The new ‘secret garden’ bar hidden behind a mysterious door in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
Think ski chalets, cute cable car carriages, upturned pastel beer barrels and plenty of foliage
It all began with the appearance of a mysterious door on Dale Street in 2020.
First materialising at the end of last year, the door – tall, imposing, and a bit too grand for this particularly run-down part of town – quickly prompted questions from locals as to what could be going on behind it.
After all, prior to its emergence, the area had only ever been known as a hang out for rough sleepers and was nearly always littered with drug-taking paraphernalia. How times change.
Neighbouring book shop Chapter One – long-overlooked (unfairly, might we add) as a relic of a Northern Quarter from days gone by – has suddenly become the focus of every hipster in the city as they clamour to find out more about its new ‘secret garden’ opening.
Created by Chapter One in partnership with Manchester real estate developer Buzz Ventures, planning permission for the new drinking and dining spot at Chatsworth Gardens was first granted in August 2019.
Like many planned openings, it’s suffered some delays due to the events of the past year (and a bit). But today the vision, a Victorian-inspired blossoming pocket park, becomes a reality as Mala opens its doors to the public for the very first time.
Filled with ski chalets, cute cable car carriages, upturned beer barrels painted in pastels and plenty of foliage, it’s a peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city centre.
There’s plenty of covered seating, with a mass of long tables and picnic benches dotted around the split-level garden. Twinkling fairy lights above will give the garden added ambience once night falls.
Dog friendly and strictly no smoking, the 4,000 sq. ft plot is all about the drinks right now – but has plans to introduce food offerings provided by local restaurants in the near future.
Drinks on offer seem to focus quite heavily on cocktails, with a decent spritz menu catching our eye and sounding perfectly refreshing for a long, hot summer.
Of course, there are also some classic staples on there- think Pornstar Martinis and watermelon mojitos.
There’s a decent selection of pints, too, with Camden Town beers and Paulaner pilsner both served on draught.
There’s no need to book, in fact, you can’t – it’s strictly walk-ins only. A good one to remember this weekend if you can’t get in anywhere else, considering Mala still seems to be slightly off the radar for now.
We don’t expect that will last very long, though, so don’t hang about.
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Read more: The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 26 September – 2 October 2022
The Learn to Play ’22 event is generously supported by the NAMM Foundation and other partners include Music Industries Association, Musicians Union, Making Music, Music Mark and Black Lives in Music.
Those interested in joining Forsyths for a free music lesson simply need to email [email protected] or pop into the Sheet Music department on the ground floor to register interest.
Feature image – Forsyth
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
“She will be greatly missed.”
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.
Featured Image – 4th Estate Books