Don't miss out with our weekly round up of what's happening around town
MOVE over Blue Monday, we still have work to do what with Ginuary, Veganuary, Dry January, Burns Night and a mountain of leftover fromage to get through. There’s a special MasterChef menu lined up, a devilish collaboration on the cards, offers on fine wines, and the chance to get your mop chopped while the band soundchecks…
Here's what's up and coming:
Blokes, looking to get your hair cut for a big night out? Why not have your hair cut while you’re on a big night out? New one-stop-shop One Eight Six (in the Grade II-listed 186 Deansgate building next to Hawksmoor) combines cocktail club, live music venue and barbershop, and has just officially opened its doors to the public following a month of soft launches. Co-founder (alongside Alan Crowshaw) Dean Mac says: “We loved the idea of two venues in one and wanted to offer people unrivalled experiences and something edgy but decidedly sophisticated.” We’ve heard mention of ‘concept cocktails’ and Dean has curated the music programme, including Motown Mondays and a rotating line-up of live acts, while Bolton barber Scott Patel is overseeing the eight chairs.
Grazing on a sunny afternoon
As Veganuary continues apace, The Midland Hotel’s Tea Room has broadened its already beamy offer with a new-look Vegan Afternoon Tea. For dainty sarnies, think heritage carrot tartare on white bread, coronation tempeh on brown, and roasted red pepper, vegan cheese and rocket. Sweet treats include dark chocolate sponge with chocolate ganache and frosted walnuts, cinnamon banana cake, pistachio polenta cake, and vegan scones – dollop with soy cream and Mrs Darlington’s jams. It’s all £28 per person washed down with premium loose leaf tea, or £38 should you fancy a glass of Bouche Cuvee Brut.
Meanwhile, over at Indigo Hotel’s Mamucium Restaurant & Bar near Victoria Station, it’s all about the cheese and they've extended their offer. Until the end of the month, you can still choose from a baked Camembert (£29.95), perfect for groups of four, or the full-on 3kg French Cheese Fest (£59.95, book in advance). Both come with freshly baked fruit and nut loaf, pigs in blankets, crispy home-cured pancetta, cranberry sauce, fresh apple and grapes, and candied pecans. Say 'fromage'.
High not dry
Love Wine, says 20 Stories, and we say: “Yes! Yes, we do!” The rooftop restaurant is shunning Dry January, adding instead a new wine-soaked weekly event for the rest of the month when you’re being given the chance to gain access to the 20 Stories sommelier’s choice of fine wines for a special price. Love Wine is described as 'a unique and expertly curated offer', showcasing diverse labels from some of the most iconic wine producers, styles and regions across the world. and read more about wine at 20 Stories in our exclusive interview here.
Meat the MasterChefs
It’s all a bit busy at Alston Bar & Beef, where the Scottish-owned Corn Exchange stalwart is celebrating Burns Night over the full weekend, 24th to 26th January, with a special menu. Don your kilt and you’ll be treated to a whiskey on the house... Also, on 20th January, the Alston crew are looking forward to hosting a special fine-dining pop-up event from Sauce Supper Club, bringing the finalists of MasterChef: The Professionals to town. The talented trio of overall 2019 winner Stuart Deeley, and runners-up Olivia Burt and Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga (who works down the road at James Martin Manchester) will be showcasing some of the dishes that wowed the judges in the series, serving up a six-course dinner menu. Tickets cost £100.
Hold us back – indie craft brewer BrewDog has teamed up with purveyors of plant-based plunder Temple of Seitan to dish up their signature seitan wings and burgers, with a special offer of half-price vegan and vegetarian main meals for the whole of January. Temple of Seitan’s faux chicken wings are apparently getting the full BrewDog treatment, doused in their legendary hot sauce and syrup glaze. More of a burger fan? Get your mitts on Clucky This Time or Temple Of Seitan, both featuring Temple of Seitan’s famous meat-free patties. The new collaboration means that over half the dishes in BrewDog are now plant-based 'with zero compromise on flavour', served alongside a core beer range which is 95% vegan friendly.
…and other kinds of pick-me-ups
The team at MOJO are recommending that guests don’t drive after consuming their new cocktail, Mellow Mood – not because of alcohol content, but because it contains 'a little dash of magic'. The booze-free tipple launching on Friday 3rd February is infused with CBD oil, promising a 'unique and wonderful non-alcoholic alternative'. Setting you back £10, Mellow Mood is the first of its kind on MOJO’s cocktail menu, mixing apparently health-beneficial cannabis-derived CBD with apple, pineapple, lime and agave juices. MOJO director Mal Evans says, “At MOJO we have always prided ourselves on…pushing the boundaries of creative mixology. The rise in demand for interesting non-alcoholic drinks has inspired us to seek innovative alternatives and we think Mellow Mood offers a new experience and reflects the ever-increasing social trend in the use of CBD.”
Just the tonic
Now here’s an idea we’re interested in – gin meets yoga, where Ginuary and Dry January come together in a cut and shut mash-up. Award-winning Cheshire-based distillery Greenall’s has been producing handcrafted British gin since 1761, and has joined forces with brewers and bar owners Greene King to put on Gin Yoga classes with a twist in pubs across the country this month. Following 40 minutes of yoga (suitable for all abilities), you’ll be served a Greenall’s Gin & Tonic made with fruity zero-sugar Wild Berry or Blueberry; just 54 calories when paired with a low-cal tonic. Nearby, the Greenall’s Gin Yoga class will take place at the Ladybrook in Bramhall on Thursday 30th January at 6pm, £5 per place.
The Northern Quarter’s independent 'all-American eatery' Alabama’s has now moved round the corner, putting in an appearance with a new menu extending into the evening at Northern Monk Refectory on Tariff Street. The kitchen takeover is a temporary arrangement while the breakfast and brunch specialists sniff out new premises after being served notice at their gaff on nearby Newton Street (the same place as Jimmy’s, also on the move, with an Ancoats opening date to be announced). Aside from the usual shakes, pancakes and doughnuts (including a new vegan version; pictured), Bradley Parkins and the Bama’s chefs are using the pop-up (or pop-down, it being in the basement) to expand their repertoire and give dishes like gumbo, fried chicken and plant-based burgers a go. No reservations, just rock up Monday-Friday 9am-3pm and 5pm-8pm, Saturday 9am-8pm and Sunday 9am-5pm.