MFDF

The mighty Manchester Food n Drink Festival kicks off tomorrow for the 14th year running.  Celebrating some great venues, chefs, local food and the best of British, it confirms one thing about this city: we know how to eat! Continue reading

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All aboard!

If you’re looking for a way to make an all day bender seem cultural, then I have just the thing for you – the East Lancashire Railway is a delightful tourist attraction, half an hour by tram from Manchester and run by wholesome Lancashire folk who don’t mind if you bring your dog or drink on the train. Continue reading

Salford Food & Drink Festival

It’s Salford Food ‘n’ Drink Festival at the moment and in honour of such festivities, plus it being Mr MancDays birthday, I did my bit for the cause last night by attending A Night of Fine Dining at the Lowry Theatre Restaurant.   The setting was stunning with a bright September sun setting over the spangley new developments in Salford Quays. Continue reading

Southern Soul

Due to a combination of irresistible opening offers and a generous prize-winning friend (thanks Polly!) my groaning stomach has thrice been satisfactorily stuffed at Southern Eleven since it opened.   They started out in Yorkshire and the arndale food court apparently, but are now gracing the top of the steps next to Pure Gym in Spinningfields.  Here they serve up a slightly glamorous take on the meaty soul food of the eleven old confederate southern United States.  (*If you can be bothered to name all eleven, see answer below.)  Having now sampled most of the menu, I feel at liberty to state that you will not be disappointed…as long as you are a hungry carnivore with an adjustable belt! Continue reading

Get thee to the Country

Growing up in North Wales, I never could understand why the city dwellers of the North West chose to spend their Friday nights towing caravans down the A55 at 5 miles per hour, just to be surrounded by their northern neighbours and recreate the comforts of home a bit nearer to some hills.  I appreciated how green and idyllic it was, but that’s the last thing you want when you’re a rebellious teenager.  I craved living in a cool city where you could do wild things like catch a bus after 10.30pm, eat nachos and drink crazy things like cocktails or you know, heaven forbid, buy a pair of jeans without driving for 45 minutes to Chester!  I felt that the lucky city folk were misguided to want to leave all that cosmopolitan living behind to come and stare at some sheep for the weekend.  I figured they’d fallen prey to the ‘grass is greener’ mentality. Continue reading

Orange Everydays

Now I don’t want to be seen praising a multibillion pound ruthless telecommunications giant but… I think I’m going to have to.

I’ve always been a fan of Orange Wednesdays where you can take a date or a mate to the pictures on the promise of a half price ticket.  (As long as you’re willing to queue for an hour outside the Printworks; not something I would normally deign to do!)

Now Orange have upped the stakes Continue reading

Platform 4 review

We were in for a real treat this weekend with the spectacular free event, Platform 4, taking place across Manchester.  Day events welcomed people to St Ann’s square, Piccadilly Gardens, New Cathedral Street and Exchange Square for family fun and all round entertainment.

 Castlefield played host to the night-time events which consisted of musical delights from around the world and a showcase of contemporary performance art. Continue reading

Show manc the love

In the wake of the riots, a sombre mood descended across the centre of Manchester, with shopper numbers down and the bars and restaurants looking less than their usual bustling selves.  I therefore welcome the campaign for people to show their love to Manchester with the #loveMCR twibbon: http://twibbon.com/join/i-love-mcr-2 which you can add to your facebook profile.

Let’s get back to the beaming civic pride that this city’s inhabitants are famous for!  I’m showing my love first of all by attending X Trax Platform 4 event this Friday in Castlefield: http://www.xtrax.org.uk/showcase_platform_4_2011_welcome.php

The event is FREE with a BBQ and drinks on offer from the perennially popular Dukes 92. The event features trip wire artists who’ll be suspended above the castlefield arena for our viewing pleasure.  I love the sound of the ‘always drinking marching band’ too!  Various shows are taking place over the weekend, so come and show your love!

Liverpool’s Lobsters

Think Lobster is a luxury?  Well not in Liverpool!  The fabulous 60 Hope Street restaurant http://www.60hopestreet.com/ are offering an irresistible summer “Lobster and Fizz” deal.  You get a whole lobster for two, with salads and a bottle of prosecco for a mere £40!  So when in Liverpool, I considered it courtesy to take them up on the offer.  Ok so if your will is as weak as mine, you do end up being tempted to starters (potted shrimp risotto, delicious) and desserts (custard tarts, mmmmm) but the highlight has to be the lobster bibs which are provided to patrons, please see photographic evidence….!  This was a fun touch.  Overall, the service was excellent, the atmosphere is lovely in there and with crustaceans and bubbles at that price, it is well worth a visit!

 

Incidentally, Liverpool is also home to the famous ‘Lobster Pot’ chippy, opposite Liverpool Central.  There’s a great range of choice there, but no battered lobsters unfortunately.

24:7 theatre festival

24:7 theatre festival – post 29th July

I suspect I’m not alone in never having heard of the Manchester 24:7 theatre festival which is now in its 8th consecutive year and takes place 21 – 29 July 2011.   What a shame I haven’t been involved before!  I’ve discovered that it’s a brilliant event taking place over nine days every year, across different and interesting venues in the city.  Priced at only £8 per show (and £6 concessions) it offers affordable access to modern playwrights and flourishing actors, as well as a chance to experience something a little unconventional.   The judges have picked 13 brand new one-hour plays from over 100 applicants.  The pieces run the gamut from Brechtian musical drama to controversial comedy to family focused fun. The mission is to nurture new talent and showcase it in Manchester with a series of premieres for our viewing pleasure.  There are loads of other events going on such as readings and films.  Check them out: Continue reading

Finding Dene

Finding Dene

In the blink of an eye, the cheap Deansgate drinking hole, the Hogs Head, has been ripped apart and replaced with the all new ‘The Lost Dene’.  I pondered whether its title is linked to the Deansgate thoroughfare on which it sits.  If so, perhaps the designers worked with such lightning speed that there was no time to press ‘F7’ and spell check the pub front signs.  Or perhaps its some olde legend of Deansgate past, brought back during the current revival of all things retro.  There was only one way to settle this matter and that’s by attending the launch party.  Unfortunately this meant having to sup free drinks in the name of accurate blogging! Continue reading

Beating the Monday Blues

Happy Mondays – 18th July

It’s drizzly and abnormally chilly for July.  My umbrella is almost defunct in these winds, so I arrive to work rain splattered, abject and damp.  The prospect of 5 days battling through paperwork with grey clouds looming at the window fills me with a hopeless, hapless dread.  However, in the true spirit of survival, I am determined to beat the Monday blues (not least because Suicide Tuesday is far worse and I need to get in shape before that gloom arrives!)   I’m tackling this head on and the things that cheered me up today are: Continue reading