Plus lemon meringue cookies and a bao with the wow factor

Happy Christmas! Or that's what it feels like - we've even had snow. You're probably scrolling through this in a beer garden somewhere or ideally, your phone's in your pocket and you're talking to your mates or family members and you'll have a look later, or tomorrow, or whatever. But it is worth a look when you've finished celebrating because it'll give you some ideas of what you can shove in your gob next. 

Scroll on for our weekly round-up of full-fat social media content from Manchester's food and drink scene. 

Sign of the times

We were out and about in the NQ yesterday and the anticipation in the air was palpable. All over town, in fact, people were hastily building last-minute canopies, rearranging outdoor seating and doing a final deep-clean to prepare for what feels like it's going to be a momentous week. Large parts of the NQ are pedestrianised and it's going to be a street party atmosphere - with social distancing adhered to as much as possible, we hope. This sign from Almost Famous / Luck Lust Liquor and Burn says it all. 

Escape from lockdown (to freight island)

If your diaries are anywhere near as packed as ours, this week is going to take some stamina. One place that's tailor-made for these times is Escape To Freight Island and this picture made us get butterflies about the return of nights like these.

A right royal beer garden

If you'd prefer not to be on the main street but somewhere that feels a bit more private, head to The Crown and Kettle where they have a new food offering from the carb-alicious Bread and Bowl. This little video should get you in the mood.

Candy floss-ecco

No matter how hard we try, cocktails made at home just don't have the glamour of those made for us in a bar in real life. Cocktails like this pretty little number from Doner Haus are going to feature big on our to-do list over the next few weeks.

Win some bloody cocktails

If you're staying in and you prefer your cocktails on the spicy and savoury side, Your Buddy Mary's your gal. These home Bloody Mary kits are not just a bit of vodka and tomato juice but come with a heap of garnishes (think pickles, salami and even chicken wings) to make the mother of all Marys. A substantial meal in itself. They're running a competition to win a litre pack on Insta but it ends today so get on it asap.

Fire up the cocktail shakers

Or if neither of those are good enough for you, how about one with FIRE?

Crispy duck

If you're looking for next-level meaty indulgence (and you've already completed gravy tacos) this one really fits the bill (groan). Why? Because not only is it lasagne made with duck ragu but it's deep-fried. Deep-fried duck lasagne. The nibble you never knew you needed til now. Thanks Brewski.

Wow yao bao

The menu over at Wow Yao Chow is famous for its many ways with duck, but this bao is made with fried crispy chicken and it's one of their most popular dishes. We've had a fair few disappointing bao recently but this looks like a winner.

Little purple floret

We love a bit of gorgeous seasonal veg, especially if it comes in psychedelic colours like this broccoli fit for a Prince.

Stock up on gin

Stockport Gin has launched these lovely miniature box sets of their range of tipples. Hats off, they look like the perfect gift. 

Meringue u tang

An easy win this one, Gooey do cookies so well and they're so picturesque that they could be in this round up every week but we do try to be egalitarian and not keep favourites. We couldn't resist including this lemon meringue pie inspired beauty though. We'll hope to be tucking into one of these on the terrace at Ducie Street Warehouse stat. 

Smize up your life 

And finally, just remember that everyone who pours you a drink, brings your food over or takes your payment today is a human being who will be so glad to be back in action but quite possibly a bit nervous. This lady smizing away with her mask on in Greggs, Stretford perked up our morning scroll and we hope it does that for you too. Be good to these folks when you're out and about. It's going to be busy.

Read next: Big Monday - Manchester is ready to dine (and drink) out again

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