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A special drive-in Christmas panto is coming to Manchester this year

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Parking Lot Social

This Christmas a special drive-in festival is coming to town with a big programme of films, party shows and family events – including a socially distanced panto. 

Brought to you by the Parking Lot Social team, the Winter Festival will bring the first parking lot pantomime to Manchester, keeping the centuries-old tradition of the Christmas panto alive.

With theatres set to be closed over the winter months, organisers have commissioned a brand new, 2020 drive-in version of the panto classic Cinderella, with all the essential elements that make the tale so special, as well as a few twists unique to the special ‘drive-in’ format. 

A troupe of nine professional actors will melt hearts as audiences follow Cinders on her adventures, helped by the Fairy Godmother. The specially written show has song and dance routines a-plenty, audience participation galore and a script that takes a light-hearted dig at some of the challenges thrown up by this strangest of years.

Parking Lot Social

As it’s a drive-in event, there will be a crew filming the action and broadcasting the panto from the stage directly onto two massive 40 foot screens – meaning that there’s not a bad seat in the house. 

Safety is at the heart of the event, and audiences take part in the immersive, interactive shows from their own cars. It’s also a completely contactless event ensuring a safe and socially distant experience.

The Winter Festival will feature a 60ft tall rainbow coloured Christmas tree, a giant DJing Santa Claus and the coolest Reindeer to have ever left the North Pole – if the panto isn’t enough for you.

On top of that, a selection of classic and modern Christmas films for all ages will be shown on two gigantic screens with the sound broadcast straight to cars.

Parking Lot Social

There’s also the ‘Big Weekender’, a Silent Disco, Live Cam ‘Car-A-Oke’, Party Bingo and Interactive Quiz, and a Social Kids event for the youngsters, featuring ‘Christmas car-a-oke’, an interactive quiz, three DJ silent disco and Party Bingo hosted by Santa Claus himself.

If you get hungry some of the best local food trucks around will be on site, with customers able to have their orders delivered directly to their cars. Expect classic gourmet burgers, loaded fries, wood-fired pizzas and hot dogs alongside sweet winter warmers including hot chocolate, donuts, toasted nuts, gingerbread men and more. 

To top it off, each night, events finish with a fantastic, festive firework finale.

Tickets are now on sale for the Winter Festival in Manchester, which will take place at the Trafford Centre from December 1st to the 6th – head over to the Parking Lot Social site here for more info and tickets.

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The Black Friar is transforming into a magical winter tavern for Christmas

The tavern will boast roaring fires, cocktails and festive feasting

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The Black Friar

The Black Friar pub is set to be transformed into a magical winter tavern with festive tipples and open fires this Christmas. 

The historic Salford pub – which reopened last year after standing derelict for nearly two decades – will provide a candlelit and cosy retreat complete with roaring fires, rugs and furs, ready for a season filled with warmth, nostalgia and festive feasting.

The Winter Tavern will boast the perfect space for celebrating Christmas with a selection of á la carte, festive dining and cocktail menus, providing plates of festive grazing and winter tipples. 

The Black Friar

The Black Friar has also partnered with Highland Park 12 Whisky to provide the drinks at the new Winter Tavern.

Distilled in the Scottish Orkney Islands – which is historically known as the ‘Viking Kingdom’ – Highland Park will be bringing its Celtic charm and expertly crafted spirits to the venue, giving guests the chance to warm up with cocktails and hot toddies on tap.

Additionally, the Tavern will be available for private hire throughout the festive period, with the space accommodating up to forty-five seated for the festive sit down menu.

It can also be booked out for canapés for a more casual affair, with a standing capacity of fifty-five people.

The Black Friar

The Winter Tavern comes complete with a full private bar, bathrooms and space for a DJ – which The Black Friar can help plan and provide entertainment for.

The Black Friar’s Winter Tavern will be open from November 21st, and bookings for tables and private hires are open NOW.

Get booked in here.

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A HUGE wine festival is coming to Manchester this weekend

10 independent wine traders will be bringing their very best vinos for guests to taste and sample across the event

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Manchester's Finest Group & Unsplash

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is set to host a HUGE wine festival with over 100 vinos to sample this weekend.

MFDF’s Wine Festival is set to take over the newly-refurbished New Century Hall, where a whole host of independent traders will showcase the very best vinos their wine lists have to offer.

Attendees will be able sip their way through some of the most exciting and interesting wines from across the globe, all carefully selected by the city’s best wine experts.

Guests will also get the chance to chat directly to some of the industry’s most passionate retailers, who will guide them through the vast selection of wines they have on offer.

New Century Hall

This year’s participating wine traders include Le-Social, Grape to Grain, Italy Abroad, Cork of the North, That Wine Cellar, Sip Wine Bar, UkiYo Republic, Ad-Hoc and Suppher.

A programme of tutored wine tastings and specialist masterclasses will also take place across the weekend, offering extra opportunities to delve into specific wine topics, themes and regions.

All the masterclasses are free to attend and come included in the ticket price.

As well as wine tutorials there will also be free flower workshops and even the chance for guests to try their hands at a spot of painting.

Cork of the North

Also at the festival this weekend will be a number of market stalls from some of the cities most beloved vendors, including Ancoats Coffee, Mello.Haus, Trafford Horticulture, MFDF Award-winner Dormouse Chocolates and Caroline Dowsett.

Additionally, there will be music provided by Babyflxcko and Lebo across the event, and the bar will be open throughout.

The MFDF Wine Festival is taking place this weekend from Friday October 7th (6-9pm) to Saturday October 8th (12-5pm and 6-9pm).

Tickets cost £16.99pp. Get yours booked here.

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An all-you-can-eat cheese buffet is coming to Manchester

Guests will be able to indulge upon a selection of the country’s best cheeses for two and a half hours…

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@homage2fromageuk / Instagram

The ultimate all-you-can-eat deal is coming to Manchester next month in the form of an epic bottomless cheese buffet.

Northern Quarter pub Pie and Ale is set to host the legendary one-off cheese buffet courtesy of Leeds-born cheese tasting company Homage to Fromage.

Homage to Fromage was founded by friends Nick and Vickie, an unlikely duo from Yorkshire who came up with the idea to run cheese-based events following a random conversation on Twitter in 2011.

And for their Manchester event, Homage to Fromage will be showcasing its top eight cheeses of 2022, alongside a selection of freshly-baked bread, crackers, chutneys and ‘all the trimmings’.

@homage2fromageuk / Instagram

The cheese will be served on an all-you-can-eat basis for two and a half hours, giving guests the opportunity to indulge upon a mix of cheeses, whether they be crumbly, creamy or peppery.

Pie and Ale will be on hand for the drinks side of things, with a handsome selection of rotating ales and craft beers, as well as a number of canned and bottled beverages.

And to pair with the cheese is a modest wine list, alongside a choice of cocktails and soft drinks.

Organisers have promised a ‘laid back and informal’ event, adding that there will be some ‘absolute belters’ making an appearance across the evening.

@homage2fromageuk / Instagram

Homage to Fromage will be bringing its epic cheese buffet to the Northern Quarter’s Pie and Ale on Thursday November 17th. The event will kick start at 7pm.

Guests will be able to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet for just £20pp – though it is worth noting that drinks are not included in the ticket price.

For more information and to book your own tickets, visit the Homage to Fromage website.

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