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The Refuge is opening its new hidden outdoor terrace from April 12th

Get this on your post-lockdown to do list

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@therefugemcr / Instagram & Jody Hartley / The Refuge

The Refuge by Volta has announced that they’ll be reopening on Monday April 12th, with a brand new hidden outdoor terrace.

On this date the venue will unveil its beautiful new outdoor area in the courtyard at Waterhouse Way, tucked away on an industrial hidden street.

They’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes throughout lockdown, redeveloping the soon-to-be-revealed al fresco dining area.

This will be Manchester’s best-kept secret, and the outdoor area will offer food, drinks and good times for hotel guests and locals alike.

The heated and covered outdoor area will be one of the few restaurants opening in Manchester, and the plant-filled space will be sound-tracked by the city’s finest DJs.

Jody Hartley / The Refuge

Guests at the Kimpton® Clocktower Hotel, which will also reopen on April 12th for essential business travel, will benefit from the brand-new refurbishment in the courtyard as well.

Luke Cowdrey, of The Refuge by Volta, said: “We literally can’t wait to open our magical al fresco restaurant in the city for people to stumble across and eat, drink and be happy. It will be a great space to come together and reignite human connection in a safe and social environment after a tough few months.”

To mark the reopening of the outdoor space, The Refuge has curated a selection of new dishes, which will feature meat and fish sharing platters.

Some of their favourite dishes will remain on the menu, including the smoked feta, beetroot, hazelnuts, dill, and lamb shawarma, alongside the Voltini classics, inspired from the Volta travels.

@therefugemcr / Instagram

Manchester’s ultimate Sunday Roast will also be available to order for the perfect weekend feast, and in addition, The Refuge will be launching a new dessert and drinks menu featuring a special ‘Refuge Lager’.

The Refuge outdoor area will open on:

  • Monday to Thursday from 12pm to 9pm
  • Friday to Saturday from 12pm to 10pm
  • Sunday from 12pm to 8pm

Online bookings in advance are recommended if you want to avoid disappointment, with each table having a two-hour slot – and food must be purchased along with drinks.

Seats will be limited for the foreseeable future to allow for social distancing, and limited walk-ins will be available only during late evenings in the weekend.

You can book in here.

What's On

New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

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A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

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There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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