2020 has been ruff. But thankfully, there’s a paw-some event coming up that should save the year from being total dog’s dinner.
Food, drink and retail neighbourhood Hatch is hosting a Howl’oween celebration for dogs and their owners on 31 October – encouraging pooches to turn up in fancy dress!
Prizes for the best-looking dogs will be up for grabs – whilst staff will be circling the venue and snapping away on their cameras; getting some glorious pictures to add to the Halloween Hound Hall of Fame.
Traders will also be set up and serving everything from bao buns to bangers during the event – with extra doggy bowls and snacks for the four-legged guests.
The centrepiece of Howl’oween 2020, however, is the Spooky Pooch Competition.
The best-dressed pup of the entire event will win a bundle of vouchers for a doggy day out at Hatch and independent shopping emporium Afflecks – the dog-friendly shopping emporium in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.
It’s also worth getting down early for the event, as ghoulish goodie bags will be given to the first 50 guests to arrive!
Fitted with heaters and pumpkin-themed decorations exclusively for the occasion, Hatch has also been made COVID-secure – with a check-in process for visitors and all food/drink delivered to tables. Guests must not visit with anyone from outside their household.
Howl’oween is free to attend and runs all day on October 31 – opening at 11am and finishing at 9.30pm.
For more information, head on over to the Hatch website.
The Manchester Christmas Markets have listened to feedback and gone a bit more local overall, so you’d expect everyone would be pleased – but of course they’re not.
One scathing and lengthy review on Tripadvisor said: “Went on a day trip by coach to the Christmas Market, having been four years ago and LOVED it…sorry, but the difference between that experience and this year’s is like night and day.
“First of all, whose daft idea was it to have the market scattered across nine different locations? People who aren’t familiar with Manchester won’t know where all these locations are!
“The first part of the market I came across was a collection of food stalls, the bulk of them not displaying prices – is that legal? – and the entire set-up looked like a building site. No festive atmosphere at all, and sadly this continued the further I walked.
“Gone was the wonderful variety of Christmas ornaments and gifts, replaced by food and drink stalls and, strangely, a stall selling wooden garden furniture. There is nothing remotely Christmassy about an overpriced Kingdom of Sweets stall, and when I came across a second one several minutes later I gave up and killed time in a Wetherspoons until my coach left to take everyone home.
“I wasn’t the only person let down by the experience, either; when an elderly lady boarded the coach on its way home, she was heard to mutter, “Well, I’d have been ready to go home three hours ago.” I’m writing this trip off as a learning experience – and what I learned is that I won’t be going to this market again next year.”
A parent who visited said: “Where to start. This was my families first and last visit to Manchester, The Christmas Market felt very poorly planned with stalls not in one area. People kept knocking into my children manners seem to be missing in Manchester as a whole.”
Someone else wrote in a one-star review: “Ridiculous prices, paid £6 for a hot dog for my son & was then charges £1 extra for tomato sauce, sorry but that is taking the mick.. usual stores have gone and replaced with food, drink or overpriced large goods. The Christmas feeling just wasn’t there this year :(.”
Another person said: “I visited the Christmas Market at the weekend with a friend and it felt more like a food festival than a Market. No price lists displayed. Utter waste of time. Cheaper to go the ones abroad.”
One reviewer said: “Nothing at all Christmassy, pre-covid they was lovely stalls seeming Christmas ornaments ets, now it’s all good and drink mostly £15 for 2 mugs of hot chocolate, cocktails £9 for a snowball just pure greed, very disappointed, definitely won’t be back this year or in near future.”
Someone else wrote: “All about overpriced food and repetitive stalls. Nothing European about it and not what it once was. £10 for a sausage save your money and try a market in actual Europe.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
Peter Kay Live at Manchester AO Arena – times, tour dates, tickets and more
Peter Kay will finally make his long-awaited return to the stage this week with a massive UK tour.
The beloved Bolton comedian is set to play a whopping 42 dates here in Manchester, as well as a monthly residency down in London at the O2.
His AO Arena dates begin on Friday 2 December and will run all the way through to 2025 (yes, really).