Spinningfields attracts a certain crowd. Set back between banks and busy offices, it’s a location that simply doesn’t appeal to some people.
It conjures images of strappy suits and clean shaven men with beauty regimes that give the girls a run for their money.
If tight dresses and chinos worthy of Hugh Grant himself aren’t your thing, you might never have ventured to the other side of Deansgate. And if you haven’t, you’re missing out on The Refinery Spinningfields.
This plush drinking den has recently spruced up its menu for the run-up to party season. If you’ve not travelled further than The Alchemist on your weekend drinking shenanigans, here’s why you should.
As soon as you step foot inside The Refinery, you’re greeted by a gorgeously glamourous host who shows you to your table and gives you a chance to peruse the menu.
The bar is open and large and the tables are lit by candlelight. The Pinterest-esque décor is plush and easy on the eye. Everything is perfectly laid out and, with its cosy corners and inviting atmosphere, gets a big thumbs up from us.
With the evenings getting darker and colder, nothing hits the spot quite like an afterwork hug in a mug and a warm blanket to wrap up in. “Is that too much to ask?” I hear you say. No, we’ve found just the ticket.
The Refinery‘s outdoor terrace looks as though it’s been ripped straight from the picturesque pages of Drift magazine. It’s filled with cosy seats, fur throws, warm blankets and individual hot water bottles.
They’ve introduced bespoke jumpers for anyone who wants to brave the colder weather and fancies something even more snug.
It’s very a la mode yet welcoming at the same time – which is more than can be said of some of the drinking establishments in the surrounding areas.
Order yourself a hug in a mug, made from milk, cinnamon, runny honey and nutmeg. If you want a sip of childhood, this is it.
The bubbling buttered rum is the next on the list. It’s made from Pampero Aniversario rum, vanilla syrup, ginger, cinnamon and topped with a shot of hot water. In a word, divine.
One of our favourite drinks is the Mull It Over. The red one. This tempting and tantising delight is a hearty mixture of red wine, cranberry juice, orange juice, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar syrup and orange.
It’s everything we love about the up and coming season in a potion that will warm up even the coldest of evenings.
Each drink can be found on the winter warmers list of ravishing hot toddies.
The Prima Materia is the first list of cocktails you’ll come to. Choose from the dark and broody Vignard or the sweet and crisp Cucumber Cooler. The focus here is on the art of cocktail making as a craft, using nothing but the freshest ingredients and turning them into extraordinary elixirs.
The Earl Martini is a quirky mix of Earl Grey-infused Ketel One vodka, Martini Bianco and orange peel. We’d recommend this one all year round. It’s warming in the winter and refreshing in the summer.
If you’re feeling a tad adventurous, order yourself a Bramble Forest. Master mixologist Tommy – something of a craft cocktail pioneer – created this drink with autumn in mind. It’s a quirky blend of Beckett’s gin, sugar syrup, rasberries, blackberries, coriander and lime. It’s served up in a swanky cut crystal tumbler and topped with fresh fruit and a sprig of herb. Just the ticket this time of year.
There’s no shortage of food options to accompany the drinks. Gorgeously fragrant Madras curry served with chicken, or prawn and accompanied with fluffy white rice. Giant couscous, the caviar of the pulse world, tender and nutty served with butternut squash and prickled with harissa. Good and solid beef and ale pie, meaty and melt-in-the-mouth served in a pool of mash and topped with gravy.
There are little treats dotted around the plush venue. Find one of the hidden parrots with little messages, take it to the bar and leave with a beer, a suprise foodie treat or one of the hand-crafted Christmas cocktails.
The Refinery is just the sort of place that makes you want to drink well. They have a simple list of cocktails but it’s executed to perfection – it’s probably the best Friday night out in Manchester.
The decor is divine, the drinks are inventive and the vibe is electric. It’s the sort of place to take an out-of-towner who thinks he’s been and seen everything.
Have you ever walked into a bar, found a parrot and walked out with a top notch whisky sour? Of course you haven’t. Well, here you can.