An exciting new wine-led venue is to open on the 8th floor of Manchester’s Blackfriars House this winter. ‘Climat’ (named after the term for a specific vineyard site in Burgundy) will be a 100-cover restaurant with a ‘contemporary Parisian-style’ aesthetic.
It will offer over 250 wines from across the world, complimented by an ever-changing daily menu of snacks and large plates described simply as ‘food you want to eat’.
With the rooftop of Blackfriars House primarily being constructed of metal and glass, the team wanted to balance this with a more natural and earthy feel. Climat will mirror Burgundy’s famous clay and limestone soils by incorporating these two materials as possible. The interior will feature textural, clay plaster walls with limestone flooring, tables and counter tops dispersed throughout the space.
Climat’s owner, Christopher Laidler, is keen to keep the space as minimalist as possible to ensure the panoramic views across Manchester City Centre are the main visual attraction.
A glass fronted wine cellar running alongside the kitchen, housing over 2500 bottles of wine, will act as the engine room of the restaurant. There will also be a glass fronted private dining room offering a bespoke set menu.
“Offering just four seating options; the window, the kitchen counter, the private dining room or the outdoor roof terrace, I’m hoping there’ll always be something better to look at than the fixtures and fittings, which is why I wanted to keep the space as clean and minimal as possible,” says Christopher Laidler.
“It was really important to me that we offset the contemporary aesthetic of the building with warmer, earthy textures to add a sense of comfort and ground the space.”
The outdoor terrace at Climat will feature a state-of-the-art bioclimatic pergola – offering relief from whatever the Manchester weather may bring. Extensive landscaping will include a diverse range of ‘bee-friendly’ plants to feed the bees housed in the four hives that will feature on the rooftop. Once the hives are established, Climat’s own honey will feature on the menu.
“The outdoor terrace is going to be something really special,” adds Christopher, “although it has to be said, I was most excited by the big black entrance doors at street level, which stuck in my mind after first viewing the site last August. They’re huge and provide such a great feature of our overall project at Blackfriars.
“The walk from the doors at the front of the building to Climat’s lift at the rear of the building will be moody and dimly lit. I want the light glow of a few wall lights to guide the way for guests to the lift that’ll take them to the rooftop. We ultimately want Climat to be a really interesting place to dine or work.”
Born out of a desire to pair incredible foods with incredible wines with a format that allows guests to dictate their own pace, the menu has developed from Covino’s small plates offer into a more encompassing menu format. Citing London institutions such as the likes of St. JOHN Bread and Wine, Brat and Noble Rot as inspiration, Climat will offer a small selection of snacks alongside a daily-changing selection of larger plates shifting dependent on the best produce available that day.
Developed by Exec Chef of Covino and Climat, Luke Richardson, and Head Chef, Simon Ulph, the menu is difficult to categorise into one particular cuisine, but the ultimate take is modern British with influences from all over the world.
As the name ‘Climat’ suggests, the restaurant will have a lean towards Burgundian wines and styles. Of the restaurant’s 250-300 wines, about 40% will be allocated to Burgundy. However, the focus won’t only be on the region’s more famous varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but shining the spotlight on Aligoté and Gamay too.
Christopher continues: “Ultimately, our aim is to offer wine and food that people want – and keep coming back for. I want to be as inclusive as possible, providing the world’s most sought after wines alongside a menu that can stand-up to any occasion, whilst offering great choice for those on more of a budget. Manchester is already thriving but its future is looking so bright and I’m very excited to be involved in it.”
Climat is opening in winter 2022. For more information, follow @restaurantclimat on Instagram.