“This is Manchester, we do things differently here.” - Tony Wilson
Since its launch last year, Menagerie has become a firm favourite with Manchester's celebrity crowd. Partly owned by Cheshire Housewives stars, Seema and Stacey, the exotic interior of the bar/restaurant is a definite talking point.
Menagerie combines gastronomy with art/theatre and aims to take your dining experience to the next level.
Based on the edge of Spinningfields, the £1.5m development boasts a happy hour chandelier; a light fitting by day but at night dancers hang overhead to pour Champagne for guests.
As you arrive you are met with a huge ornamental bird cage and a flock of white paper cranes suspended from the ceiling.
menagerie: noun - 1. A collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition.
The gold leaf bar holds a sculpture resembling the Greek god Hermes. The walls are covered in ornate decor and neon light installations. There is even a bathtub which can be filled with Champagne.
The restaurant area is big. Boasting 250 covers, it features a catwalk which runs through the centre of the room for performers to entertain diners and to host fashion shows and theatre performances.
The venture has been so successful there's talk of it expanding into other northern cities and possibly even Dubai.
The beauty of Menagerie is it doesn't take itself seriously. Everything is tongue in cheek and fantastically over the top, yet it still manages to keep the feel of glamour.
The cocktail menu is quirky with names like "Jealous or Crazy" and "Mine Tastes Better Than Yours", which features a (fake) burning £20 note as a side garnish.
It's a fun place to enjoy brunch, dinner or an evening drink. I love it!
The first time I visited was a few weeks ago for a hangover brunch. The friendly staff noticed that my friend was particularly struggling and suggested a Bloody Mary. She started to come back to life within a few sips.
The food hit the spot perfectly and we decided to return again today for a charity event.
Following the horrific events in Manchester on 22nd May, Menagerie hosted a fundraising event, with all proceeds going to the official We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
There was live entertainment, a fashion show, auctions and raffles, along with the occasional celeb or two.
Thank you Menagerie. It was a fantastic night to raise money for an even better cause.