Summer spots for eating, drinking & getting out

Your social calendar, sorted.

If you’re craving a super-sociable June, especially after May’s mood-killing wet weather, here’s a guide to some calendar highlights that really lend themselves to cute catch-ups with friends over delicious food and drink.

By Nick Levine

4 June: National Fish and Chip Day

When you’re in the mood, nothing beats fish and chips for dinner, an English institution that dates back to the Victorian era. National Fish and Chip Day falls on a Friday, naturally, so Elephant Central residents might like to end the working week with a short walk to Masters Superfish in Waterloo. It’s a low-key local favourite known for serving some of London’s finest fish – brought in daily from Billingsgate – and impeccably cooked chips.

If you live at New Maker Yards and fancy a funkier take on fish and chips, head to The Hip Hop Chip Shop, a 40-minute stroll away in Ancoats. Along with the classic battered fish and fries, they offer tasty vegan options and playful snacks such as mushy pea fritters and battered gherkins. The restaurant has an infectious rock ‘n’ roll vibe and portions are definitely generous.

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12 June: World Gin Day

Gin has come a long way since it was dismissed as “mother’s ruin” in the 18th century. These days, it’s fully embraced as a sophisticated spirit that lends itself to fresh and distinctive summer cocktails. Elephant Central residents can celebrate World Gin Day by enjoying a Columbian gin cocktail for just £6 at much loved Latin American food spot Coma y Beba. They can also sample a new range of cocktails made with pink pepper gin and Fever Tree tonics at TUPI, a South American fusion restaurant with cool modern decor and views over bustling Castle Square.

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If you’re a gin aficionado at New Maker Yards, Four Sis4ers Distillery is a must-visit for drinks in Manchester. Run by four local sisters, it offers a fascinating two-hour gin tour that teaches you all about the distilling process and culminates, naturally, in a thirst-quenching gin tasting.

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For drinks in Stratford, the cool and classy Darkhorse restaurant-bar has a brilliant range of gin-based cocktails including Bamboo(zled), a Martini-style drink that blends Rutte celery gin, sherry and vermouth. Served over ice with aromatic and orange bitters plus a dash of saline, it’s an irresistible tipple for cocktail lovers who prefer savoury to sweet. Usually £10.50, it’s £7 all day on Saturday 12 June.   If you’re in the mood for a World Gin Day date night, this is definitely the place to book.

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15 June: National Beer Day

Beer is the third most popular drink in the world after water and tea – and in 2021, there’s no need to bore your tastebuds with basic bitters and lacklustre lagers. Hops aficionados at New Maker Yards need look no further than Seven Bro7hers on their doorstep, one of four beerhouses run by seven brothers from Salford. To mark its seventh anniversary, each brother has concocted a super-novel brew including the quirky-sounding Peanut Butter on a Jaffa Cake, a 7% ABV stout inspired by a “childhood revelation”. Frankly, it sounds like a must-try.

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If you’re an East Village resident who prefers bubbles to beer, you’re definitely in luck. On the same day, Get Living is sponsoring Italian bakery Signorelli to host a wedding-style supper club event with cake, fizz and a four-course meal. As any local will tell you, Signorelli’s signature cakes and pastries are basically to die for.

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18 June: International Sushi Day

Fresh, filling and nutritious, sushi makes a sublime summer lunch or post-gym protein hit. If you’re a New Maker Yards local, head to Nudo Sushi Box at Spinningfields. This glass-fronted sushi bar is ideal for a quick bite and spot of people watching. You really can’t go wrong with one of their fantastic value ‘long box’ sushi sets, which start at just £5.79.

For dinner ideas, East Village residents might like to try Koi Sushi Garden, a nearby fusion restaurant that mixes Japanese cuisine with traditional Eastern European dishes. Its innovative menu is anything but dull and you won’t want to leave without trying a side of koi truffle fries or deep-fried agedashi tofu. If it’s dry outside, why not ask for a table in the restaurant’s tranquil heated garden?

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20 June: Father’s Day

Last year, most of us weren’t able to spend Father’s Day with loved ones, so we need no excuse to make a fuss now. East Village locals can treat themselves to Sunday lunch at Darkhorse, where you can order a delicious chicken or lamb roast with duck fat roast potatoes and a glass of house wine for £23.50.

Beforehand, be sure to pop into Signorelli with your dad to take advantage of a really sweet Father’s Day deal. If you buy any coffee for yourself, he’ll get one absolutely free, and you can now choose to enjoy your caffeine hit alfresco or indoors.

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If you’re a Sunday lunch fan at New Makers Yard, head to 20 Stories at Spinningfields, where you can enjoy a scrumptious roast dinner accompanied by live music from 1pm-4pm. A super-buzzy rooftop restaurant with stunning panoramic views of the city – add to that good food, it’s perfect for a special occasion.

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Elephant Central residents who’d like to treat their dads should try The Albert Arms, a smart local pub that’s rated by foodies. Served rare and sliced super-thin, the roast beef lunch comes highly recommended. Ask for a table outside if you fancy watching the world go by while you eat.

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21 June: Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, so it makes sense to make the most of the extra daylight by heading out for food. East Village dwellers can take advantage of an incredible “feed the family” deal at Firezza, where you’ll get two 1/4m pizzas, potato wedges, any other side and a large soft drink for just £6 each. Stone-baked and served rectangular, their pizzas are deliciously authentic as well as terrific value. Hosting a party? This is sure to please the guests.

Elephant Central residents will find plenty to try on Sayer Street, home to a variety of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, making it the perfect spot for socialising with friends. Local favourites include Tasty Jerk, which specialises in spicy Caribbean-inspired dishes, and Beza, which serves up dreamy Ethiopian vegan food. If you’re feeling spontaneous, simply take a stroll down Sayer Street and see which eatery takes you fancy – there really is something for all tastes here.

For drinks in Manchester, get yourself to Spinningfields destination: The Alchemist. This fun and funky fusion restaurant and cocktail bar has built a reputation for “molecular mixology” with a menu that offers “bold and boozy” drinks as well as tempting low- and no-alcohol options. Bubblegum, a delicious mix of bubblegum, apple, cranberry, lime and bubbles, is a really lovely lighter tipple.

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