Our weekly round up of stories you might have missed from around town
Things have ramped up again in the food and drink world. It's all going on with boozy bonanzas, open air experiences and plenty of ways you can do your bit for those in a less fortunate position.
Whether it's an inflatable cinema screen, a Latin American style drag queen brunch or some invisible chips you're after, you'll find it all here in our weekly roundup.
Eat well feed well
Manchester-based hospitality collective Eat Well MCR has been feeding NHS workers and people living in challenging circumstances in our region throughout lockdown and beyond - over 20,000 of them so far. With The Creameries’ Mary Ellen McTague in the driving seat and other chefs from local restaurants like Hawksmoor, Elnecot, Baratxuri and A Taste of Honey cooking up fantastic grub from food that would have otherwise gone to waste, it’s a truly admirable effort.
Now the gang is going to be feeding everyone else as well. The Eat Well MCR Marketplace will be a one-stop shop where you can order restaurant meal kits from Manchester’s favourite chefs, cooked meals from your favourite local restaurants and a variety of local produce; including organic vegetables, meat, eggs, honey, other groceries, wines and beers. They recently ran a pilot scheme, sending out deliveries to 50 lucky locals who signed up to try it out and it went so well, the marketplace will open to everyone in September. Shopping at the Eat Well MCR Marketplace helps fund their work in the community while also supporting the local economy and you get to have some fantastic food delivered to your door. Sign up to their mailing list for more info.
Cin’ & tonic
Nightflix Gin Cinema, in partnership with Schweppes, has announced the launch of its outdoor gin festival cinema experience, which rolls into Stockport in September. Edward Scissorhands will be shown on September 4th and A Star is Born on the 5th (What, no Gin With The Wind, The Lord of the Gins or Gin-dlers List?) The films will be aired on huge inflatable outdoor screens. You can hire a deck chair or giant bean bag, or bring your own chair while you enjoy a G&T from a choice of 20 different gins along with a Schweppes tonic mixer. If gin’s not your poison, other drinks, including softs, will be available. There will also be a selection of hot food and sweets.
Audience safety is at the centre of the event planning. All government guidelines on social distancing will be followed, with a temperature check upon entry and track & trace in operation. There will also be a 100% refund guarantee in the event of cancellation. Nightflix Gin Cinema owner John Sullivan says: "People are craving safe outdoor activities, shared summer experiences and the chance to enjoy a film on the big screen again. We want our guests to be able to have all of these in a way that is first and foremost, safe." Tickets are available here.
Manchester helps feed Beirut
Manchester-based Humanitarian charity Human Appeal has launched an emergency appeal to support people affected by the explosion that devastated Beirut on Tuesday 4th August. The charity is allocating £50k to ensure that people who need emergency assistance receive it as soon as possible. Human Appeal is on the ground responding to people’s immediate need for food with ‘instant’ meals that don’t need to be cooked, given that homes have been destroyed. The charity will also be assessing how they can help with emergency home repairs. All activities will be undertaken with COVID-19 protocols in place, and hygiene kits will be distributed to those most at risk of catching the virus.
Dr Mohamed Ashmawey, Human Appeal CEO, said: “Our hearts go out to the people of Beirut and Lebanon as a whole, who once again are experiencing a level of suffering that no human should. At Human Appeal, we know through our work in Lebanon just how precarious the situation was before this tragedy, and so we will do absolutely everything we can to help the people of Beirut to recover.”
You can donate here.
Pink pop at Peru Perdu
South American diner, Peru Perdu is hosting a drag queen brunch in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot for the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Taking place on Sunday 30th August, from 11am-4pm, and hosted by two fabulous queens, guests can enjoy a Peruvian inspired brunch and Veuve Clicquot Champagne. For £35, attendees will be treated to a two-course brunch paired with a glass of champers, expertly poured from show-stopping Jeroboams. Alongside Peru Perdu’s signature Pisco Sours, bottles of Pornstar Martini are also available to order.
Live, in-house entertainment will be provided by Hattie Pearson who will be spinning funk and disco hits. In keeping with Peru Perdu’s dramatic makeover following a partnership with Eaton House Studio - the walls are now painted vibrant shades of pink - the drag queens will also be dressed pretty in pink to match the bright interiors. Book a table here or call 0161 549 0005, quoting #boozybankholiday.
Boozy brands and Black Lives Matter
For brands these days, having a social agenda pretty much comes with the territory (just take a look at Ben & Jerry’s). Now, London brewery Beavertown is getting in on the act by sponsoring We Out Here - a digital festival, co-hosted by Manchester’s Reform Radio, with all proceeds donated to Black Lives Matter associated charities.
From 21st - 23rd August, the festival website will host eight different stages featuring over 50 artists; plus films, panels, workshops, kids activities and more. A Jäger x Reform Stage (sponsored by Jägermeister), meanwhile, will support and celebrate the Manchester musical community during this difficult period; headliners include Mr Scruff, DJ Paulette, Luke Unabomber and Children of Zeus.
You flout, you’re out
In one of the fastest new openings and subsequent closings ever, outdoor eating space Viadux - featured in our new openings roundup just this week- has already been closed down, although perhaps only temporarily. The party spot has not been playing by the rules, it seems. Manchester Council has ordered Viadux to close following a council visit which found that it had failed to implement appropriate social distancing controls and manage customer behaviour and that the level of music was unacceptable in the current climate.
The council reported: ‘an event taking place in the bar, with a DJ playing extremely loud music, had got out of hand with a complete breakdown in social distancing by a crowd of people singing and chanting and no serious attempt by the bar's management to control it. In addition, seating was too close to meet COVID-19 regulations - less than one metre apart.’
With the hospitality sector already struggling, and stricter rules in place in Greater Manchester, the last thing we need is people not playing by the rules. Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council, said: “The hospitality industry is hugely important to Manchester and we want to see it prosper - but not at the expense of risking public health.” This stands as a warning to other venues that the council will not hesitate to crack down on this.
Update: The venue has since received permission to reopen again after making necessary changes. Akbar's, the second premises to be closed for COVID breaches, has also been allowed to reopen.
Who doesn’t love a day where you're obligated to drink a specific type of wine? Especially when it falls on a Tuesday. If you’ve got a bottle of Burgundy (Gordo’s favourite) winking at you from the ‘cellar’ (aka highly inefficient kitchen cupboard) or just want an excuse to buy (and drink) a bottle of NZ’s favourite red, you’ll be pleased to hear that next Tuesday, August 18th is international Pinot Noir Day.
If you’re a really keen oenophile, you could use this an excuse to order a tasting crate from Manchester’s Club Vino, whose ‘Red Collection’ contains a bottle of sustainable Californian McManis Pinot Noir (2018). Its Italian sommelier and founder of Club Vino, Marco Castelanelli’s favourite from the region and comes with five other red wines to compare it to. Although it’s a red wine, silky and subtle Pinot Noir is often served lightly chilled to bring out its cherry notes and soften its smokiness. Marco recommends around 16-18°C, as this will allow the wine to 'explode in freshness and acidity.' Cheers to that in this weather!
Another spud deed for the day
It’s no secret that the hospitality sector is in dire straits right now, with year-on-year sales down by around 50% in the first month of trading since lockdown restrictions were eased. Now Hospitality Action - which has been providing assistance to those working in hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafés since 1837 - has launched Invisible Chips to encourage people to chip in to support the cause.
The charity is urging people to consider the huge role that restaurants, bars and hotels play in our lives, providing the backdrop for 'our biggest life events, from first dates to exchanging vows, and from meeting old friends to toasting the dear departed.' By buying a ‘portion’ of invisible chips, you can contribute to a wedge of financial support that will help look after the people who work in these places. Celebrity maître d Fred Siriex (of
The 2 Million Pound Menu fame) is the face of the campaign, which gives buyers the option of original, skin on or dirty chips complete with invisible condiments like curry sauce and ketchup. That’s your spud deed for the day sorted.
‘Just Delete’ for a free takeaway treat
Finally, cheeky (but we like it) takeaway app, Food Hub, is sticking two fingers up to rivals like Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats. It’s offering 1000 customers a free £10 meal in return for
deleting one of those rival food apps from their smartphones. Foodhub boasts that its meals are 15% cheaper and it doesn't charge crippling commissions to restaurants using the app to provide their delivery service, nor does it add a service charge for customers. Be quick, as the offer runs out once 1000 codes have been redeemed from the Just Delete website.