Manchester’s massive street food venue Hatch has been given a dose of 80s nostalgia in time for Christmas, with traders launching a whole raft of festive specials.
The huge Oxford Road hub of street food and independent retail has been kitted out with fluorescent lights and disco baubles for the festive season.
Hatch has said it wants to ‘transport customers back to a different era when iPhones and ‘furlough’ were yet to enter our mainstream vocabulary’, which sounds good to us.
As well as retro events, there’ll be festive food and drink from its many traders to dig into too.
Seasonal specials will include a pigs in blanket parmo from Parmogeddon, topping a classic chicken parmo with pigs in blankets and deep-fried stuffing.
The duo will also put their spin on the Christmas sandwich, with bacon, melted brie and cranberry sauce loaded onto a parmo and served in a toasted brioche bun.
Vegan street food legends Herbivorous have created plant-based festive alternatives like a sage and onion seitan roast served in brioche bun with braised cabbage and red onion gravy, and a ‘turkey’ and stuffing burger.
Grandad’s Sausages will be on hand with their take on traditional German bratwursts, while Biscuit and Brew have created festive cookie dough pies with spiced ice creams.
Then Sicilian street food experts T’arricrii have created a menu of specialty arancinos with fillings like bolognese sauce and ham and cheese.
There are – naturally – plenty of winter tipples to work your way through at Hatch too, like Kir Royales (made with O’Donnell’s berry moonshine and prosecco), Christmas Manhattans, and Clementine Cosmopolitans.
Hatch bar Miami Ice have created festive espresso martinis – expect flavours like Black Forest, gingerbread, Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Biscoff.
Hatch has also opened its own hot drinks bar, which will serve mulled wines, hot cider and hot buttered rums, which can be grabbed from the Oxford Road entrance for takeaway too.
Craft beer bar ÖL, one of Hatch’s very first traders, will be supplying a number of Christmas themed beers.
The festive specials are all available now right through until the end of the year.
Events over the festive season will include Christmas Carols, 80s discos, and live music.
The Failsworth pizzeria with queues of delivery drivers and mac and cheese pizza
There are a lot of contenders vying for the title of the best pizza in Greater Manchester – but judging by the endless stream of delivery drivers traipsing up to Failsworth, Corner Slice might be up there…
This little pizzeria has carved out a niche for itself serving Detroit-style pizzas, and though some have attempted the same, no one comes close to this quality.
These deep-dish rectangular pizzas are made with a lighter, spongier dough than the sort of chewy Neapolitan you see a lot of these days.
They’re baked in a dish so that the edges crisp up perfectly, and with toppings and cheese spread right to the edges, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Corner Slice has just raised the bar again with its menu of creative toppings, including – and brace yourself here – mac and cheese pizza.
The Lord Lane local clearly looked at its normal thick-based pizzas and went ‘hmm, no, not enough carb. Add pasta’.
The result is their oozy, gooey mac and cheese pizza called Mr Mac – a béchamel base with macaroni, smoked mozzarella, a cheese blend, and a pesto crumb. Oh lordy.
Other menu highlights include the Red Wing (nduja, jalapeños, pepperoni and hot honey) and Sunrise (Korean BBQ cauliflower, gochujang mayo, kimchi onions and pickled cucumber) – the former leaving you with streaks of bright red chilli honey up your arms, the latter so packed with flavour that you find yourself staring down at your slice in amazement after each bite.
And if you just can’t decide, you can always go half-and-half on your pizza topping.
It’s not just about the pizzas either.
Half-and-half Detroit-style pizza at Corner SliceParmesan waffle fries and buffalo chicken
Corner Slice also has incredible sides, like Korean BBQ popcorn chicken, parmesan waffle fries, and garlic dough rolls with rotating flavours.
There are dips too, made on-site, like the fermented hot sauce that’s probably most closely related to Buffalo sauce (but infinitely more interesting) and BBQ ranch.
The whole time we’re there (which is midday on a Friday) there’s a constant stream of delivery drivers coming to collect orders. The phone never stops ringing.
At one point, they take an order that’s fit to feed an entire American football team.
It looks like the future is bright for Corner Slice. And thank god – we’re already lusting after those crusts.
Corner Slice in FailsworthA spread of pizzas and sides at Corner Slice in Failsworth
Manchester’s massive Irish Festival is back next month with 200 events over 10 days
Manchester’s massive Irish Festival is returning to the city centre next month, and bringing hundreds of events over 10 days along with it.
And when we say massive, we do mean it.
Manchester Irish Festival is the biggest of its kind in the whole of Europe, and it’s known and loved for putting on 10 whole days of Irish revelry in the heart of the city centre every year – with something for everyone of all ages to get involved with.
Taking place from Friday 8 March, right through to St Patrick’s Day on Sunday 17 March, you can expect a jam-packed lineup of events spanning the whole city this year.
Expected to shine a light on the vibrant Irish community here in Manchester, and flood the city with the best celebrations outside of the Emerald Isle itself, this year’s Manchester Irish Festival is will be made up of whopping 200 different events across the city, including a lively pop-up Irish Festival Village, a Limerick competition, and, of course, the return of the legendary Irish Parade.
Manchester’s massive Irish Festival has been confirmed to return next month / Credit: Colin Home (via Supplied)
This year’s Parade on Sunday 10 March will see more than 30 floats, dozens of stunning and colourful Irish dancers and bands, and hundreds of people march through the city centre with pride to showcase the culture, heritage, sounds, and joy of the Manchester Irish community.
Some of the other exciting events on this year’s Festival lineup include a traditional Ceili-Cise dancing class for adults, with everyone of all abilities able to take part and the promise of a “fun and friendly atmosphere”, and a huge 12-hour St Patrick’s Day party at the city’s biggest and best-loved Irish bar, O’Sheas.
If you head on down to the Irish World Heritage Centre, there’s also the chance to learn, network, and attend talks from social historians and more as part of the Irish National Studies Conference.
There’ll be a whopping 200 events happening over 10 days up until St Patrick’s Day / Credit: Kevin Gallagher (via YouTube)
And then, when it comes to the musical offering, Irish sensation Damien Dempsey is stopping off at Manchester Club Academy on Saturday 9 March – right in the middle of the scheduled celebrations – as part of his 2024 UK tour, and the “true master” of Irish music, according to Irish Music Magazine, John McSherry and band will perform songs from their debut album at Band On The Wall on Sunday 17 March.
So, like we said, there is quite literally something to satisfy everyone.