Editor's Blog

Manchester Central - where it's at

You can tell a lot about someone from the kind of party they throw.

And Manchester Central’s 10th anniversary party last week said a lot about the venue -  where it’s at and where it’s going.

I was one of a carriage-load of partygoers shipped up from London for the evening; 50-odd of us whizzed up to the North West first class on a Virgin Pendelino from Euston. On arrival at an unseasonably sunny Manchester Piccadilly we were quickly cabbed over to our hotel, the vibrant and classy Innside Manchester, where we got suited and booted before making the short skip over to the former railway station which was to serve as party central for the evening.

Stylish pavement-level lamps lit our way into the drinks reception, where we were handed an ice-cool cocktail and set about mingling (pictured). The invitation had stipulated lounge suits and cocktail dresses, and as is always the case in the North, the whole room was awash with glam style. In my experience, if you give a Mancunian the opportunity to razz it up a bit they will embrace it wholeheartedly, and this was no exception.

A string quartet was busy wheeling out classy covers from Manchester’s rich musical heritage, and then it was on through to the main event – a seven course dinner that showed off the venue’s catering offer to its utmost.

Earlier this year I interviewed new CEO Shaun Hinds and he spoke about his aim of delivering a five-star level culinary experience – something I’m pleased to report has been achieved with aplomb. From a palate-cleansing delicateness of an avocado sorbet and pickled jalapeno to the meaty hit of treacle-cured pork and pig cheek croquette, everything was on point. The piece de resistance, in my opinion, was a pre-dessert “egg and soldiers” where the egg was a coconut mousse and a mango coulis, tricksily served in a hollowed out eggshell in an eggcup accompanied by a brioche toast soldier. It was fun, clever and stunningly enjoyable.

After the meal, we put on our wristbands and made our way over the road – directed by helpful bespoke digital signage – to a bar where we were ushered upstairs for a secret gin palace experience that finished the night with a glitzy flourish.

In the 10 years since Manchester Central rebranded from the G-Mex it has grown in both strength and stature. Ian Brown, Stone Roses singer and Mancunian hero, once famously quipped “It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.” Well, in Manchester Central’s case, it’s currently at a place where it’s looking to take on the world. It will be intriguing to see what the next 10 years brings.

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  • Hugo Ponsonby Smythe 25/09/2017 Of: PS Taker Ltd

    I hope you paid £50 to Meeting Needs to go on this fam trip as mentioned in previous blogs.