A stand-up dining experience with no chairs is coming to a Manchester Italian restaurant, bringing a new take on eating out to the UK for the very first time.
Taken straight from the heart of Northern Italy, Apericena (a mix of aperitivo and cena, meaning dinner) does away with the traditional formal dining setup to inject a little bit more fun into your suppertime.
A concept born in Piedmont, this sort of happy hour-meets-dinner blends the bar and restaurant together – encouraging friends and family to share good food and drinks, without the restriction of being plonked in a corner.
Now, it’s coming to Manchester courtesy of premium Piedmont Alpine Birra Menabrea, which is giving diners the chance to experience the growing trend for themselves with a series of exclusive Apericena evenings hosted across the UK this September.
Italian restaurants in Manchester, London and Glasgow are removing low tables and chairs for the first time, recreating the sort of buzzy, social atmosphere you’ll find down on the continent.
Set against the buzzing backdrop of DJ sets, attendees will enjoy delicious Piedmontese-style small plates served up alongside ice-cold Menabrea Birra brewed from the very region where the concept was first born.
Apericena is predominantly focused on food, using the finest quality ingredients from the Northern Italian region.
Bringing the Italian flavour, Menabrea Birra has partnered with chef and food writer Nina Parker, who will be authentically bringing the concept to life through bespoke menus.
With a passion for Italian cuisine, Nina will prepare mouth-watering and bitesize traditional Piedmontese dishes, drawing inspiration from the meticulously sourced ingredients used to brew Menabrea – Italy’s finest Alpine Birra.
Diners will also have the opportunity to learn how to recreate Apericena meals in their home.
Speaking on the event Antonina Parker, chef and writer, said: “I can’t wait to bring these unique events to the UK with Menabrea. I have a personal tie to Italian cuisine through my family heritage, so collaborating with one of Italy’s most renowned beers was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.
“I look forward to welcoming guests to the events to discover one of Italy’s best kept secrets where they can enjoy a more social and connected experience while sampling tasty food, award-winning Italian beer and music.”
Menabrea has been brewed in the Piedmont region, at the foot of the Italian Alps for more than 175 years in Italy’s oldest continuously producing brewery – now in its fifth generation.
Angus Lawrie, spokesperson at Menabrea, said: “Taking inspiration from the incredible cuisine and engaging culture of its home region, our Menabrea Apericena series will be an evening like no other.
“Delicious small plates will be served alongside Piedmont’s most famous Italian Alpine Birra, Menabrea, brewed with passion using only the finest quality ingredients at the foot of the Alps for five generations.
“We are so excited to bring guests a true taste of Northern Italy at the UK’s first-ever standing dining experiences across Manchester, London and Glasgow this summer.”
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.
Manchester City’s Matheus Nunes rolls back the years and goes to work at Flat Baker in Ancoats
Manchester City star Matheus Nunes has already impressed many during his short time at the Etihad so far, but he impressed a few more this weekend not with his skills on the pitch but in the kitchen after moonlighting at a popular Manchester bakery, The Flat Baker in Ancoats.
The recent Man City signing might only have the one assist to his name during his time as a Blue thus far, but he’s served up more than a baker’s dozen to local Manc residents thanks to a quick shift as a pastry chef this past weekend.
However, it was by no means his first time in the kitchen, as Nunes revealed that he used to work in a bakery during the earlier days of his footballing career.
Getting put to work on one of The Flat Baker‘s bestsellers, their unbelievably addictive pastel de natas — trust us, they’re utterly sinful these things — the bakery’s owners Débora and her husband, also called Matheus, got the City star back up to speed. You can see the full video here:
That being said, as you can see, the 25-year-old midfielder was a bit of a dab hand after a few goes at it; the fact he not only had prior experience but also shares the same heritage as the bakery’s founders no doubt helped.
Born in Brazil but raised in Portugal — two places where these unmistakable sweet treats are most famous — Nunes explained how he, his mother and English step-father moved to Europe for “a better life” and to help his chances of becoming a footballer.
The former Wolves player went on to explain how he “failed a lot in school” and eventually his mum gave him a choice: “give up football or school, in order to start working”.
Starting out in his godfather’s bakery, he went on to spend a fair bit of time making bread and pastries and even appeared in a similar video back in Portugal after signing for Sporting Lisbon.
Naturally, the trio did eventually touch on football a little bit, with Nunes discussing what it’s like to play under Pep Guardiola and how nice it’s been to arrive at a club where there are plenty of Portuguese-speaking players like Ederson, Ruben Dias, Bernardo Silva and others.
Débora also joked about how he has fared getting used to ‘Rainchester’ and he was polite enough to smile it off and simply reiterated that playing for City was oppurtunity he culdn’t pass up.
So, if things don’t work out in the Premier League, he can always swap the sky blue shirt of city for a lovely chef’s apron and help out over at The Flat Baker.