… And we’re so ready to immerse ourselves in all of the wonderful cliches that make the season extra special. From the perfect mug of mulled wine, the some of the most decadently decorated venues in the city, here’s our guide to the most festive bars and restaurants to visit this winter in Manchester.
1. The Oast House
An annual fixture at Christmas, The Oast House’s curious teepee is the perfect festive escape, with tons of live music, wintery hanging kebabs and cold pints to go around. Inside, guests can expect alpine-themed decor, warming fire pits, and plenty of seating to share with friends, as well as a fantastic menu of sharing boards and street-style food to enjoy. The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, M3 3AY.
2. The Ivy
Transforming for the winter into an opulent wonderland, guests can expect a magical carousel theme this year, with plenty of delicious cocktails to try out throughout the season. The brand new installation will stand front and centre at the very front of the restaurant, meaning both customers and passersby can enjoy it, with festive touches indoors by way of food and drink. Expect mince pies, creamy cocktails, Christmas pudding, and a festive twist on their classic chocolate bombe. The Ivy, The Pavilion, Byrom St, M3 3HG.
3. Albert’s Schloss
Albert’s Schloss’ grand, festive entrance has returned, with a helping hand of alpine food and drink to enjoy, too. From haus-baked sourdough and pastries, to Bavarian beers and the cosy, alpine dishes that Albert’s Schloss is already known and loved for, there’s plenty to feast on – alongside schnapps, gluhwein and tons of live music and entertainment. Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, M2 5QR.
4. Bar Hutte
Bar Hütte is back and better than ever, with a whole lot of festive spirit to take in. Whether it’s a bit of karaoke in your own private ‘hutte’ you fancy, or Irish hot chocolates in the cosy bar, there’s a little something for everyone this year – including the pooches! At the new Dog Grotto, pups can chill out in style with a pawsecco, while their hoomans get a little merry in the festive atmosphere with mulled wine and other festive faves. Bar Hutte, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN.
5. 20 Stories
Dialling up the decor a notch for the festive season, 20 Stories has turned itself into Manchester’s very own Black Forest, with tons of cosy, alpine-style touches to the rooftop terrace. Providing panoramic views of the city, guests can enjoy the unique space with specially curated cocktails – all of which are inspired by the wintery months. Guests needn’t worry about feeling the chill, either, thanks to 20 Stories wonderful igloo-style domes that are fully kitted out with warming heaters. 20 Stories, NO. 1, 1 Hardman Square, M3 3EB.
6. The Whiskey Jar
One of our favourite cosy bars in the Northern Quarter, The Whiskey Jar is extra special come Christmastime. Boasting tons of festive decor to amplify its rustic interior, the hidden gem bar is the perfect place to warm up with a whiskey on a cold day, particular on Tuesday’s open mic night. The Whiskey Jar, 14 Tariff St, M1 2FF.
7. Escape to Freight Island
Escape to Freight Island is continuing to dominate this season – but not as you know it. Revamping itself as Winter Island just for the winter season, the popular entertainment and dining complex has so much to offer this Christmas – from brand new foodie spots (including cult fave Northern Soul) to a Christmas tree forest, a brand new ice rink and plenty of live entertainment. Not to mention all the stunning, twinkling lights! Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
Opening just this past spring, Ramona has cemented itself as a Manchester favourite in a very short space of time, and now, they’ve shown just what they can do in the colder months, too. Opening a stunning ‘Winter Village’ earlier this month, guests can retreat to their tipi and warm up by the open campfire, before enjoying Detroit-style pizza, tequila and more-ish hot chocolates. If that wasn’t all, there’ll be plenty of live music to enjoy, too, alongside cool tequila cabins, dance tent and a winter market. Ramona, 40 Swan St, M4 5JG.
9. The Refuge
The Refuge is bringing plenty of Christmas antics to the city this winter, including a lineup of Christmas carol performances, festive markets, and even doggy fancy dress competitions. Kicking off the Christmas season just last week, the popular venue is serving a fantastic menu of festive food and drink (including the classic Christmas turkey dinner), alongside Town Crier visits, choir performances, festive markets and so much more. If that wasn’t all, the decor will be pulling out all the stops, too, with huge trees, twinkling lights and so much more to enjoy. The Refuge, Oxford St, M60 7HA.
10. Miracle on Cross Street
New to town for Christmas 2021, Miracle on Cross Street is Manchester’s most festive bar yet – with not only seriously impressive festive decor, but tons of incredible festive drinks on offer, too. From mulled wine Espresso-ho-ho-ho Martinis, fans won’t be disappointed, particularly when they find out there’s plenty of festive grub on offer, too. Gorge on mince pies while taking in the twinkling decor, before trying out each and every festive-flavoured cocktail on the menu.