It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since we last gave you a list of New Year’s Eve parties, but time marches on and it’s already time to ring in another new year.
As is usual with Manchester, there’ll be lively celebrations going on in all corners of the city, from the tiny club nights that go til dawn to the world-famous series drawing tens of thousands into one room.
Some of the city’s biggest parties – like The Warehouse Project’s New Year’s Eve club night at Depot Mayfield – have already sold out, but there are plenty more events to sink your teeth in to.
There’s loads going on in Manchester on 31 December, with tickets still available for a lot of the city’s biggest parties.
Here’s our pick of the crop…
Homoelectric New Year’s Eve at New Century
One of Manchester’s best-loved club nights will be taking over the newly-reborn New Century for an almighty New Year’s Eve party.
Homoelectric’s NYE party promises ‘an evening of cosmic grooves, street soul, slo mo dance, boogie, black heart disco, us garage, house, technoid outerspace sonic science and bass buggin’ rawness’.
They say: “It seemed perfect timing to host a very special Homoelectric at this venue on New Years Eve and do something completely different from our normal dark basement back street affair.
“This our last Homoelectric party of the year. To say we are excited is an understatement.”
One of the city’s longest-running club nights is getting stuck in to all the New Year’s Eve action, right through to 4am on 1 January.
Funkademia has been running since 1995 and is heading back to its spiritual home Mint Lounge with disco and funk bangers all night long.
From Michael Jackson to Aretha Franklin to James Brown to Chaka Khan to Stevie Wonder to Snoop Dogg to Prince to Diana Ross to Chic and Sister Sledge and everything in between, you’ll absolutely not want to leave that dance floor.
Tickets start at £6.60 if you’re quick – visit Skiddle for yours.
Disco Dancer at Bundobust Brewery
Bundobust Brewery, easily one of Manchester’s coolest restaurants and bars, is keeping the doors open and the vibes going until 1am on New Year’s Eve.
Their Disco Dancer event – theme is Bundobust Brewery goes to Bollywood – will have entertainment, projections, and a party soundtrack from Andy Votel.
Starting the party will be Niamh McGuinness from Angel Meadows Soul Club, one of Manchester’s rising clubnight heroes. Expect rousing Northern Soul, Motown, and R&B selections 6-9pm before Andy takes over the decks.
Tickets are just a tenner, which includes two drinks. Would be rude not to. Get yours here.
Keep It Unreal Nye: Mr. Scruff + Mc Kwasi at Band on the Wall
You know it’s going to be a good Manc knees-up when Mr Scruff is on the bill, and especially when that bill is taking place at the legendary Band on the Wall.
Alongside MC Kwasi, they’ll bring in the new year with a six-hour DJ session of jazz, soul, hip hop, funk, disco, deep house, reggae, afrobeat, latin, electro, techno, new wave and ‘plenty of goodies that don’t fit into any category’.
Band on the Wall stresses that all are welcome to party, ‘regardless of age, nationality, mobility, gender or sexuality’ – which is what we like to hear.
Legendary DJ John Digweed will be rocking up at Joshua Brooks with his even more legendary club night Bedrock.
John has been a pioneer of electronic music for more than three decades thanks to his technical mixing style, while Joshua Brooks has cemented itself as one of Manchester’s post popular nighttime venues.
Featured image: Photography by Rob Jones (www.instagram.com/hirobjones)
We tried Greater Manchester’s first eight-course pie-tasting menu and it was absolutely unreal
Every now and again the opportunity to eat something genuinely new and different and which pushes the envelope when it comes to the kind of food you ever even thought you’d enjoy — sitting down for the inaugural ‘PieSessions’ was one of those such occasions.
This month, we had the privilege of being invited along to one of the most exclusive and highly-anticipated dining events in Greater Manchester: an eight-course pie-tasting event created by pie-pros Ate Days A Week, Scotty’s Pies and a number of other collaborators.
Hosting a true first for the region, Notion Bar over in Stockport was packed out with over 50 guests who were all eagerly awaiting to taste pies from the local favourite, MasterChef contestant turned meat and pastry specialist Scott Eckersley-Bell, as well as Wigan staples Baldy’s Pies and Harwoods Patisserie.
At first glance, the popular SK Deep South-inspired dive bar might not look like the place to offer up a gourmet tasting menu, but what it did have was an accessible charm and a bunch of hungry people not only willing to keep their minds open but who simply love all things pie. Who doesn’t?
At the top of the bill was probably one of the most interesting things we’ve eaten all year: a Japanese-inspired ‘Pie-Scream’ which delivered the exact savoury spin as it promised on the tin. A malt-crust cone stuffed with smoothly pipped mash, katsu curry sauce and crispy Teriyaki bacon in place of a flake.
We believe we call that ‘making a good first impression’. From that moment on, we knew we weren’t just going to be eating any old meal and that it wasn’t just going to be plate after plate of what you normally consider a pie; everything was different and we can honestly say everything was good, if not amazing.
Next up we had probably one of our standouts from the entire night which was a garlic, ginger and soy pork mince tartlet with a perfect piece of honey-glazed pork belly next to it, as well as a light edamame and spring onion purée to balance out the strong flavours.
Following on from the opener, the pair delivered all of the tried and tested Asian flavours in a method most will have never experienced them in before and, in truth, we could have even taken some extra spice with that virtually perfect tartlet but they were careful not to thrash our palettes early doors.
Two down, six to go and when we tell you it was plate after plate of precise pie-based ingenuity, we’re not exaggerating. From the short rib slider, which was almost like an elevated Wigan kebab, to the gentler poached cod pithivier which kind of reminded us of a seafood twist on a Cornish pasty, there was a single thing we didn’t like.
The way the menu was also carefully constructed not to beat you over the head with non-stop meat, pastry and gravy but to fluctuate between smaller bites and more substantial courses was already pretty impressive, as we managed to make it to the end of the meal at the perfect level of full.
We were even pleasantly surprised to see how the team tackled the issue of pudding, with a sweet and just sharp enough take on parfait with fresh orange, stem ginger and brown sugar, as well as a much richer chocolate, salted caramel and hazelnut brownie for a big finish.
To be honest, we loved the tiny little lemon madeleines they surprised us with as an after-dinner treat even more than the desserts (the two of us in attendance are lemon fiends, to be fair) but the best course of the night has to go to the ‘Big Jim Volume 2.0’.
Speaking to Ate Days A Week Founder Andy James on our way out, you could clearly see how his passion for the concept had translated amongst his colleagues, into the excitement of the guests and then back onto him after he saw how well the whole thing went down.
There was a real buzz about the place that was nothing like we’d ever experienced before with other tasting menus and we think it’s because those in attendance had never sat down for a meal that was as experimental as this one whilst also being that accessible.
Yes, it might be a touch posher than pie, mash and gravy but it never stayed too far away from that simple British pleasure and while there were certainly a few thrills to give you that tasting menu feel, nothing felt out of place and neither did the diners.
Pulling off one of the best teas we’ve had in a long time from a tiny kitchen inside a rough-around-the-edges late-night drinking spot, we already know there will be a sequel to PieSessions not only because Andy told us so but because it was such a massive success. Count us in for the next one.
Manchester Christmas Markets 2023 — dates, locations, prices and everything you need to know
Rejoice, Manchester it’s that time again — famously the most wonderful time of year, and you know what that means: we’ll soon be filling our faces with bratwurst, cheersing steins of Bavarian beer and filling our houses with far too many festive trinkets because the Christmas Markets are back.
We’re not even tooting our own horn when we say this, it’s just a fact that the Manchester Christmas Markets are some of the best and most popular on the planet and this year we celebrate 25 years since the seasonal stalls first opened up in 0161 and started a legendary annual tradition.
It doesn’t matter how many years roll by, we still await their arrival like little kids waiting for Christmas morning and set our schedules for what time we’re going to head out on which day to cross off the must-haves on our markets checklist.
With that in mind, we thought we’d help you put together your own plan of attack this holiday season and give you all the info you need to know to make the most of the 2023 Manchester Christmas Markets. You can thank us later.
Manchester Christmas Markets 2023 mug design and price
Every year the Manchester Christmas Markets has a limited-edition mug design, and this year the collectable souvenir has taken inspiration from the Nutcracker.
There are two different sizes and 2023 designs to collect when the markets officially open next week.
When you order a hot drink at the markets you’ll be charged a £3.50 deposit for a mug (that’s up from £3 last year).
You can then return your cup when you’re finished to get your money back, or take it home as a memento.
Last year, the Manchester Christmas Markets mugs were so popular they ran out before the markets had even finished – but they’ve ordered extras this year to be on the safe side.
Travel advice and how to get to the Manchester Christmas Markets 2023
Transport for Greater Manchester has urged people to use public transport wherever possible to travel in and out of the city centre for the Manchester Christmas Markets.
That’s because of all the events running alongside the festivities, from huge football matches to gigs at the AO Arena to Black Friday sales.
The Bee Network app will help you to plan your journey and you can read all the latest travel advice here.
The best hotels to stay in for the Manchester Christmas Markets
Now, for those of you travelling into town to sample our world-famous markets — as literally thousands do every single year — you might be in need of somewhere to lay your head after a few too many steaming mugs of Glühwein.
Fortunately, since this city continues to be such a popular tourist attraction all year round, there are plenty of hotels to suit whatever your budget is.
In fact, you’re so lucky that we already put together a list of the best hotels in Manchester a little while back, so you’re welcome in advance.
And that should do you for now and your guide to the 2023 Manchester Christmas Markets — we’re sure most of you know the score by now: it’ll be a big, cold, a bit busy but utterly wonderful as it always is.
We’ve found the trick is to try out a few days during the week if you want to beat the rush and then come back at the weekend for the full-bellied crowds brimming with festive cheer.
There really is nothing like it in our opinion and we’ll be sure to keep bringing you plenty of updates on all things Christmas Markets-related going on in Manchester over the next couple of months.