It’s a treasure trove of Catalan ideas for presents and platters
Not long now, but panic not if you’re still stuck for ideas at the eleventh hour – Lunya will be open late all weekend and even on Christmas Eve. With various hams on the bone (we counted at least nine hanging in the window while rushing past in the rain), over forty authentic cheeses, the UK’s largest selection of Spanish beers, wines, sherries and spirits, and every other Catalan essential you can think of - and even some you can’t. From chorizo to olive oil, the Deansgate deli is packed to the rafters – literally: just look up to see the famous jamón.
Lunya owners Peter and Elaine Kinsella are passionate about the food and drink of Catalunya, travelling to Spain several times a year to source the very best seasonal produce to bring back to their award-winning Manchester store. As they source directly from suppliers and have unique relationships with some of the smallest artisan producers in Spain, you’re unlikely to find many of the products and ingredients elsewhere in the UK. That makes Lunya the perfect place to get hold of that unique gastronomic gift, or to pimp up your festive nibbles if you’re hosting over Christmas and New Year.
They will even help you make up a bespoke Lunya hamper with your own selection of goodies, from top end confections such as boxes of chocolate sardines by Simón Coll Albert Adrià Vicens Turron chocolate-coated red wine, G&T and even Mojito nougat bars, to unusual vermouths for the cocktail bar. If you’re in a rush, simply pick up one of their classic, ready made hampers. Whether you’re looking for charcuterie, cheese, hot and cold drinks, chocolate, or a mixture of the above, Lunya will sort you out.
Booze-wise, Lunya is brimming with inspiration. For a pre-Christmas dinner tipple, there's Spanish-distilled gin and tonic, or the nutty Lafuente Bellota (£22.95), a liqueur made with acorns, apparently very popular with the ham curers who supply Lunya. You’ll also find a wide selection of Spain’s very best Cava - perfect for New Year’s Eve – or whenever. The Vilarnau Brut Reserva Gaudi Gift Pack (£34.60) includes two Vilarnau flutes and a pretty bottle covered with stunning Gaudi designs, plus (of course) a bottle of apple-reminiscent fizz produced from a blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Chardonnay grapes.
Vouchers are also available and can be used to put towards the various wine- and sherry-tasting sessions that Lunya put on throughout the year, or the Lunya ham-carving masterclass, that’s due to take place in February. A Rodriguez Mini Serrano Ham Carving Set (£22.95) is an ideal gift for carnivores – while you’re at it, pick up a whole Rodriguez Reserva Serrano Ham leg. It’ll be the talk of your festive buffet table – your mother-in-law will be sorry she went to Iceland.
You’ll also find things like authentic Cambrian filetes de boquerón en aceite vegetal (anchovies) and giant capers still on their stalks, to garnish your smoked salmon starter.
And after all that last-minute shopping, feel free to take the weight off and treat yourself to a glass of red or white Rioja in Lunya’s adjacent bar – go on, it’s Christmas.
Lunya Manchester, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester M2 2BB
Manchester deli opening hours:
Saturday 9am – 10pm
Sunday 10am – 8.30pm
Christmas Eve 10am – 9pm
Closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day