“You’ll have to forgive him. He’s from Bolton,” is a line we expect you’ll hear this August Bank Holiday weekend if you’re planning to attend the town’s food and drink festival.
Organisers are bringing the festival’s popular Fawlty Towers dining experience back for 2023, meaning that Basil, Sybil, and Manuel will all be tipping up to the North’s biggest foodie event once again with their signature mix of mayhem and hilarity.
Serving up a 70s-inspired three-course meal to diners with a large helping of laughter on the side, ticket holders should expect the appearance of retro dishes like rich tomato and basil soup, roast chicken with seasonal vegetables, and indulgent chocolate mousse cake.
Created in homage to the original much-loved British sitcom written by comedy legends John Cleese and Connie Booth, actors will give Fawlty Towers fans the chance to peek behind the curtain of the infamous sitcom as they tuck into a sit-down dinner.
As part of the UK’s leading tribute to the BBC series, fans will get to experience the hilarity of the show from the inside as impersonators of the series’ infamous trio deliver an interactive two-hour comedy spectacular.
Drunk Histories: Project Halcyon Distillery launch ‘Still Room Sessions’ where you drink whilst learning about drinking
Project Halcyon Distillery is well and truly up there with our favourite new openings in Manchester city centre and after having enjoyed many unique visits already, the speakeasy-style bar is now offering up yet another interesting drinking experience: their ‘Still Room Sessions’.
There’s a lot to it and we’ll get to all that in due course but, put in simplest terms, it’s kind of a bit like if the TV show Drunk History and a tasting event had a baby. Sold.
Still Room Sessions are Project Halycon‘s brand new monthly interactive workshop experience which will be held on the second Sunday of every month.
Each month, a member of their award-winning bartending team — and trust us, they really are worthy of the recognition — will cover a completely new topic as they take guests through a guided talk on various aspects of the history and ongoing drinking culture behind drinking.
Now, before any of jump the gun and say ‘I don’t want a history lesson, I want a drink’, let us stop you right there; each session revolves around tasting various different cocktails and spirits for the bar’s incredible drinks selection, as well as specials that they create for events like this.
Tickets to one of Project Halcyon’s Still Room Sessions include a drink upon arrival, at least two cocktails during the sessions and a spirit tasting. Oh yes, you might have some trouble concentrating by the end but god knows you won’t be even more interested with a few drinks down you.
Also, it is worth reiterating that the subject matter the guys will be covering is genuinely interesting stuff, not just if you’re a history buff but a fan of drinking in general. In fact, we can personally vouch for that.
After going along to their first session in September, simply entitled, ‘A Century Later’ — an exploration of the effects of the infamous American prohibition 100 years on, its lasting impact on today’s drinking culture, bartending style, as well as how the whole idea of a speakeasy bar came about — we were hooked inside the first five minutes.
After being presented with a refreshing G and T on arrival, we were welcomed into the still room for our first couple of drinks, which came in the form of their irresistible Bees Knees cocktail (created exclusively for this first event) as well as a taste of their house gin. Strong start — literally.
Then, as we prepared for the second 30-minute segment of knowledge and knocking back a few, everyone received an Apple Blossom cocktail along with a taste of Calvados as a nod to both gin and the distilled type of cider being two of the most bootlegged spirits ever.
Finally, to tie things off, the last 10 minutes saw them open up the floor for a more casual discussion and Q&A of sorts, with people asking everything from ‘why do people shake instead of stir for certain cocktails?’ (that one’s for you, Mr Bond) to tips on how to make a proper drink at home.
Oh, and did we mention that everyone got 33% off their bill for the rest of the night? Oh yes, all 12 of us stayed behind to enjoy a few more drinks afterwards. We could hardly turn an offer like that down.
Their second session kicks off this weekend next week on Monday, 9 October, with ‘The Journey of Juniper‘, which will see the staff talk about the world of gins and its illustrious history.
Starting all the way back with Dutch genever and the bathtub gin craze of 18th century London, to newer, more modern style expressions, including their very own, made on sight in the back of house, guests won’t just be sat listening, they’ll also be taught how to make the perfect martini at home.
We’ve always believed in the importance of education…
We think this is a really exciting opportunity for guests to learn and interact with Halcyon’s already rich, culturally-infused drinking space. Each event is limited to just a dozen tickets, so these talks and tasting sessions really are exclusive. You can secure your place on the next one HERE.
You can now go on a wine tour around Manchester city centre
We’ve had pub crawls, lockdown gin tin walks – and now there’s an organised wine tour you can do around Manchester.
A new series of events, simply titled Manchester Wine Tours, will whisk guests around town sampling some of the city’s very best bars and pubs.
The leisurely three-hour tours will showcase the best places to buy and drink wine around our city, with plenty of plonk to drink on the way round.
Launched by local food and drink writer and WSET-qualified wine expert Kelly Bishop, the Manchester Wine Tours will feature Manchester bars, restaurants, pubs and wine shops specially chosen by Kelly.
She’ll be picking places with an interesting range of bottles, and that are true local favourites.
These ‘posh pub crawls’ will give people the chance to try something new, learn a little about wine, and discover a new favourite boozer.
And Kelly is promising to keep them accessible to everyone from total wine beginners to long-term enthusiasts.
Each tour will cost £75 per person and will include a guided tour around Manchester city centre, six small glasses of wine and a series of wine-matched snacks at four different places.
Along the way, Kelly will also be on hand to point out local points of interest and things you might not already know about the city.
On this wine tasting ‘with legs’, guests will have the opportunity to learn about wine in a relaxed, fun, sociable and informal way.
Kelly Bishop said: “I started Manchester Wine Tours to celebrate the incredible wine offering in Manchester. Manchester is known for great restaurants and bars selling nationally celebrated craft beer and cocktails, but there is a really impressive wine scene here too.
“I’m passionate about wine and am really excited to share my knowledge and enthusiasm with locals and tourists alike.
“I want to show people that although this might be classed as a ‘high-end activity’ with really good quality wine and matching snacks, wine tasting definitely doesn’t have to be snobby or stuffy. I want it to appeal to anyone over 18 who is interested in wine and introduce them to some of my favourite wine spots in Manchester.”
Tours will start in October 2023 with the first events on Sunday 22 and Sunday 29 October (3pm-6pm). From November onwards, tours will be every Wednesday evening (7pm-10pm) and Sunday afternoon (3pm-6pm).
There will also be four special Christmas tours on 10, 13, 17 and 20 December. These are £100pp and will feature extra special wines and festive snacks.