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Blog Archive for January, 2014

Valentine’s Day in Manchester

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February is almost here, which means that for the loved-up couples amongst us, we’re just over a fortnight away from a romantic weekend to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re wanting ideas for the Friday, or you’re planning to show your love for a whole weekend, here are some ideas with how to wow your partner.

Dinner
The staple of many Valentine’s Evenings is the romantic meal as a couple, eating over candle light in an ambiant, pricey restaurant. Here are our suggestions if you want a special meal on the 14th.

Rosso
Rosso is a high-end city centre restaurant which aims to provide top quality Italian cuisine in an ambient atmosphere. On most evenings, you’ll not only be able to enjoy high quality food, but you’ll also be able to enjoy it in the presence of a superb band and guest singers. If you’re looking for a trendy and quality dining experience this Valentine’s Day, Rosso is offering couples the opportunity to enjoy a £60 per person meal, with sittings at either 5pm, 7pm or 9.30pm.

Ocean Treasure
One of Manchester’s best Chinese offerings, Ocean Treasure is really pushing the boat out this Valentine’s Day offering multiple options for loved up diners. If you’re wanting the ‘no expense spared’ evening, then private dining packages are available for couples from £140, with lesser priced options coming in at £90 for the five course Valentine’s banquet or £70 for four courses.  With modern décor and a location in the trendy Manchester 235, Ocean Treasure brings a little bit of the Far East to central Manchester.

Entertainment

If a high quality meal isn’t enough to satisfy your other half, or you need more ideas to build your weekend break around, why not check out these entertainment options in the city centre.

Hallé Valentine’s Day Concert at The Bridgewater Hall
For the true romantics amongst us, this is the only option when it comes to Valentine’s Evening entertainment. The Hallé Concert at Bridgewater Hall takes your favourite theatrical musical numbers, be they contemporary or classical, and transforms them into a seamless love themed concert. Including numbers from Guys And Dolls, West Side Story and Romeo and Juliet along with tracks composed by the likes of Gershwin and Rodgers & Hammersmith, this classy performance is one to simply sit back and enjoy. Tickets for the event are available online and start at £17.

St Valentine’s Day Massacre at The Printworks
Offering something a bit more quirky, the bars and restaurants of The Printworks are this year having a Prohibition throwback. The St Valentine’s Day Massacre event pays homage to Chicago in the 1920′s and you can expect to enjoy an assortment of well-dressed gentlemen and ladies on show, along with themed drinks and music. Get dressed up in your smartest 20′s ensemble and swing your night away like you’re back in the prime of America’s coolest period.

 

Newcastle Restaurant Week Deals

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Commencing on the 27th January, NE1 Restaurant Week hits Newcastle, which means that many eateries from big name chains to popular independents are offering great deals for their customers. The promotion runs through this week, and ends on 2nd February, however to make sure you check out, take a look at our top five below if you’re in the city for a short break.

El Coto

If you’re a fan of tapas, but want to avoid the typical high street chains, El Coto offers delicious authentic home cooked food in a spacious Spanish themed location. As with any good tapas restaurant, the key is in providing a strong menu full of varying food to dip in and out of, and El Coto does just that; offering traditional favourites like chorizo to more unique dishes consisting of chickpeas and black pudding. Their offering, as part of the NE1 Restaurant Week, allows guests to enjoy any three set menu tapas with a glass of wine for just £15 per person.

Babucho

One of the most popular restaurants in Newcastle, meaning it is also one of the most commonly recommended, Babucho is a stylish Italian  restaurant and brassiere that garners rave reviews for its food, drink and overall ambiance. Not always the cheapest of dining options in the city centre, Babucho’s participation in the week of restaurant deals means you can pick any two courses from the set menu for just £15, including chicken, pork and sea bass main courses. The restaurants location is convenient between the city centre and quayside, and the stylish bar allows you to grab a drink before or after your meal.

Barluga

Located in prime position on Newcastle’s Grey Street in the midst of the best city centre bars, Barluga is a great location to head for evening food and drink. The gastro pub offers a  varied and imaginative menu, including a range of delicious modern British dishes in a unique setting. With an extensive cocktail menu and an outside terrace, head to Barluga this week to sample two or three courses from their restaurant week menu, priced at £10 and £15 respectively.

Las Iguanas

Latin restaurant and tapas bar Las Iguanas might be a chain, but the numerous stylish locations and high food standards have seen the restaurant boom in popularity to the extent that it is fully booked on most evenings and weekends. Directly across the road from Barluga, you can enjoy tapas in the spacious bar area with an assortment of Latin influenced drinks, before you head into the restaurant area to enjoy the best of Mexican, Brazilian and Cuban cuisine. Enjoy a starter, main and drink for just £10 this week.

Fat Buddha Asian Restaurant

If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, then the stylish and modern Fat Buddha is a restaurant you simply have to visit. Offering dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong, you have ample choice to broaden your horizons and sample some of the finest tastes of Asia. Whether you’re a spice fiend, or a fan of something a little more mild, the menu offers something to suit every taste, and until 2nd February you can get two courses for £10 per person before 7:30pm or two courses for £15 after 7:30pm from the set menu. Make sure you try down a bottle of Lucky Beer, or a Fat Buddha cocktail as the perfect accompaniment to your meal.

 

Check out the full list of participants here, and determine which deals you want to take advantage of. If you’re planning a night in Newcastle, make sure you check out our website for a more luxurious end to your evening.

 

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Trendy bars in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester

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If you prefer your evening locations to be at the plush end of the market, and fancy a drink in a trendy locations with modern décor and a hint of background music, allowing you to enjoy a conversation without shouting, then try out these city centre spots.

Newcastle

Barluga

A swanky bar that offers an award winning interior to the population of Newcastle, Barluga compliments the grand façade that is Grey Street. One of the city’s most recognisable locations, Grey Street is right in the heart of central Newcastle, and whether you’re wanting to kick off your evening in style, or sit back for the evening with a drink in hand, Barluga is an ideal destination.

If you’ve got a weekend planned in Newcastle, make sure this award winning and hugely popular bar is one of your stops.

Popolo

Self-described as falling between a New York bar and an Italian coffee shop, Popolo provides a stylish environment for a drink, as well as offering a selection of food. Offering a range of great drinks and comforting food this bar is an equally amazing experience for a first date or an early drink to start a night out. Head to Popolo to enjoy a drink in the unique interior, which sets it apart from many other places in Newcastle.

Leeds

Angelica

Situated in the somewhat secluded highest floor of Trinity Leeds, Angelica is a Restaurant that transforms into a classy cocktail destination when the evening hits. Accessible only by elevator, and exuding an exclusive feel, Angelica boasts a stunning cocktail bar, which takes centre stage as night time hits. The penthouse feel of Angelica allows customers to see the stunning Leeds skyline over sunset cocktails, and the outside terrace is buzzing with atmosphere on a Friday and Saturday evening.

The Botanist

After getting the night underway at Angelica, we suggest you head all the way down to the lowest floor of Trinity for something a little different. The Botanist places emphasis on quirky design, rather than the plush feel provided by Angelica. The underground bar, which perches on the outer realm of Trinity shopping centre themes itself of natural elements. Incorporating herbs and vegetation in many of their drinks, the bar continues this theme in its décor, which includes earthy plants and wooden display shelving. If you’re a fan of an experimental cocktail then this trendy bar is the place for you, and has become one of Leeds’ favourite night time locations since its recent opening.

Manchester

Cinnabar

If you’re after something a little different, try out this self-described ‘oasis of seduction’ in Manchester. Vermillion Cinnabar is a restaurant and bar rolled into one stunning location, and provides the perfect start to your evening if you’re looking for a quality meal before retiring to somewhere swanky for a few drinks. Designed by Miguel Canico Martins, the guy behind Paris’ infamous Buddha Bar, the interior of this one of a kind location is something you won’t find anywhere else in Manchester. Decked out with Asian themed décor and offering stylish cocoon seating, Cinnabar’s buzzing atmosphere is a hidden gem of Manchester, and can be found just minutes from Piccadilly Station.

Apotheca

From the name to the style of the website, you can immediately gauge that Manchester’s Apotheca bar is aiming to provide customers with a flashy and trendy destination for drinks. Since opening in the Northern Quarter in 2008, the bar has grown a reputation as one of the première hotspots in the city. Drinks choices are in abundance, and you certainly won’t be short on choice with Apotheca’s online drinks menu spilling over ten pages. With imported lagers, creative cocktails and an extensive wine list, all situated within a comfortable and stylish environment, it’s no surprise Apotheca has a portfolio of awards and quality reviews to boast.

A weekend in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester

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Planning a weekend break and in need of inspiration on how to spend your time? If you’re heading to Newcastle, Leeds or Manchester this January, take a look at these ideas on how to spend your Saturday, to ensure you don’t waste your time in one of the north’s premiere cities.

Newcastle

Afternoon – Completely central in location, Newcastle’s Theatre Royal is a great way to spend the afternoon if you can’t face a full day of trawling the city centre shops. Opened in February 1837, the theatre is a Grade I listed building and remains one of the most historic, landmarks in the UK. Despite the development of the city centre, and becoming a real retail hotspot, the theatre continues to dominate the heart of Newcastle’s Grainger Town. One of the most famous theatres in the country, the Theatre Royal has a 175 year history of hosting the biggest names in dance, drama, music and comedy. If a Matinée performance grabs your interest then up until 18th January, you’ll be able to catch the back end of Jack and the Beanstalk’s two month run. If that isn’t to your liking why not wait for Barry Humphries five day run between the 21st and 25th as part of his farewell tour, with the month being rounded off by a four day showing of Christopher Hampson’s Hansel & Gretel.

Evening – Head down to Newcastle’s Quayside to keep up the high quality feel to your day after exiting the theatre. With restaurants and bars in abundance, the riverside location is a real night time hotspot. Occupying a fantastic site alongside the quays, Gusto offers a high quality Italian dining and drinking experience in a hugely stylish setting. Influenced by the glamour of 1950′s New York Italian Restaurants in a contemporary setting, Gusto focuses on freshly prepared classic & contemporary Italian dishes. The restaurant also incorporates a standalone bar with skilled bartenders serving an extensive range of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails including its signature cocktail the “Mucho Gusto”.

Leeds

Afternoon – If you fancy spending your afternoon being active then Leeds’ Ice Cube attraction  in Millennium Square is perfect for you. Perfect as a break from shopping or wandering the city, grab a pair of skates and head onto the ice for an hour of show-boating and fun. Taking over Millennium Square from the 24th January for a month, the rink is perfectly placed as a spectacle, so if you fancy giving it a go you’ll have to expect an audience in one of Leeds’ most popular locations. With bars and restaurants dotted around the square, you even have plenty of choice if you want to grab a snack and rehydrate upon leaving the ice.

Evening – After an afternoon of wandering the city and partaking in your winter-themed exercise you’ll have no doubt worked up quite the appetite. Found on the Headrow in prime city centre location you won’t have a long walk to Miller and Carter Steakhouse, which is easily locatable near the entrance to The Light complex. One of Leeds’ newest but most impressive steakhouses, the restaurant can be found in many city locations across the country, however don’t let the chain label deter you, as the food is of high end standard and rivals Leeds’ best eateries. Offering generous meat portions and a range of sides, Miller and Carter is definitely one to try for meat lovers.

Manchester

Afternoon – If it’s your first time in Manchester, then the city has plenty to offer. Take a stroll and sample what the city has to offer, from shopping in the Arndale Centre to relaxing with an afternoon drink. If you really want to see everything the city has to offer, then the Wheel of Manchester gives you a bird’s-eye view of the whole area from its Piccadilly Gardens location. Once you’ve absorbed the incredible aerial sights, head for an early dinner at Manchester House, one of the city’s premier restaurants. Drop in as the restaurant opens for the evening at 6pm and sample culinary delights from the youngest ever Michelin-starred chef Aiden Byrne who has ‘created a fresh and innovative menu boasting modern British cuisine with a twist.’

Evening – Searching for something a bit different to do with your evening? Whilst many visiting the city will be heading out for an early tipple, why not take in something a little different and visit the famed Comedy Store at Deansgate Locks. The Comedy Club delivers five world class comedians every Friday and Saturday, providing over two hours of side-splitting laughter. The ever-popular club has high demand for weekend showings, so make sure you book in advance for these sell out shows. Catch the 7pm show if you want to head out to a bar afterwards, or alternatively take in the later 9:30pm show if you don’t fancy the early rush.

With plenty to do this January across the north’s major cities, treat yourself to a weekend of retail, entertainment and dining, and make sure you check out our website for a luxurious end to your evening.

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