A place renowned for being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and now the fastest growing economy outside of London, Manchester has a lot to offer.

Having lived abroad for many years and spending most of my life moving from place to place, this Northern Powerhouse is the only city I have deemed special enough to finally call ‘home.’ 

I am inundated daily with events and experiences popping up all over the City. I wanted to take the opportunity to share some of the latest and greatest. From the arts, music and educational festivals to restaurant openings, food markets and some seriously out there adventures. 

Making the most of new endeavours, engaging with communities and every once in a while stepping outside your comfort zone. 

Whats new?

It’s been a very food heavy week in the city. The Heart & Parcel Supper Club hosted their largest ever event last Monday. 

If you don’t know who they are, I suggest you look them up right away. Founded by Karolina and Clare, two friends from Levenshulme, they bring women from migrant communities together by making dumplings and helping them develop their English skills. 

Each month they host supper clubs to help raise money for their project, each one showcasing dumplings from different cultures and different cuisines. 

This week it was the turn of Bibi, Monira and Sweety, who cooked up a sensational Bangladeshi feast and even took time away from the kitchen to practice their English with guests. 

Definitely worth signing up to be in the know for future events. They are beginning to sell out faster every week…

Grand Pacific launched in serious style on Thursday, with doors opening to the public the next day and a menu that is worth shouting about. 

A bit on the pricey side, so perhaps a place to save for a special occasion, however the quality of food warrants its high price tag. Standard, service and presentation of the dishes were simply impeccable. The venue itself was last known as Room, and the new fit out is a real treat for the eyes. 

Every corner of the restaurant has been considered, style influences of the exotic intertwined with colonial grandeur. The result, a tropical, old English hideaway in Paradise. Stand out dish so far - the Szechuan sea bass.

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Although Mumtaz Manchester has been open for over six months, rumour has it there are some exciting developments headed their way. 

Immaculate on the inside, serving up their infamous cuisine alongside some brilliant mocktail creations, Mumtaz has kept a pretty low profile within the Manchester food scene but they look like they’re about to make their mark. Watch this space…

Whats happening?

I think its imperative to remind those who may not have noticed the endless social media push notifications and in-your-face advertising over the last few weeks, that this Sunday is in fact Mother’s Day. 

Many restaurants have put together deals and offers for those of you wanting to treat that special someone in your life, the list of afternoon teas have been pretty endless. A few recommendations that have received many mothers’ seal of approval: 

• Floor to ceiling windows offering views stretching out over Manchester, Cloud 23 at the Hilton Hotel is always a treat if you want a location with a bit of x-factor. Be sure to pre-order any specific dietary requirements to make sure you’re not disappointed on the day.

• Fancy something a bit more traditional, Scene restaurant in Spinningfield’s is a place that plays homage to Asian values, not just through cuisine but also with their stylish, fusion interiors.

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• For extra indulgence, Slattery is where you want to be, although if you haven’t booked your table by now you won’t stand a chance for this Sunday! This multi award-winning patissier and chocolatier is worth holding out for though. People wait weeks to secure a table. I would recommend swapping the pot of tea for a hot chocolate, you wont regret it. 

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After months of anticipation the Crystal Maze Manchester experience has finally arrived at Old Granada Studios. 

If you were lucky enough to secure the preview tickets, tester sessions have begun ready for the official launch in April. 

There are 26 new games, 4 zones and of course the grand finale in the Crystal Dome. According to past reviews, it’s not exactly like Richard O’Brien’s TV show, but it comes pretty close! 

One you may not have heard of, Home on First street has played host to this year’s SICK festival. 

A festival dedicated to the physical, mental and social challenges of life. It brings together international artists who have curated works with perspectives from health professionals, charities and most importantly real life experiences.

It’s now in its final week and offers a mixture of free and ticketed events addressing the issues of health and well-being. 

Whats coming up?

Now that we’re finally putting winter behind us, the lineup of upcoming events gets longer by the day. Festivals, parades, new experiences… there’s plenty to keep busy with in the big City. 

Manchester International Festival (MIF) recently launched their full lineup, with some shows selling out within minutes. Alongside the event list, they also opened up their applications for volunteers, not just for helping out within the festival but to also be included in some of the shows. 

There is even an opportunity to host your own micro-festival in your home. The organisers are inviting the public to pitch ideas for a more intimate event which embraces the adventurous spirit of MIF. Chosen ideas will be provided funding, with the principal goal centred around bringing communities and neighbours together. 

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Sticking with the creative theme, Dave Draws, a Manchester-based artist, recently released a new date for his doodle masterclass. 

Set amidst the relaxing ambience of the Blackfriars Lounge at the Renaissance Hotel, Dave helps you to create your own doodle masterpiece whilst enjoying canapés and a complimentary drink. 

A perfect chance to unwind, take part in an alternative experiences and of course meet the man himself  - no artistic experience necessary! 

Dare to Disrupt, the TEDx event from the University of Manchester is this weekend, and they have brought together a diverse range of speakers from different disciplines and professions to share their thoughts and expertise in a way that will inspire the audience to go beyond and challenge the norm. 

If you have yet to try out a TEDx experience, I suggest you buy a ticket as soon as possible and prepare to indulge in a full day of deep thought and contemplation, of the enjoyable kind. 


This weeks recommended links:

Heart and Parcel Supper Club

Grand Pacific Manchester

Mumtaz Manchester

Cloud23 Afternoon Tea

Scene Dining


The Crystal Maze

SICK festival

Manchester International Festival

TEDxUniversityOfManchester Dare to Disrupt

Dave Draws Doodle masterclass


Asma Younus  is a travel, food & lifestyle blogger. For more check out www.jetsetchick.com