Mouthy town criers, yule dogs and Crimbo choirs

In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens wrote: “It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” So after the 18 months or so the world has had, it’s appropriate that The Refuge’s season of festivities is named after the well-worn novel. We are SO ready for a Crimbo giggle.

Klaxon: The Refuge is also open on Christmas Day

Always an ostentatiously glamorous setting for Xmas festivities, The Refuge at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel (Formerly The Principal and before that The Palace) will host all manner of wholesome Crimbo themed events to make up for last year’s cancelled Xmas season. 

Here’s the rundown of events:

A Christmas Carol at The Refuge

A Christmas Carol launch event - Friday 12 November

Expect a performance from a local choir (with various choirs popping up across the season) as well as a number of guest town criers (oh, yay!) who may or may not include The Refuge’s co-honcho Luke Unabomber. We’re sure he’ll look very suave if he does make an appearance.

Doggy fancy dress - Saturday 28 November

An opportunity to utterly humiliate your Yule dogs by worming them into daft outfits and having them pose for a photo with “fun Christmas props”. Insert doggy style joke here.

Christmas Wreath Making Workshop - Every Thursday in December from 6.30pm

In collaboration with Giraffe Flowers, the in-house florist at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, make yourself a Christmas wreath to hang on your door. Xmas wreath-making tickets cost £70 per person and include all the materials you need, expert guidance and a festive cocktail and mince pie. Spaces are limited to 10 people per class.

Edwardian-style Christmas Fair - Saturdays 5 and 12 December

Launching on the Refuge terrace, this luxe Xmas shopping event gives you a chance to buy from local and further afield makers such as clothing from Top of The Town Vintage, music-inspired prints from HollieGraphik, contemporary homewares from Deadstock General Store; and Northern On The Run, accessories from artist and stylist, Mariel Osborn and more TBC. Manchester Union Lager will be bringing their tasty brews. The belting Hallé Ancoats Community Choir will perform on Dec 12.

DJ Santa on 20-22 December

Refuge resident DJs - with more DJs appearing over the festive season, details still TBC.

A Dog In Xmas Fancy Dress For The Refuge Manchester Christmas Event
The Refuge is hosting an Xmas themed doggy fancy dress

What’s on the Refuge Xmas menu?

Monday to Saturday throughout December sees The Refuge roll out some hefty Xmas dinner style platters. Think herb and butter-roasted turkey breast with cranberry and apricot stuffing, goose fat roast potatoes, cranberry-glazed pigs in blankets and all the usual veggies. These “feasting menus” are designed to share and priced at £32.50 per person.

Klaxon: The Refuge is also open on Christmas Day. £120 per adult (kids prices cheaper dependent on age) will get you starters like Loch Duart salmon, venison carpaccio, mulled pear with Blackstick’s Blue and salt-baked celeriac soup; mains are a choice of hand-carved Cheshire roast turkey, sirloin tournedos, duck breast or butternut squash, spinach and chestnut Wellington; there’s Christmas pud, sherry trifle, chocolate and cherry parfait or treacle tart with liquorice ice cream for afters and a cheeseboard too.

To book for Christmas Day email

The Refuge Chritsmas Carol Poster Manchester
Stick in on your advent calendar - The Refuge party is starting

Director of Operations at The Refuge, Tim Reynolds, said: “We are delighted to bring back A Refuge Christmas Carol. The team at Refuge have been working hard to put together a very special menu and programme of events right up until the end of the year – it’s set to be a magical affair."

The Refuge at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA

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