An immersive Leonardo Da Vinci inspired banquet is coming to Manchester Art Gallery this month


Tickets have gone on sale to enable art lovers to ‘dine with Da Vinci’, first in a unique series of art-meets-food supper clubs being hosted by Manchester Art Gallery.

Each exclusive event, in collaboration with the Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF), is designed to celebrate one of the greatest artists in history, as part of an experience that will delight all the senses and offer real insight into their life, times – and, of course, food.

Some of Manchester’s best chefs will create one-off dining experiences themed around a different exhibition taking place in the stunning early 19th century surroundings of the gallery in Mosley Street.

The first event in the season is Dine with Da Vinci – an authentic Italian supper club created by local specialists Salvi’s on Saturday 27th April.

Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019

Guests will be greeted with a glass of Italian fizz, after which Manchester Art Gallery’s expert curators will treat them to a private tour of the Leonardo Da Vinci: A Life In Drawing exhibition. The show closes on Monday 6th May and all remaining tours have sold out, so this is a chance to enjoy an exclusive insight into 12 of Da Vinci’s iconic drawings before the exhibition is returned to the Royal Collection. 

At the heart of Dine With Da Vinci is an authentic Italian banquet, inspired by the produce and recipes of Da Vinci’s own era and served in the public galleries at the heart of Manchester Art Gallery.

Surrounded by emotive Italian live music and incredible works of art, guests will enjoy a menu created by Maurizio Cecco, owner of Salvi’s, the award winning Neapolitan restaurant with branches in the Corn Exchange and John Dalton Street.

The four-course feast is designed to be shared as a long-table banquet. Taking place in the historic Galleries 9 and 10, surrounded by fine art, the unique experience offers a chance to dine with friends, family, and lovers in a fabulous environment.    

Salvi’s is Manchester’s most authentic, family-run Italian restaurant group. Founded in 2013 and run by husband and wife team, Maurizio (a native of Naples) and Claire Cecco, Salvi’s restaurants showcase everything that traditional, southern Italian dining is about: menus of rustic, comforting food made from carefully sourced Italian ingredients. 

Events featuring another three great artists will follow, but no names or times have yet been scheduled.

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is a nationally acclaimed event, and the 22nd annual festival will take over the city from 26th September to 7th October, when the iconic Festival Hub – the centrepiece of MFDF – will be staged for the first time at Cathedral Gardens, where a huge ‘food and drink village’ will be specially built. 

Festival Director Alexa Stratton-Powell explains: “We felt that the time was right for a change. Albert Square has been a wonderful ‘home’ to our foodie neighbourhood for a long time, but as we have wanted to grow, change the format, site and structure we have often wondered if we dare make the move to Cathedral Gardens!

“It is a beautiful public space and will make the perfect destination for our 22nd Festival. We’ll be spreading out from Cathedral Gardens to other parts of the ‘Medieval Quarter’ and creating a more village-like, greenfield-style Festival site… a little foodie oasis in the city centre where people can enjoy incredible food and drink.” 

The Festival promises all the usual Festival Hub fun, as well as a lot of new experiences to be announced.

There’ll be street food, beer, a new look live music stage, cookery theatres, pop-up banquets, cocktails, the return of an artisan producers market, and guest chefs, all within a splendid new urban garden setting – with Manchester Cathedral, the National Football Museum and Chethams School of Music as neighbours. 

Dine with Da Vinci tickets cost £65.



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