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11th October 2011

Pick of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival, hosting events aimed at foodies as well as those just wanting to grab a kebab and cheesy chips.

As an avid cook I love spending time exploring the stranger side of food, whether that be snooping round a Chinese supermarket or searching for offal in a butcher’s window. However, I appreciate this isn’t how my flatmates want to spend their weekends. Luckily for us there is the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, which is hosting events aimed at foodies as well as those just wanting to grab a kebab and cheesy chips.

The Food and Drink Festival has been running for over 14 years; this year’s being held from October 7-17th. The main part of the food extravaganza is the Big Festival Hub held in Albert Square, just off Princess Street. The Hub is a collection of stands and events such as the Veltins Oktoberfest where it is possible to get the full Oktoberfest experience – drinking authentic German beer and chowing down on some sauerkraut and sausage to the soundtrack of Bavarian bands. However, if that isn’t your cup of tee mit milch, the Chilli Lovers Fair tempts with treats of chilli toffee and a selection of salsas. You could even risk entering the second annual chilli-eating contest on the 7th. Even if you don’t, head over to enjoy the sight of those who are willing to sweat under the hot, hot heat.

There are many more events, so check to see what takes your fancy. Below I have picked a few of the best to tantalise the taste buds.  One I will definitely be attending is the Whiskey Festival at the Lowry Hotel. For £20 plus a small booking fee you get the chance to sample whiskeys (in a free tasting glass) from across the globe – including a new and critically acclaimed Taiwanese whiskey. Hurry though, as the late session running from 4pm has already sold out.

Treating someone special to a first date? Impress by taking them to the award winning River Bar and Restaurant which is putting on a special menu for just under £20 per person. Sample the best of British food including a heavenly sounding desert – caramelised chocolate mousse cappuccino – guaranteed to get you a second date.

If you happen to have a lot of spare cash lying around, there is a secret Tudor dinner ran by Robert Owen Brown, head chef of the Mark Addy pub in Salford. This spectacular includes unlimited food and drink with an assortment of nine meats and evening-long Tudor themed entertainment. It sounds fantastic, but at £110 pounds it really stretches the student budget.

I hope that I have managed to tempt you into getting involved with the festival, even if it is just to grab some street food from the Festival Hub – it is too great an opportunity to miss!




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