Our weekly round up of stories you might have missed from around town
HAUNTINGLY good cocktails are on the cards, while bubbles are being served on the roof and beers are on tap in the park. We’ve even got your Christmas list sorted with two months to go, so we’re off to a party...
Cocktail-lovers, assemble. This weekend sees Manchester’s mixologists descend on The Viadux (no, we’re not sure either but we’re guessing it’s under the tramline round the back of Central) for Cocktails In The City, ‘the UK’s most exciting cocktail festival’. Spanning two days – Friday and Saturday 6-11pm – the shaking shindig gathers under one roof ‘a hand-picked collection of Manchester’s finest bars in pop-up form’. With ‘intimate’ Tasting Rooms part of the experience, try new creations by the likes of Manahatta and Wilderness Bar + Kitchen (or Wolf At The Door, as we now know it.) Some of Manchester’s leading female bartenders will be rusling up Champagne creations in the Stylist Loves Laurent-Perrier Champagne Bar, with street food available from an alfresco market under the arches and music all night. The £12.50 tickets include the £6.50 price of a cocktail – including the Halloween-esque Lilly Blossom (sic), which apparently came to Tattu’s cocktail expert ‘in a dream’.
The third ‘eats, beats and booze’ event at MeadowSide located near the Angel Meadows green space is tomorrow, with various local breweries bringing the beers. Leading the pack are microbrewery Beatnikz Republic Brewing Co, while you can also get a taste of the limited-edition honey-based drink Rise Like Lions Peterloo Porter, made by Runaway Brewery in collaboration with Brew Wild and Watkins Beer. The free Bite + Beer event, taking place 11.30am to 2.30pm, is the latest taking place every second Saturday of the month organised by property developer Far East Consortium, with plenty of eats on offer too – In The Dog Haus, Pitch Pizza, Lovage and Rosemary and Lekker Eats Dutch – so you won’t go thirsty or hungry.
Food festivals pop up on a regular basis, excluding anyone who is allergic or intolerant to certain ingredients. A bit unfair, so welcome to the scene the Free From Festival, heading to Manchester for the first time on Saturday 19th October and focusing on food free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. Following successful events in London, Bristol and Oxford, the festival – or FFF, as we’re going to call it – will take place 11.30am to 5.30pm at Fairfield Social Club. FFF will give you the chance to find out more about UK-based ‘free from’ businesses, sample products and watch talks and demos picking up cookery tips and recipe ideas from nutritionists and industry professionals. Dig into fish’n’chips, curry dishes, ice cream, waffles and beers – all free from nasties. Entry to the event is £5 (plus booking fee) – tickets here.
Enter the spirit world
Those guys at Turtle Bay have conjured up a new spirit, adding the Rum Thief to their ‘renowned’ cocktail menu just in time for Halloween. Inspired by the old Jamaican legend of ‘Duppies’ – mischievous, rum-loving Caribbean spirits that swoop between distilleries stealing the best of the rum – this brand-new cocktail concoction includes The Duppy Share rum. With its balanced blend of fiery Jamaican and smooth Barbadian rums, The Duppy Share is described as having ‘tropical fruit flavours up front followed by a warm buttery finish’. It’s perfectly complemented in the Rum Thief, which includes lime, vanilla and raspberry, making it the ultimate Halloween treat with a Caribbean twist. The new drink will be available in the NQ and Oxford Street Turtle Bays from Thursday 31st October.
Height of winter
With all this Halloween talk, we’re not quite sure how keen we are to go Into The Woods, but that’s what 20 Stories are inviting us to do from Wednesday 13 November when their winter pop-up of that very name is revealed. The 20 Stories top-floor terrace – already a go-to with its beautiful cityscape backdrop – is being transformed into an enchanting garden, featuring winter wonderland foliage, captivating greenery and two giant snowglobe shelters, bringing a festive and magical feel to the roofline above Manchester. The transformation is happening in partnership with sponsors Moët & Chandon, with seasonal drinks and a new hot and cold cocktail menu created by bar manager Stuart McLachlan. Blankets will also be provided.
That’s a wrap
We can practically hear the sleigh bells ringing as we write this… Il Gusto (no, not the Italian restaurant) are throwing open their new Arndale Centre winter wonderland – sorry – gift shop from this Monday until New Year’s Eve, with personalised present-buying opportunities for every pocket. Il Gusto offers a unique concept that sees shoppers choose their favourite spirits and liqueurs, matching them to festive and unusual-shaped bottles (stars, Christmas trees, gingerbread men…). Booze includes gins, vodkas, brandies and whiskies, plus ‘festive favourites’ Cherry Bakewell Gin, Toffee Vodka, Gingerbread Liqueur, Marzipan Liqueur and Salted Caramel Liqueur, and empty bottles can be taken back to the store for a refill. Stocking fillers and Secret Santa sorted. You’re welcome. No really.
Following a turbulent few months, and before even making it to a full year in business, Karam in Hale Village has closed. Taking over the site from national French-inspired chain Côte Brasserie, which also closed rather unceremoniously, the Lebanese restaurant had recently been hit with some flak via online reviews, though there is no official statement relating to the closure.
But let’s not end on a low note. Tonight you can dance your worries away at Whitworth Locke, at what organisers are hoping will become a regular on the Friday-night party scene, as new all-inclusive event Intertwined comes to The Cotton Factory featuring dancing, DJs and drag queens. Starting at 5pm, it’s £5 in. See you later.