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Manchester Food And Drink Festival 2018 Has Revealed Its Full Programme Line-Up

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It’s the moment Manchester’s been waiting for…

The 21st annual Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place from 27th September to 8th October. 

And today the festival has made the first programme announcements for what is set to be a glorious 12 days of celebrating the city’s magnificent and ever-evolving food culture this Autumn.

For its 21st edition, MFDF promises a new chapter for the festival, with a jam-packed programme of events that food fans will love.
It is more than ever about enjoying the very best of our city’s extraordinary food and drink talent, about celebrating our iconic city and staging events designed around what the foodies of Manchester really want to experience.  

Phil Jones, the Founding Director of MFDF comments:

“We called it ‘The Hub’ when we first started out on Albert Square, as a casual comment on it being the centre of everything. As the Festival and Manchester has evolved, our beloved “Hub” has really lived up to its name. It has come to embody the heart and soul of MFDF and is its own little foodie neighbourhood, popping up once a year as a place that food lovers can hang out for 11 wonderful gastronomic days. 

“It is a melting pot of everything that is fantastic about Manchester and its food scene. This year we’re giving The Hub a makeover and bringing even more of our greatest events there, whilst still taking in some of the city’s most spectacular venues too.”

The festival will open at 12pm on Thursday 27th September and will close at 11pm on Sunday 7th October. Free to enter – it’ll be open daily from 12pm-11pm, and as ever, is expected to attract some big names from further afield with Jasmine Hemsley and Jay Rayner already announced.

The New Look Festival Hub

27th September – 7th October, 12-11pm daily (free to enter)

Mfdf Image With Colour Low Res

(Artist’s impression)

Visitors to Albert Square this year can expect a newly designed site with exciting new structures, live experiences and the biggest programme of events yet, all taking place under Manchester skies and in the shadow of the Town Hall. One such new feature will be the Dining Dome – a great big spherical foodie palace and the location for a host of specially curated banquets, supper clubs and food parties. 

The whole Hub experience will be improved with a new site design that will allow for even more foodie partners to find a home there this Autumn. Dozens of the best street food heroes will serve up gorgeous local cuisine alongside some of the most exciting restaurant brands in the city. Plus, there’ll be a newly designed Festival Bar space featuring all of Manchester’s breweries; a host of new drinking activations – from beer buses to gin containers; a better-than-ever music stage; and a non-stop calendar of the most exciting food experiences yet.

Cottonopolis Secret Supper Club at The Hub

Thursday 27th September & Friday 28th September (ticketed)

Cottonopolis and MFDF present… ‘Battle Royale’. 

Cottonopolis’ Secret Supper Club experiences are fast becoming known nationwide for taking immersive dining experiences to the next level. This very special MFDF Secret Supper Club is to be the brand’s most ambitious yet as the Dining Dome will be transformed by Cottonpolis and their team of visual architects into a specially curated dining production of Battle Royale… perhaps with a little less dystopian carnage! 

Tickets on sale soon

Jasmine Hemsley & Trove Supper Club 

29th September (ticketed)

Well-being goddess, lifestyle guru, insta-influencer extraordinaire, founder of Hemsley + Hemsley and author of East by West, Jasmine Hemsley is coming to Manchester Food and Drink Festival for a special collaboration with MFDF and the award-winning artisans of Trove.

A match made in heaven, Trove’s focus on making food from scratch by hand and with a central focus on organic ingredients and locally sourced produce will meet Jasmine’s home-cooked and mindful approach to create an Ayurvedic menu inspired by Jasmine’s latest book East by West. It will all be paired with Trove’s natural wine collection.

Tickets on sale soon.

Family Food Fest Sunday

Sunday 30th September (free to enter)

Join MFDF, Clint Boon and friends as the Dining Dome and the whole Festival Hub goes extra family friendly for a Sunday Fun-Day! The Dining Dome will be given over to foodie fun for mini masterchefs – from pizza making to arts, crafts and entertainment – whilst the whole site will be even more family centred than ever. A chilled-out family friendly disco courtesy of Manchester legend Clint Boon will take over the bar marquee and other child friendly hands on activity will be scattered across the whole site meaning that parents can enjoy all the fun of the Fest while the kids are entertained too. This is the perfect weekend for parents who love festivals and food…

The Rabbit In The Moon at The Dome – Pop Up Supper Club

1st October (ticketed)

Head Chef John Granaghan at Manchester’s Rabbit in the Moon is bringing his stunning, space age plates of food to the futuristic MFDF Dome for one very special night only, with an exclusive menu curated especially for this unique MFDF experience.

Tickets on sale soon.

Caviar & Champagne Tasting with Ed Baines and Randall & Aubin 

2nd Oct (ticketed)

Manchester’s fabulous Randall and Aubin team up with The Gourmet Caviar House to present a rare gastro opportunity. Guests will be guided through Randall and Aubin’s house Champagnes perfectly matched with some of the most exquisite caviars around, all by the experienced hand of Ed Baines himself and ambassadors from the Gourmet Caviar House. 

Tickets are available to buy now here.

‘A Trip to Brazil’ A Gastro Guide with Francisco Martinez & Fazenda

3rd Oct (ticketed)

Fazenda’s Executive Chef, Francisco Martinez – former chef at the five-time winner of Best Restaurant in the World “El Bulli” – has designed a one-off menu exclusively for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. Guests can expect an avant-garde dining experience that showcases Brazilian food at its best – an eight-course menu paired with four wines from Brazilian producer, Miolo. Guests can expect an evening of surprises, with dishes rich in colour, flavour and emotion – a fully immersive and sensory dining experience is promised!

Price: £50 per person with profits will be donated to Action Against Hunger.

Tickets are available to buy now here.

Hatch Pop Up Supper Club

4th Oct (ticketed)

Hatch, the new pop up food, drink and retail destination on Oxford Road and a selection of its fantastic street food traders will be taking over the Dining Dome for the evening staging a special Hatch Supper Club. Each course will be provided by one of their top notch, home-grown and independent street food heroes making for a fabulous and eclectic feast. The menu will be paired with beers from Öl – Hatch’s on site nano brewery and topped off with coffees and desserts from Takk, the artisan coffee house also situated at Hatch.

Tickets on sale soon.

Spanish Feast by Lunya, Baraxturi and Evuna

5th Oct (ticketed)

Expect authentic, artisan ingredients and stunning wines to come together for a glorious evening of Spanish food at its finest.

Tickets on sale soon.

Also at the Hub…  

Double Dutch G&T bar 

Created by Dutch twin sisters Joyce and Raissa de Haas, Double Dutch’s range of innovative products are developed using flavour pairing techniques to create uniquely-balanced drinks. They use only natural ingredients blended with the highest quality water from the North of England to create crisp and fresh mixers for refined palates.

The G&T bar will be open 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the festival.

Manchester Brew Fest

Manchester’s beer boom continues and this year the Festival will serve up the city’s greatest brews as well as a plethora from around the region. Craft beers from the trendiest and most innovative of brewers like Blackjack and Cloudwater abound alongside stalwart greatest hits from the big northwest brewing families including Robinson’s, JW Lees and Hydes’.

Manchester Brew Fest will be open 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival.

MFDF Cider Fest

The cider haven will be pitching up to refresh the masses! Expect Weston’s, Addlestone’s and Sheppy’s 😉

The Cider Fest will be open from 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival.

The Brooklyn Brewery Bus

Beep beep! Brooklyn Brewery will be bringing a brand new American yellow school bus to the Hub serving up a range of brews from their Perennials and Seasonal ranges. Favourites like Brooklyn East IPA, Brooklyn Lager and Bel Air Soul will be on tap alongside their full range of seasonal beers, including Brooklyn Brown, Sorachi Ace, Scorcher IPA and Post Road Pumpkin Ale – the perfect seasonal accompaniment to MFDF’s Autumn celebration.

The Brooklyn Brewery Bus will be open from 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the festival.

Street Food

Lunch and dinner is served for 11 fabulous days! So far confirmed are Bundobust, who’ll be bringing their brilliant trailer to the Fest, alongside Baraxturi who will be firing up a basque roast and charcoal grill. Other confirmed names so far include Shoryu Ramen, Proove with their new Italian street food concept and Tampopo.  

Live Music

The City Life Music Stage will once again be hosting a line-up of musicians and DJs worthy of a food festival based in one of the world’s most musical cities! Confirmed artists so far include Clint Boon, The Hayes Sisters and Whoever and the Somethings.


The 11th Big Indie Wine Fest – Manchester Hall 

5th, 6th & 7th Oct (ticketed)

After a fabulous debut in Manchester Hall’s grand, Grade II listed surrounds last year, Festival favourite, the Big Indie Wine Fest will be returning to the venue for an extra special, bigger-than-ever, Big Indie Wine Fest with an extra session added for a three-day extravaganza! As ever Manchester’s finest independent wine merchants along with some from further afield will create a heavenly wine experience suitable for connoisseur wine fans and novices alike. Expect a stunning breadth of wines from around the globe from merchants like Commanderie Bordeaux, Cordoniu and Veeno.

Sessions: Friday 5th: 6pm – 9m Saturday 6th: 2pm – 5pm Saturday 6th: 6pm – 9pm Sunday 7th: 2pm – 5pm

Tickets are on sale now here.

MFDF & Albert’s Schloss Present:  The Jay Rayner Quartet – Albert’s Schloss

28th September from 6pm (ticketed)

The big bad wolf of the dining world, and the country’s most famous restaurant critic, Jay Rayner rather liked Albert’s Schloss when he visited earlier this year for his Observer restaurant column. So much so that he has agreed to bring his Jazz Quartet to the venue for a night of music, storytelling, food and drink. As well as being an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster, Jay is now a successful recording artist and performer entertaining audiences up and down the land (including at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s club) with his band. Made up of some of Britain’s best musicians, including Jay’s wife who is an accomplished jazz singer, Jay’s quartet will be performing a repertoire from the great American song book with special attention paid to numbers about food and drink. All of this will be brought to audiences in the friendly bohemian beer palace that is Albert’s Schloss. A special Jay Rayner menu will be served throughout!

This event is free to attend but by booking only – speedy booking is advisable!  

Book a table at Albert Schloss on Friday 28th September from 6pm here.

Festival Dinner – 20 Stories

1st October (ticketed)

Foodies of Manchester can expect a fabulous three-course meal and wine flight at one of Manchester’s newest and most instagrammable venues.

£65 per person.

On sale now – to book email Rebeccaw@danddlondon.com

Manchester Shares – Small Plates Safari  Various venues.

30>span class=”15″> September – 4>span class=”15″> October

Foodies of Manchester are challenged to try out as many Manchester restaurants as they can during the Festival as dozens of the finest restaurants in the city offer up a signature small plate along with a beer, wine or spirit for just £5! Anyone visiting all the restaurants on the safari will be in with a chance of winning an overnight stay at one of Manchester’s finest hotels! Participating restaurants include Tampopo, Lunya, Ashas’s, Fazenda and Tast!

Bookatable Festival Feast  Various

30th September – 4th October (ticketed)

The Bookatable Festival Feast is returning for the 3rd year! A series of limited edition, bespoke dining menus, created by Manchester’s restaurants especially for the Manchester Food and Drink festival in association with Bookatable will be on offer throughout the whole 12 days of MFDF.

Bookable now here.

Action Against Hunger’s Moveable Feast – Various venues

4th October Ticketed 

Festival partner charity, Action Against Hunger and MFDF bring you the opportunity to access the exclusive private spaces of a range of amazing restaurants and the cuisine of their renowned chefs, all on one special evening of fine food in the name of a great cause.

Diners will be taken on the ultimate food adventure, enjoying a course at each restaurant of a specially designed MFDF menu. This is an exclusive opportunity to experience the city’s most coveted dining rooms – with only 15 places at each location food fans are advised to snap up these tickets fast!

All money raised will go directly to support Action Against Hunger’s work ending child hunger in over 45 countries around the world. Tickets on sale soon.

Festival Banquet

Hawksmoor – Ticketed

An exclusive dinner will be hosted in Hawkmoor’s glorious private dining room. This is a feast to end all feasts created by the multi award-winning team at MFDF former Restaurant of the Year, Hawksmoor. Last year tickets to this special, intimate dinner sold out fast and so speedy booking is recommended – watch this space! 

Tickets on sale soon.

MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards Gorton Monastery 

8th October – Ticketed

The sparkling culmination of MFDF, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards will be taking place for the very first time in the stunning and gothic surrounds of Gorton Monastery. The most coveted and highest profile food awards in the North of England, the gongs will, as usual, be distributed to a room packed with the region’s food and drink ‘A list’. 

The Awards Shortlist will be announced on 27th June – watch this space!

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