Plus a new beer from Seven Bro7hers and more
Spring is in full bloom, the clocks go forward this weekend, it's Easter next weekend and half-term too. Lots of reasons to celebrate seasonal food and look forward to going back to bars and restaurants for outdoor drinking and dining in a couple of weeks. Our diaries are already packed.
Read on for this week's food and drink news which includes bottomless pizza and margaritas, Easter at-home ideas and some covetable crockery.
With no big family get-togethers for Easter for the second year running, you have a choice of either getting hot and cross in the kitchen wrangling with ingredients or letting one of the many restaurants offering cook-at-home kits do all the julienning, infusing and menu planning for you. Ostensibly, cook at home kits didn’t even exist this time last year so there’s that to be grateful for. Here are a few we’ve noticed are doing something interesting.
Ballymaloe Cookery School trained chef, Kate Bielich’s Konoba is a little indie Manchester gem. Her Easter box (main picture above) contains a whole roasted lamb shoulder, lamb shanks (for smaller households) or a smoky aubergine pie along with a choice of veg-forward starters, fruity desserts and focaccia.
The Lowry's Easter Sunday Lunch (£55 for four courses for two people) is now available for delivery in association with Plateaway - or collection between 11am-1pm on Easter Sunday. As befits this criminally underrated high-end restaurant, expect all things lux: Your sourdough comes with truffle butter, your cauli comes with Lancashire Bomb cheese, and your dessert comes with clotted cream AND custard. A sirloin of beef is the main event on this one.
Selfridges has launched a duo of ‘At Home with Selfridges’ boxes. The Easter Experience Box (£130) includes a three-course meal (think duck confit or gnocchi with wild garlic and truffle butter) with wine and personalised Happy Easter candles. Alternatively, the Luxury Breakfast Box has an egg hunt theme (£70) and includes OJ, coffee, hot cross buns, smoked salmon, Daylesford organic eggs and Tony’s Chocolonely Easter eggs. You can pre-order the Selfridges boxes now.
Altrincham’s New Market Dairy is telling people to ditch the chocolate eggs and get their milky goodness in the form of cheese. Appropriate, since it’s a cheesemonger but I heartily approve. The Easter cheeseboard (£30) includes a lovely Winslade which is camembert-esque with a spruce collar bringing a note of pine, a classic, tangy Appleby’s Cheshire and a brand new raw milk goats cheese, Holbrook, made in the Lake District. Crackers and Piccalilli are in the bag too.
Baratxuri has whole basque cheesecakes and more but is probably selling out as I write. Its webshop reopens on Monday (29 April).
Finally, for the sweet-toothed, Fress has got some dessert and cocktails boxes.
Moor breakfast options
Not content with jumping on the dine-at-home bandwagon - and doing a bloody good job of it (even if our reviewer failed the plating test) - Mark Birchall of Michelin starred Moor Hall has now launched an ‘ultimate breakfast box’.
Available for nationwide delivery for just four weeks, the three-course breakfast hamper (£90 - serves two) includes sourdough, croissants, homemade preserves, cultured butter and honey, home-cured black pepper salami, whisky barrel smoked salmon with sour cream and a 20g tin of Exmoor caviar. But that’s just the first course, there’s also everything you need to make an absolutely banging full English with Dingley Dell dry-cured streaky bacon, Middle White pork sausage, black pudding and Arlington White eggs. For dessert (all good breakfasts have one) is natural yoghurt and forced rhubarb compote. There’s fresh OJ and a Bloody Mary to wash it all down with.
What a crock, Sugo
Everyone loves Sugo and its ragu of dreams but if you’ve ever wished you could get your squeaky, sanitised hands on that gorgeous blue and white crockery that Sugo serves its incredible pasta in, you’re in luck. The handmade Pugliese pasta bowls (£10), wine jugs (£15) and oil jugs (£17) are now for sale on Sugo’s webshop. Perfect for zhuzhing up your Instagram feed.
This little vegan went to market
If you prefer your ragu plant-based, the return of the (socially distanced) Manchester Vegan Market this April should tickle your pickle. With 80 stalls offering everything from meat-free munchies to clothing, makeup and even pet products, this is the place to go if you’re dreaming of an eggless Easter. The event welcomes everyone from dyed in the, er, polyester, vegan aficionados to people just getting their head around meat-free Monday. All profits from the event are donated to animal welfare organisation Miracle's Mission.
Manchester Vegan Market is on 17 April 2021 from 10.30am-4.30pm at Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester, admission £5, (under 16’s free) or £15 for VIP tickets which include fast track entry and a goody bag.
SEVEN BRO7HERS - whose co-founder Nathan McAvoy is a former England Rugby League star - has teamed up with rugby league legend Rob Burrow to launch a limited-edition charity lager to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The former Leeds Rhinos player’s position on the field was number seven and his speedy feet earned him the nickname “Roadrunner” so he has chosen this nomenclature for his vegan pilsner.
The can (signed by Burrows) is decked out in MND charity colours. The eight-time Grand Final winner with the Rhinos from 2004 to 2017, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in December 2019. The 440ml cans of Roadrunner pilsner are available to order now in cases of six for £18 with 60% of the profits going to the MND association. The Pilsner is described as "the perfect pint to enjoy this year’s rugby league season.”
Margz for days (well, 90 minutes)
Crazy Pedro's pizzas divide opinion. Purists may scoff at its eyebrow-raising concoctions which have included toppings such as chips, gravy and mushy peas, freezer dinner staples turkey dinosaurs and potato smiles, and creme eggs. But when you want a chilled night out with a few mates, great beer, great tunes and great (if a little bonkers) pizza, it's always a winner. If you're looking for a good old Margherita, no problem, and if you want a frozen margarita to wash it down with, it's all good, as long as you call them "margz". But what's the news? The news is that Pedro's terrace is opening again on 12 April and they have an irresistible bottomless deal on: bottomless slices, frozen "margz", Prosecco, beer or Hooch for 90 minutes for £25 per person. We're already booked in.
Finally, eat out to help out
If you’ve yet to stumble upon our A-Z of outdoor drinking and dining, what are you even playing at? Many of our faves have adapted to serve the masses al fresco from 12 April. A few you might not have heard about are Refuge’s beautiful covered street terrace out the back of the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, Corn Exchange (including Salvi's) restaurants all opening for outdoor dining on its enviable terraced area, and Chakalaka’s colourful South African BBQ yarden (pictured).