September sees a number of new openings in the Northern Quarter, a new venture by Michelin starred chef Paul Heathcote, and Manchester Gin’s transformation of six Grade II listed arches – complete with distillery, bar and restaurant. There are also some big hitting events coming up, including the OVO Tour of BritainManchester Food and Drink Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, Homobloc and the countdown has begun for the return of the Manchester Christmas Markets.

Newly opened

EAT: Wilderness Bar + Kitchen

Wilderness has taken over the old Folk & Soul site in the Northern Quarter, inspired by a love of food, drink, travel and people. Set over three floors, it features a lively all-day bar on the ground floor and cocktails and small plates on the first floor. Meanwhile the basement features an innovation room for chefs and bartenders to explore new flavours, including a table set within the working kitchen that can be booked for a private dining tasting menu experience with the head chef James Lord (ex Manchester House). The menu style is European and comes with music curated by Mof Gimmers, the resident record buyer at sister site Wilderness Record Store.

- See also: Northern Quarter eats – Evelyn’s, CBRB, Yard & Coop

DRINK: Seed and Cherry

Seed and Cherry is the new artisan coffee and brunch spot in the Northern Quarter, bringing a unique coffee drinking experience and a small plate brunch concept to Manchester. The coffee is sourced from some of the finest coffee farms in the world, and all of the food is freshly prepared using seasonal ingredients.

- See also: artisan coffee and brunch spots – Federal, Takk, Grindsmith

EAT: The Northern from Heathcote and Co

Housed within Bolton’s iconic Albert Halls, The Northern is a new venture by celebrated chef Paul Heathcote, championing old-fashioned British recipes and using produce sourced from around the North West. Born out of the North’s rich history but with an eye on 2019 ingredients, expect rag pudding, crumpets, fish pie, traditional English trifle and Paul Heathcote’s famous bread & butter pudding.

- See also: Simon Martin’s Mana, Gary Usher’s Kala, Sam Buckley's Where The Light Gets In

DRINK & EAT: The Manchester Gin Distillery

Award-winning premium gin, Manchester Gin, has opened its new state-of-the-art distillery, bar and restaurant – with customers able to book tours, tastings and gin-making masterclasses. Occupying six iconic Grade-II listed arches underneath Manchester Central convention centre, the new location faces out onto Watson Street and is five times bigger than their existing Temperance Street home. Alongside the distillery, a world-class cocktail bar will serve a wide range of premium spirits, while the restaurant will serve a selection of fresh, clean dishes inspired by countries in which classic and unusual botanicals originate.

- See also: brewery and distillery tours – Cloudwater, Three Rivers Gin School

Coming soon

EVENT: OVO Tour of Britain

One of the biggest races in the Cycling Calendar - the OVO Tour of Britain - will come to Greater Manchester on Saturday 14 September. The region has been chosen to host the final stage of the week-long event that will see some of the biggest names in cycling pit themselves against each other at stages across the UK between  7 and 14 September. The final stage will begin in Altrincham taking in all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs via a challenging 166km route before hitting the finish line on Deansgate in Manchester city centre. 

- See also: major sporting events - The Ashes, Manchester 100

FESTIVAL: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

This year will see the Manchester Food and Drink Festival’s 22nd annual city-wide take-over between 26 September and 7 October, with the festival hub this year in Cathedral Gardens – complete with newly designed site and structures, live experiences and the biggest programme of events to date. Returning to the Festival Hub will be the Dining Dome, a spherical foodie palace where specially curated banquets, supper clubs and food parties will take place, along with dozens of the best street food traders and exciting restaurants and drinks brands, as well as a live music stage. Open from 12noon – 11pm daily, entry to the Festival Hub is free of charge.

- See also: Bistrotheque Classique, The Ancoats Taster Walk and other special Manchester Food and Drink Festival events

FESTIVAL: Manchester Literature Festival

Presenting live literature and spoken word from across the globe, Manchester Literature Festival runs 4-20 October this year, including 80 events and new commissions. Tickets are available to book for a number of events, including a conversation with award-winning British novelist, David Nicholls, author of One Day, Us and Starter for Ten; a conversation with the author of critically acclaimed bestsellers Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng, Guy Garvey and Simon Armitage in conversation and a number of walking tours, among much more in a packed line-up.

- See also: literary hotspots - The International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Elizabeth Gaskell's House, John Rylands Library, Chetham's Library

EVENT: Homobloc

Dubbed a "queer block party for all", Homobloc comes to Depot at Mayfield on 9 November, presented by Warehouse Project and Homoelectric - who have been throwing underground parties in Manchester for two decades. Headlined by US techno DJ and producer The Black Madonna, other artists gracing the stage include Roisin Murphy, Seth Troxler and Midland among many others in a what is set to be a seminal moment in the current resurgence of queer clubbing in Manchester.

- See also: This year’s full line-up of Warehouse Project events

EVENT: Manchester Christmas Markets

The countdown is on for the Manchester Christmas Markets, returning on 8 November, seven days a week until 21 December. The main hub will again be at Albert Square, and this year the markets will be joined by a range of Christmas attractions, including the return of the Ice Village, a new ice rink, new festive lights across the city and a brand-new giant Santa, taking over from Manchester’s much loved and iconic Zippy.

- See also: What's on this Christmas

EVENT: Dippy the Dinosaur in Rochdale

The Natural History Museum’s superstar dinosaur, Dippy, is currently on a record-breaking UK tour and he lands in Rochdale in February 2020. Dippy’s star power has already drawn more than 1 million visitors to venues across the tour, and thousands more are expected to visit him in Number One Riverside, his only stop in the North West of England. Accompanying the dinosaur in Rochdale will be a major family-friendly exhibition where children can explore all aspects of the natural world, from the dark swamplands of millions of years ago to our future planet and what it might look like. Dippy will be in Rochdale from 10 February to 28 June 2020.

- See also: Rochdale attractions - Pioneers Museum, Touchstones, Rochdale Town Hall

In case you missed it

FILM: Mrs Lowry & Son

To celebrate the release of cinema biopic, Mrs Lowry & Son, The Lowry arts centre is hosting a special display which includes behind the scenes photographs, props from the set, film clips, mood boards, shooting schedules and the final screenplay signed by the film’s stars. Starring Timothy Spall and Vanessa Redgrave, the film was released on Friday 30 August.

- See also: What’s on at The Lowry

STAY:  Stock Exchange Hotel and Tom Kerridge - opening date confirmed

Work is ongoing to redevelop Manchester’s historic Stock Exchange building into a luxurious five-star boutique hotel due to open 15 November 2019. Located at Norfolk Street, the Edwardian Baroque building - with its impressive central dome - will be respectfully converted into 40 unique bedrooms and suites with food and drink overseen by British chef Tom Kerridge.

- See also: hotel chefs - Adam Reid at The French (The Midland Hotel) and Andrew Green at Mamucium (Hotel Indigo)

STAY: Native Manchester - opening date confirmed

Formerly The Place Aparthotel, this grade II-listed Victorian railway warehouse will reopen on September 16 as Native Manchester, a 166-bed four star aparthotel, with an all-day ‘hangout’ space CULTUREPLEX on the ground floor featuring bar, lounge, mini-cinema, restaurant Bistrotheque and a gym by boutique fitness brand BLOK.

- See also: aparthotels – Roomzzz Corn Exchange; CitySuites; and Whitworth Locke

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