A bartender in Manchester has been left ‘absolutely speechless’ after taking home a top gong at one of the UK’s biggest bar awards ceremonies.
Elena Wright of Mecanica has only been in the industry for a year, but that didn’t stop her from being awarded the ‘Emerging Bartender of the Year’ award at this year’s Class Bar Awards ceremony.
The annual awards, organised by leading industry publication Class, celebrate the very best of the UK’s bartending talent, with further categories including Bar Manager of the Year, Front of House Star of the Year, Bar Employer of the Year, Social Media Presence of the Year and Sustainable Practices Award.
Sharing her absolute joy at taking home the prestigious gong, Elena said: “I’m absolutely speechless. If you’d have told me this is where I’d be within a year of joining the industry, I wouldn’t have believed you, especially with being up against such incredible talent.
“I can’t thank the whole of the Mecanica team (both past and present) enough, for always taking the time to teach me, answer my endless questions and give me opportunities to develop. They all deserve endless credit and recognition for what they’re achieving.
“I’ve been so pleased to see so many other women in the industry getting the recognition they deserve, such as Monica Berg, who was also credited at the CLASS awards, and more locally, Rachel Orange. And finally, congratulations to all of the winners – especially to Schofield’s – for bringing two amazing and deserving wins back to Manchester.”
In a sector which is often perceived as a male-dominated industry, Elena hopes to inspire other female bartenders to follow in her footsteps, citing that your environment is integral to your development.
She continued: “Having just completed a degree in chemistry, I’m no stranger to paving my own way in male-dominated industries.
“Your work environment is important as you progress, so my first piece of advice to other women who might want to work in the industry is to surround yourself with people who celebrate you, who educate you, and who hear you.”
Keen to dispel the preconceived notion that bartending is often a career that people find themselves cornered into, she adds: “My aim in the industry is to end any stigma around both bartending and being a female bartender.
“It isn’t a career you ‘just fall into’ because there isn’t any other option – it’s a conscious choice – and while it can be hard and physically demanding, it’s a fun and rewarding job.”
“The constant surprise on peoples’ faces when they ask for the manager and it’s me, drives me to do better.”
Inspired by initiatives such as ‘Celebrate Her’ by Anna Sebastian, Elena recognises the significance of platforms that elevate the profiles of women.
“I’ve worked with some incredible women, who have all given me invaluable advice. Though I’m still learning, I’m honoured to now be in the position where I can give my own guidance to those starting out.
There’s not enough of us, but we’re getting there, and we need more women to cause a stir for all of the right reasons.”
Manchester Airport announces direct flights to Las Vegas from 2024
Manchester Airport has announced that passengers will once again be able to catch a direct flight to Las Vegas from next year.
The bright lights of the fabulous Las Vegas are calling.
When it comes to non-stop flights, those jetting off on holiday from Manchester Airport currently have over 169 exciting destinations in 50 countries to choose from – but now, you can add the party capital of the US to that list, as Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that its latest direct route from the Northern hub is Las Vegas.
The Nevada hotspot has always been a popular travel destination, not only because of its legendary nightlife scene, but also thanks to the fact it provides a gateway to the wide range of attractions in America’s West.
The stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Highway, and the major cities of San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, are all within reaching distance from the desert city – which is presumably why Virgin Atlantic has chosen it as its next direct route from Manchester.
Starting from 2 June 2024, three flights a week will depart from Manchester Airport Las Vegas.
Flights to Las Vegas will operate on Virgin Atlantic’s newest Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, and will be added to the US routes already available through the airline from Manchester Airport to Orlando, New York, and Atlanta
The new Las Vegas route makes Manchester the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast.
“It’s hugely exciting to see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to Las Vegas, which has always been one of our most popular long-haul routes,” Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Chris Woodroofe, said of the new flight destination.
“As the UK’s global gateway in the North, it’s great to work with airline partners like Virgin Atlantic to connect the region directly to as many destinations around the globe as possible.
“I am sure this service will be really popular with passengers and we look forward to continuing our work with Virgin Atlantic to further grow its route network from its Northern home in Manchester in the years to come.”
Manchester City named the most valuable football club brand in the world
Manchester City have been named the most valuable football club brand in the world, topping the Brand Finance Football 50 Report for the first time in their history.
Following yet another successful season punctuated with a fifth Premier League title in six years, another FA Cup following their historic Manchester derby victory and potentially a first-ever Champions League trophy in just a few days’ time, the club has arguably never been in a stronger position.
In monetary terms, it is a simple fact: according to this year’s Brand Finance Football 50 report, Man City’s brand value has grown 34% since the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to more than £1.3 billion and overtaking European giants Real Madrid to become the most valuable club in world football.
Despite Man United being named the most valuable club in the Premier League according to Forbes’ latest rankings at the start of this month, this report suggests that Man City took in the most revenue on a global scale, reaching their all-time high notwithstanding the pandemic recovery period.
Further backing up the numbers, City also topped Deloitte’s Money League for the second year running after announcing a record revenue of £613 million and profits of £41.7 million, the latter being more than double the previous Club record — and that was before the two most recent major honours. Crikey.
Elsewhere in the report, United did jump back above Liverpool into fourth overall, with Arsenal seeing the most growth over the last year following an impressive runner-up season. As for around Europe, PSG leapfrogged German giants Bayern Munich, and AC Milan are said to be the fastest-growing Italian club.
The City Football Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Roel de Vries, said the following after the announcement: “Being recognised as the world’s most valuable football club brand reflects the phenomenal growth story that Manchester City has had in recent years.
“This achievement recognises the evolution of not just the brand, but the Club as a whole. The Club has been performing consistently and has broken records on and off the pitch this season…
“As we look to the future, we want to keep investing in the right things – our football talent, the city of Manchester and our local community, infrastructure and fan experience. We have a proven track record of innovation and are excited for the next chapter in this Club’s great history.”
Pep Guardiola and his squad are now just one game away from winning the treble, an achievement which would not only see them join an exclusive club of just seven teams to do so, such as United’s famous 1999 team, but would no doubt see their value skyrocket even further. Can they do it?