A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend a cocktail tour of the Corn Exchange in Manchester City Centre. I can literally see the Corn Exchange from my bedroom yet I rarely get the chance to go there for food and drinks so it was it was the perfect way to discover new hangouts that are right on my doorstop! I left feeling VERY impressed (and a little tipsy) on what the freshly refurbished Corn Exchange has to offer and let me tell you: it’s GOOD.
The first stop was Vapiano, a place I have wanted to dine at for ages. The atmosphere is super laid back and the restaurant is light and airy. I just love an open plan kitchen and this one really adds to the authenticity of the great Italian food being served up. The pasta is made fresh on site every day and dishes can be garnished to your personal taste at your table. We were greeted with the classic Italian Aperol Spritz & it was the perfect refreshing drink to begin the summers evening.
Next up was The Cosy Club. I just love to spend lazy Sundays here – the décor is super interesting and the food is wholesome and great on a hangover! I hadn’t tried any of the cocktails here before the event and I was pleasantly surprised as this one turned out to be my favourite! We had a Spiced Pineapple Old Fashioned and it was D E L I C I O U S. My mouth is watering just thinking back at it! Made up of a double Bulleit Bourbon shot, spicy pineapple syrup made on site, and a splash of orange bitters this drink is my absolute new fave. It was also decorated with a slice of dehydrated pineapple which was so so yummy!
Now this was for sure my new favourite discovery of the night because I shamefully had no idea this place existed before now! Directly opposite the cathedral, Alston Bar and Beef is nestled containing an extra special Gin bar. What makes the Gin here so special is that 14 of the 60 kinds on offer are made on site. The gin flavours depend on the season and all fall into six crucial profiles being: Citrus, Spiced Peppery, Floral, Fruity, Herbaceous and Sloe and Liquer. The gin that we sampled was made with honey from the bees who live on top of the Manchester Cathedral which made me V happy! Support your local bees…
Cabana took us from Manchester bees to Brazilia as we drank the refreshing and punchy famous Caipirinha! The manager explained to us how Cabana was an infusion of Brazil and England and the atmosphere complimented both really well. I do love a good old Caipirinha although they do tend to be made VERY strong but yano what they say – when in Brazil hun!
Next up was Pho! I have a love hate relationship with Vietnamese food because although it is practically perfect in every way – 99% of it I find is served with the devil itself- CORIANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So although I missed out this time on the grub, I definitely still had a positive experience in the form of my delicious Pina Pholada. Another establishment to also incorporate carboard straws which makes it all the more guilt free! Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure next time I go Pho will be more than happy to cook for me sans coriander!
From the rice paper spring rolls of Vietnam to the tortillas and tequila of Mexico. I LOVE Wahaca and could eat here all the time – it’s so reasonably priced & accessible making it the perfect lunch break or after work spot. Here we had my fave – margaritas. I feel like a lot of people are inclined to decline a margarita due to the levels of tequila in it but I for one am a tequila connoisseur so this made my trip to Wahaca all the merrier!
Our last haunt of the evening was in the depths of Banyan. The hospitality here was SOO good and we were even greeted with a shot of prosecco! (the way to my heart)…Banyan is everything you want in a city center bar and kitchen. Its stylish, it’s elusive and the cocktails are rich and delicious. We had a Pistachio Espresso Martini which was simple divine! It finished off an excellent evening wonderfully & I’ll definitely be making it my new local night cap joint!
Thanks to Brazen PR & Corn Exchange MCR for such a wonderful evening!
PSA: My camera died it’s death therefore I’ve had to use poor quality pics plz forgive me for this untidy photo formatting hehe