Manchester’s iconic Victoria Baths has announced it will be reopening its doors for the first time in over six months as it welcomes visitors to its Festive Winter Fair.
If you’re looking to get a spot of Christmas shopping done early, there couldn’t be a more perfect opportunity.
Taking place over two weekends next month, there’ll be up to 30 stalls at the Festive Winter Fair – handpicked by Victoria Baths’ Events Team – selling a variety of art, jewellery, ceramics, homewares and festive decorations, with shoppers being able purchase items from some of the highest-quality makers in the Manchester area.
Victoria Baths will also have its very own stall, with everything from stocking fillers, to fine art, which are all inspired by the building and its history.
And of course, the vast spaces of this Grade II listed building make it perfect for a winter fair 2020-style.
The Festive Winter Fair gives everyone the chance to “shop local” and support independent creative traders at the end of what has been a very tough year for small businesses, and for added festive cheer, mulled wine and mince pies will be amongst the treats on offer in the Tea Room, where visitors will enjoy a warm welcome from the Baths’ team of award-winning volunteers.
It also comes just in time for those finalising their Christmas lists too.
In order to ensure the event is as COVID-secure as it can possibly be, timed entry tickets, capped visitor numbers, signposted one-way routes, hand sanitiser stations, friendly volunteer ushers and more, will all be in place to ensure a relaxed and safe visitor experience.
Speaking on the COVID-secure measures in place, Victoria Baths said: “The safety of visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority and we’ll be keeping up with and following all government and local guidelines. We’ve spread the Fair over two weekends and released a very limited number of tickets for each time slot, so it might feel quiet, but that’s to make sure there’s plenty of space for social distancing.”
Elizabeth Sibbering – Operations Manager at Victoria Baths – added: “We’re delighted to be opening our doors again, for what has to be one of our favourite events of the year.
“The beautiful tiles and stained glass found throughout the building make a really stunning backdrop to all the maker’s stalls. There’s lots of spaces for people to explore – including the Turkish Baths suite and two of the former swimming pools, despite some areas needing to be closed for Covid safety reasons – and we aren’t dependent upon the weather.
“Victoria Baths is incredibly lucky to have had such amazing support over the years, from those who campaigned to save this building, right through to those who’ve helped us to face the many challenges of 2020 [so] this event will be an opportunity for those who love Victoria Baths as much as we do to enjoy spending some time in one of Manchester’s favourite buildings.”
The Festive Winter Fair at Victoria Baths takes place on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th November, and Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd November from 10:30am – 4:30pm.
Entry to the Festive Winter Fair is by pre-booked ticket only:
Adults – £3
Under 16s and ‘Friends of Victoria Baths’ – FREE
All the money raised from Victoria Baths’ events goes toward helping to keep the beautiful and historic building open for everyone to enjoy.
As per government guidelines under Tier 3 restrictions, you must only attend as a group of up to six people in your own household or support bubble, and it’s also worth noting that the building isn’t heated, so it’s vital you wrap up warm for the event as it is often just as cold inside as it is outside.
Last entry to the fair is at 3pm, and the building will close at 4.30pm.
You can book you tickets here, and for more further information, visit the Victoria Baths website here.
You can visit National Trust sites for free this autumn
The National Trust is celebrating the arrival of a new season by offering free visits to the sites it cares for this autumn.
Families will be able to visit the many stately homes, grand gardens, beaches and countryside locations that are looked after by the charity.
The limited-time offer will allow people to book an autumn trip to a National Trust site of their choosing.
Each free ticket will admit two adults and up to four children, with hundreds of sites taking part in the campaign.
The National Trust says: “Everyone needs nature and autumn is when it really glows.
“As the scenes change around us escape into the season with a free visit to the places we care for.”
Around Greater Manchester, those include Dunham Massey with its ancient deer park, the incredible Lyme Park (famous for its role in Pride and Prejudice), and the historic Quarry Bank.
Not to mention those just across the borders into neighbouring counties, like Marsden Moor, Hare Hill, and Hardcastle Crags.
You can also use the free National Trust pass to visit Castlefield Viaduct, the sky-high urban park that opened here in Manchester this year.
The 330-metre Grade II-listed steel viaduct was transformed with plants and landscaping into a heritage park, which is technically only a temporary installation while the National Trust works on a permanent vision for the landmark’s future.
Independent Polish restaurant Platzki is bringing back its famous vodka and pierogi festival to Manchester this week, and we couldn’t be more excited for some hearty dumpling fare.
Notorious for its top-tier filled pierogi, which are made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savoury or sweet filling and cooking in boiling water, Platzki is already something of a go-to for fine Polish food in Manchester.
But now, traditional European dumpling fans have another reason to get themselves down as the restaurant will be focusing almost entirely on pierogi for two days this week.
Taking place across Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 October from 3pm until sell-out (or at 9pm, whichever comes first), diners will have the chance to try Platzki’s perfect homemade pierogi in a range of mouth-watering flavours.
There will be plenty of different fillings to try, including some brand new vegetarian pierogi for non-meat eaters.
That’s not all, either. There’ll also be a midweek vodka tipple on standby as Platzki shows off its huge range of favourite Polish vodkas.
Think salted caramel vodka, strawberry vodka, golden black cherry vodka, hazelnut vodka and delicious cherry-chocolate vodka, all of which are (as we know too well from experience) dangerously drinkable.
Each day, the team will be making hundreds of pierogi for local dumpling lovers to sample.
Elsewhere, they will also be serving up some of their favourite dishes from the menu including a hearty sausage stew with freshly-baked bread, and melt-in-the-mouth karkówka roasted pork neck with spinach egg noodles.
A fixture in the city since 2018, Platzki has built up a reputation for serving an interesting list of Polish vodka and wine alongside traditional dishes like dumplings, pork neck and meatballs.
It has a gorgeous plant-filled restaurant and a bright terrace that backs onto the Great Northern Warehouse, giving diners views over the Great Northern Square as they dig into some of the best Polish food in the city.
To find out more about this week’s dumpling festival, follow Platzki on Instagram here.