup will include incredible local food and craft-beers, as well as new-world wines and liquors, and will feature some Manchester favourites collaborating to serve up mouthwatering dishes.

Mary-Ellen McTague from Creameries in Chorlton will pair with Great Northern Pies; Gary Usher from Elite Bistros will partner with Forever Changes; Tast of King Street and Baratxuri will join grill forces; and Pippy Eats will partner with Mi+Pho for noodle heaven.

The lineup also includes Stosie Madi from Parkers Arms, and the legendary Simon Martin from Manchester’s first Michelin Star restaurant in 41 years, Mana.

Joining them will be Sam Buckley from Stockport-based Where The Light Gets In, which recently became one of only 23 businesses in the UK and Ireland to receive a ‘green’ Michelin Star – an accolade which celebrates sustainability.

Sam said: “I’m absolutely delighted to finally be cooking at Escape to Freight Island. It’s an incredible space in the heart of the city and Kantina Weekender will be a great return for food fans across the country.”


As for drinks, Pomona Island will team up with Lervig and Northern Monk, and Deya and Camden Town Brewery will complete the beer offering. On the wine side, Charlie Miller from the Laughing Heart and Dom the Som aka Dynamite MC will join other special guest wine experts.

During Kantina Weekender, Escape to Freight Island will host a packed roster of live entertainment, exclusive talks on stage, satellite events, wine tasting and a guaranteed feast for all.

The charity partner for the event will be Eat Well MCR, a Manchester collective made up of hospitality professionals and volunteers from all sectors delivering meals to people facing challenging circumstances in Greater Manchester – a percentage will be included on to bills with the choice to opt-out.

Dan Morris, managing director of Escape To Freight Island said: “Kantina Weekender is an opportunity to finally come back together and share in the joy of food and drink.

“We are very proud to be able to showcase the talents of the Escape To Freight Island residents whilst they collaborate with some of the UK’s most prestigious chefs, brewers, bartenders and all round hospitality heroes. Manchester’s food and drink scene is a special one and we can’t wait to celebrate it.”

Tickets will set you back £35 per person, and this is fully redeemable as credit to spend at Kantina Weekender – you can find more info here.

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Chester Zoo launches spooky Halloween trail with dragons, spiders and snakes

Guests will be tasked with identifying a ‘magic word’ hidden across the indoor trail

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Chester Zoo has unveiled its first ever immersive Halloween-themed trail complete with dragons, spiders and snakes.

Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail will take place at the conservation zoo from October 1st – October 31st, and will give guests the chance to learn about a variety of ‘sinister’ species with six animal stations.

Along the indoor trail, visitors will encounter the formidable Komodo dragon, gaboon viper,
poison dart frogs, blue Komodo viper, tarantula and the eerie upside-down jellyfish.

Each animal station will boast spellbinding facts about these hair-raising species, all of which will contain a secret letter.

Chester Zoo

Using augmented reality, visitors will be tasked with identifying and collecting these letters to form a ‘magic word’. Each letter will be revealed through a QR code with a fun and interactive experience before being stamped on a virtual postcard.

Those who can crack the code and figure out the magic word will be rewarded with a sweet treat.

Gemma Bamford, Chester Zoo’s Admissions and Membership Manager, said: We’re so excited to launch our very own Halloween themed trail around the zoo this October.

“As well as learning cool facts about animals around six locations in the zoo, guests can collect a letter at each area that spells out a secret word. Once visitors uncover ‘Luna’s lost spell’ they can head to the apothecary at the zoo entrance for a sweet treat.

Chester Zoo

“Halloween is the perfect opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the unknown species Chester Zoo is home to, inspiring visitors to care for our cause of preventing extinction of not only the renowned species like elephants, giraffes and rhinos, but the more unusual and extraordinary animals that may just shock, surprise or spook you!”

The trail will be completely free to take part in, and will take around two hours to complete.

The theme of the trail is linked to the BIAZA Vital Venom and Practical Poisons campaign which aims to raise awareness of the ‘cool, perhaps creepy, but crucial creatures venomous and poisonous’.

Throughout October, Chester Zoo will also be running a Halloween-themed bus tour where guests are driven to each of the six locations on the trail before the zoo opens.

Chester Zoo

The bus will also make a stop at the Fruit Bat Forest, giving guests the rare opportunity to see the bats before the lights go down.

Luna’s Lost Spell Halloween Trail will take place at Chester Zoo from October 1st – October 31st.

Entry to the trail is free, though slots will need to be booked in advance.

For more information and to book your tickets, visit the Chester Zoo website.

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There’s a FREE ’80s disco night with cocktails and live music coming to Manchester

Live DJs will be spinning classic anthems from the 1980s across the night

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Prestwich Social

The disco night to trump all disco nights is coming to Manchester this weekend with the promise of cocktails, dancing, and some good old fashioned nostalgia.

Prestwich Social will be bringing a taste of the ’80s to the popular Manchester suburb, which was recently named as one of the best places to live in the whole of the UK.

The 350-capacity bar and restaurant is nestled within the heart of Prestwich, and has become a firm favourite among locals thanks to its varied food menu, tempting deals and expansive list of unique and quirky cocktails.

Prestwich Social

And now, Prestwich Social has unveiled its brand new Social 54 ’80s Party Night, which will take place every Saturday night from 9:30pm til late.

The event is completely free to attend, and will include live DJs spinning classic anthems from the 1980s and a whole array of ’80s-themed cocktails, such as a boozy Ghostbusters-centric drink complete with sparklers, marshmallows and, of course, a giant figurine of the famous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

Fancy dress is also encouraged, with free wigs, glasses and visors straight from the legendary nightclub era available to use and try on throughout the night. 

Prestwich Social is the only late-night bar in the neighbourhood, so the Social 54 ’80s Party Night is certain to be an evening to remember.

The first event is set to take place this Saturday (October 1st) from 9:30pm til late with free entry all night long.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to book a table, visit the Prestwich Social website.

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Victoria Baths to be transformed into night market with street food and live music

As well as over 100 local vendors, there will be an array of tasty street food and live entertainment across the evening

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The Night Market & Victoria Baths

Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths is set to be transformed into a magical night market with over 100 independent vendors, street food and live music.

The Night Market will be taking over the iconic building next month to showcase the very best talent Manchester’s local business scene has to offer.

There will be everything any passionate shopper could hope for, varying from artisans, artists, jewellers, designers, bakers and candlestick makers.

@victoriabaths / Instagram

Also in attendance will be an outdoor street food village for hungry shoppers, complete with numerous themed bars and a ‘Vintage Pool Party’ filled with vintage treasures with a live DJ.

And this year there will be The Turkish Rest Room Salons, which will see three of Manchester’s most exciting singer-songwriters – Dilettante, Anna McLuckie and Ellen Beth Abdi – transform the exquisite Turkish Rest Room into a performance space.

This unique concert venue promises to be a ‘hidden delight and an oasis of calm within the bustling market’, and has been handed over to the artists themselves, who will each ‘own the room’ for their one hour concert set.

The Night Market

The Night Market will be taking over Victoria Baths on Friday October 7th from 7pm til late.

Early Bird tickets are £6, though two can be bought on offer for £10. There is also the option to purchase a Night Owl ticket for £4 for those planning on arriving later in the evening.

For more information and to book tickets, click here.

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