FULL FLAVOUR BEHAVIOUR from James Cunningham

Night life ideas and some sensational shopping...
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Last weekend I hot footed it up to Glasgow to visit our sister hotel, The Arthouse. This stunning building, built as the home of British Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman, is now a boutique hotel that I can honestly say is well worth a visit.

Seeing Glasgow for the first time in a while opened my eyes to the opportunities my beloved Manchester could avail itself of… some amazing night life ideas and some sensational shopping!

“Ask at a good butchers to mince you some unrefined suet…”

But coming back after even such a short time means you often see things with fresh eyes. In my case.. Christmas! I can see the city getting ready for the festive season, and especially for the Christmas lights switch on on Friday 8th in Albert Square.

Here at ABode we had a Christmas preview last week which saw us launch what one ilovemanchester.com follower declared as the “first pigs in blankets this year”. What we know is it has certainly put us in the mood for Christmas and all the turkey, spuds and sprouts we can manage – all just for you! If you haven’t booked your Christmas ‘do’ yet, you still have time – contact events on 0161 247 7744.

Now, I have always declared I am no chef, so Christmas recipes are not exactly my bag – luckily I work for a celebrated two Michelin starred chef [if you don’t know by now that it is Michael Caines I am very worried about you!] and so I can raid his recipe collection to give you MC’s very own Christmas pudding recipe…

Michael says –

“These recipes are my mother’s and I still use them to this day. The Christmas pudding recipe is the same one that we currently use at Gidleigh Park and is made with untreated beef suet. This adds a depth of flavour that isn’t found in recipes that use refined suet. Ask at a good butchers to mince you some unrefined suet and see the difference for yourself.” 


  • 450gr Raisins
  • 450gr Currents
  • 450gr Sultanas
  • 225gr White breadcrumbs
  • 225gr Flour
  • 60gr Mixed Peel
  • 225gr Brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 450gr Beef suet
  • 30gr Chopped nuts (optional)
  • 6gr Salt
  • 40ml Sherry
  • 40ml Brandy
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground ginger
  • Milk to bind
  • 1 Juice of a lemon
  • Grated nutmeg 


Prepare all the ingredients, and mix together all the dry ones. Stir in the beaten eggs and sherry, brandy and lemon juice. Add enough milk to make the mixture the right consistency-that is, fairly stiff.

Put into the greases basins, put a piece of greaseproof paper on the top, and then cover with greaseproof and secure with an elastic band. Steam for 8 hours and then leave to cool and store.

Re-boil/steam the pudding several hours before the pudding is eaten. Serve with cognac Anglaise and clotted cream.

May I be among the first to wish you Merry Christmas [groan!]… until next time.. FFB!

James x

View expressed are the authors own.


0161 247 7744

Follow ABode Manchester on twitter @ABodeManchester and Michael Caines Café Bar & Grill on twitter @mcatmanchester


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