A visit to Fold Bistro and Bottleshop: a front-row seat to a well-rehearsed culinary performance

Words by Will Kendrick.

The Manc The Manc - 25th May 2024

Tucked away in the corner of Manchester, but in the heart of Marple, Fold Bistro and Bottle Shop is a haven for food enthusiasts and wine aficionados alike.

Our recent dining experience here was nothing short of extraordinary, as we had the privilege of savouring dishes crafted by the talented Chef Ryan Stafford, who you might recognise from his appearances on the Great British Menu.

Ryan had been serving up great food at Fold for a long time before he was called up to the television show, so for one night only, he was flaunting the very same menu he served the judges.

Upon entering Fold Bistro, we were immediately struck by its quaint and ambient charm. The open kitchen design allows diners a full view of the action, like having front-row seats to your favourite episodes of The Bear, albeit with way less chaos.

Chef Ryan Stafford commented on how the open kitchen “adds pressure”, but you wouldn’t have noticed it as his team worked seamlessly, like clockwork, creating an engaging and mesmerising experience. The set menu allowed synchronicity, akin to a well-rehearsed performance. 


One of the standout features of Fold is its impressive wine selection, a testament to its dual identity as both a bistro and a bottle shop. If I wasn’t driving, it would have been hard to turn down a glass or two.

The menu, eloquently named and carefully curated, showcased a range of dishes that highlighted Chef Stafford’s creativity; thematically centred around an Olympic theme.


One dish in particular, ‘Made in Water’, was a tribute to Dame Sarah Storey, commemorating her remarkable career where she amassed 28 Medals and became Britain’s most successful Paralympic athlete of all time. Storey is also a fellow Mancunian, making this tribute that little bit more poetic.

Everything he touches turns to gold… literally. One of the evening’s most memorable moments was the fish course, adorned with a 17-carat gold vinegar spritz. This luxurious touch added a layer of opulence to an already exquisite dish, which was a lovely, warming twist to your usual fish and chips. 

The starter was a delightful explosion of flavours, with the tang of the Kaffir lime harmoniously balancing the spices. Each bite was a testament to Chef Stafford’s ability to blend ingredients in a way that is both surprising and satisfying.


Truffle made a notable appearance in several dishes, reinforcing the current trend in gourmet dining. I, for one, am all here for it. The earthy richness of the truffle added depth and sophistication, elevating the dishes to new heights.

The dessert was a revelation: olive ice cream. While it may sound unconventional, Stafford has been perfecting this since before it became trendy (Remember when Dua Lipa had everyone trying this?), proving his foresight and innovative approach to flavour combinations.


Read more:

As the evening drew to a close, Chef Stafford took a moment to acknowledge his team, stating: “Everything you’ve seen tonight, all 70 covers, couldn’t have been done without this team right here.”

This humble and heartfelt acknowledgement underscored the collaborative effort behind the evening’s overall success.

Fold Bistro and Bottle Shop is more of an experience than a destination and is now one of Marple Bridge‘s biggest attractions. Although this specific menu was a one-off, you’re still in for a treat with their usual menu.


I couldn’t recommend it more for an evening of good food, friendly staff and an intimate atmosphere, especially if you want to escape the city centre. 

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — The Manc Group