Our weekly round up of stories you might have missed from around town
As summer comes to an end (although we had a decent run this year) there is change in the air. We bring you news of fresh menus from some of the most talked about restaurants of 2020, pop-ups enhancing the post-lockdown workplace and booze companies getting greener, cannier and more passionate.
Read on for the latest scoop from the world of local food and booze.
The cream rises to the top
If you missed Higher Ground when it opened in a security cabin pop up at Kampus - and let’s face it, most people did, now’s your chance to eat head chef Joseph Otway’s wonderful seasonal food as he hosts a supper club at Mary Ellen McTagues's The Creameries this weekend.
Joseph says: “This is an exciting time of year and a chance for us to cook for you using many of our favourite growers, producers and suppliers based in the North West and the abundance that summer brings. We’re cooking and pouring wine over two days: Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch time.”
The menu is priced at £40 per person with an optional additional wine pairing at £20 pp. A selection of wines by the bottle and by the glass will also be available. Tickets are almost sold out so be quick if you want to get involved. Book here.
A passion for brewing
Just in time for the August bank holiday weekend, Salford's Seven Bro7hers brewery has added a new passion fruit-flavoured beer to its collection. The dry-hopped, 5% ABV Passion Fruit Pale is packed full of that sweet 'n sour tang offering the experience of a pale ale without being too heavy. Fruity!
Seven Bro7hers CEO Keith McAvoy, said: “During the heatwave we saw a 30% rise in the sale of our fruitier beers – this has inspired us to create a new beer for our punters. Our Watermelon Wheat Beer and Honeycomb are always hugely popular with our drinkers, so it is great fun to explore new fruit flavours. We hope people will join us to enjoy the rest of the summer season and try the latest edition to the family.”
Passion Fruit Pale is available on the Seven Bro7hers web shop for £3.50 in 440 ml cans and will also be available in the Manchester beer houses.
Champagne taste and beer money? We got you...
We love nothing more than hunting out great food at outrageously good prices and this is a real find. The new set menu at The River Restaurant at The Lowry is available Sun-Thurs and priced at £24.95 - already a decent deal. But on Mon-Weds with the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, it’ll cost you just £14.95 for three courses. What's more, every pair of diners will also receive a free bottle of wine.
It’s the cheapest menu the Lowry has ever offered in the River Restaurant and a great opportunity to try starters like gin cured salmon cucumber with tonic gel and black pepper ice cream (pictured), mains like salt and pepper cod kiev, crispy fried mussels and pak choi or a 10oz ribeye, and desserts like peanut butter panna cotta. The £24.95 menu will run until October and, when the government scheme finishes at the end of August, the restaurant will issue those who dined in August with a bounce back voucher for £10pp. That means you can go back and enjoy the rest of the menu at £14.95 until the end of October.
What’s your poison?
You know all about Brew Dog but did you know it has branched out into cider making with sister brand Hawkes? Hawkes was born out of founder Simon Wright’s realisation that people had thousands of apple trees, spread across allotments, gardens and growing wild but didn’t always know what to do with them. An unbelievable 2.5 million apples go to waste every day in the UK - 800,000 in UK homes and further wastage coming from production, supply chain, unpicked fruit and unclaimed windfall - this adds up to the UK wasting over 900 million apples a year. In 2019 cider, Hawkes’ THIS IS LONDON cider was fermented from 100% donated London apples, now it’s Manchester’s turn. The brand is asking the people of Manchester to donate spare apples to help create a truly Mancunian cider called THIS IS MANCHESTER. In order to turn your neglected apples into liquid gold Hawkes has created a special apple mail-in box that you can order online and fill with apples (up to 10kg) before returning.
Every penny of the profits of the THIS IS… range are donated to Social Orchards Urban Planting which recognises the benefits that an orchard can bring to a community and is dedicated to ensuring every household in the UK’s town and cities is within walking distance of a productive, well-cared-for, community-run orchard. How d’ya like them apples?
If gin's more your thing, you'll be pleased to hear Didsbury Gin have launched a range of G&Ts in a can. Flavours include Raspberry & Elderflower, Blood Orange & Ginger, Strawberry & Sicilian Lemon and a Tutti Frutti Gin Fizz as inspired by MasterChef champion Simon Wood’s famous dessert. Liam Manton, co-founder of Alderman’s Drinks, commented: “As a nation of gin lovers, we are very much in the midst of the gin-naissance, so what better time to make our range stand out from the crowd even further than with an extended range of canned flavoured gin & tonics. We know our customers love the variety of flavours in the original format, so it was only a matter of time before we made a RTD version for those on the go.”
The full range of Didsbury Gin 250ml RTD cans are now available in packs of four for £9.95 from Didsbury Gin and Booths supermarkets. But that's just the beGINning, the brand has also launched a new gin club. Gin lovers can now sign up to a monthly subscription of their favourite flavoured gins or multipacks of the new cans at a discounted rate. Gin Gin!
The Edinbrunch Castle
This weekend The Edinburgh Castle in Ancoats - one of our favourite restaurants of 2019 - launch a brunch service and it looks really, really good. The menu boasts the likes of sourdough crab crumpets with celeriac, kohlrabi and green apple, fermented potato waffle with house-cured salmon & creme fraiche, and glazed bacon chop with hash browns, fried egg and smoked tomato.
If you're a pre-noon boozer, you can also add bottomless drinks for two hours which include new brunch cocktails like their house Bloody Mary and a Garibaldi with Campari and, er, ‘fluffy orange juice.’ There are beers included in the deal as well, if you’re feeling less adventurous. This menu will be available on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm and Sundays from 10am til midday.
Macmillan's still on
Macmillan’s Coffee Morning fundraising initiative turns 30 this year. The cancer support charity that offers emotional support and practical advice to patients and their families is encouraging Manchester residents to get involved this September, despite the pandemic. Aggie Sheppard, Macmillan’s head of regional fundraising in the North West, said: “We’re incredibly excited about Coffee Morning 2020, it’s always so fantastic to see so many people get involved to raise crucial funds to allow us to help the people who need us. Every Coffee Morning changes lives. Demand for our cancer support services is greater than ever, but, due to coronavirus, we are facing a significant drop in our income.”
This year people can't pack into village halls, community centres and homes as usual so Macmillan is asking people to think creatively about ways in which they could still join in to raise vital funds. Suggestions include taking on a challenge to run, cycle, knit or bake or for an easy option, buying one of partner M&S’s Coffee Morning products with 10% going to the charity. Funds raised will go towards things like running phone advice lines, printing booklets, and paying for equipment like blenders to help patients that can’t eat solid food. Sign up here.
Heineken gets even greener
Heineken UK’s Manchester brewery is on the forefront of progress with greener beer packaging. It will be eliminating plastic from millions of cans as it rolls out innovative sustainable packaging across thousands of UK retailers. The cardboard topper replaces those horrible plastic rings on multipacks of Heineken®, Foster’s and Kronenbourg 1664. Despite having to creatively overcome setbacks due to COVID-19, Heineken UK says it is on track to achieve its goal to remove this type of plastic from supermarket shelves by the end of 2021. The new packaging not only removes plastic but minimises the use of materials and reduces waste. The combination of the new topper, dubbed Green Grip, and the removal of shrink wrapping on consumer packs will eliminate over 517 tonnes of plastic annually - the equivalent of 94 million plastic bags. We'll drink to that.
Trendy, flexible co-working space Colony Piccadilly has announced a string of food and drink pop-ups as part of its evolved offering and in support for the struggling hospitality sector. Following a successful pop up from Nell’s Pizza, Colony will welcome on the 20th August, Burgerism on the 21st, Brickhouse Social on the 25th and 186 & Ad Hoc Records on the 27th. It's also offering half price day passes at £10 which give access to the productive workspace, free tea & coffee and pop-up offerings.
Colony Piccadilly tells us it is fully adhering to government safety guidelines, complete with a new layout to accommodate distancing between desks and restrictions on the number of members allowed in the space at any given time. With three existing co-working spaces in Manchester already, Colony plan to open a fourth in 2020. Welcome to the new normal.
A change at The Stock Exchange
It was one of the most anticipated new openings of 2019 and Tom Kerridge has announced that his Manchester restaurant The Bull & Bear in Gary Neville's Stock Exchange hotel will reopen at the end of the August. The restaurant will return with a new menu - but those pesky flatscreen TVs remain (read our review).
On the new menu, Kerridge has ditched the confusing sections named after varying plate sizes and gone for a more traditional 'starters, mains, desserts' approach along with sections for snacks and sides. Newbies to the a la carte include whole stuffed rotisserie quail with ceps, sweetcorn and bacon as well as a fish and chips with pease pudding, tartare and Matson spiced sauce. Desserts now include a buttermilk panna cotta with poached plum and a lemon and blackcurrant fool.