We’ve all been to some awful last minute Christmas get togethers over the years.
As December approaches, if you’ve not got your act together and booked in somewhere it can all get a bit stressful – leading to fears of cheap wine, bad buffets and poky function rooms.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve put together our pick of the best venues in Manchester for your last-minute Christmas parties, with all options covered from a festive lunch or an indulgent dinner, to activity-based parties that won’t leave you feeling short-changed at the end of the day.
Albert Square Chop House
If Father Christmas was having a Christmas do, he’d probably have it here. From fine wine to sumptuous traditional menus, not to mention cosy interiors and an incredibly close proximity to the Manchester Christmas markets in Albert Square, the Albert Square Chop House has plenty to offer for your Christmas celebrations.
Alston Bar & Beef
Tucked underneath the iconic Corn Exchange, Alston Bar & Beef offers plenty of glamour, great gin, and prime cuts of steak. With a prohibition-style bar tucked in the back that’s perfect for private parties, plus intimate, sectioned-off areas ideal for those looking to enjoy an intimate sit-down dinner, this stylish venue has plenty to shout about. The best bit? They regularly infuse their own gins and always have a large selection behind the bar for you to enjoy.
Champions of Manchester’s dirty food revolution, Almost Famous can always be relied on to deliver the sluttiest of Christmas feasts. Home of the famous Christmas burger, the Christmas menu is £22.50 for any burger, fries and cocktail, beer or wine. With two sites in Manchester – a huge venue at the Great Northern Warehouse and the smaller original Northern Quarter site – you might struggle to finish their mountains of food, but you certainly shouldn’t struggle getting a table.
Serving up fine Indian food with a twist, Asha’s offers a stellar fine dining experience – Indian style. The only Indian restaurant in Manchester to be awarded a Michelin plate – head chef Ashwani is a bit of a genius in the kitchen, serving up intelligent, well thought out dishes pairing traditional Indian cuisine with locally sourced, British seasonal ingredients to create something a little bit different.
A Manchester icon with the biggest gin collection in the city by a mile, Atlas Bar was notoriously a favourite hang out of ‘Mr Manchester’ Tony Wilson and has been helping Manchester get its party on for two decades. Sound good? As well as a cracking bar offering, they also have a fully operational kitchen and are dishing up festive feasts over the holiday season – perfect for Christmas revellers on the hunt for a proper Manchester party experience.
Banyan Bar & Kitchen
With an impressive cocktail list – the pistachio espresso martinis are a particular highlight – and plenty of crowd-pleasing favourites on the menu, Banyan offers a snazzy setting for your last minute Christmas do. With two Manchester sites – one in Spinningfields, the other in the Corn Exchange – and Christmas dining options starting from just £18.95, it’s hard to go wrong.
Bill’s on John Dalton street is offering a Christmas menu to suit everyone – with a welcome drink, nibbles and three courses all included in the set price of £27.95. Expect large sharing tables, a friendly atmosphere and all your seasonal favourites.
Fancy doing something a bit different to the traditional sit-down dinner and piss-up? Breakout is the home of Manchester’s original escape rooms and the biggest in the city. With 15 rooms in total, there’s a variety of games on offer to choose from – from their magical Enchanted room to scarier, horror-inspired rooms like the Saw-themed escape room.
Chaophraya has been serving top-notch Thai cuisine for over a decade now. Serving up elegance and flavour in spades, their Christmas party menus feature succulent belly pork marinated in rich spices and aromatic seafood dishes, alongside crowd-pleasing favourites such as Thai Green Curry and beef in traditional black pepper sauce. Starting at £29pp, you can opt to dine in the restaurant or book out one of the restaurant’s luxurious private dining spaces.
If you fancy skipping dinner and going straight for drinks, Cooper Hall is a prime choice. With top-notch cocktails, fresh pilsner straight from the tank, and music in the venue Thursday-Sunday, you can’t go wrong.
For Neapolitan-inspired dining in a relaxed, casual setting, Cibo has you covered. Enjoy their range of authentic Italian G&Ts alongside a range of Mediterranean Christmas party menus – which start at £9.95 for canapes and go up to £28 for full set menus. There’s also a large private space in the basement for those who need to sneak in a big booking last-minute.
Dimitri’s have been serving up authentic Greek cuisine to Manchester for 28 years – making this one of the longest established restaurants in the city. With so many openings and closings going on in the city, it takes something special to stick it out for so long – and always be busy. If you fancy something a little different for your party, we highly recommend checking them out.
Offering high-end Italian dining in a plush setting, Don Giovanni can always be relied on for a good time. An ever-popular destination for celebrations of all shapes and sizes, you can trust you’ll be in safe hands here. With Christmas menus starting from just £28 and live entertainment in the restaurant on weekends, it’s also very good value for money.
Get your coats on and head down to First Street for a spot of ice skating followed by drinks or dinner at one of the many bars and restaurants. Fancy a spot of fine dining? Masterchef finalist Simon Wood’s restaurant is the one. Keen for whiskey, 10p wings, boilermakers and live music? Then off to Bunny Jackson’s with you.
Offering darts for the 21st century, King Street newbie Flight Club offers a variety of darts games in a beautiful setting – plus decent cocktails, beers and nibbles. For a change from the usual, give them a gander.
Great John Street Hotel
Beautiful former Victorian schoolhouse Great John Street Hotel has lots of fantastic-sounding options to choose from for the last minute Christmas party planner. Whether you’re interested in booking a private lunch, getting involved in one of their shared party experiences, or perhaps trying your hand at wreath-making with festive afternoon tea on the side, there’s lots of space and variety on offer here.
Fresh out of administration with some colourful new menus, Gaucho is well-known and loved for its fine Argentinian steaks and extensive wine list. Their festive menu is priced at £48pp and includes three courses and a welcome drink.
Like the Victorian Chop Houses, Hawksmoor is another restaurant that has completely mastered the art of traditional British food. The London brand moved up here in 2015 and has received high praise from locals and visitors alike ever since – even taking home the coveted Best Restaurant award at MFDF in 2016.
Impossible offers last-minute party planners an endless array of options. From the expansive club space in the basement with live performances that get raunchier as the night goes on, to their new Alpine Village in the Great Northern amphitheatre, not to mention their upstairs gin nest and ground floor bar and terrace, the options are limitless.
King Street Townhouse
The beautiful and intimate wine cellar at King Street Townhouse hosts up to 14 people for a sumptuous five course tasting dinner paired with a matching wine flight. You can also opt to have your evening hosted by expert sommelier George Bergier – a Manchester drinks industry legend who this year celebrated 50 years in the business. King Street Townhouse also has a Christmas party menu available upstairs in The Tavern.
New kid on the block Manahatta recently opened on Deansgate with an impressive cocktail offering and downtown-style American grub. Great for a party so grab your colleagues after dinner and head to this glitzy bar to drink the night away in style.
Party venue to the stars, Menagerie is a favourite with Manchester’s glitterati and is a top spot for star-spotting. With an extensive cocktail menu focused around party drinks and a tasty looking set menu on offer for Christmas parties, Menagerie will bring plenty of sparkle to your Christmas do.
Put a Polish twist on your Christmas at Platzki on Deansgate Mews in the Great Northern Warehouse. This authentic Polish eatery has curated a traditional Christmas dinner menu for Manchester’s more adventurous diners. Start with a selection of pierogis, before tucking into a three-course menu featuring classics such as beetroot soup, turkey liver pate and minced poppy seed cake.
Sam’s Chop House
Whether you’re in the market for a drink with Sam’s infamous L.S.Lowry statue or a sit-down traditional Christmas dinner, Sam’s Chop House has you covered. This cosy underground pub couldn’t feel more Christmassy – it’s a charming spot to tuck yourself away during the cold December nights.
When not jam-packed with sports fans watching matches and other events, the Green is also popular as a casual party venue. Its booths transform into indoor golf arenas, giving you and your colleagues the chance to get your Tiger Woods on, If that doesn’t take your fancy, they also have karaoke, Xbox, pool, fussball, and new multi-sports booths where you can have a go at free kicks and taking penalty shots.
From office Christmas drinks to festive catch-ups with friends over cocktails, The Anthologist is a great choice. With a variety of space on offer – large and small – it can accommodate a variety of groups and party styles.
The Living Room
Fitted with chic and stylish interiors, The Living Room is a Manchester party institution. One of the city’s first cocktail bars, there are a surprising number of hidden function rooms dotted around the venue that are perfect for larger last-minute party bookings. Head in for drinks after dinner or opt for a festive afternoon tea and celebrate in style.
indulge in a bit of alfresco dining for your Christmas party and book one of these festive igloos for a dining and drink experience with a difference. If that doesn’t sound up your street, there’s plenty of cosy seating available in the restaurant and bar. With great cocktails, a fab wine list and a passionate French chef who treats marinading meat like a 48-hour marathon, you’ll certainly be spoilt for choice here.
Put a Thai twist on your Christmas celebrations this year at bright and buzzing Spinningfields restaurant Thaikhun. Forget dry turkey and tired sprouts, and tuck into a flavoursome and authentic feast of Thai street food instead. With two courses for £16.95 or three for £19.95, their Christmas party menu is an absolute steal (and will put you in good stead for when it’s your turn to buy a round for everyone in the pub afterwards).
Step into a virtual reality this Christmas at Virtual-Hideout – the latest venture from escape room heroes Breakout. Suitable for teams of 1-4, step into another world and have a good laugh whilst you’re at it!
Whistlepunks Axe Throwing
Get the gang together for a spot of axe throwing and release those pent-up office frustrations on the Whistlepunks targets instead of each other. Not only is it great fun, but it’ll also certainly save your HR an extra headache the morning after.