Sunday, 29 April 2018

Kahlúa Brunch Club - The Loft, Manchester


Something fun in Manchester city centre today - Brunch!

Last Sunday I headed down to new venue space, The Loft for the Kahlúa Brunch Club* - a boozy breakfast club with added interactivity in a cool industrial setting.

The top floor of 13 Quay Street (just on the edge of Spinningfields/off Deansgate) has been taken over by drinks group Pernod Ricard and transformed into a big communal bar space for hosting pop-up events focused around their portfolio of spirit brands which include Havana Club rum, Absolut vodka and Beefeater gin.

I was super excited to hear about the Kahlúa Brunch Club as I'm already a huge fan of the liqueur - a White Russian is my favourite cocktail!

Promising a delicious two-course brunch along with two Kahlúa-based cocktails to accompany the food, I was ready to get my brunch on!

Kahlua Brunch Club The Loft Quay Street
Brunch Club at The Loft Manchester
The Loft Quay Street Manchester
Kahlua Brunch Club at The Loft

The Loft is a brilliant space, created with plenty of exposed brick, reclaimed wood and heaps of industrial cool.

So much detail had been put into bringing the Mexican flavour of the Kahlúa brand into the space; with bright bunting, scattered coffee beans, cactus decorations and yellow flowers.

The team had also made a really cool lounge area to relax in before the brunch fun - with comfy seats, a dart board and foosball table. We were also encouraged to hang out in the space after the event if we wanted to, where the bar was also opened to continue the fun!

Kahlua Quay Street Manchester
Kahlua Brunch Club Manchester
Kahlua Brunch Club Cocktail Making
Espresso Martini Cocktail Making Manchester

Before our first course, we were each given the tools and ingredients needed to make our own espresso martinis, with easy to follow instruction from the event team.

Having worked in various bars and in particular a cocktail bar, I have to admit that I don't usually like cocktail making exercises! I enjoy making cocktails at home and for friends but if I'm going out, I tend to like my drinks making for me nowadays! Though I do get that for some people, it is a nice novelty.

Fortunately the cocktail making here wasn't particularly labour-intensive! We were given a mini shaker containing the espresso, Kahlúa and vodka, already measured out. All that was needed was the addition of ice, a vigorous shake and a garnish with coffee beans.

Kahlua Stack Poached Egg Hollandaise Avocado
Kahlua Brunch Club The Loft Manchester
Kahlua Brunch Club Manchester Pancakes

The set two-course food menu on offer is together by local caterers Grape & Grain.

First up was 'The Eggcellent Kahlúa Stack' - a twist on an Eggs Benedict, with smashed avocado on an English muffin topped with a poached egg and Kahlúa and maple infused ham. This was delicious and the extra hollandaise sauce housed in an empty egg shell was a fun touch!

Next on the menu, 'Kahlúa Rainbow Cakes' - a colourful stack of pancakes topped with Kahlúa infused warm chocolate sauce. We were given a selection of toppings to accompany these and not being able to choose just one, I added mini marshmallows, chocolate buttons and fresh strawberries - yum!

Cocktail with Kahlúa Chockahlúa Orange

To finish, a final round of cocktails were distributed - the 'Chockahlúa Orange' was created by Australasia bartender, Chris Bains. I really enjoyed this one - a delectable concoction of Kahlúa, Olmeca Tequila, Crème de Cacao, Orange and Chocolate Powder.

Brunch Club with Kahlúa The Loft Quay Street

Brunch Club Tee - Joanie Clothing
Floral Midi Skirt - Nasty Gal

At just £20 a ticket, the Kahlúa Brunch Club is amazing value - especially considering that the cocktails are £7 each at the bar, so essentially for just £6, you're getting a delicious two-course brunch too!

With dates running all through May, including the Bank Holidays, I'd thoroughly recommend a visit - you can grab your tickets here. Don't miss out before it leaves town!


Thursday, 26 April 2018

Restaurant Review: New Opening - Tre Ciccio, Altrincham


Today's post brings another exciting new restaurant opening in Altrincham, Tre Ciccio!

Tre Ciccio's concept is simple - authentic, rustic Italian food created with great ingredients and a small menu focused around classic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas and slow-roasted chicken.

The restaurant has been trading for a few weeks but has very recently unveiled its new outdoor terrace area - just in time for the pre-summer heatwave we've had!

I popped along to the launch night of the terrace area a few weeks ago so was delighted to be invited back for the full dining experience*.

We unknowingly picked a fantastic day to visit; booking for Wednesday last week when the UK's mini heatwave kicked off. I rang ahead to ensure we were sat in the wonderful outdoor terrace area to make the most of the weather.

Italian Altrincham Tre Ciccio Outside
Tre Ciccio Italian Altrincham Menu

We kicked things off with a light house pinot grigio while we perused the menu. I loved that the wine was served traditionally in tumblers like most great Italians do!

Italian Altrincham Outdoor Terrace
Bread Basket Tre Ciccio Altrincham
Fried Seafood Fish Tre Ciccio Altrincham
Mozzarella Bites Tre Ciccio Altrincham

Tre Ciccio have a great antipasti selection, made up of traditional Italian appetisers. We decided to share so ordered the Pane e Pinzimonio - a bread basket of warm focaccia, Altamura bread and crisp Carasau, accompanied by olive oil and balsamic to dip; the Cuoppo Fritto - a Neapolitan-style selection of lightly fried sea food including calamari, prawns and small whole fish served with lemon and garlic mayonnaise and lastly, Bocconcini Fritti - lightly crumbed and fried buffalo mozzarella bites with fresh basil and Marzano tomato sauce.

Tre Ciccio Outdoor Terrace Seating
Tre Ciccio Altrincham Salernitana Pizza
Tre Ciccio Italian Wood Fired Pizza
Tre Ciccio Altrincham Salernitana Pizza
Tre Ciccio Altrincham Calzone

Though Tre Ciccio's Italian-style roast chicken was tempting, we're both big pizza fans and having been greeted with the restaurant's huge pizza oven on arrival on the top floor, there's no way we could pass them up!

The pizza menu is made up of 'Classic' and 'Gourmet' pizzas. There's a wide range of options (while still being authentic - absolutely no BBQ sauce bases or pineapple here!) and I truly struggled to choose!

I finally settled on the Salernitana - topped with sliced pancetta, fior di latte cheese, parmesan and basil. My date went for the Calzone Napoletano - traditional folded pizza with salami, prosciutto, fior di latte cheese and basil.

My pizza was so good! Amazingly tasty and fresh toppings with a wonderfully chewy and slightly charred crust characteristic of a perfect wood-fired pizza!

The calzone was awesome too - piping hot inside with the ideal amount of filling and not too doughy.

As the sun set out on the terrace, we decided to share a tiramisu too (which by this point was too dark to capture!) and it topped off a fantastic meal perfectly!

Tre Ciccio is super close to where I live so I'm excited to have somewhere this good to stroll over the bridge to after work for a few beers and great pizza.

I'd definitely recommend this unassuming Italian for perfectly executed, authentically Neapolitan pizzas with a laidback, friendly neighbourhood atmosphere. They definitely give Altrincham Market favourite, Honest Crust some honest competition (geddit)! With the added bonus of having your own table!

Will you be visiting Tre Ciccio the next time you're in Altrincham?

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