We jumped at the chance to be treated to an intimate set from Manchester favourites The Travelling Band. They truly are a feel-good folk band who we've been long term fans of, previously following them on European Tours. The Travelling Band are part of an awesome line up for the Whisky Sessions weekend, and play on the Friday 21st November with other headline acts over the weekend. Acts include I an Kloot, Tim Burgess, Dodgy, Gomez and Badly Drawn Boy. For more information on The Whiskey Sessions Click Here.
After being wowed by a few acoustic travelling band tracks we were then treated to a 'Whisky Tasting' session from the Whisky Shop manager Chris, who allowed us to sample some of the exclusive whiskies available from the store, which was a true education in whisky.
The drinks we sampled in order were -
1) Haig Club - David Beckham endorsed
2) Glenturret Triple Cask - Exclusive
3) Single Barrel Jack Daniels - A special selected barrel by the Whisky Shop - Exclusive
4) Glenfarclas Vintage 2003 - Only 2 barrels made - Exclusive
5) Aberfeldy Whisky Single Cask - Exclusive
Our personal favourite was the Glenfarclas 2003, which we described as "Christmas in a glass". There was no out and out winner though, with the mixed bag of people and tastes involved in the sampling each having their own favourite. For more information on the exclusive offer at the Whisky Shop and new releases please click here or just pop into their St Ann's Square branch for more information.
Manchester’s enchanting cocktail apothecary, Elixir, unveiled their new-season drinks menu and celebrated their first birthday last night with an extraordinary “Elements Experimental” experience. Elixir introduced a creative new collection of delectable cocktails, each inspired by their philosophical element of Fire, Earth, Water, Air and Ether with theatrical props, specialised shots and magical décor.
VIPs, corporates and media movers were in their element as they enjoyed tipples, nibbles, tonics and treats with theatrical entertainment in the form of fire eating, water tricks and air bubbles in and among the earth’s interior leaves and trees. Party guests were later led mysteriously downstairs to Elixir’s basement event space to push through a wall of fur coats to find a decadent winter wonderland Narnia with sparkling ice, soft snow and intricate ice flakes where the music and mischief continued.
Meanwhile, ladies flocked to the party’s secret powder room for a piece of vintage glamour where they enjoyed sweet treats and heavenly refreshments with celebrity HD brows master Rachel Hall who’s team were on hand to perform brow makeovers and beauty touch ups.
Elixir made sure the cocktails were flowing with samples of their latest additions to try, test and enjoy, carefully crafted to warm, flavour and inspire the pallet.
Partygoers revelled in the Mermaid’s Teardrop (£8.50) an aquatic blend of vodka, kwai feh, coconut and ocean syrup with a teardrop ice bomb and chocolate sea-glass shell.
Inspired by the flame’s spirit in motion, Elixir’s cocktail ByThe Fire (£8.50) proved to be another cherished tipple comprising of rum, dark chocolate liqueur, homemade chocolate syrup and a splash of cream, topped with a flaming mallow foam and a skewered campfire treat.
And for gin advocates came the mischievous and sweet Hope Floats creation (£8.50) a playful twist on the classic white lady, with homemade bubble-gum gin and limoncello, egg white and lemon juice with a “hubble-bubble” cloud float, garnished with mini bubbles to blow.
Elixir’s owners Jess & Dan Purnell expressed their delight over the new-season menu and commented on their birthday success:
“It’s been a wonderful year for Elixir and we’re over the moon to be turning one this evening. We’ve received a fantastic response from the new cocktails too! We wanted to create something for people to enjoy, share and experience. For us, that’s what it’s all about and with the Elements Experimental menu that’s precisely what you’ll find.”
The former Chicago Rock Café building has been at the heart of a £1million transformation, the result of which is Manchester’s newest and largest pan-Asian restaurant. ‘Sakana’ has been tipped to become the best restaurant in Manchester, seating over 400 diners and employing almost 100 staff. But first, what does the name ‘Sakana’ actually mean? Well quite simply it is to ‘enjoy alcohol with food’…
A key feature of the lavish bar is the six metre high steel tree, which forms a somewhat spectacular centrepiece within the split-level venue. The illuminated Japanese maple was designed by local artist Sarah Gallagher-Hayes, while in other areas of the restaurant, contemporary artwork by Japanese artist Masako is displayed on white washed walls. Open air seating at the front and a swanky bar gives a stylish and welcoming feel, before guests are transported through to an explosion of sights and sounds in the Japanese restaurant on the ground floor complete with sushi bar, robata grill and two teppanyaki areas where diners can watch dishes being freshly prepared
On the first floor is a spectacular pan-Asian fine dining restaurant, as well as a “residents area” bar where those wishing to splash out can have their pick of an array of rare and vintage wines from a black list, signed off to show which bottle you’ve drunk! A highlight of the list is the £3,600 1996 vintage Petrus! Stewart Yip, owner of restaurants Red Chilli and Ocean Treasure in Manchester is behind the venue with the help of sons Simon, Andy and Ricky and cousin Tim Yip who together run the Rock Star Leisure Group
Press Officer for the venue Mark Hayward said “Manchester is growing rapidly as a city, and the demands of the dining scene here are growing too. The team know the city inside out and they have created a venue that is not just of a high standard regionally, but will challenge restaurants both nationally and internationally. Sakana is about to mix up the social scene of Manchester for sure”.
Business Development Manager Dan Robinson says “We’re aiming to create that elusive ‘third place’ for people to feel really comfortable and at home in Manchester. We think we have created a really unique dining offering here”. Work continues to the exterior of the building for the coming few weeks but the venue is now open to the public. A VIP red carpet event is set to take place on Thursday 27th November to welcome the glitterati of the city to enjoy a true taste of pan-Asian cuisine at its best
The Crafty Pig, from the same people as The Blind Pig in Monton, is soon to open in the old Nam Ploy building on Oldham Street. Still in its infancy, the venue are recruiting staff ahead of launch. More details to follow as they become available. ~ 11 Sep 2014