I know what you are probably thinking. Christmas already, Elsa? I’m not one to celebrate the holidays early (or any holiday for that matter…), but I can also understand from the restaurant’s point of view, now is the time to start planning their Christmas offerings. With a lot of offices throwing parties and friends getting together, that’s a lot of parties to plan. If you want to guarantee a place you know you like, then I’m afraid that yes, now is the time to start thinking about that. Here, I will cover what the Corn Exchange in Manchester has to offer! *
Gusto is a chain of restaurants with branches all over the North of England and a couple in Scotland. They serve a variety of food, mostly British and European. Manchester is fortunate to have three branches within Greater Manchester: City Centre, Didsbury and Cheadle Hulme; the latter two offering a brunch option between 9am – 1pm. Today’s review will focus on the brunch menu at the Didsbury branch!*
Honey Restaurant resides inside Hotel Gotham, towering over King Street. The building was designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1928 in the Art Deco style which was common at the time. Lutyens designed many homes, public buildings and memorials worldwide, notably in New Delhi. Constructed from stone and steel into a castle-like design, it used to house the Midland Bank. Whilst Jamie Oliver has taken the ground hall, the upper floors house the hotel with Honey Restaurant on the 6th floor and Club Brass, a VIP only lounge and bar, on the 7th floor.
It is one of those places where you have to dress up for the occasion in order to be let in, so I’ve never had a reason to venture inside. I was excited when I was invited to a VIP taster menu celebrating 3 years of the hotel and restaurant.*
I’ve visited Bill’s Restaurant a few times in the past, mostly in London but have only made the visit to Manchester’s branch once. This isn’t because the food has gone downhill, but mostly because there’s always something new to try in Manchester’s dining scene. Bill’s is a no-brainer to me when I go down to London and want a good breakfast. I haven’t had the opportunity to eat from their all-day menu, so one evening, I did just that. Discount code available to my readers at the bottom of the post. *
I venture out to Knutsford in Cheshire to try out their Afternoon Tea at the recently refurbished Courthouse. There’s something I really like about an Afternoon Tea. I know that it’s an all day affair and you are essentially gorging yourself on a combination of sandwiches, scones and desserts. You essentially need to forgo food on either side of the Afternoon Tea (or at least, I’ve had to)! It is usually nothing overly special, and yet I have thoroughly enjoy each Afternoon Tea I’ve eaten. I think because of the way it’s presented, you can essentially take your time and enjoy a long conversation with people without staff bringing and taking plates around you (apart from the occasional tea top up).*
What I love about living in Manchester is the fact you have a mixture of fine dining and independent cafes in one city. The Northern Quarter is particularly home to the latter, housing small businesses in Afflecks Palace as well as niche shops and cafes. One such is Nibble, a small cafe located on Oldham Street run by the lovely Lauren Irlam, who has previously managed Northern Quarter’s famous Teacup and the Railway Kitchen and Bar. This is her first venture and the cafe is born from her love of good quality food without the fuss. I take my friend and fellow blogger, Lacey, to the cafe to explore one sunny Manchester day!*