Manchester’s newest social experience Escape to Freight Island has just announced its ‘next stage of evolution’ at Depot Mayfield.
After what has been the monumental success of the summer, the team behind Escape to Freight Island – currently housed at Depot Mayfield – are “proud to announce the true vision for this unique urban destination” with the addition of ‘The Ticket Hall’.
The Ticket Hall is the next chapter of Escape to Freight Island’s story, which started with the extraordinary arrival of Platform 15 – the original outdoor area that opened in the summer – and from Friday 30th October, will see a whole host of new food vendors descend on the venue and take over the industrial indoor space.
The fully-heated new opening will feature table seating, a wine shop, bars and a bike cloakroom.
The Ticket Hall is positioned underneath the original and striking roof structure within Depot Mayfield, and will see the vision for Escape to Freight Island unfold into a sprawling indoor market, which captures the atmospheric charm of the imposing building.
Food vendors joining the original and much-loved Baratxuri, Voodoo Rays, Patty Queen and Madre will be:
Sugo Pasta Kitchen – The critically acclaimed Manchester-born pasta restaurant that takes its inspiration from its deep-rooted southern Italian heritage.
Mi & Pho – The award-winning family-run restaurant, which will offer authentic Vietnamese dishes.
Plant Grill– A vegan offering of modern cuisine created by Dan Hope of Fire Bird Hope and Krum fame.
El Boleto – A San Sebastian-style Deli selling small plates and the freshest produce to enjoy at home or on site.
The Jane Eyre – A cocktail bar serving classic drinks with a twist.
The Ticket Hall will have two tap rooms – Camden Town and Pomona – serving a tasty range of beers, plus the independent wine shop Forever Changes will add to the market takeaway vibes.
Another addition to the multifaceted urban space, and a first for the city of Manchester, is a bike cloakroom, which is brought to Escape to Freight Island in partnership with world-renowned cyclewear brand Rapha, and it will enable visitors to safely park their bikes while they enjoy the full experience.
Co-creator Luke Cowdrey said: “When we launched Platform 15 at Escape to Freight Island this summer, we created one of the most forward-thinking venues of its time, in this country. It’s a place of positivity; somewhere that people can safely meet with their family and friends and experience some of the most beautifully crafted food and drink with world-class entertainment.
“The Ticket Hall is the next phase in our long and interesting journey developing Escape to Freight Island.”
James Heather – Development Director at U+I for the Mayfield Partnership – added: “The extraordinary success of Escape to Freight Island this summer has underlined Mayfield’s role as an outstanding location for culture and entertainment.
“With Freight Island expanding further into Depot Mayfield, we’re excited to welcome yet more visitors to enjoy this distinctive space and contribute to the soulful regeneration of Mayfield.”
The Safe + Social Manifesto means Escape to Freight Island has been designed as a space where you are able to socialise safely with your party, maintain social distance from others, and remain alert to the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19), while being part of the overall urban festival atmosphere.
Platform 15 is also set to change, with more information on this to be announced soon.
You can find more information and book tickets via the Escape to Freight Island website here and you can follow Escape to Freight Island on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Stockport is hosting a Town of Culture Weekender with 50+ events – and it’s all FREE
Stockport will be marking its current Town of Culture title later this month, and it’s set to see the town come together for a huge celebration.
In case you missed it, Stockport was named Greater Manchester’s ‘Town of Culture’ for 2023 back in May of last year, so what better way to celebrate the coveted title than hosting a weekend packed full of cultural festivities for all the family, with access to some of the town’s must-visit venues? We can’t think of one.
And the Stockport Town of Culture Weekender is setting out to do just that.
With over 50 events and activities taking place over the weekend of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 March, the Town of Culture Weekender will shine a light on the impressive variety of culture and creativity happening in the Greater Manchester town, as well as the work and projects that’ve been delivered during the duration of the ‘Town of Culture’ year so far.
Marking the end of the town’s ‘Town of Culture’ status with a bang, activities will be taking place at 25 locations across the Stockport borough.
Over the two days, visitors will be given the opportunity to explore some exciting new spaces, all while enjoying an event programme packed with live music, art, comedy, and history.
So, what are some of the dozens of free events you can get stuck into over the two days then?
Well, for starters, the newly-opened town centre park – which is the first green space in the UK to be built on top of a transport interchange, in case you didn’t know – will play host to many of the activities across the weekend.
A ‘Carnival of the Animals’ parade, which is curated by carnival arts organisation, Global Grooves, and features giant animal puppets, is one of the stand-out events on the lineup, but some of the other highlights have to include a grandpa comedy duo, live music with Pandemonium Steel Band, Tai Chi and Yoga taster classes, and a Stockport Sculpture Trail too.
Music and dance will be showcased at venues including Merseyway Shopping Centre, AMP, Petersgate Tap, Magnet, Spinning Top and the Market Place, while Stockport Library will be bringing fun to little ones with a Bluey Day full of games and crafts based on the popular animation series.
There’ll be more than 50 FREE events across 25 town centre locations / Credit: One Stockport (Supplied)
A series of Stockport-themed walks, tours, and activities will also take place across the weekend, while The War Memorial Gallery will also be hosting the Stockport Rising Exhibition showcasing the works of five local celebrated artists.
And, for those interested in exploring the town’s many attractions, there’s set to be free entry for all over the weekend – including the newly re-opened Hat Works Musuem, the Stockport Air Raid Shelters, and Stockport Museum.
Stockport Town of Culture Weekender is taking place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 25 March, and you can find more information ahead of the event here.
Featured Image – One Stockport (Supplied)
A pug cafe with a ball pit and themed cakes is opening in Salford today
A cafe where you can hang out with pugs while you tuck into your coffee and cake is opening in Salford today – and this time it’s permanent.
There’ve been plenty of pop-up dog cafes in Greater Manchester over the years, but CuppaPug will be putting down roots on Chapel Street for good.
Inside the bright pink space – described as a pug playground – there’ll be a ball pit and a pug wall, as well as 10 resident pugs.
And on the menu there’ll be smoothies, milkshakes, coffees, teas and cakes all inspired by the adorable squashy-faced pooches.
This Salford cafe will be the second location for CuppaPug, which launched in London in 2022.
The business was launched by owners Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse, with the aim to create a safe and nurturing pug community.
They’ve been working with charities and organisations that rescue and rehome the popular breed, while educating owners. Those charity partners include National Pug Protection Trust, Manchester Pug Thing and Pug Life Rescue, where £1 from each booking is donated towards the rescue and rehoming of pugs.
Aaron is an ex-police officer turned digital media producer, as well as a successful drag queen performer as part of the Beyonce Experience that was seen on Britain’s Got Talent and UK Black Pride.
Guests can hang out with pugs at the new CuppaPug cafe in SalfordThere are pink interiors and 10 resident pugs at the CuppaPug cafe in Salford
Meanwhile Matt is a professional actor known for his roles on Channel 4’s Bleach, plus short film Mild Thing.
And completing the CuppaPug family are the pair’s resident pugs, Gaston, Bruce, Bowser, Beau, Gizmo, Bebe, and Baloo.
Speaking about where the idea of CuppaPug came from, Aaron said: “Our inspiration was to create an environment, a pug playground where the pugs can play and people can safely engage with the pugs.
“We want our customers to have an instant smile on their faces as they enter CuppaPug, we want them to feel the warmth and joy that pugs can bring and feel that spike in pleasure from hugging a pug.
CuppaPug founders Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse. Credit: SuppliedCuppaPug founders Aaron Carty and Matt Pieterse. Credit: Supplied
“We are so excited to be opening in Manchester, it’s a fantastic city. We are so humbled by the families from the North travelling to London for a day trip just to spend an hour with our pugs. We thought we owed it to those pug lovers to open a second site up here.”
Matt said: “CuppaPug’s vision is to firstly amplify the education of owning a dog, the responsibility and commitment it takes, continuing to share our pugs with people to bring them joy, help with mind wellness and mental health and rescue pugs.
“Manchester has an amazing pug community as well as its own non-profit organisation ‘Manchester Pug Thing’ that we wanted to help, not only with regular donations but to amplify the organisation and the work they do.”
The 10 resident dogs for the new Salford pug cafe have been chosen through a six-week application and rehearsal process, with 60 dogs whittled down to the final 10.
CuppaPug opens on Chapel Street in Salford today (Friday 1 March). You can book one-hour slots to visit at £15 per person here.