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

Festa Italiana is back!

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Festa Italiana

The UK’s largest Italian food festival is set to return to Manchester this summer.

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.

Festa, which was initially born out of Manchester’s Italian community four years ago, is back with a bang after a COVID-19 break last year with workshops, demonstrations, book signings and some of Italy’s finest cuisine courtesy of celebrated Italian chefs such as Aldo Zilli, Giancarlo Caldesi, Gennaro Contaldo and, Festa founder, Salvi’s owner Maurizio Cecco.

Festa Italiana

Maurizio’s twelve-year-old daughter, Sienna Cecco, who is also a talented chef  in her own right, will be joining the party and leading free kids cooking classes throughout the three day long festival.

Carmela Sereno Hayes, the hugely popular pastaia (specialist pasta maker) and author, will also be making a return to Festa Italiana and running her much talked about pasta workshops all weekend long.

And as for the beverages front?

Festa Italiana

Well, it wouldn’t be a weekend dedicated to Italian cuisine without some authentic Italian booze, would it?

A number of the big labels will be on hand to keep your thirst quenched throughout the weekend such as Peroni, who will not only be serving pints of their famed lager, but will be popping up their portable cinema, too. 

Complete with bean bags, deck chairs, popcorn, aperitivo boxes, Peroni (obviously) and themed classic movie screenings of Cinema Paradiso, Romeo and Juliet and La Dolce Vita, the popular lager will have you covered. 

Festa Italiana

There will also be a space and activities over the weekend to keep children entertained while their parents feast upon pasta, pizza and Aperol… so, families, worry not.

The festival has been confirmed to take place at Cathedral Gardens on the August bank holiday weekend, Friday 27th to Sunday 29th.

For more information, you can visit the Festa Italiana website here.

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Two new food halls opening in Manchester and Cheshire from the team behind Stretford Foodhall

Good news for Sale and Northwich foodies

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Store Group & @foodhalls_ / Instagram

The team behind the popular General Store and Stretford Foodhall sites across Manchester has announced two new foodhall projects for Sale and Northwich.

Store Group’s foodhall concept, which includes a constantly changing line up of local and independent food and drink vendors, has proved to be a huge success in their flagship location, Stretford – so now seems the perfect time to roll out two more venues further out of Manchester and into Cheshire.

The Sale Foodhall will be opening this summer – an exact date is yet to be confirmed – and will feature a dining and drinking space large enough for 150 guests.

Store Group

It will replace the ‘Groceries and Beer’ unit already operated by the Store Group, and will be relocated around the corner at Stanley Square Shopping Mall to create a bigger 5,500 sq ft food, drink & retail destination.

The Northwich site, meanwhile, will follow in Autumn and will be taking over a two-storey unit in the town centre, formerly known as Baron’s Quay Social. 

The 9,000 sq ft unit will feature a rooftop terrace where customers will be able to dine outside – when the weather allows them to, of course. 

Both projects will have the trademark feature of rotating food vendors, local craft beer, wine and spirit vendors, coffee shops with bakery units and one of the General Store’s iconic ‘cornershop’ retail spaces.

Store Group

Mital Morar, Founder of Store Retail Group said: “This is a really exciting moment for us as we announce our second and third Food Halls. It’s been a long time coming as, like everyone, we’ve battled against Covid over the last year, so we’re hugely excited that the plan is now taking shape. 

“We’ve made Sale our home over the last eighteen months, and as we expand and put down even stronger roots in the town we look forward to celebrating an exciting new chapter with the community.

“Northwich is also a really exciting location for us, taking the step out of Manchester for the first time is a big deal for our brand and we are looking forward to the challenge. The location is really important to us – we want to be able to create our own community in Northwich.”

For updates on both new venues, follow Foodhalls on their Instagram page.

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A huge beer festival is coming to town and the food lineup has just been revealed

Calling all craft beer lovers

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@photobephoto / Manchester Craft Beer Festival

Having just announced its colossal lineup of local restaurants and breweries, the Manchester Craft Beer festival is set to be one hell of an event.

Whether you’re a lover of sour beers, IPA is your go-to tipple, you keep it simple with lager, or whether you’re wanting to simply take it easy with low ABV beers, the MCBF is here to celebrate beer in all of its glory with the help of fifty world class breweries.

Representing Manchester will be local brewing legends Manchester Union, Marble, Pomona Island, Track Brewing Co, Beatznikz Republic, and the brand new Bundobust Brew Pub. 

@manchestercraftbeerfestival / Instagram

Coming from overseas, on the other hand, breweries such as Norway’s Lervig, Denmark’s Mikkeller and Netherlands’ Fontaal and Kees will be on hand to give you a taste of their homeland brews.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – some seriously decent scran will be needed to soak up all of this beer, won’t it? 

Well, the MCBF has also partnered with the Kantina Weekender, a self-described ‘feast for the city’ celebrating the joy of food and drink in all of their depths and diversity.

@photobephoto / Manchester Craft Beer Festival

And naturally, where there are beers there are burgers, too. Patty Queen will be serving up LA inspired burgers, fries and shakes – some of the best burgers you can get outside of Santa Monica.

Alternatively, Belzan Pasta Kitchen will be dishing up some authentic Italian grub infused with seasonal British produce, Madre X AngloThai will be on hand to serve non-traditional, upscaled, tacos packed full of delicious Thai flavours, and Higher Ground X Things Palace will be collaborating to offer incredible Asian feasts.

And for the veggies and vegans in attendance – fear not! Freight Island’s in-house residents Plant Grill are teaming up with Green Lights to rustle up some fantastic plant-based dishes.

@manchestercraftbeerfestival / Instagram

There will also be DJ sets throughout the event by acclaimed local artists Craig Charles, Daddy G, Django Django and Queen B.

The festival will be taking place at Depot Mayfield between July 23rd-July 24th. Each ticket is priced at £49.50 and allocates guests entry to a five-hour session on the Friday or Saturday, includes all beer, access to all food traders and a special festival beer glass.

Tickets are on sale now here if you want to get involved.

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An ice skating disco is taking over a Manchester ice rink this summer

Get your best disco outfits at the ready!

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La Discothèque

A unique ice-skating disco event will be gracing one of Manchester’s ice rinks next month.

La Discothèque, which has hosted sparkling disco events at other Manchester venues such as Warehouse Project, Alberts Schloss and Escape to Freight Island, will be transforming the rink at Planet Ice in Altrincham to put on an incredible evening of ice-skating and disco fun complete with both a stage and a dance floor.

The dance floor space accommodates 175 party people at any one time so again there may be a one on, one off policy at times – safety first, and all that.

@la_discotheque / Instagram

But for those having to wait their turn on the ice, there will be an abundance of space to sit, dance and drink in the top mezzanine area with a prime view of the rink, DJs & performers. 

The evening will consist of sets from DJ Paulette, Supernature, Sharples plus the Fabulous Flamingos, Soul Sergeants, Queens & even some very talented ice-Skating Flamingos.

A main bar will be open and serving a whole array of tipples to see you through the discotheque, such as spirits, prosecco, beer and soft drinks – though it might be worth noting that anyone who seems a little too intoxicated will be asked to stay on the mezzanine for obvious reasons.

La Discothèque

The venue will also be opening their cafe, which will be dishing up pizza, burgers, hotdogs, nachos and chips throughout the evening.

325 skaters can be on the ice at any one time therefore, at peak times, there may be a brief one-on-one-off policy on the rink – but it’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?

The event is scheduled for Saturday July 31st, 6pm – late. Ice skating tickets range between £25 – £30, while non-ice skating tickets for those a little wobbly on skates can be bought for £19.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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