Manchester’s famous faces flock to West Didsbury for VIP opening of Zaranda


Stars from Coronation Street and Hollyoaks were amongst the guests at the VIP launch of West Didsbury’s latest edition Zaranda at the weekend.

The double-fronted bar opposite the Metropolitan opened its doors to a host of celebs including Coronation Street’s Katie McGlynn, Brooke Vincent, Ali Mardell and Sue Cleaver alongside Hollyoaks cast members Sarah Jayne Dunn and Nicole Barber-Lane.

The Corrie girls were seen having a great time as they got fully involved in the night’s entertainment, letting off giant confetti cannons from behind the DJ booth while Manchester’s favourite female DJ E.M.A  was spinning the decks.

Also attending the opening night were Manchester’s night-time economy advisor Sacha Lord and Heart North West breakfast radio presenter Lorna Bancroft.

The VIP launch went off without a hitch and proved popular with locals and out-of-towners.

Percussionist Rachel Lasham and her instrumental companion Trumpet Fiesta got the party started with their live performances as the packed room of movers and shakers got fully involved in the performances brandishing light-up tambourines.

An African theme was apparent throughout the venue featuring red coloured plastering, deep blues and complimentary copper colours which brought the bar to life, with minimalistic furniture and lighting features keeping it simple yet sophisticated.

The venue has some unique features including a state-of-the-art acoustic ceiling installed by Macclesfield-based Quietstone, ensuring the sound projection is second to none and guests can enjoy the very best sound quality throughout the bar.

To accompany the specialist ceiling is a first-class audio system designed by renowned music promoters Masons, making this new addition to Didsbury’s social scene the top destination for all music lovers.

The tunes at Zaranda will cater to all tastes with live DJs performing at weekends, as well as local musicians providing a mixture of house, dance, jazz, blues and classical and special guest singers during the week.

The venue is aiming to heighten cocktail drinking above any other offering in south Manchester. A specially designed concoction for the occasion, the Sting Like a Bee, was a big hit on the night with its edible sugar paper bee and unique fruity flavours.

“We take our cocktails seriously and are proud of our opening menu,” said bar manager Gary Pearson.

“Not only do we use great winter flavours, we source local products in support of Manchester brands. Our team will be getting involved in creating the spring menu, and I can’t wait to see what we come up with.”

To help shape Zaranda’s aesthetic, owner Mark drafted in the help of design consultant Ruth Walsh who didn’t mince her words when sharing her opinion that nearby venues are all very ‘blokey’.

She’s hoping Zaranda’s no-harassment house policy will make it the first choice for women.

Just 100 yards from Burton Road Metrolink station, Zaranda is perfectly placed to attract guests from Didsbury, Chorlton and, of course, city centre dwellers.

Whether it’s named after an African village famed for its artwork, a girl’s name meaning popularity or a Spanish cocktail-shaking device, Zaranda seems the perfect fit for the music-focused cocktail bar and we can’t wait to go back.

All pics courtesy Elspeth Moore/Zaranda

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