A new cocktail bar has opened in Manchester this week, transforming a disused bank vault into a sleek underground drinking den.
Appropriately named Sterling, it comes from multi award-winning Bury brothers Joe and Daniel Schofield and is accessed by its own entrance on Norfolk Street, just behind the city’s busiest shopping district.
Found beneath Gary Neville’s Stock Exchange Hotel, inside it all feels rather glamorous. Floor-to-ceiling wood panelling sets the tone, with low, low lighting making it acceptable to guzzle fiendishly strong cocktails no matter the hour.
Inside, time stands still. There is no signal or natural light, just a list of dangerously smashable cocktails, and a handful of small plates to carry you through to dinner. At one point, I emerge outside for a cigarette and am startled to discover it’s still light outside.
Breezy servers float by to take our order, refill water, and check back on drinks (all exquisite). Rocking up at 5pm on the dot, the tequila-based Fuji-San, a refreshing mix of Silver Patron, cucumber, shiso and lime, makes for a refreshing sharpener.
The cocktail list here is split into two, with Sterling’s tried-and-tested classics on the left, and a list of house signatures on the right.
Elsewhere, there’s a fantastic wine list curated by leading expert James Brandwood, and a tempting bar snack menu, developed by Lush by Tom Kerridge, the two-Michelin starred chef responsible for the acclaimed Bull & Bear restaurant upstairs.
Sterling is the next Manchester chapter for the award-winning trio – the third bar in the city from the Schofield brothers who recently won Bar of the Year and Best New Bar for their first opening in the city, Schofield’s Bar, at the Class Bar Awards 2022.
The team have unrivalled experience from across the globe winning International Bartender of the Year and working in some of the world’s most applauded bars, including Little Red Door, The American Bar at the Savoy, Singapore’s Tippling Club and Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney.
Joe Schofield said “We have been planning this new bar for a long time and the doors are now open. Stock Exchange Hotel is a particularly meaningful venue for us as our mother used to work at the Stock Exchange.
“Our grandmother also learnt to swim in the old pool at the basement in our original Schofield’s Bar location. As we continue to evolve our operations in Manchester, it’s warming to have a connection to the past, as that very much reflects our approach to our offering.”
Gary Neville, owner of the Stock Exchange Hotel said: “From the moment I walked into Schofield’s Bar some 8 or 9 months ago and met Joe and Daniel I felt like I was walking into an international quality destination but with a local feel and an understanding of the spirit of Manchester.
“We spoke about how we had grown up in Bury and the times we had there! I genuinely can’t wait now for Sterling to open in Stock Exchange Hotel and develop this partnership with the Schofield brothers.”
First look inside Gail’s on King Street as it opens in Manchester
This week, the famous London bakery Gail’s opens its first ever cafe in Manchester city centre.
The build-up has been substantial, with the team first launching in the neighbouring towns of Wilmslow and Altrincham before venturing into the heart of the city.
Newly arrived on King Street, the brand new cafe spans two floors, with extensive seating beneath its bakery and more stretching out into the street with a sun trap al fresco terrace that opens daily from 11am.
Due to open tomorrow, we popped down ahead of the opening for a sneak peek to see what the team has in store for Manchester.
The new cafe’s exterior is covered in handpainted murals by local artist Amy Coney, created as part of the city’s recent flower festival, whilst inside it’s all warm, burnished wood and sage-coloured coffee appliances.
A huge bakery counter overflowing with warm quiches, croissants, cakes and other bakes is the first thing to greet you, flanked by a wall stacked floor-to-ceiling with loaves of bread – all freshly baked this morning.
Loaf choices include classic white and brown sourdough, Gail’s ‘wasteless’ loaves (made using a specially-created recipe designed to incorporate unsold bread crumbs), alongside seeded varieties, baguettes and batons.
As for coffee, this is specially roasted for Gail’s cafes and changes four times a year with the seasons.
Must-tries include Gail’s famous cinnamon buns, still-warm cheese and ham croissants, chocolate chip cookies, and – given the weather we’re having this week – iced coffees, all day long preferably please.
As part of the new opening, the team has commissioned a beautiful floral mural to be painted in its windows by local artist Amy Coney.
Gail’s will also be working with local restaurant-backed charity Eat Well MCR to help provide nutritious meals to local people in need as it looks to establish itself in Manchester.
Featured image – The Manc Eats
Police launch investigation into ‘possible manslaughter’ of newborn baby at Manchester hospital
A police investigation has been launched into the “possible manslaughter” of a newborn baby girl who died just hours after being born at a Manchester hospital.
Polly Lindop died within 24 hours after being born at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Manchester city centre on 13 March 2023, and after concerns were raised to both the coroner and Greater Manchester Police (GMP), the force’s Major Incident Team are now investigating the tragic situation as a “possible gross negligence manslaughter”.
GMP says the matter is being investigated after “careful consideration”.
Police said the hospital has been “fully cooperative” throughout the investigation so far, and also confirmed that a number of hospital staff have been spoken to as witnesses by officers.
No arrests have been made at this stage.
“First, I want to express my condolences to the parents of Polly at what is an extremely difficult time for them,” DCI Mark Davis, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, explained of the investigation, “And our thoughts will remain with them as we carry out our investigation.
“A number of hospital staff have been spoken to as witnesses by officers and no arrests have been made at this time. The hospital trust has been fully cooperative with the police and all relevant authorities have been kept informed.
“The investigation into Polly’s death is ongoing and her family will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”
Polly’s parents told the MEN that they vowed to “never give up the fight” for answers over her death in a tribute to the newborn, adding: “We would like to thank everyone at GMP for their continual efforts every day in gaining us answers.
“Our beautiful brave baby girl Polly, we love you and miss you every day. Sleep tight my darling.”
A spokesperson for Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) said: “GMP is investigating an incident that happened in March 2023. Our thoughts continue to be with the family and we are cooperating fully with the police investigation.”