A brand-new intimate and immersive dining experience is coming to Manchester this year as Lightopia takes over Heaton Park once again.
The award-winning light and lantern festival will return to the city’s largest park for the third successive year on 18 November, but this time round, accompanying the enchanting light installations on the illuminated trail is a brand-new dining experience – Dine in the Light.
Nestled in the park’s woodland and surrounded by lanterns, Lightopia’s illuminated ‘Dining Domes’ make for a unique and atmospheric dining experience for families, friends and couples.
The 10 dining domes will serve up an imaginative three-course menu of classic seasonal dishes, all with a whimsical touch and curated by the three-rosette chef former head chef of Alderley Edge Hotel in Cheshire, Chris Holland – who is best known for his traditional British cuisine with a scientific edge.
Chris likes to get experimental with his recipes, so you should expect the unexpected – think smoke, sparklers, and so much more.
Some of the winter-warming starters on the menu include roasted pumpkin soup, Swiss cheese and Riesling fondue served with torn ciabatta for dipping, and vegan Buffalo cauliflower wings, while main courses feature everything from a wide range of hanging kebabs, to slow-cooked chicken dishes and sticky glazed short rib of beef.
For those with a sweet tooth, some of the dessert highlights have to be these two Manc inspired treats – the Manchester Trifle with layers of Vimto jelly, vanilla sponge, and mulled blackberries, or a Heaton Mess Meringue loaded with fresh cream, baked peaches, and raspberries.
The drinks menu include mulled wine, a selection of festival cocktails, wine, craft ales, and lager.
You can drink, dine, and be merry in your very own private dining dome – which sits up to six or 12 for up to 90 minutes – before or after heading off to discover the enchanting Lightopia light trail in all its glory.
A children’s menu is also on hand, and it’s served with a sprinkling of magic too.
The Dine in the Dark three-course menu and a drink comes to £38 per person, and all dome dining experiences must be pre-booked, with three dining time slots to choose from – 5pm, 6:30pm, or 8pm.
Also new for Lightopia Manchester 2021, The Stables Courtyard Bar and Dining will offer a more casual dining experience with different food and drink venders taking over converted vintage horseboxes to serve up everything from tasty, gourmet soft shell tacos, to delicious stone-baked pizzas, and festive beverages and theatrical cocktails, all served under a heated canopy in the courtyard.
Walk-in on the evening or to guarantee your spot reserve a seat, and it’s £5 per person – which is fully-redeemable against food and drink on the night.
Bookings for the Dine in the Light experience are now available here.
Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 18 November – Monday 3 January. The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays, and it will also close on Christmas Day.
Opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8:30pm daily.
Advance tickets are priced at £20 for adults (or £22 on the day), £13 for children (or £15 on the day), and £60 for families of two adults and two children (£68 on the day). Children under three can go free.
Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.
To support Anthology, he’ll be heading out on a mini-tour, with two UK headline shows in 2023.
He’ll perform at the O2 Ritz in Manchester on 9 April, and at the O2 Academy Islington in London on 15 April.
Tickets go on general sale Friday 3 February at 9am and will be available from See Tickets.
Featured image: ITV
Where to watch the Six Nations in Manchester
It’s that time again, the Six Nations is just around the corner and we can practically taste the pints already. That being said, we thought it only right to put together a list of where to enjoy those pints.
With the tournament kicking off on Saturday, 4 February, we don’t want you scrambling around to find places showing the Six Nations in Manchester; we just want you to sit back and enjoy the games.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the best places to watch the Six Nations in Manchester:
1. Guinness Fan Zone at Escape to Freight Island – Mayfield
Guinness and the Six Nations go hand in hand — I mean, their name’s literally on the trophy — so what better place to start than the official Guinness Fan Zone at Escape to Freight Island? It’s the biggest outside of London and it’s got plenty more on offer than just the games:
2. Shooters/Bierkeller – Printworks
Next up, a tried and tested favourite of any punter who frequents sports bars in Manchester. Shooters Bar inside the Bierkeller at Printworks. Showing the Six Nations every year, this place always draws in a big crowd so best get your booking sorted early HERE.
You’d be forgiven for thinking a place called Calcio only shows football, but au contraire mon frère (one for those few France fans among you): this new hotspot just on the edge of Northern Quarter and not far from Piccadilly has all kinds of sports, tonnes of retro games, plenty of pints and some seriously whopping burgers. Give it a try.
As far as Irish bars go, you can’t go wrong with Mulligans. A go-to for sports fans and punters in general, not to mention Guinness’ second home in Manchester, this traditional Irish pub sandwiched just across the road from Spinningfields will be showing the games and promises live music every night. It’s always good craic in here.
No list of Manchester sports bars would be complete without Tib Street Tavern, one of the most popular in NQ or the city centre in general, for that matter. With booths for you and all your mates to pile into, massive screens filling the walls and solid grub, this place is packed out noon till night, so give ’em a ring to sort your sort whilst you still can.
6. Waldorf – Piccadilly
Now, if you’re looking for something right next to the station so you don’t have to walk far for your first pint or, equally, can make a quick exit if the result doesn’t go your way, the Waldorf is the one for you, Spanning aross multiple floors with the upstairs usually dedicated to rugby fans, you’ll catch many a face watching the sport in here most weekends. Again, it fills up quick so bag yourself a table while you can.
7. Directors’ Box – Central
Another all-time classic Manchester sports bar, The Directors’ Box just off St Peter’s Square in the city centre has plenty of pints, an absolutely mint menu full of sharing platters perfect for watching the game with your mates, as well as a pool table to keep you occupied during the breaks. Book HERE.
8. Kiely’s – Great Northern
Whether you’ll be cheering on Ireland or not, Kiely’s is prime location to watch the Six Nations. Yet another place for Guinness lovers and showing live sport all week-round before the rowdy live music kicks off in the evenings, we’ve spent many night in here and can heartily recommend it for the rugby.
9. BOX – Deansgate
One of the newest bars on this list, BOX on Deansgate brings a real sense of the American sports bar culture with shuffleboard, giant steins of booze, banging food and TV on every wall — including a big 360-jumbotron screen so nobody misses a second. Even with two large floors, this place packs out quick, so we would get booking your place now.
10. Walkabout – Printworks
Last but not least, Mancunians have made memories in the one and only Walkabout. The massive pub, club and local nightlife institution has plenty food, pints and screens to cater to the hordes of punters. Better still, with its Australian roots, there’s a real love for rugby in here, whether you’re an England fan or otherwise. Book you place HERE.
So, if you’re still wondering where to watch the Six Nations in Manchester, that should be plenty of options for now. It’s one of the biggest competitions on the sporting calendar so we’re looking forward to similar festivities to the kind we saw for the World Cup.
It may be a fairly frosty February but we’ve never been the type to let the weather put us off going out and having a good time.
The first match between Wales and Ireland starts at 2:15pm on Saturday, 4 February, with England facing off against Scotland at 4:45pm that same day. Who do you fancy for it this year?