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ISSUE 01 18.08.16


INSIDE THIS ISSUE Welcome to the first issue of Manchester's Finest. A printed round up of content from our site over the last 6 months. Along with our talented contributors we will continue to bring you the best and brightest Manchester has to offer.





From mcr to...











Manchester’s Permanently Unique Tattu Restaurant & Bar Writer: Steven Pankhurst

It’s been a year since Tattu opened its doors to a city eager to see if it would live up to its hype. Manchester’s Finest caught up with owner Adam Jones to talk about the venue’s progression and the new menu that’s been introduced by executive chef, Clifton Muil. 5

For those who haven’t yet tried Tattu, the restaurant offers contemporary Chinese cuisine, fusing traditional Asian flavours with exquisite presentation in surroundings that befit its location in the sophisticated Spinningfields district. As you enter the space, its meticulous design detail captivates you from the start. Everywhere you look there are unique details, bespoke fittings and stunning artworks that contribute to the overall concept, which takes inspiration from body art. The celebration of individuality and self-expression that tattooing represents has been embraced by some of the world’s most acclaimed brands and fashion houses, utilising the art form as part of marketing campaigns. The art form is more prevalent in today’s society than ever before, which is why Tattu feels so relevant. It’s a progressive venue that has most certainly made its mark. Owner Adam Jones comments: “Body art connects people, therefore it felt natural to apply this concept to the hospitality industry. Tattu tells a story, it takes customers from the historical eastern roots of the art form across the oceans and into the expansive marketplace that it is today. This journey is depicted through three different areas within the space, each with their own artistic inspiration.”

Typically masculine elements have been harmoniously balanced with softer feminine details to create a considered equality across the venue. Materials, textiles and furniture have all been crafted by a range of unique suppliers, reflecting the artistry of the whole space. Skyscraper chandeliers contrast the soft cherry blossom as an ode to the venue’s location within Spinningfields. Images synonymous with traditional tattoo artwork have been hand-tooled onto bespoke leather arm chairs and bar stools, providing detail and texture, as well as a further reference to the venue’s overarching inspiration. “Tattu was a labour of love from the very beginning, every detail had to be perfect to achieve the look and feel that we wanted to create. It’s required a lot of hard work from everyone involved and we’ve endeavored to maintain those high standards in every aspect of our offering,” Adam continued. The venue celebrated its first anniversary last month, which saw the introduction of a new menu designed by executive chef Clifton Muil.


Tattu Restaurant & Bar, Gartside Street, Spinningfields, M3 3EB To book please call 0161 819 2060 or visit Follow @TattuMCR on Twitter and Instagram.


He comments, “Our aim with the new menu is to demonstrate the restaurant’s progression and the diversity that can be found within Chinese cuisine, using traditional ingredients as the backbone for some really innovative recipes. The way we have interpreted these flavours and refined these new dishes will provide diners with something really special, and something that’s still entirely unique in the city. We’ve tried to make it accessible for everyone, from the express lunch menu which is perfect for those wanting to sample a few dishes, to our full a la carte which is a fantastic collection of new flavours.” The bar provides an intimate atmosphere, inviting guests to relax and enjoy the extensive cocktail menu in the delicate Rose Garden. Each one of the diverse cocktails is inspired by the designs of different body artists, with their own unique style and moreish flavour combinations. Bless This Mess, for example, is an ode to prolific artist Scott Campbell’s flagship studio, blending vodka, lychee and passionfruit for a refreshing summer serve.

Bar manager, Craig Dean, describes the new cocktail menu as, “a complete change of flavour profile, introducing light, refreshing and moreish drinks that will accentuate the flavours in our new food menu perfectly.” “We’ve received some outstanding feedback in our first 12 months, but as a proprietor you can’t be complacent if you want to continue to grow. The new menus reflect what we’ve learnt and reinforce our commitment to keeping our offer unique. Tattu is a brand that’s most definitely here to stay. As we grow each new venue will have its own identity, as well as featuring some of the defining elements that have made our first location such a success,” Adam concluded. Nothing has been compromised in the offering that Tattu provides, injecting some much needed diversity into the city’s already vibrant dining scene. The result is a progressive venue that delivers a fascinating collaboration of finishes and materials, leaving the concept open to interpretation by the individual. Tattu is very much about a unique experience, true to the art form from which it takes its inspiration.




Zouk Tea Bar & Grill The Quadrangle Chester Street M1 5QS


To book please call 0161 233 1090 or visit Follow @ZoukTeaBar on Twitter and Instagram.

Writer: Pippa Nixon


Zouk Tea Bar & Grill opened back in 2009 in the city centre, just off Oxford Road and minutes away from the Palace Theatre to bring Indian and Pakistani cooking to the centre of town. But it’s not just your average curry, with a number of options from delicious street food to hearty roasts available to diners, as well as an extensive cocktail menu to enjoy on the terrace which was redeveloped last year to create a lounge style environment. On a busy Saturday night, the restaurant and the staff are welcoming, with a mix of guests including students, big groups, couples and families, spread across both the outdoor terrace and indoor restaurant. On a sunny evening, the terrace was packed with people enjoying a variety of flavoured shishas in the late evening sun. The tea bar & grill seems to be as much a venue for Saturday cocktails, as it is for dinner, as guests ordered from the extensive cocktail menu at the bar inside. We opted for the Indian Party, a mixture of Gin & Chambord muddled, cucumber and lemon before being topped with prosecco, and the Raspberry Tom Collins, made using Bombay Sapphire and Fresh Raspberries. Both cocktails were made with fresh ingredients and presented carefully, with the delicate cucumber adding a really refreshing undertone to the Indian Party. While we looked through Zouk’s food menu, our waiter guided us through the specials menu for the evening, which featured additional starters and main courses available that day. The chef’s specials change each month, allowing new and returning customers to try something different each time they visit the restaurant, while ensuring that existing customers never become bored with the offering.

The Zouk menu focuses on authentic cuisine, with individual dishes to showcase their unique style rather than traditional customer favourites you’d expect to see on an indian menu. There were options for traditional curries including Karahis, Handis, and Biryanis, as well as burgers, steaks and special roasts, where a party could choose to order a whole roast chicken or leg of lamb. We chose one of the chefs specials for the evening, the Star Anise Chicken Kebabs as well as a Samosa Chaat to start, followed by a Chicken Karahi & Chicken Khabani. While we waited, our waiter brought us a basket of fresh poppadoms served with tangy mango chutney, onions and a green chilli and coriander dip, which were all made fresh on site. The starters arrived quickly, the firm favourite being the succulent char-grilled chicken pieces marinated in a thick paste of spices including ground cashews and star anise. The samosa chaat a close second, a traditional Pakistani chaat with hot, fresh samosa topped with chickpeas, tamarind sauce and raita. Soon after, the curries arrived with a generous portion of pilau rice as well as a buttery garlic and coriander naan. Our waiter had asked how spicy we liked our food, so we were excited to see both the Karahi and Khabani arrive with extra green chillies topping the dishes. Both the curries were served in generous portions, with the sweet yet hot Khabani served with apricots and potato straws being the more popular of the two. Both curries were served in hearty portions, with some still left over at the end, even after eating so much we felt we needed to be rolled home. Overall, the meal was really enjoyable, the staff helpful and with the additional offering of outdoor lounge terrace, shisha bar, and cocktail menu, makes Zouk a firm favourite for a Saturday night curry.


Seriously good food at Iberica Writer: Tim Alderson

Having previously been to a couple of taster menu events featuring executive head chef Nacho Manzano, I already knew you could get some seriously good food over at Iberica in Spinningfields. This summer has seen the menu get a bit of a refresh with a number of new dishes added, so now seemed like the perfect time to pop in for a meal.


First things first on a lovely summer’s evening, we got our whistles wet at the bar. The manzano martini brought together vodka with apple liqueur and juice, I had a beautifully bittersweet negroni ruiz, a twist on the classic enhanced by the addition of Pacharán, a traditional sloe-flavoured liqueur. Spain seriously loves its pork, and for good reason, black label Iberico ham is like the wagyu beef of the swine world. Free range, acorn fed pigs that provide the most succulent, nutty, slightly sweet meat, it’s a real treat and we enjoyed a selection from around the country. Following that our first tapas was something a little lighter, and the perfect dish for warm weather. Salmorejo purée is a blend of tomato and bread, and it’s served cool like a gazpacho and topped with apple granite. I always have to pick the octopus when it’s on offer in Spanish restaurants. When it’s prepared like this, perfectly tender with just a little bite and those lovely charred flavours, it really is a fantastic dish. If you’ve never tried octopus this is where to start. Next something altogether more familiar to the English palate, the ham, egg and chips is an Iberian version of a pub classic. If that was your gammon, then chicken al chilindron isn’t too far off a little Sunday dinner – dark meat with crisp salty skin

topped with a rich saucy gravy all sat on a roast potato. There’s a stewed tomato and pepper sauce there that freshens things up nicely too though. Another new addition to the menu is a grill section and we chose a couple of meats. The Angus black label “Picanha” beef has a layer of fat that was cooked until it developed a delicious crunch, tangy red onion and a sauce of el bierzo peppers finish the plate. When it comes to dessert at Iberica it appears that grandma knows best. The Gloria cheesecake is a recripe from Nacho Manzano’s own nan, a nicely light affair, artfully adorned with parmesan and dried strawberries. La Tarta de la abuela translates as grandmother’s tart, to you and me it’s an indulgent pot of chocolate & vanilla custard with a biscuit crumb. It’s been well documented that this city is spoilt for choice when it comes to Spanish food right now, and surely the competition can only be a good thing for the standards at each establishment. The new menu at Iberica has definitely upped their game and should keep the restaurant firmly on the wish list for those tapas hungry people of Manchester. And, if you’ve already been, then maybe now might just be the moment to book that return visit.


El Gato Negro Writer: Lee Isherwood

I’m ashamed to say that despite the perks of this job being blatantly apparent it was a few months past opening night before I first made it to El Gato Negro. So in the interest of full disclosure I’ll make my opening statement brief: El Gato Negro Manchester is a couple of steps up from fantastic.



What follows is difficult to put into context, so much so that a lady on the table next to us fell so hardly over her words after the first mouthful she was in danger of hitting the deck, we had been the same 30 mins prior. The Octopus with Capers, Shallots and Aioli is simply glorious. Never have I tasted Octopus done in such a way and it’s doubtful I will again, until next week when I plan to go back. If that wasn’t enough the rather large Rack of Baby Pork Ribs followed and falling effortlessly from the bone with every mouthful craving more Tim commented that the finger bowl simply wouldn’t do, we were going to need to wash our faces after this one, carnivorous fools. Two more dishes fall before us: first Belly Pork then Monkfish both fantastic with the Monkfish being a firm favourite of mine. To finish us off Braised Ox Cheek that was melt in the mouth good (you can see why we went with the red wine).

A sunny day in Manchester leads to another first of the evening, the first time El Gato had the opportunity to extend its presence on King Street that little bit more with the use of an awning. 6pm and it’s bustling with activity, sunglasses are out and all the stools are taken. But, not to worry, El Gato Negro had a trick up its sleeve, roof top bar. I get to the top and of course I’m not the only one to have this idea but there is room for 2 and nothing beats that feeling, the internal fist pump & silent “yes, get in.”

Not to be out done we opted for the sharing dessert platter. If you can manage it, order it. We doubled it up with some cocktails and the theatrical nature of the whole thing combined is simply not to be missed. What the team at El Gato Negro have achieved is nothing short of brilliant. The food on that menu could live happily at any level of dining and by that I mean simply that there’s nothing superfluous here: no gimmicks, no theatre, no false opulence and no pretence. Simply fantastic food at a reasonable price point served by competent and knowledgeable staff on plain white plates, how many places do you know of that can boast that.

First it’s drinks and we start with a couple of Skwark beers, local company and a staple top 5 of mine if it’s on the menu. Tim spots a Quinoa vodka that pretty much makes his night, he lives in Chorlton. The roof top bar is a side to this review but if it’s nice and you have the time arrive early for dinner and take half an hour out up top, you won’t regret it. On to the job at hand, food. We’re advised by the staff that 6 dishes for 2 is about right, after much indecision we opt for 7 because we simply can’t live without trying the Octopus. The staff were right. The portions are larger than expected and 6 dishes is plenty, our mistake, but I’d make it again and again, it was worth being overly full and trust me when I say whatever you do when you visit El Gato Negro, order the Octopus. First dish out is the Lamb Skewers with Chickpea purée and Harissa. We’ve gone for a bottle of Rioja “Luis Canas” and when you couple that with the Catalan Bread it’s clear from the offset El Gato Negro have come out of the blocks and set a serious pace. We’re then hit with our White Onion, Chargrilled Artichoke & Manchego Rice. That’s right folks, cheesy rice and take it from me as gluten free dishes go you’d be hard pressed to beat that.



King Street Taverm 10 Booth Street M2 4AW Available To Book: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Afternoon Tea, Private Dining

King Street Tavern

For reservations, call 0161 667 0707 or email:

Writer: Steven Pankhurst

King Street Tavern is a stylish, destination restaurant serving honest, simple food, no fuss, with all the flavours. Dressed in dark wood furnishings and red leather, a subtle throw-back to its history of a grand bank, with signature Eclectic touches through the beehive style tiled floor and softly lit Chandelier. The menu is a concise and no-nonsense array of seasonal dishes; Moules Marinere, Wild Mushrooms on Sourdough, Shepherd’s Pie, Tuna Nicoise, succulent grilled steaks & burgers and tasty, fresh superfood salads. The London-style bar is a destination in itself with delicious classic cocktails, an extensive list of whisk(e)y’s and a bespoke one-off wine menu titled “when it’s gone, it’s gone”.


Walking off from the Tavern through the glass panelled wall is the luxurious Afternoon Tea Lounge which is cosy and quirky with bespoke seating upholstered in Mulberry. Locally commissioned Manchester themed artwork adorns the walls, the space continues up a spiral staircase into a mezzanine level. The Tavern can be found on the ground level of King Street Townhouse hotel; an Italian renaissance building dating back to 1872 which has been lovingly restored, whilst retaining the beauty of the period, into a classic British ‘baby grand’ hotel. Located within the Upper King Street conservation area, King Street Townhouse consists of 40 bedrooms, each of which has been individually designed to the highest specification for an unrivalled stay in the heart of the city.


Sapporo Teppanyaki; A Bold Experience for Manchester’s Discerning Diners Writer: Steven Pankhurst

Flaming displays. Trained trickery. Contemporary Japanese cuisine quite literally fired at you. As far as dining experiences go, Sapporo Teppanyaki on Liverpool Road definitely offers one of Manchester’s most unique.

The award-winning Asian restaurant group hand-picks its native chefs very carefully – it’s no wonder then that many have been with Sapporo for more than a decade – before training them for five years to become masters in the art of teppanyaki, a traditional but very theatrical style of cooking. Indeed, Sapporo is by no means just a restaurant to enjoy great tasting Asian cuisine in a clean-cut, modern venue. Sapporo’s chefs prepare your meal in front of your very eyes at a flaming teppanyaki hotplate. Expect fantastic food coupled with flames, theatrics and, of course, laughs. It’s bold, entertaining and, we must say, a little addictive. There are few guests who fail to make at least one return visit to this ultra interesting Manchester eatery. It’s not all about the teppanyaki experience, however. Sapporo’s chefs return to their home countries on a yearly basis to reconnect with their Asian roots and cooking traditions, sourcing the best recipes, and reinventing them to create a menu that is inspiring and contemporary. Expect an excellent selection of teppanyaki and sushi dishes, cooked to your liking, using the best quality ingredients and freshest produce. And while the teppanyaki experience is no doubt bold, and a favourite for larger groups, parties and corporates, for those seeking a more relaxed affair, opt for expertly-crafted sushi, noodles or Asian-inspired salads, with a cocktails or Japanese whiskey, in Sapporo’s sophisticated bar area. Sapporo’s general manager Manbir Singh commented: “Manchester has always been a bit edgy, a cultural hub, so the bold experience Sapporo offers just works. “Of course however, Manchester’s diners are also very discerning, so it is just as important to us, as a restaurant, to offer the finest in contemporary Asian cuisine.”





Sapporo Teppanyaki 91-93 Liverpool Road M3 4JN

Sapporo Teppanyaki has launched a new express lunch menu

To book please call 0161 831 9888 or visit Follow @ sapporo_Tepp on Twitter

Short for time, but need your Sapporo fix? Try out their new Express Lunch Menu. Two courses are just £9 and you can sit in, takeaway or have your meal delivered to your home or office (a sure fire way to win over your boss – no pun intended).

4 CLASSIC COCKTAILS REIMAGINED BY SAPPORO If you love your classics, let Sapporo’s talented mixologists teach you a thing or two about some of the city’s most inventive takes on some signature cocktails… Sake’tini - £7.95 Move aside martini, Sapporo’s sake’tini is where it’s at. Sake’ (Japanese rice wine) infused with Chambord black raspberry liqueur, strengthened with vodka, and topped with fresh pineapple juice makes for a sweet and simple drink you can definitely sink more than once. Kohii Martini - £7.95 This little number is what coffee-lover’s dreams are made of – a classic espresso martini twisted with sake’. One of Manchester’s most interesting coffee cocktails. Tokyo Iced Tea - £7.95 This ultra hip blend of vodka, Bacardi rum, Gordon’s gin, tequila, Midori and Cointreau, finished with orange, leaves Long Island for dead. This one will get the evening started. Suntory Old Fashioned - £10.95 Yamazaki whiskey aged for 12 years blended with Cointreau, aloe vera, agave and orange. This Japanese take on the classic cocktail isn’t for the faint-hearted, but the addition of soothing aloe vera makes it go down a treat!





Ziya 65-67 Wilmslow Road M14 5TB To book please call 0161 257 2010 or visit Follow @ziyarestaurant on Twitter.

Indian Afternoon Tea at Ziya Writer: Natalie Jackson

Afternoon Tea? Cucumber sandwiches followed by fresh scones with cream? Little did I know that this British tradition stretches right across the Indian Ocean. Situated in the heart of Manchester’s famous curry mile, is a restaurant with a difference…offering far more than a classic vindaloo! Ziya is an Indian restaurant offering traditional Indian dishes that we know and love but also an extensive menu of the new craze of Indian street food… small plates cooked in the tandoori open kitchen just how mamma made it!

They’ve recently introduced Indian afternoon tea – a selection of the best from the street food menu. Sticking with tradition we start the experience with a glass of Prosecco, but if that doesn’t hit the spot for you then the mango mocktails are definitely worth checking out. Food comes displayed on a piled up cake stand, each layer giving an explosion of different Indian flavours. Dosa pancakes stuffed with chicken followed by Sev Puri, a pastry topped with chutney and potatoes. Have I got your taste buds going yet? Finish off with sweet beetroot and a selection of teas! A pleasant surprise and an experience highly recommended…. and if this isn’t your thing, then the curries are delicious too!



Scene Indian Street Kitchen Leftbank Spinningfields M3 3AN To book please call 0161 839 3929 or visit Follow @sceneMCR on Twitter and Instagram..

Authentic Indian Street Food Culture Replicated at Scene Writer: Steven Pankhurst


From the smallest town to the largest city, wherever you go in India you will find a wide range of street food. It’s a large part of the Indian eating-out culture, a way of life that Scene Indian Street Kitchen have replicated in their Spinningfields restaurant. The diverse dishes at Scene are inspired by the energy and vitality of the Indian subcontinent, a visit to Scene takes diners on an engaging experience enlightening all the five senses. Eating is a family occasion in India and Scene embrace this by encouraging sharing the street food options amongst diners whilst aiming for customers to feel as if they have been transported to the foreign shores of India, Pakistan and Southern Asia. A visit to Scene will be a truly engaging experience that uses all the five senses. Customers will be able to see the freshness and vibrant colours of the ingredients, smell the spices used and hear the food being prepared through the theatrical open plan kitchen which is the focal point of this exciting restaurant. Scene’s chef’s handpicked selection of specialties and signature dishes are made using a variety of cooking styles, recipes and methods from different regions, delivered directly to your table.

These dishes are distinctive, full of flavour and made using the highest quality ingredients from authentic recipes. The ever popular Indo-Chinese and Chaat dishes often served by roadside vendors across the region are must try items. They are made by combining exciting ingredients, packed with powerful flavours and brimming with authentic spices and colours, adding to the feast for the eyes and the tummy! The Street Corner section of the menu has been created to allow parties to sample numerous dishes as either starters or as tapas style. Our home-style Desi Dhaba is an authentic Indian way of cooking and is a speciality of Scene. This traditional dish is served in a hot metal balti and bought straight to the table from the stove, it’s an unforgettable experience. To finish off Scene also offer Indian desserts and hot beverages such as Gulab Jamun and Desi Chai.


Frugal Feasts at Neighbourhood Writer: Natalie Sawyers

Neighbourhood opened in 2013, and its industrial come twenties New York bar and restaurant proposition was incredibly popular with the Spinningfields crowds, particularly at weekends. But, like anyone who’s passed through their best years will understand, three years of making a name for yourself and heavy partying and you start to look a bit tired and in need of a slightly more refined and sophisticated do-over, which is exactly what Neighbourhood has had.


Neighbourhood is now an all day eatery and late bar, with a heavy emphasis on refined food, offering their version of the increasingly popular Bottomless Brunch (£35 for unlimited fizz and three courses at weekends), regular brunch, lunch, and dinner as well as afternoon tea and a very well-priced, in fact generous, Frugal Feast menu (three courses for £25) on Tuesdays – designed to allow you to try their most decadent dishes, which is what we came to try. The newly refurbished Neighbourhood is still as energetic and lively as it ever was. There’s nods throughout to the sorts of bars and eateries that exist in the various neighbourhoods of Manhattan from which Neighbourhood draws its inspiration, hence the name, and there’s a sense of timelessness as styles from different periods are brought together: the lighting and wood cladding offer a slight colonial feel, but there’s a pop of 50’s and 60’s style in the use of colour and art. Now, you might expect a Tuesday evening at Neighbourhood to be quiet, subdued even. It isn’t. By 7.30pm the food’s flying out and the dining areas are full with people arriving for post-work drinks, friends gathering with intent, as well as those on dates and just casual diners ending a day of shopping in the best kind of way. We arrive at 6.30pm, when there’s a gentle bustle but you could easily walk-in and get a table, and we mull over the new menus with a pre-dinner gin and tonic for me and a beer for my companion. We decide to order from the main menu as well as the (Tuesday only) Frugal Feast menu (designed to allow you to try their most decadent dishes for less), to have a good taste of what’s on offer.


Neighbourhood The Avenue North Spinningfields M3 3BT For reservations, call 0161 832 6334 or email: reservations@ Follow @Neighbourhood4 on Twitter and Instagram. To start with, we have some olives from the main menu which are served in a martini glass stuffed with crushed ice and are large, have a good bite and are tasty. Then from the frugal feast menu we share a sushi platter which in all honesty is a shame to demolish because it’s as attractive as it is delicious and a mound of wasabi clears the sinuses and wakes up our palates ready for our mains. From the dinner menu, I’ve ordered the lamb cutlets which come with a bed of mash and spiced olives, I also order broccolini with a hollandaise sauce which is deeply rich. The lamb is pink and the crust is packed with flavour. The spiced olive jus brings the dish together and I finish it probably a little bit too quickly to appear polite, but what the heck, it’s Tuesday. We also try the steak from the frugal menu which is cooked to order (rare), is melting and juicy, and comes with big thick chips, as you’d hope, that are well seasoned, crisp and fluffy. We have a little wait for desserts to arrive which is indeed a welcome rest. The atmosphere is lively and nineties and early naughties tunes, yes ‘tunes’, belt out almost causing tiny burgers, which are flying out of the kitchen, to lose their tops. I’m enjoying myself immensely. Britney is blasting now as we sample both desserts from the frugal feast menu: warm salted caramel doughnuts and the blueberry cheesecake. I have a ‘When Harry Met Sally’ moment over the doughnuts. Sugary, light and oozing with just the right amount of salted caramel, I can’t get enough of them. They’re swearably good. When I comment this to the waitress she agrees energetically. The cheesecake (that is served whole) is good, too. More than good; it’s baked and its bottom is buttery, its centre creamy but not too rich and it’s topped with a juicy blueberry jelly and handfuls of fresh berries and cream are heaped on top with a few baby sprigs of mint. Pretty and delicious. Neighbourhood delivers on all fronts. The food really exceeds expectations and as a destination it’s as good for a catch-up as it is for a big celebration. My advice? Go! and don’t forget to have the doughnuts.



Federal Federal opened a while back, bringing a taste of “down under” to the Northern Quarter. Walking by on a clear day, the outdoor seating area is always busy, and the smells wafting from the kitchen entice you in, whether you’re hungry or not. While other cafes have been and gone before it, Federal is different. Not only are they surviving they’re definitely here to stay and the thing is, it’s with very good reason… You can see where I’m going with this. Not that the rise of brunch and the success of Federal are somehow intrinsically linked but to my mind they do go hand in hand. Since day one the team have poached, toasted and instagramed their way to a seriously good offering. Needless to say it didn’t take much to persuade me to head down, again, and this time get it all down in writing.


Federal Nicholas Croft Northern Quarter

Over the last 12 months, brunch has taken the UK by storm and I’ve seen more pictures of Eggs Benedict than I ever thought possible. The thing is, it’s with very good reason.

Writer: Lee Isherwood

Technically however I went for breakfast, it was around 9am. The Federal menu has breakfast options served all day from 7:30am (8am at the weekends). Brunch and Lunch choices are served until 7pm everyday (4pm on Sundays). Specials are available every day, with exciting combinations that change daily. Bircher Museli, Chia Seed Sundae and Eggs Any Way all fall under Breakfast and having already worked my way through the Bircher on a previous occasion, which is great, my mind wandered a little further. After the aforementioned instagraming I had spotted the extremely good looking French Toast with Summer Berries, almonds, Whipped Mascarpone & Salted Caramel, so on this occasion I had to go for it. You can see why from the photo and it didn’t disappoint. My breakfast partner opted for the Eggs Benedict with Bacon. Equally good and I’ve had it myself so can attest to that. The thing Federal do different to anywhere else is they have a base level Benedict then a few choices for extras – I really like this. One thing we did notice about the menu, and I forgot to ask if it was by design, is that the vegetarian offering is really strong – around 80% of the menu caters for (V). Coffee wise the team know exactly how it should arrive and a the small pot of hot water to accompany a long black is the perfect example.


Cafe and bar 23

Since day one the team have poached, toasted and instagramed their way to a seriously good offering. Federal are definitely here to stay.

If you’re looking for something stonger, try one of Federal’s espresso martinis. The Banoffee flavour is particularly indulgent, combining vodka, banana liqueur, espresso and salted caramel. The Brunch Cocktails will start your day off with a kick, but I’d advise you don’t try them all in one morning! Throughout the day you can opt for any of the above, plus one of four gin options, or a variety of beers and ciders such as Beavertown gamma ray American pale ale, Little Creatures pale ale from Australia and Capel Road cider. Brunch is great and I love it, but if you want to buck the trend why not treat yourself to breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day. Early doors is a great time to visit Federal, you get to see everybody else rushing by and savor your moment all the more for it. Or why not stop by early evening for one of those espresso martinis, the perfect post-work pick me up! COFFEE

North Tea Power Tib Street Northern Quarter

North Tea Power (NTP) is one of the originals and still one of the best.

Writer: Lee Isherwood


North tea power the original trendsetter

I think it's fair to say that like Common in its hay day NTP is firmly positioned as the locals local. Familiar faces and friendly nods over the top of laptop screens from developers and theatre producers alike, I'm even told (by one such laptop user) that Olympic star Chris Hoy enjoys the occasional cheese sarnie here. As the name would suggest North Tea Power started out life with a clean and clear focus on really good loose leaf tea. It's at NTP I was introduced to the idea of using a small cafetière for single brew with tea leaves, something I've done ever since. Still very much a focus the selection is great, Gunpowder is my go to. But not to be out done Coffee is now as much a house art as it is a house speciality. I've tried many a "first" here of the years, including cold brew and drip filter. It's easy to see why NTP has held it's place in the heart of it's loyal customers and holds more of a sense of personality over other venues in the vicinity, you only need look to owner operator duo Wayne & Jayne. A labour of love from day 1 NTP was built on greeting people by name, serving up quality and the idea that if you're asked how your day is going you can rest assured it's not a hollow greeting but genuine interest.


Lupo - the relatively new kid on the block


Lupo Chapel Street Salford Writer: L ee Isherwood

In a small unassuming but remarkably interesting building along Chapel Street sits LUPO. Voted Coffee/Tea shop of the year 2015 for Manchester Food & Drink Festival and for good reason, Googling LUPO you’ll be presented with a series of 5 star ratings and votes from various recommendation websites and polls. It’s easy to see why this tiny little venue is a must. Being on the fringes of what would be considered “town” heading to LUPO is a conscious decision, for me that warrants the term “destination” spot. The food offering is simple, fresh and ever changing, as such if you go later in the day don’t expect a run of the full menu, fresh means limited.


Meeting owner Nico and chatting to him for a few minutes you’ll understand why LUPO works: passion and good ingredients all round. If meeting the owner sounds a little eccentric you’ll see what I mean when you get there, space is at a premium and Nico is owner / barista / greeter and server you won’t exactly miss him. Enjoy.


From Mcr to...

Here in Manchester we're lucky enough to have the most connected airport in the UK. True fact. Recently introduced long hall flights direct to China and even more parts of the USA strengthen this position and brings new opportunity to our doorstep. One thing we have enjoyed though for some time is budget short haul hops to Europe, with flights costing just tens of pounds my thoughts immediately turn to SkyScanners "Everywhere" search functionality. Team Finest are branching out, we bring you - from MCR to...


4 days in the current mecca of cool, Copenhagen Writer: Lee Isherwood 27

Utilising the search function I mentioned on the page to the left a couple of months ago I was surprised to see somewhere relatively new got thrown into the mix, this wasn’t Amsterdam, Barcelona or Rome, this was somewhere else entirely, that somewhere was Denmark and more precisely Copenhagen. CPH as it’s probably known by some people is the current mecca of cool, you can’t open a decent magazine or even look at the cover of one without seeing a Scandinavian influence. Once the flights were sorted and after an extensive search we opted for an Air BnB option right smack bang in the area we wanted to be, Vesterbro. Perfect place to set up shop for 4 days in the City, walking distance from most things and generally a brilliant area. There are fantastic hotels in CPH if you’ve got the money however getting a large apartment with 2 balconies for literally half the price kind of made our decision for us. Restaurant wise as you’re probably aware you won’t be short of options. We opted for Kodbyens Fiskebar down in the meatpacking district which is worth a walk around even if you’re not heading to any of the venues in particular. Neighbourhood is a pizza bar but on Sunday’s it does the most amazing brunch board, in my opinion you’d be missing out if you didn’t go. The

pick of the bunch however was without doubt Amass, a taster menu to end all taster menus and service from chefs and staff who put everything into their dishes, literally and metaphorically. Evenings entertainment wise Tivoli Gardens is a must. We went for the evening around 6pm until close, this park is one of the oldest in the world and inspired Walt Disney himself. There are a few little bars and restaurants in there, some classic fairground games, I tried my hand at archery and managed to win a fluffy keyring. CPH over 4 days gives you plenty to look at, plenty to do and allows you to leave with a sense of wanting to go back for more. We did the Design Museum, The Rundetaarn which is another must and a lot of general walking and looking. My advice is plan before you go, there’s so much choice of good food for example that you may be in danger of spending too long deciding whilst you’re there, do that whilst you’re at work instead.


Finding Schinos Writer: Martin Guttridge-Hewitt

The road from Athens airport doesn't start off well. An arterial, concrete highway running west from the city, our flight touched down far enough from the ancient town to ensure there wasn’t so much as a fleeting view of the Acropolis. Just an oil refinery.



After around one hour we exit onto a seemingly innocuous country lane. A few twists and turns later and the view couldn't be more different. A serene bay, the sea blue enough to make postcards turn green with envy. Pine forests stretching over foothills as far as the inland eye can see. These sights are almost as memorable as the overpowering smell of vegetationolive, thyme, lavender, eucalyptus. Occasionally we pass a small beach, ramshackle eatery, or cluster of holiday homes offering weekend salvation to stressed Athenians. For all intents and purposes, though, there’s not much here. Even our final destination- the picturesque whistlestop of Schinos- is barely large enough to make the map. Nevertheless, it's worth getting yourself here. A world away from the hustle and bustle of island resorts, or mainland cities, this hamlet asks little of you. Sit down, drink up the views, drink up your beer, and forget the world beyond. A hard life indeed. These are the places where hours are lost gazing across azure vistas, daydreaming of a time when this might be real life, rather than a fleeting taste of paradise. Bathed in untethered Hellenic sun, the ambience is unmistakably rural Greece. A country where colours seem more vivid than anywhere on the planet, and ancient gods made their home. Our base camp is Rokas Village, a collection of simple but charming self catering apartments set in beautifully manicured grounds, complete with outdoor pool just in case those five or six steps to the shoreline prove too challenging. Waking to the sound of waves lapping against an unspoilt, almost silent coast is always a pleasure, but perhaps even more so when such stark contrasts are just five minutes away.

Cariocas Beach Bar is, understandably, noisier. Sitting right on the water's edge, this place was built from Swedish wood, by hand, 18 years ago, and remains under the control of the same family that hammered those first nails. Home to free Sunday parties every weekend throughout summer, House On The Beach, the booth has welcomed everyone from David Morales and Frankie Knuckles to Osunlade. And in September the venue hosts Odyssia- a seven day long house music festival with the likes of DJ Harvey, Detroit Swindle, Jeremy Underground, Gilles Peterson, Body & Soul and Mike Huckaby. The crew behind Manchester's Hidden are amongst the event partners. But that's another story. A few stones up the Mediterranean and Papa George's is another must-visit. There has been a traditional taverna here for years, but Panos Papaeleftheriou, one of the brothers behind Cariocas, now runs the place. Quick to point out he's new to the food trade, we'd be even quicker to add that after spending at least three meals gorging on fresh catch from the local fishermen at one of the charming tables on the terrace, this clubber-turnedrestaurateur understands how to fill stomachs properly. Those responsible for casting the nets are more than open to taking visitors out on the water, too, which we find still as a mill pond. People at the festival will also have the opportunity to do the same, although for us there's just as much appeal in the aeons of history waiting to be explored nearby. From Hera's temple- wife of Zeus- to coves in which naval battles secured the future of Greece against foreign aggressors, millennia ago, the whole area feels steeped in a magical, mystical atmosphere, rewarding more adventurous travellers with a zeitgeist that's near-impossible to find elsewhere.

Aegean flies Manchester to Athens daily



coming soon elenor friedberger + Chris Cowen 30

Black honey

beth orton

02.10.16 The Deaf Institute

04.10.16 Manchester Cathedral

Angel olson

jagwar MA


14.10.16 Club Academy

21.10.16 Manchester Academy 2

24.10.16 Manchester Academy


Amber arcades

regina spektor

24.10.16 Albert Hall

30.10.16 Soup Kitchen

10.11.16 Albert Hall

07.09.16 Soup Kitchen


Jack Garrett at Albert Hall

Writer: Melanie Zarins

The diverse Buckinghamshire musician begins his set with a Piano intro, under the spotlight he has an incredible sense of rhythm as he plays and moves. Jack shouts “Manchester, how we doing?!” Straight into dance track ‘Chemical’ which is powerful and unique and has the crowd instantly engaged, he takes off his jacket “Thank you very much!” “Lights up for the audience, you having a good time tonight? Thank F^&#! How beaut is this venue?” Breaking into tonight’s second track ‘Breath Life’ the crowd immediately sing back the lyrics to him ‘Tell her I owe it to her’ Jack cackles loving every minute. The crowd is now sea of bopping heads. Between tracks he sounds a party horn clip from his sound desk and jokes along with the sound tech guy (Brian) as their timing is more than out. Jack has a sing off with the crowd as he starts track ‘Weathered’ with an acoustic version, as the track builds and you can really hear his vast vocal strength, his heart-wrenching voice travels the old chapels walls creating goose bumps within the crowd. Jack receives a massive applause and he thanks the crowd again “Thank you so much” Jacky Boy is certainly very playful with tonight’s audience, sporting a Looney Tune’s T-shirt paired with a signature trucker cap and a bushy beard, Young Mr Garratt also gets personal, telling the crowd stories of his journey “only a year ago I finished a five day UK tour in Manchester’s Castle Hotel and I couldn’t push 8 tickets“

Mid set, he waves to each side of the venue and politely asks the crowd “Can I do a cover?” of course the crowd have no objection and reply with a huge cheer. A drum and bass version of Craig David’s “Seven Days” mash-up with Justin Timberlake’s “Señorita” has the whole crowd partying with smiles, reminiscing the 90’s. Someone from the crowd shouts at the end of the song “I love you Jack” as Jack finishes the piano solo, he reply’s “I love you too” As he chats some more with the crowd before starting ‘Fire’ his latest release off the album. An extended intro gives Jack the opportunity to showcase his musical skills, alternating between drums and keys, as he moves from one to the other the crowd are mesmerised. He continues to impress when he breaks into a rap at the end. A more mellow and moody vibe fills the Albert Hall as Jack plays ‘The Love Your Given’ he is very appreciative of his fans “Thank you so much, to every single one of you for listening” Jack shouts “This is my last song!” The intro to ‘Worry’ starts with a guitar solo, as he plays into a huge spotlight behind, creating giant sized shadows of himself of the Albert Halls walls. The gut-wrenching guitar riffs have the whole upper tier on their feet for the first time tonight. He holds nothing back, as he changes tone, from quiet love ballad to footstomping electro – dubstep. Jack takes place at the front of the stage to thank the crowd one last time. Although he didn’t play favourite ‘Water’ tonight, it was a strong performance and all round good guy vibes. Its fair to say Jack is (if not already) going to be a huge star.




Circa Waves // Twin Atlantic


Lonely The Brave // Kate Nash


Ady Suleiman // All Tvvins // Airways // Anteros // BabeHeaven // Blaenavon // Cameron AG // Cabbage // Clean Cut Kid // Cupids // False Advertising // Freak // Fronteers // Girl Friend // Georgie // Grumble Bee // High Tyde // Hooton Tennis Club // InHeaven // Jazz Purple // King No One // Louis Berry // Matt Maltese // Pale Waves // Prose // Rhys Lewis // Rory Wynne // She Drew The Gun // The Amazons // The Blinders // The Rhythm Method // Vant // Wedding // Will Joseph Cook Following the announcement last month that Neighbourhood Festival will be taking over Manchester City Centre on Saturday 8th October for a full day of incredible live music; the first wave of artists have now been confirmed.

Over 100 artists and bands from all around the world will be performing across nine of Manchester’s best and most iconic music venues the south side of the city. Many more artists will be unveiled soon, so watch this space!

Headlining the inaugural event are acclaimed indie quartet Circa Waves and Scottish rock band Twin Atlantic. Also joining the bill are established artists Kate Nash who’s currently working on album number 4 and Lonely The Brave who’ve earned rave reviews for their brand new release ‘Things Will Matter’.

Tickets go onsale Friday 3rd June at 9am via, and

A whole host of the freshest names and hotly tipped artists of the year such as Ady Suleiman and Clean Cut Kid will feature along with some of the best home- grown talent Manchester has to offer including the likes of Cabbage, Cupids, False Advertising, Pale Waves, Prose, Rory Wynne, The Blinders and Wedding.

Neighbourhood Festival Manchester City Centre Saturday 8th October 2016 AGE 14+ Facebook: NBHDFestival Twitter @NBHDFestival Instagram @NBHDFestival


Writer: Steven Pankhurst

Brighton’s William Phillips AKA ‘Tourist’ known for emotive club and euphoric electronics similar to that of Caribou and James Blake. Tourist is a Grammy award-winning songwriter/ producer for his work on Sam Smiths ‘Stay with Me’

Writer: Melanie Zarins

tourist at the deaf institute Phillips is promoting his first album “U” released 6th May 2016, which has been two years in the making following on from a number of impressive EP’s such as “Patterns” and “Tonight”, and tonight he is in Manchester playing to a jam packed wonderful music venue, Deaf Institute. Phillips who often performs live with keyboard and drum pads has a simpler set up for the more intimate stage of the Deaf Institute. His decks are the centre piece in the middle of an imposing crescent of vertical strobe lights. The lights are dimmed with a chilled out piano backtrack as the crowd anticipate Phillips’ arrival. A green glow outlines Phillips silhouette as he makes his way onto the stage to a rapturous applause. He evolves the backing music into more familiar electronics and synths sounds that the crowd are all so familiar with. Phillips is full of energy tonight, as he moves to the beats of his tracks, each big beat sending vibrations through the music hall floor; the crowd are fixated on the outline of his sweat drenched fringe which exaggerates his every move. We are just a few tracks into the set before he acknowledges the crowd, as he takes a step back from his decks to give everyone a wave. “How you doing Manchester, so nice to be back, thanks for coming.” Phillips has his head back in the decks for the less know tracks from his new album, cocooned within flashes of light; it’s a perfect fitting backdrop for the


mood. The venue is alive as the tone moves toward jungle beats for the much darker ‘Separate Ways’ he soaks up the applause as he sips his water then back into it, banging out his impressive back catalogue. He waves to the crowd, again. “How’s everyone doing? Last time I was in Manchester was Parklife” which was back in June 2015 where Tourist and accomplice Danny opened up the ‘Now Wave’ tent to an even smaller crowd than tonight’s. There’s a moment of Silence before the stage bursts to life when he plays “Patterns” from his 2014 EP featuring Lianna La Havvas. Philips doesn’t step off the gas ending with the title track of the new Album ‘U’ the crowd are absolutely loving it. “I’ve got one more song” Phillips wastes no time getting into “Run” a massive feel good track off the new album. We can see this one being a huge hit in Ibiza this summer. The crowd are in full flow ready for more, the Deaf Institute is a vibrate rave on this fine Tuesday evening. Tourist exits the stage. He returns for the finale. Ending tonight’s set with stylish track from EP “Patterns” ‘I Can’t Keep Up’ featuring Will Heard. “Thank you so much for coming, really appreciate it” This young multi-talented and highly underrated William Phillips / Tourist is building himself a good fan base as he prepares for a world tour.


Writer: Melanie Zarins


The Lumineers at The albert Hall All the way from Denver Colorado The Lumineers hit Manchester’s Albert Hall. The last time we saw The Lumineers performing in Manchester was back in September 2013. The folk rock band are part way through a sold-out worldwide tour, promoting their second album ‘Cleopatra’ which is crammed with hits as was their debut album ‘The Lumineers’ The band should be nicely warmed up following their intimate acoustic set inside HMV store in Manchester, earlier in the day. The stage set is stripped back only displaying the halls epic pipe organ and a stage full of every kind of instrument going, a perfect setting for The Lumineers. The band take to the stage. Founder band members Wesley Schultz (lead vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion), along with cellist and vocalist Neyla Pekarek, pianist Stelth Ulvang and bassist Ben Wahamaki. They open up the show with ‘Sleep On The Floor’ also opening track to their new album.


The hall is illuminated showing tonight’s audience who are stomping their way through ‘Cleopatra’, enthusiastic energetic drummer and song-writing partner Jeremiah Fraites moves about the stage switching from percussion to piano. By the time they launch into their fourth song, massive breakthrough single ‘Ho Hey’, they have the whole hall on their feet clapping and singing along. Lead singer Wesley Schultz encourages the audience to switch off their mobile phones and soak up the atmosphere. Not a phone in sight they break into new release ‘Ophelia’ Their enthusiasm and energy continues through their set, Schultz leading with his trademark footwork stepping up to the mic, his raspy vocals are on point this evening. We are half way through the set, Schultz ‘Shhhhh everyone be a little quieter’ the band unplug all instruments and gather at the front of the stage to have a sing-along with the audience to ‘Aint Nobody’. Schultz recites the lyrics to the excited crowd, making sure everyone is involved in their intimate performance.

The crowd are singing their hearts out for ‘Big Parade’ pianist Stelth Ulvang jumps up from his stool and climbs up the railing onto the upper tier encouraging everyone to clap along. As the set comes to an end and the band exit the stage, all except for the pianist Stelth Ulvang, who remains by his piano and plays a beautiful solo ‘Patience’. The band return for the encore of big tracks ‘Long Way’ ‘Submarines’ and finishing with ‘Stubborn Love’ As the band leave the stage, playful Stelth Ulvang and bassist Ben Wahamaki hang around to make paper airplanes from the leftover set lists. The band where heaped in enthusiasm and passion in their performance tonight, fully embraced by the crowd, nothing but an enjoyment to watch. The Lumineers are a big deal and are a must see at the UK festivals this summer, appearing at both Glastonbury and Latitude.


SET LIST: Sleep On The Floor Cleopatra Classy Girls Ho Hey Ophelia Dead Sea Charlie Boy Angela Flowers Sick In The Head In The Light Aint Nobody’s Scotland Big Parade Gun Song My Eyes

ENCORE: Long Way Submarines Stubborn Love MUSIC

DM16: Design City Design Manchester's annual festival returns Writer: Matthew Tyas

Feat. FIELD, Trapped in Suburbia, Jason Bruges, Alexandra Wood, Peter Girardi, Sir Christopher Frayling, Alice Rawsthorn, Alan Kitching, G . F Smith, Manchester Print Fair, Hotbed Press, Manchester Artists Book Fair, Women in Print, Art Battle Manchester


DM16, Manchester’s festival of design and creativity, in partnership with the Co-op, will return for its fourth annual event from 12-23 October, with 35+ events including talks, exhibitions, workshops, films, a design fair and parties at venues throughout the city. DM16’s partnership comes at an exciting time as the Co-op’s new design-led approach rolls out across the business, marrying perfectly with Design Manchester’s ambition of projecting design to a wider audience in the city, the region and internationally.

The first wave of events announced includes talks from FIELD, Trapped in Suburbia, Jason Bruges, Alexandra Wood, Peter Girardi, Sir Christopher Frayling, Alice Rawsthorn, Alan Kitching, and events from Manchester Print Fair, Hot Bed Press, G . F Smith, Manchester Artists Book Fair, Women in Print and Art Battle Manchester.

The theme for DM16 is Design City. This year’s festival will celebrate the part design plays in making Manchester and other cities across the world great to live in. It will look at culture, music, media, architecture, digital art, design

studios, animation, film and theatre, putting a spotlight on a new design-conscious generation and the return of craft in everything from beer to print and the culture of making. DM16’s Design City Conference, this year taking place at the Royal Northern College of Music on Thursday 13th October, is a day long conference of ideas and inspiration featuring internationally celebrated and influential speakers discussing the festival’s theme of ‘Design City’ and showing an insight into their creative work. Speakers include multidisciplinary interaction designer Jason Bruges, immersive tech artists FIELD, wayfinding and graphic designer Alexandra Wood, Dutch design collective Trapped in Suburbia and Warner Bros.’ senior VP of creative affairs and head of Blue Ribbon content Peter Girardi. This year, HOME will host a Design City Film Season, featuring films with design at their heart. Each film will be introduced by an expert in its design to give insight into the creative process and its impact on the finished work. Writer Alice Rawsthorn (Frieze, International New York Times) will discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and how it is unimaginable without Saul Bass’ groundbreaking title sequence. Whilst Dr. Strangelove, featuring the ‘gleaming and sinister’ (BFI) production design of Ken Adam will be introduced by one of Britain’s foremost experts in cinema culture, Sir Christopher Frayling. DM16’s Design City Fair (15 & 16 October) is a free, family friendly event, this year taking place at the stunning London Road Fire Station, featuring Manchester Print Fair, Hot Bed Press and Manchester Artists Book Fair. The Design City Fair will host stalls from over 100 creatives with affordable works for sale, and feature live art work in and around the space,


For further information, announcements, updates and ticket information please visit: @designmcr #DesignMCR16

DJs, food and drink, plus a schedule of workshops including screenprinting, letterpress, book-binding, frame-making and origami, supported by and featuring G . F Smith.

Art Battle Manchester VIII will take place on Friday 14th October at London Road Fire Station. The live competitive painting challenge, an underground event never held in the same venue twice, will see a 500-strong capacity audience watch painters, illustrators, tattooists and street artists go head-to-head in what has been described at the city's most energetic art event. The crowd votes in rounds as ten fearless artists each create a masterpiece in only 30 minutes, battling it out to be the overall winner. DM16 x Art Battle Manchester VIII will mix it up with new artists, DJ's, art exhibitions and some surprise new twists to produce a truly sensational event.

Launched in July, Women in Print is an exhibition of work by a host of local designers, print-makers and illustrators that celebrates the life and achievements of iconic female figures, from political reformers to palaeobotanists, who helped to shape Manchester into the great city it is today. The next stage of the project, taking place as part of DM16, will feature an exhibition, talks and debates, in the iconic Co-op HQ and Northern Quarter creative space PLY. Alan Kitching: A Life in Letterpress is a landmark exhibition of the work of Alan Kitching, one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. Displayed in Manchester School of Art’s Benzie Building throughout DM16, the exhibition shows a selection of Alan’s finished works and the method and process behind them, with sketches, proofs and roughs gathered from Alan’s own archive. Objects, artefacts and equipment from Alan’s workshops will enlighten visitors to the inspiration and motivation behind the work. Alan will also host a masterclass, with details soon to be announced. The exhibition is accompanied by the release of an illustrated biography of the same name, featuring over 400 prints and published by Laurence King.

Gemma Kidd, Senior Brand Manager for the Co-op, said: “This partnership couldn’t come at a more exciting time for us as we return to our pioneering roots and look to build a world class design capability here in Manchester. It’s important that we work with the flourishing design community here on our doorstep. The design festival takes place in venues across our city and we’re looking forward to working alongside the fantastic team at Design Manchester, hosting a a range of digital, design and public outreach events here at Co-op from 12th to 22nd October.” DM16’s headline sponsor is the Co-op. The festival is supported by Manchester City Council and the Manchester School of Art, part of Manchester Metropolitan University. For information and early bird tickets visit More events will be announced in the coming weeks.



Manchester Science Festival 2016 announces opening night act Writer: Steven Pankhurst


Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) will open the 10th Manchester Science Festival on Thursday 20th October with a very special, one-off performance at Manchester’s historic Albert Hall. This special event will begin with the mastermind behind Public Service Broadcasting, J. Willgoose, Esq. in conversation with Professor Tim O’Brien, Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory as the pair explore the stories of the American and Soviet space race at the heart of the album and discuss the making of the record and the journey it has led them on. Now in its 10th year, Manchester Science Festival – produced by the Museum of Science and Industry and supported by Siemens and Lead Educational Sponsor the University of Salford – is developing a reputation as the boldest, most creative and most ambitious science festival in the country. This event reflects just that – fusing world class performers and up-and-coming musicians with space exploration and cutting edge science’ Manchester Science Festival Director, Antonio Benitez comments: “We’re delighted to be working with Public Service Broadcasting for the first time, to launch this year’s event. The Race for Space tells the story of space exploration’s finest hours in such a unique and inventive way and so it is the perfect collaboration for the Manchester Science Festival which also seeks to find exciting and unusual ways to celebrate scientific discoveries. The band’s eclectic and surprising mix of art and science will bring astronautics out of the lab and onto the historic Albert Hall stage. It’s a great fit for our opening night and a fantastic coup for our 10th year.”

Tickets for some of this year’s other key musical events are also on sale now. These include Equinox performed by Manchester Camerata – “Probably Britain’s most adventurous Orchestra” (The Times). MSF is delighted to be joined by the Camerata on Sunday October 16th at 3pm at the Albert Hall for a festival trailblazer event. Take a kaleidoscopic tour of time and space as Manchester Camerata performs Equinox, by violin star Henning Kraggerud, which is written in 24 different keys and depicts 24 hours and 24 time zones. The composition comprises four concertos and is interspersed with a narration written by Jostein Gaarder. Equinox comprises four concertos – Afternoon, Evening, Night and Morning – each of which has six postludes, by turn joyful, mournful, effervescent and heart-wrenching. They journey through a circle of fifths, beginning in Greenwich in C major. Also on sale is The Music of Star Wars performed by the Hallé on Saturday 29th October at the Bridgewater Hall. Feel the full force of the Hallé as it brings the highlights of John Williams’ music from every episode of Star Wars to the stage. Featuring some of the most recognisable cinematic themes from The Phantom Menace to The Force Awakens, this concert packs more punch than an Imperial blaster. Dress to impress and relive the rise and fall of the Empire in one action-packed evening. Tickets for Public Service Broadcasting go on sale from 10am, Friday 19th August via


coming soon A Streetcar named desire

Wish list


08.09.16-15.10.16 Royal Exchange Theatre

24.09.16-15.10.16 Royal Exchange Theatre

27.09.16-01.10.16 Palace Theatre

The emporer

Women's hour

o no!

28.09.16-08.10.16 HOME

29.09.16-01.10.16 HOME

03.10.16-05.10.16 HOME

Dirty dancing


Billy elliot the musical

10.10.16-15.10.16 Palace Theatre

19.10.16-22.10.16 Royal Exchange Theatre

29.11.16-28.01.17 Palace Theatre



parade You know it’s going to be a good show when in the first few moments a mass of goosebumps suddenly flood each and every part of your body and you’re sat there like some sort of awkward dot to dot. Writer: Rose Hodson

We live in a time where certain musicals are definitely more ontrend than others – take Hamilton for example, Urinetown or Spring Awakening. With such a big task ahead of him, director James Baker, whose mission is to reinvent the theatrical landscape of Manchester, could have taken an obvious route with some current hit that ensures an audience night after night. Instead he does what he does best – handpicks the best actors and imprints on a production the way Hollywood directors style their own. I’m pretty sure Baker could take on The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and still produce something relevant and on- trend. Hope Mill Theatre played host to Parade which is their first in-house theatrical production. The mill itself is a beautiful venue and could easily transfer its use to the quirky nightclub scene but instead is a dedicated space to the production of fringe theatre. Parade tells the tale of Leo Frank, a Brooklyn-raised Jewish man wrongly convicted of the murder of an employee.

Already guilty in the eyes of the law his only defenders are a governor with a conscience and his wife Lucille who becomes his greatest champion. Playing the music and lyrics of Jason Robert Brown, Musical Director Tom Chester leads a band of 9, somehow creating a great orchestral sound – which led me to type and delete the word ‘band’ more than a few times – it doesn’t quite describe the brilliant sound Tom and his team of musicians manage to create. It’s hard to know where to begin with a cast void of weak links – I could categorise them by hair colour maybe, and start from that point onwards? Taking the lead is Tom Lloyd as Leo Frank – with an impressive résumé to begin with you’re certain preperformance you’re in for a treat. From the get- go the audience are embroiled in a love-hate relationship with his character which is continually reflected off the vision of his adoring wife Lucille, played by Laura Harrison. As the plot advances there’s very little you can do other than confirm nobody else saw you cry.


Harrison who has worked with Baker previously as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and will continue to tour the UK in Kenwright’s Blood Brothers takes to the stage as Lucille Frank. From giddy Monroe-esque Skid Row inhabitant to southern picnic preparing wife – Harrison demonstrates the infinite scope of her acting ability. With outstanding vocal talents to boot you almost wish she was serving jail time with her husband so you get to see a little more of her. Her performance is utterly addictive. There are points when the ensemble gather together and you wonder what you’ve done to deserve this – pretty sure I only paid £18 to be spitting distance away from quality that some West-End productions struggle to produce.


king lear

Writer: Nikki Cotter

Director Max Webster maintains a great pace and flow which combined with the fine performances on stage keep you totally engaged.


An exciting addition to the current offerings celebrating 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare is Director Max Webster’s touring production of King Lear with the mighty Michael Pennington wearing the tragic Kings crown. Pennington gives an absolute masterclass in classical acting, he is utterly mesmerising, angry and fierce one moment, fragile and vulnerable the next, he draws the audience in and you quickly forget there are a few hundred other theatre goers around you. The transition from powerful tyrant at the start of the play where Lear wrongly disowns adoring daughter Cordelia (Beth Cooke) to the final scenes where we see him broken and maddened by sorrow is enormous, captivating and totally heart-breaking. Misjudging his two eldest daughters loyalty, Lear finds himself increasingly desperate, stripped of his wealth and majesty, the respect he was once shown is now forgotten and he is left to live with the past mistakes he has made. In addition to Pennington’s fine performance is a very strong cast who each in turn deliver fantastic

performances. Lear’s two eldest daughters, Goneril and Regan are played expertly by Catherine Bailey and Sally Scott, an evil duo who grow increasingly twisted with the power bestowed upon them. Similarly the warped relationship between brothers Edgar (Gavin Fowler) and Edmund (Scott Karim) is played out perfectly, the villainy of Edmund leading to the brutal demise of his own father Gloucester (Pip Donaghy) offers Edgar the opportunity to secretly nurse and care for the Father he was forced through the evils of his brother to flee. Adrian Linford’s set is sparse but effective, allowing the actors to be the firm focus of this production. At just under three hours including an interval it is not a short production by any means but Director Max Webster maintains a great pace and flow which combined with the fine performances on stage keep you totally engaged. Although one of Shakespeare’s most bloodthirsty tragedies, this excellent production offers wit, humour and many moving moments, it is beautifully accessible Shakespeare, unpretentious, poignant and totally gripping.


Based on Sarah Water’s much praised fourth novel, published in 2006, The Night Watch takes us on an exploration of love, loneliness, sexuality and desolation set against the backdrop of wartime and post-World War II London.

Writer: Nikki Cotter

The Night Watch Adapted by Hattie Naylor, events are set over a six year period and as with Water’s novel are told in reverse chronological order, 1947 precedes 1944 which precedes 1941. The small cast of eight play out separate stories which through tangled connections of war intertwine and overlap. Each character holding secrets of their own private hurt and perceived reasons of shame.

The Night Watch is utterly compelling, thoughtprovoking and hugely powerful, a must-see.

Central to the piece is Kay, (Jodie McNee), thoughtful, poised and poetic, yet broken and beaten by war, the sadness and lack of connection she displays with her post-war life is beautifully portrayed and reinforces the dislocation and disorder of life after war when for many a sense of purpose and structure had disappeared. Kay is damaged, disabled by the past and unable to move on, confessing to friend Mickey, “…the rubble has all my life in it still”. Director Rebecca Gatward directs her cast in the Exchange’s in the round setting beautifully, complimented by Georgia Lowe’s set which is sparse but striking. The stage is slightly raised with two slowly revolving circles, one outer and one inner gently moving in opposite directions which allows the characters to clearly separate yet always ARTS : THEATRE

return and cross over again, reflecting the interconnecting events that continue to bring them together. Each individual cast member gives a fine and utterly absorbing performance, the change in Kay (Jodie McNee) particularly from start to finish is almost heart-breaking, significantly the final scene gives us the clearest indication into whom she was before, positive, strong and confident, the complete opposite of whom she becomes. Thalissa Teixeira is exceptional as Viv, her highs and lows are delicately unpicked with special mention also going to Lucy BriggsOwen who takes on her two roles, Julie and Mrs Leonard with sass. The reverse timeline makes for a hugely compelling production, by the end of part one I was desperate to retake my seat and find out what had happened to these traumatised souls, who were they before and what had damaged them so significantly? Act two pieced together the various events that resulted in the permanently changed characters and events of part one became all the more poignant. The Night Watch is utterly compelling, thought-provoking and hugely powerful, a must-see.


Carlos Acosta

Writer: Nikki Cotter


42 year old Carlos Acosta has been a firm favourite on the ballet scene since he first came to prominence in the early 90’s whilst still just a teenager, since then he has danced for some of the world’s most prestigious companies including an impressive 17 years with the Royal Ballet.


A Classical Farewell at The Lowry

This tour brings together pieces from classical ballet works by iconic choreographers as well as choreography from Acosta himself and more contemporary choreographers including fellow Cuban Raul Reinoso, each of the twelve pieces are presented beautifully by a team of dancers also from Acosta’s native Cuba. The show is cleverly staged and as the curtain rises we see a stripped back almost empty space aside from a couple of sofas, a clothes rail and barre in what appears to be a practice room. Acosta casually strolls in, holdall slung over his shoulder and is soon joined by his fellow performers dressed in a mixture of practice gear and costumes, there are casual exchanges and stretching before the side flies drop into place and Gabriela Lugo and Enrique Corrales’ exquisite performance of White Swan pas de deux from Act 2 of Swan Lake begins. Between each piece we return to the practice room, this works well and sets things up nicely for the next performance. As we work through the classical pieces in Part 1 each dancer delivers absolutely faultless performances, technically perfect and totally mesmerising. By the time we reach the final piece in Part One it is clear who the audience have been waiting for, when Acosta arrives on stage for Diana & Actaeon pas de deux applause and cheers can be heard throughout the theatre. Acosta leaps into action and quickly shows just what a wonderful dancer he is, strong and confident he moves beautifully.


Part Two sees a change in proceedings with some more contemporary pieces, a particular highlight being the section of three separate dances A Buenos Aires, Je ne regrette rien and Les Bourgeois all set within a Cuban cafe/bar. A Buenos Aires choreographed by Gustavo Mollajoli is a beautiful ballet/tango fusion, Veronica Corveas and Javier Rojas are superb, sultry and sharp. Next sees Ely Regina Hernandez take on Ben Van Cauwenbergh’s choreography set to Edith Piaf ’s instantly recognisable Je ne regrette rien. The piece is dramatic and striking perfectly capturing Piaf ’s sassy attitude. Next we see Acosta perform Les Bourgeois, again choreographed by Ben Van Cauwenbergh, Acosta gives a great comedic performance and transforms himself effortlessly into a drunken sailor (albeit one who can dance fantastically). The show ends with the full company performing Majisimo from a Cuban ballet by George Garcia, it’s a huge crowd pleaser and allows each performer the opportunity to showcase their exquisite skills. This may be Acosta’s farewell tour but the standing ovation would most certainly guarantee if he decides to visit again his dedicated fans will happily come back for more. A fantastic evening of dance with some world class performances.




The Spa at the Midland Writer: Lee Isherwood

The luxurious Spa at the Midland is a city centre oasis, allowing guests to unwind and enjoy a moment of complete tranquillity. Situated in the heart of Manchester and dedicated to the ‘art of relaxation’, the team offer high quality treatments in spaces that transport you anywhere you like, leaving the bustling city behind. The Spa boasts unique relaxation spaces, fantastic service and signature treatments where you’ll immediately see why they’ve put their name to them.

NEW Signature Serene Sleep Treatment just £80 The Spa At The Midland understand the importance of getting a good nights sleep and have become the first and only Spa in the UK to host the new bespoke 'Serene Sleep' ESPA treatment. This tailor-made experience incorporates:

Opened just last year, The Spa has grown to become an important wellbeing escape for Manchester’s finest and a whole host of regional visitors. The recent announcement of the Spa’s ‘Serene Sleep’ Signature treatment marks part of the Spa’s first anniversary and cements their place as the ‘go-to’ day spa in the city.

A personalised Aromatherapy back massage using hot stones focuses on the Marma points, releasing deepseated muscular tension, clearing toxins and rebalancing the chakras. Facial massage follows, using warm Rose Quartz Crystals to diminish tension around the forehead, eyes and jaw, before a deeply hydrating treatment mask is applied. A soothing scalp massage completes this deeply relaxing experience, helping to clear the mind ensuring an uninterrupted and blissful night’s sleep. Book the Signature 50 minutes Serene Sleep Treatment for £80 & receive a luxury upgrade to 80 minutes for all Manchester’s finest readers for a limited time only*. For more information or to book your Serene Sleep treatment, call 0161 932 4086 and quote MCRFINEST or email Terms and conditions apply. Offer subject to availability. Manchester’s Finest readers can receive this complimentary upgrade valid Monday – Thursday until 30th September 2016.

For an added touch of luxury why not experience the full ‘Serene Sleep’ Spa Day, with prices starting from £109pp. You’ll have full access to the Spa’s state of the art facilities, including the Spa’s innovative ‘art of relaxation’ suites, followed by a healthy lunch or afternoon tea in the private spa café. The Serene Sleep spa day is £109pp Monday - Thursday and £129pp Friday - Sunday.

The Spa at the Midland, Peter Street, M60 2DS To book please call 0161 932 4086



Pierre Alexandre Salon 38 King Street West, Manchester M3 2WZ For more information call 0161 834 5837 or visit

Pierre Alexandre Writer: Michelle Eagleton

40% off last minute bookings with the Pierre Alexandre app. Booking your hair appointment just got easier and cheaper...


Hands up who forgets to book their hair appointment in advance? And, when it dawns on you that your roots are in desperate need of a cover up or you look like something the cat dragged in – you can’t get an appointment! Well, Pierre Alexandre Hair and Beauty have come up with a handy solution for anyone who needs an appointment at short notice and offers one of the best ‘cuts’ around.

The salon based on King Street West in the heart of Manchester’s City Centre has launched an app that allows you to choose from a number of late availability slots which, if booked with less than 48 hours to go, gives you 40% off the original price. We put it to the test to see exactly how it works and if you get the same service at almost half the price…


1. Download

5. Arrive

Type in Pierre Alexandre in the App Store and hey presto the app is there and it’s free. If you haven’t got a smart phone/tablet then you can just visit their website and access it through that.

Turn up at the salon for your booking and you get the same treatment and quality service you would get if you had paid full price. Angelina looked after us and we opted for a blow dry with added Olaplex which we were told creates healthy hair from the inside out. The result was super soft hair and a great style which stayed well for a number of days.

2. Choose Once you’ve got it then you’ll be able to see all the dates and times still available from that day onward and for the next few days.

3. Options You get to choose a particular stylist from junior to senior or a particular beautician if they are available. Select a time that’s within 48 hours of booking and the price is reduced by 40%.

4. Book Once booked you receive an alert to let you know your appointment has been made and also get the added option to type back to the salon any notes you want to add, such as if you might be five/ten minutes late or if you need your hair finished by a certain time.


Verdict: The Pierre Alexandre App is a great tool for anyone who is on the go and can be flexible about when they can visit a salon. It’s perfect for those with a busy lifestyle who don’t like committing to an appointment weeks ahead. A money saving app which delivers the same service without paying full price.


Relax and Recover at Spa Satori Writer: Joanne Wilmott

With its humble beginnings in 2002, Spa Satori has been keeping Manchester’s hustle and bustle citizens relaxed and treated for over 14 years, even being up for nomination as Spa of the Year in 2013! It’s in the cosmopolitan end of Manchester, the Northern Quarter, which makes it perfect for a pre party treatment or for post shopping relaxation.



Spa Satori High Street Northern Quarter M4 1HQ To book please call 0161 819 2465 or visit Follow @SpaSatori on Twitter.

The Spa’s newly renovated rooms were completed in March 2016 and each room has been carefully designed to reflect the ambience needed for treatments carried out in them. The waxing room is a fresh, light sky blue, while the massage rooms are swept with warm, tropical Teals and sunshine yellows, each one putting you in your perfect frame of mind for your therapy. With the recent ‘Brain and Behaviour’ journal highlighting the prevalence of anxiety and how women are twice as likely to suffer as men, it’s time to prevent the potential chronic health conditions that can be attached to this and take some well-deserved R&R at Spa Satori. If you are struggling to make time on your lunch break or your weekends are jam packed, do not fret, the Spa is open until 8pm Monday-Friday. Jennie who owns Spa Satori, expands and constantly evolves the treatment menu, taking her inspirations from the experiences she has found along her travels across Asia as well as new trends and brands coming in to the market, all whilst incorporating them in to the spa therapies. Some of the most popular treatments are the massages, and with sixteen to choose from you will always find one to suit your every need! Amongst the massages you can also book in for Mii make-up, gel manicures and pedicures, organic tailor-made facials, as well as your holistic treatments such as Colonic Hydrotherapy, Hopi ear candles and Reflexology. There will be additional trend led treatments being launched this year, such as the oxygen facial mask which all the A-list celebs are raving about, and if it’s good enough for the likes of Madonna, Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian, then I will definitely be first on the list for this! In addition, eyebrow microblading will also be introduced towards the end of the year so we can have long lasting, groomed eyebrows to make even Cara Delevingne green with envy. As if all this isn’t enough of an incentive to come and get pampered, get 10% off your treatment when you present this article to the Spa Satori staff! Opening times are Mondays to Fridays 9am – 8pm, Saturdays 9am – 6pm and Sundays 10am – 5pm.



Dogs N dough

Writer: James Barker


DnD was Manchester’s first gourmet hot dog and New York style pizza restaurant and since opening their doors in 2013, they’ve become renowned for their truly authentic American eating and drinking experience. Dogs n Dough Bow Lane M2 4JW To book please call 0161 834 3996 or visit Follow @dogsndough on Twitter

Each of their signature 100% beef frankfurters are served up in a freshly baked brioche bun. These can be adorned with toppings ranging from the humble fried onion to pulled pork, jalapeños and smoked cheese, or even fried chicken and coleslaw! As for the pizzas, they’re made-to-order using fresh dough and their secret recipe pizza sauce. You can get classics like a Margherita or Pepperoni but, if you’re feeling more adventurous, there’s ones topped with crazy things like mac ‘n’ cheese or chicken tikka, chilli spiced onion and mini poppadoms (The Passage To India).


It’s not just the food that got DnD its cult following, their cocktails mean business too! They’ve got a whole host of premium spirits, imported American sodas (who knew Fanta Grape would be so good?!) and craft beers to boot. DnD is also the home of the Dessert Pizza. Taken straight out of Willy Wonka’s dreams, this Nutella smeared beauty is loaded with mini marshmallows and finished with sweets and sauce of your choosing. Don’t worry if that all sounds a bit much for you. There are milkshakes. Thick, ice cream ladened milkshakes. We recommend the apple pie and custard flavour!”

17 Below Bow Lane M2 4JW

Writer: Steven Pankhurst

To book visit Follow @17belowmcr on Twitter and Instagram


17 Below

Only accessible through a small door in DnD and hidden sixty feet below street level, 17 Below opened late last year with one purpose - to be a playground for adults. There’s no slide or roundabout in this playground though. Instead, it’s filled with professional grade American pool tables and custom built 80’s arcade machines. Their 80’s design doesn’t end with their six free to play gaming cabinets though. The walls are filled with retro gaming posters, vibrant neons and technicolour tiling.

17 Below opened late last year with one purpose - to be a playground for adults

Of course no adult playground would be complete without a bar. This has a comprehensive cocktail list offering 80’s inspired gems and a whole host of your old favourites too! Add these to their wide array of craft beers, wines and spirits and we know you’ll find something to wet your appetite.


BREAKOUT MANCHeSTER: Reclassified Breakout Manchester are Manchester's leading escape games. Across their two city centre sites (Brazennose Street and High Street), teams of 2-5 players have an hour to find their escape from a locked room using the clues and puzzles they find within. If you like The Crystal Maze, Fort Boyard or Krypton Factor then Breakout is a great team activity to do with friends or something different for your next away day at work. 54

You may have heard of their Classified games, they were hugely popular. You could play Classified as a standalone game or a race game (i.e. two teams race against each other at the same time). Reclassified is a completely new version of the classic game with far more and better use of technology. Breakout Manchester are hugely excited for this room and have been working on it for the past 3 months.

The launch of Reclassified means there will be 11 rooms available in Manchester with 10 completely different stories and game strategies. This means groups of up to 55 can be accommodated at any one time (25 at Brazennose Street and 30 at High Street). The new rooms are making their way to their High Street site. You can play one game of 2-5 players at a time if you wish, but with two identical rooms Reclassified gives you the ability to race your friends or co-workers to decide once and for all who is the best at breaking out of a room. You may both escape, but only one of you can be the winner. Girl Vs Guy, Friend Vs Friend, Foe Vs For, Red Vs Blue the choice is yours. When played as a race game you can view the other team’s progress at various stages making for an even tenser experience than normal. Facebook: /breakoutmanchester Twitter: @breakoutmcr Instagram: @breakoutmanchester Breakout Manchester operates two centres in Manchester, one is located next to the town hall, the other is on High Street, it takes 8 minutes to walk between the two sites. Please pay careful attention to the location that you book.


Be the spy you always thought you could be, take your final test!

Writer: James Barker

RECLASSIFIED aren’t the only rooms available... Visit rooms to find out more

w: e: t: 0161 839 8012




Writer: Lee Isherwood


Slice 1a Stevenson Square M1 1DN

Slice have been serving up authentic Roman pizzas for the last four years and have recently starting making Ice Cream's Italian cousin, Gelato!

Owner Matt McGuirk, felt that the Italian treat was missing from Manchester despite Ancoats, known as 'Little Italy' being previously famous for it's Ice Cream which was made in many of the cellars of the back to back houses in the 20th Century. Today Ancoats is home to 2,000 people of Italian extraction, and the ice cream cones used by Slice today are made by one of the original families, the Antonelli Bros.

Northern Quarter stalwart Slice Pizza has opened Manchester's first artisan Gelateria at its Stevenson square site.


The main difference between Gelato and Ice Cream is all in the fat content. There's less fat in Gelato which makes the flavour sing louder of which you can enjoy twice as much! Slice focuses on the quality of the raw ingredients, using locally sourced milk and cream to produce its artisan Gelato made in house. Slice offers some second-to-none flavours along with the traditional, from Pina Colada, Peanutbutter Jelly Sandwich to a nostalgic Kinder Egg delight. Definitely worth a visit to enjoy a slice and a gelato in the city this Summer.

Nudo Sushi Box Piccadilly Store 5B City Tower Mosley Street M1 4BT

Nudo Sushi Box

Visit Follow @nudosushibox on Twitter and Instagram

Writer: Steven Pankhurst

When Nudo Sushi Box launched its first sushi bar in Newcastle in 2013, few could have predicted that just three years later it would become such an established name within the grab and go industry. After successfully opening six North East branches, last year Nudo brought its healthy cuisine to Manchester. True to form it has already made an impressive mark on the city’s diverse food scene, with its Oxford Street and Spinningfields branches proving to be a big hit with business people and students. Now, the company has opened a third shop in the city centre on Mosley Street near Piccadilly Gardens. When you enter the Piccadilly store you’re immediately struck by the modern interior and immaculate design. From the striking wall mural to the bright teal details, everywhere you look there’s something to captivate the imagination. Like all of Nudo’s stores, the Piccadilly branch is a true fusion of cultures with a refreshingly contemporary twist.


While the swift grab and go service is a popular choice for those just passing by or dropping in from work; the dine-in experience is equally as satisfying. Staff members certainly know their sushi and are more than happy to chat about the wide selection of nigiri boxes, sashimi selections, futomaki, and hot dishes that are available. Marketing Manager Lois Bell comments: “Unlike most sushi restaurants, our products are freshly preprepared and displayed on the shelves, meaning you can pick up whatever takes your fancy with ease. This differentiates us from a lot of other sushi restaurants, and is without a doubt something which appeals to the busy lifestyles of people in the city.” Created with the vision of making fresh sushi a regular and affordable meal option on the high street, it’s clear to see that Nudo has far exceeded its initial goals. So if you’re a fan of unique and beautifully prepared food at affordable prices, this is one place you should definitely visit.


Director of Lissom + Muster, John Rogers, shares a day in his life and a personal exploration of Manchester’s ‘Finest’. Writer: John Rogers


9:30am. My task for this morning is a pleasurable one – choosing our new season’s collections from two of my favourite suppliers - John Smedley knitwear (based near Matlock in the Peak District) and Mackintosh raincoats (who have a factory up the road in Lancashire). These are venerable companies, who wear their patina of history and hereditary expertise with a sense of ease and assuredness – they are custodians of their unsurpassed craft, but continue to innovate in their use of materials and technologies. I’m increasingly interested in a modern, reductive approach to design – paring garments down to their purest form, but retaining and being enabled by impeccable materials and construction.

Having these sorts of iconic factories on our doorstep provides great resources to work with. For a break away from the desk I head to Lupo for an espresso. The owner, Nico is from Rome and there’s a lovely sincerity and authenticity about the way the simple food and his superb coffee is presented. There’s no pretention; no over-complication – just beautiful ingredients deftly and soulfully prepared. It’s one of those rare little places where the owner wants simply to share the good things he loves. I manage to resist the delicious cannoli on this occasion.


Back at my desk and my colleague Kay and I are finalising the layout of our new space. After three years trading at our shop on Tib Lane in the city centre we’ve moved to Ancoats, to a 19th Century former cotton mill. Lissom + Muster’s next chapter will reflect my desire to focus more on providing customers with the contemporary luxuries of space and time – away from the hustle and bustle of the high street to a calm, spacious environment where we can really serve people well. I think there’s a danger that good independent businesses can become caught up in the rush to an ever broader and more detached online marketplace, while also trying to keep up with their bigger, richer competitors. The advantage good independents still have is in offering real expertise, attentive service and meaningful relationships with a community of local customers. Moving to Hope Mill is enabling us to do more of that. We’ll be offering tailoring; more made to measure services and womenswear in the near future, and we’ll be holding a series of events in collaboration with our suppliers and other local businesses we admire. It’s an exciting time for us.

LISSOM + MUSTER are known for their selection of understated, beautifully crafted contemporary clothing and footwear. Now based at Hope Mill in Ancoats, they will soon open a new ‘by appointment’ space offering made to measure tailoring and shirting alongside such iconic British makers as Sunspel, John Smedley, Alfred Sargent and Mackintosh.

We’re looking forward to the arrival of our new granite table tops to complete the new fit out. They’re from a stone merchant up Cheetham Hill Road. The range of little industries that still exist near to the city centre amazes me. I think it’s important that great cities keep hold of their light industries – they’re often the first to go when the swanky flats are built, but they’re so important to the vitality of the city. Its great to see the new wave of micro breweries, coffee roasteries and upholsterers setting up shop nearby – the next chapter of Manchester’s original modern industrial story. Later on we’re visited by Tareq Moustafa, the owner of Seen Opticians in St Anns Arcade, who has come to see how we’re progressing. Our shared experience as independent retailers in Manchester has led to a friendship I really value. He is always generous with his encouragement and knowledge and I turn to him for advice whenever we’re trying something new. Seen

have a quality which I really admire in good independent shops – the capacity to make the customer feel as though they’ve embarked on a journey of discovery. Tareq is an itinerant, informed, passionate owner with a highly attuned, very individual aesthetic – whichever way you turn in his shop you get the impression of an enthusiastic, idiosyncratic eye. He and his team have genuine confidence in their products and for their role in guiding customers through uncommon brands and styles. And of course it’s all backed up by considerable professional expertise. That balance of singularity and integrity is, I think, what defines ‘the finest’. In a phone call with my partner Charlotte, we plan to go to Home to see a film and decide on one of our favourite restaurants – Yuzu – for an early dinner. David, Yuzu’s owner, is another local inspiration – he is meticulous about every element of his simple, beautiful Japanese dishes. There is a sense of calm and purity about his tiny restaurant, which is wholly refreshing. We’re inevitably in a rush to make the start of a film or performance when we go there, but David’s air of controlled mastery is reassuring. The food is always perfect.

Lupo 42 Chapel St M3 6AF 0784 702 8685

Yuzu 39 Faulkner St M1 4EE 0161 236 4159

Seen Opticians St Anns Arcade St Anns Square M2 7HN 0161 835 2324

Lissom + Muster Hope Mill 113 Pollard Street M4 7JB 0161 832 7244





Manchester’s Chinatown is a mainstay of the city’s socio-cultural geography; it flies the flag for independence and small business. The area is compact enough to retain a real sense of community and camaraderie but diverse enough to offer a rich and varied experience for locals and tourists alike. The architecture of the old textile warehouses in the area leant themselves well to the handful of small businesses that grew up here. Odd nooks in buildings and atmospheric basement spaces continue to be occupied by tiny retailers and owned by independent family run businesses. It is a neighbourhood for a thriving community; home to some of the city’s top kitchens, and a cornucopia of characters and cultures, of all ages and origins. The growth of Chinatown can be attributed in part to a generation of traditional Chinese and Confucian thinkers, where family and community preceded the individual. My parents, and those of many of my friends, arrived in Britain with the mindset that success came only with hard work.

Writer: Bonnie Yeung

This rigid family structure coupled with infamous Chinese thrift, and an indomitable work ethic paved the way for self employment, enterprise and economic accomplishment. Since then, the preservation of tradition, community and legacy have remained at the fore; indeed many of the old patriarchs still preside over their businesses in one form or another and as a result many of the conventions, the conviviality and the quirks that make Chinatown unique have been a constant. One such constant in my life has been our family business. The Yang Sing: which has been in my family since its inception in 1977, and we’ll be celebrating our 40th year in 2017. I have sampled dim sum all over the world; from China to the Americas and it is a rarity that any betters that of my father's (written without any bias of course). My working and none working thoughts are plagued with the imaginings of our expertly crafted dumplings, and as a consequence of these foodie foibles, I have gained an undisclosed amount of weight since joining the family business. I have also had a baby. To be frank, I think it is much more to do with the former, than the latter. Now even with the Yeung family expertise there are some things which even we admit we prefer at other restaurants. The Great Wall restaurant is presided over by my very entertaining friend, Winnie Leung. Winnie’s dad- ‘YoYo’ the proprietor and head chef - produces spring onion pancakes that are unlike anything you will have tasted before. The local Chinatown bakeries are also bastions of Chinatown; attaining almost cult status in the city. They offer fluffy cloud like brioche buns that sandwich an array of various fillings and toppings, both savoury and sweet, and when not consumed with thinking about dim sum, also plague my thoughts- woe is me. It is always necessary to buy several items, not only the buns but the colourful slices of light (not in calories) cream and fruit cake, and then of course there’s the doughnuts, the cookies and not to mention the drinks!


A thriving community; home to some of the city's top kitchens and a cornucopia of characters and cultures of all ages and origins

Despite these great places there is very much still room for improvement and to grow. Many of Chinatown's early pragmatic pioneers made concessions to the then British palate; but tastes have changed since then, people have changed, indeed the city has changed. Meat on the bone is requested more, animal parts that some might shudder at- are actively sought. And if I were one of such people I’d be frustrated and find it rather hard work to navigate the biblical and often inscrutable Chinese only menus that seem to promise such adventure, mystique and flavour. There is a kind of traditionalism that veils some businesses, halting the changes that pervade other restaurants and menus throughout the city and I believe a kind of respect has to be accorded to these businesses because it is warming to know that

in Chinatown there are some things; sights, sounds and flavours that will be cherished and so stubbornly defended. But make changes I think they must. Against a back drop of council cut backs, incessant road works, ever tougher parking rules; immigration legislation that prevents restaurants from providing take away, concerns such as waste management and now the dark cloud of a Brexit economy (I could go on)- Chinatown has seen closures. Most restaurants in the locale are unpretentious, fairly priced and offer good quality food and yet we have still seen the loss of close friends and neighbours. To remain good enough to stay afloat in this incredibly competitive industry, innovation and change is the only way forward for Chinatown.



Thanks to The Finest Team

Manchester’s Finest brings together the

James Barker

in Manchester all written by talented and

best bars, restaurants, arts, culture & events

Lee Isherwood

passionate citizens here in Sunny Manchester.

Steven Pankhurst

We’re an independent site ran by Lee

Matthew Tyas

Isherwood, Matthew Tyas, Steven Pankhurt and James Barker. Most of the opinions are


The Finest contributors

our own, some are other peoples but we think

Tim Alderson

We’re always keen to hear about new things in

Nikki Cotter

Manchester so please feel free to get in touch.

that’s ok if they know more than us.

Michelle Eagleton Martin Guttridge-Hewitt Rose Hodson Natalie Jackson Pippa Nixon John Rogers Natalie Sawyers Joanne Wilmott Bonnie Yeung Melanie Zarins

The Finest Designers


ISSUE 01 18.08.16

Created by Manchester's Finest Designed by Tile Creative and Ideas Creative Many thanks to all our contributors. For more of Manchester's Finest, visit our site: You'll find us on twitter, facebook and instagram all with the same handle: /McrFinest

Manchester's Finest // issue 01  

Welcome to the first issue of Manchester's Finest. A printed round up of content from our site over the last 6 months. Along with our talent...

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