Xmas markets, plant free parties and letterbox lunches. Here's what you might have missed

Christmas Markets WILL return to Albert Square (only smaller)

We might finally be having a summer heatwave, but we’re past the summer solstice so we’re allowed to use the C-word. Fans of the Christmas Markets will be pleased to hear that stalls are returning to Albert Square this year. After months of rumours, Manchester City Council have confirmed that the markets will go ahead as normal. 

There are still proposals to transform the pedestrianized square into a public events space – increasing it in size by 20% – but delays on the work programme have meant that the markets can go ahead this year. However, due to current work on the Town Hall, the market in Albert Square will be two thirds of its normal size. 

Councillor Pat Karney, Christmas spokesman for Manchester City Council, said: “It might be summertime but I’m already counting down to Yuletide and it’s great news that the Christmas Markets will be able to take place on Albert Square for another year after all. Although stalls will have to relocate in future years to enable works, the square will be able to host markets which are bigger and better than ever, as well as a whole host of other events.”

We’re just glad to have an excuse to post this ‘Gordo hates the Xmas markets’ video again…

2019 06 28 Reds True Bbq

Reds True BBQ saved from administration

Smoque Limited, the company behind Reds True Barbecue has been partially bought out of administration by Tokyo Industries; a nightclub, bar and restaurant operator with 36 sites across the UK (including Impossible on Peter Street.) The firm has now taken on Red's sites in Leeds, Headingley, Sheffield, Nottingham and Manchester, saving around 200 jobs. The transaction also included their small-batch brewery in Leeds and its three employees.

Aaron Mellor, founder of Tokyo Industries, added: “Red’s is an incredible brand with strong growth potential. James and Scott’s passion, creative yet rebellious attitude, and near cult status restaurants are a perfect synergy for both parties and we’re looking forward to working as a team to take the brand forward.”

2018 06 07 Vegan Cakes

Vegan treats at Cheshire Conference Centre

Fish and chips with a vegan twist? Animal welfare charity Viva! is bringing their Viva Vegan Festival to Stockport on Saturday 29 June. After the success of last year’s event, the festival will celebrate all things plant-based with both local traders and national retailers. From trying out cruelty-free clothing to sampling meat-free food and drink, there will be over 60 stalls to explore, with all proceeds supporting Viva’s research on health and environmental issues. 

Viva! founder and director Juliet Gellatley said: “This immense growth in veganism can be seen in the amazing line-up that we have planned for our festival – Viva!’s vegan festivals are a fantastic way of bringing people together and showcasing the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.” 

2019 06 21 Hatch 2

Celebrate summer with Hatch 2.0

Hatch are hosting a free party to celebrate their latest expansion and kickstart their summer events season. The evening will feature an exclusive performance from local poet Mike Garry and the Cassia String Quartet – debuting a new poem dedicated to the Oxford Road Corridor – alongside Salford singer/songwriter Ren Harvieu and DJ Jeff O’Toole. Kicking off at 5pm on 3 July, all of the businesses will be open for visitors to browse round the extended site and see the brand-new menus and products. 

Last week saw Hatch treble in size with eleven new retailers whose wares include handmade chocolate bars from Choc and sustainable and up-cycled gifts from Mindful Store. There is now a rooftop terrace, forming part of the Number 8 Cocktail Bar, alongside the original Ol Nano Brewery, new wine bar Vin-Yard, and Electrik Box.

2019 02 26 Vertigo Exterior

New First Street home for vegan Vertigo

Plant-based favourite Vertigo is opening a second restaurant on First Street, taking over the former Kettlebell Kitchen unit. After only six months of successful trading on Cross Street (pictured above), the team behind the vegan kitchen have decided to expand with a larger restaurant. Owner Michael Jebelli said: "It's gone really well - better than we ever thought it would. It's got to the point where we're having to turn people away all day on Saturdays and First Street's a great fit for us.”

The new location will be able to offer a larger all-day menu, including grab-and-go breakfasts alongside dine-in options, as well as a natural wine bar. Due to open on August bank holiday weekend, Vertigo hope to become the perfect pre-theatre spot for those heading to shows at HOME. 

2019 06 28 Mr Coopers Chef Rebecca Richardson

Mr Cooper’s welcomes Ms Richardson

Mr Cooper’s, the brasserie at the Midland Hotel, has welcomed Rebecca Richardson as their new head chef. Launching a brand new menu this week, Rebecca and co. will focus on using home-grown British favourites and cuts of meat from the restaurants in-house butcher. In addition to the a la carte menu, she has also created a pre-theatre set menu. 

Rebecca, who is from Longsight, comes to the restaurant from the Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Worsley. She said: “When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to join the team and have spent a lot of time working on these menus, ensuring they remain true to what Mr Cooper’s is all about, while offering customers the best in British produce and flavours.”

20170328 Salvis App5

Northern Quarter to get a taste of Naples  

Never one to stand still, Maurizio Cecco from Salvi’s is opening another restaurant, this time bringing his authentic Neopolitan menu to the Northern Quarter. The restaurant group already has three sites in the city centre – an original mozzarella bar at the Corn Exchange and two restaurants on John Dalton Street. Sharing the same building on High Street as brunch spot Federal, the new site will offer the full Salvi’s menu of pizza, pasta and seafood when it opens at the end of August – after the dust has settled from his hugely popular Festa Italiana in July.

2019 06 28 Deliveroo Letterbox

Lunch through your letterbox

Deliveroo are to become the first hot food delivery service to bring letterbox delivery to the UK and are trailing the revolutionary service in Manchester.

Available from 1 July, to coincide with lots of hungover Glasto-goers returning home, people will be able to order hot food straight through their door without even having to open it. The trial will be held in Manchester with Katsouris on Deansgate.

Richard Katsourise from the restaurant said: “We’ll be the first restaurant in the UK to offer the Royal Meal service to Deliveroo customers, getting our food out to people when they need it most! We’ve all had times when we don’t fancy cooking and instead order in, but this new service means you don’t even have to answer the door.”

Last year, Deliveroo broke boundaries by delivering food 450ft up in the air and is now innovating the delivery industry once again. The game-changing delivery box will feature the latest design packaging, developed to keep food secure when coming through the letterbox.

Joe Groves at Deliveroo said, “We recognise that some people need a duvet day and to hide in the comfort of their own home, so Royal Meal will still give people what they want – delicious food! Our Royal Meal service is the food delivery of the future and we are excited to add this layer to our offering.”