fbpx
Connect with us
https://propermanchester.com.temp.link/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/secret-suppers-advert.jpg

What's On

UK’s largest Italian food festival is coming to Manchester this weekend and it’s FREE

It’s all happening at Festa this weekend…

Avatar photo

Published

on

Festa Italiana

Manchester is in for a treat this bank holiday weekend with the return of the UK’s biggest Italian food festival.

Described as ‘the country’s most exciting and vibrant festival of Italian food, drink and culture’, Festa Italiana is a unique celebration of the very best of Italian culture, and will once again be gracing Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens for the August bank holiday weekend.

The festival found life five years ago by the family-run Italian restaurant group Salvi’s, and was quick to grow in popularity, with over 38,000 people visiting during last year’s event alone.

And this weekend, a number of the festival’s most popular faces will be returning alongside some exciting new additions.

Here’s what’s on the line-up….

Festa Italiana

Festa’s famed cooking masterclasses

To kick start the festivities on Friday August 26th, there will be a cooking masterclass from Festa founder Maurizio Cecco and his daughter Sienna at 1:30pm, while the team from I Sapori di Corbara Tomatoes will be flying in from Naples for a talk on their brand and products at 2:30pm.

At 3:30pm, Giulia Martinelli of The Pasta Factory will be showcasing her best pasta-making techniquies and, at 4.30pm, the Luxardo Maraschino team will guide guests through the versatility of their cherries in desserts and drinks. And to round up the day at 5.30pm, there will be a Campari cocktail masterclass.

The following day on Saturday August 27th, there will be a Pasta Masterclass from Maurizio Cecco at 1:30pm, followed by masterclasses and book signings from Gennaro Contaldo, UK brand ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano at 2:30pm. Then, there will be a meet-and-greet with celebrity chef Aldo Zilli at 3:30pm, and at 4:30pm, the Aperol team will be talking you through the methods behind some of the most loved Italian drinks.

Sunday 28th August will see masterclasses and book signings from Giancarlo Caldesi at 1:30pm, while Gennaro Contaldo will be back at 2:30pm. Great British Bake Off 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno will be looking after things at 3:30pm and at 4:30pm, there will be a very special pizza making masterclass by the team from Pizzeria Da Michele.

Festa Italiana

Carmela Sereno Hayes will also be hosting ‘Carmela’s Kitchen’ across the entire weekend, with free drop-in sessions teaching pasta loving adults and kids alike how to make the perfect – and most beautiful – pasta.

Festa Italiana Feast at Festa Marquee

On Saturday 27th August, there will be an intimate chefs’ table dinner featuring top class Italian celebrity chefs, Gennaro ContaldoGiancarlo Caldesi and Aldo Zilli, hosted and cooked by Maurizio Cecco, with fresh pasta made from scratch by Carmela Serano Hayes (Carmela’s Kitchen).

Guests will dine with the legendary Italian restaurateurs and will be able to engage in conversations about Italian food, drink and culture throughout the feast.

The evening will be toasted with a Gin Mare drinks reception, and Italian wine will flow throughout the delectable four course meal, with all drinks for the evening included in the ticket price.

Get tickets for the Festa Feast here.

Festa Italiana

Food

It wouldn’t be an Italian festival without good food, would it?

Over the course of the weekend, returning Festa favourites Café Cannoli will be selling delicious cannoli made using authentic ingredients imported directly from Sicily, local lads Paul and Mike from I Knead Pizza will be bringing their wood fired oven along to serve up their highly acclaimed Neopolitan pizza, while Lucky Mama’s will be serving extruded pasta with fresh homemade sauces.

Proove will also be joining the line-up with their authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, T’arricrii will bring the essence of Sicily to Cathedral Gardens with their mouth-watering arancini and Fritto Misto, while Manchester’s very own Pasta Factory will be serving up a menu of simple, authentically Italian fresh pasta.

Café Azul will be serving up Kickback Coffee, hot and cold drinks, snacks, cakes and grilled paninis all weekend long, while Destination Doughnut will be dishing out delightful doughnuts described as: light, airy and the perfect balance of sweetness.

Festa Italiana

Also on the bill, the driving force behind Festa Italiana, family run Salvi’s will be selling sweet treats and branded Salvi’s delights from their Deli.

Drink

Festa Italiana’s famous Festival Bar will be making its grand return, and will showcase incredible signature serves across the weekend, including the perfect serve Gin Mare Capri and Gin Mare. Birrificio Angelo Poretti will also be bringing its craft Italian beers served from its Airstream Bar.

The Aperol Spritz Bar will be doing exactly what it says on the tin by serving up everyone’s favourite Italian summer refresher while the Main Festival Bar will be bringing you all of the Italian classics including Gin Mare, Gin Mare Capri, Luxardo, Aperol Spritz, Italian craft beers, Ponte Prosecco, the very best Italian wine and soft drinks.

Family-friendly events

Let’s Grow Allotment – brought by Ben Faulks, the co-creator and presenter of the award winning CBeebies brand Mr. Bloom’s Nursery – delivers a truly unique experience by combining the core themes of Mr Bloom’s Nursery with the shows of Ben’s theatre company ‘Plunge Bloom’.

Championing nature, nurture, wellbeing, and imaginative play, with a deftness of touch that leaves an indelible impression upon audiences of all ages.

Festa Italiana

There will also be the a pop-up allotment by Let’s Grow Nannies, which will offer parents a mix of gardening and childcare. The show takes place in a charming pop-up allotment which serves as an interactive play space hosted by two Let’s Grow Nannies with their family of baby fruits and vegetables.

The Let’s Grow Allotment show runs at 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm each day across the weekend.

Music 

Music and Festa Italiana go hand-in-hand and, this year, Compagnia Sole Luna will be flying over from Naples to bring the city’s traditional folk music to Manchester. There will also be a full line up of local artists and bands including the city’s best loved opera singer The Manchester Tenor, while DJs will be spinning records each night.

Festa Italiana will take place at Cathedral Gardens from Friday August 26th to Sunday August 28th, 12pm – 11pm every day. 

Find out more here.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's On

Blackpool Illuminations to be extended again after huge visitor surge

You’ll have plenty of time to take your kids and reminisce about school trips.

Avatar photo

Published

on

Steve Fareham/Geograph & Andrew Hurley/Flickr

Blackpool Illuminations is to have the length of its famous winter illuminations attraction — enjoyed by generations of families from across the North West — extended even further after a surge in visitors.

Blackpool Council have said they saw a ‘dramatic rise’ in visitor numbers in last year’s extension. This year, the iconic lights are set to run for an extra two months starting from September 1st until January 1st 2024.

The local authority said a similar November and December extension in 2022 had seen an 18% increase in promenade footfall compared with 2021, with its leader Lynn Williams saying it had found a  ‘winning formula’.

Councillor Lynn Williams said: “The figures demonstrate the very significant economic impact of the Illuminations extension coupled with the Christmas By The Sea event.”

Kmtextore/Wikimedia

She continued: “All of the statistical and anecdotal evidence from tourism businesses, with some reporting record levels of trading during the winter months, suggests that we have found a winning formula to extend Blackpool’s season.

“That is something we very much want to sustain and build upon.”

The footfall also shows an increase of almost 60 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when the illuminations season finished in November.

The (what’s now a) six-mile stretch of dazzling displays first began 1879 — when they were just a small number of carbon arc lamps — and have since been enjoyed by generations upon generations of people.

Taking children to see Blackpool illuminations is a tradition that brings grown adults back with littles ones of their own, as they experience nostalgia.

Continue Reading

What's On

The haunted hotel room where guests have to sign a disclaimer to spend the night

‘For people who’ve not done this before it could be dangerous.’

Avatar photo

Published

on

My Haunted Hotel

Guests must sign a disclaimer before staying the night in a room at a haunted hotel in Chester.

The 401-year-old building spooks customers, and they rarely stay more than three minutes inside one creepy room at Ye Olde Kings Head, on Lower Bridge Street.

This one room in particular is so eerie that only experienced paranormal investigators are allowed into it. But the professionals will have to sign a disclaimer to spend the night, according to Cheshire Live.

In room eight lives a doll called Grace, housed inside a special glass case, and guests reportedly can last no longer than three minutes with her before they’re scared out of their wits. A special camera has been set up to monitor it 24/7 after it arrived at the hotel in January.

My Haunted Hotel

Paranormal investigator Danny Moss, one of the team members behind My Haunted Hotel at Ye Olde Kings Head, called the Grace doll the ‘UK’s most haunted artefact’, saying:  “Since it arrived in January we’ve already had people really struggling to stay in room eight. It seems to really affect men rather than women.”

He continued: “We’ve had men go in there and they can’t look at it. They feel anxious and have to get out, struggling to last even three minutes.
People are hearing the sound of three knocks which is meant to signify the mocking of the Holy Trinity. Some people have also experienced their eyes burning.

“That happened to me a few years ago when we kept it at Tatton Old Hall. I heard an entity say ‘burn’ and I said ‘what?’ and my eyes felt like someone was chopping onions. We’ve got video footage showing people really scared to go into that room and others with noises coming from it.

“There are a set of rules outside room eight, including people having to call out an audio disclaimer before they’re even allowed in. Room eight is only open to experienced people. For people who’ve not done this before it could be dangerous.”

My Haunted Hotel

The hotel has gained a very spooky reputation over the years for its paranormal activity and has even featured on TV show Most Haunted as well as Sky Pick’s Paranormal.

It was bought by paranormal enthusiast Harry Achilleos 15 years ago and his dream has been to turn it into a top dark tourism destination.

Harry Achilleos, who runs My Haunted Hotel alongside Danny and Brett Jones, also said: “Having the Grace doll in the building just takes My Haunted Hotel to a whole new level.”

Continue Reading

What's On

Contact returns with its annual Vogue Ball for LGBTQ+ festival 2023

Make sure you don’t miss this!

Avatar photo

Published

on

Contact

For its 50th anniversary, Contact is set to return with its annual House of Suarez’s Vogue Ball, celebrating the most extraordinary and exciting LGBTQ+ talent, as part of the Queer Contact festival.

Running from February 4th – 18th, Queer Contact festival 2023 will be bigger and brighter than ever, with Drag Race royalty gracing the stage and its annual extra, show-stopping Vogue Ball, presented by House of Suarez , kick-starting a two weeks celebration of queer artistry.

Set to be even more fierce and fabulous, highlights will include Drag Race UK’s talented queens Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, as well as an evening in conversation with Heartstopper actor and Contact alumni Fisayo Akinade. 

Along with the outrageous cabaret Vogue Ball — a yearly highlight for fans of Contact — which will take place at Manchester Academy, it will travel back to the glorious decade of disco for a night of glitter and glam MCed by the iconic, Rikki Beadle-Blair. 

Contact

Houses from across the UK compete for the coveted titles of best choreography and best design — awarded by an esteemed panel of judges — as they pose and perform in an unapologetic celebration of inclusivity, queerness, and diversity.

Ginny Lemon and Sister Sister, the breakout stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK Season 2, will not fail to live up to their reputations as the most despised queens, as they try to bring the most disappointing drag show you’ve ever seen to the Manchester Stage — as part of their, You Keep Me Hanging On Tour.

In their debut for Queer Contact, this will mark the duo’s first joint show, and promises to be hilarious, if average.

 François Pandolfo

To add another festival highlight, Heartstopper and Cucumber actor Fisayo Akinade will also explore the many different elements that have influenced his life and career. Inspired by Contact’s celebration of its 50th anniversary, an In Conversation with Contact’s artistic director and CEO, Keisha Thompson, will see her talk with him about the 50 things that shaped his career.

One of the breakout comedy acts from the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, comedy performer François Pandolfo will make his debut at this year’s Queer Contact as Milly-Liu, with his ‘one-man-cat-drag-late-night comedy show.’ Join her as she is ready to spill the beans on all your favourite celebrity pussies. 

You can also jump onboard the queerest Tardis with Doctor Who inspired entertainment by Carrot and Friends. Be transported through time and space with their cosmic comedy as you experience dimension-defying drag, stratospheric stand-up, burlesque to make a Cyberman blush, and an oncoming storm of many other surprises.

Cocoa Butter Club

Bradford’s bad girl Lady Bursha will bring her hilarious and iconic drag queen comedy to the stage. Shortlisted for the 2021 BBC New Comedy Awards, Lady Bushra is the brainchild of British Asian comedian Amir. His alter ego Lady Bushra is known for her stand-up comedy, ingenious lipsync performances and one-liners, often seen performing her sold out ‘Drag Comedy Cabaret’ across the nation.

Other cabaret and comedy highlights include a night with the Cocoa Butter Club, an evening in the company of The Bitter Peach’s Peach Chutney Crew, and Luke Hereford brings their autobiographical musical adventures on their journey of queer self-discovery. 

CEO and Artistic Director Keisha Thompson said: “We’re so excited to be bringing the best in LGBTQ+ arts and culture together once again for Queer Contact 2023. Our flagship queer arts festival has been central to our mission and vision for over a decade and will continue to cement our spot on Manchester’s cultural map for many more decades to come.

“In 2023, as we celebrate our 50th birthday, Queer Contact is characterised by joy; from a Dr Who-themed cabaret to an evening with Heartstopper’s Fisayo Akinade, we’re here to platform a huge spectrum of queer lived experience; focusing on kindness, community and celebration.”

Tickets for Queer Contact 2023 are now on sale and can be booked via Contact’s website.

Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2023 Manchester's Finest Group