… And we’re so ready to immerse ourselves in all of the wonderful clichés that make the season extra special. From the perfect mug of mulled wine to 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 and Christmas period 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, cold pints and winter warmers in the form of loaded pies to go around. Inside, guests can expect alpine-themed décor, 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, Polar bear-themed wonderland, you’ll find plenty of delicious cocktails to try out throughout the season. An eye-catching installation adorning the grand façade of the restaurant, with illuminated letters, featuring polar bear statues dressed in festive jumpers and hats slogan, meaning both customers and passersby can enjoy it, with festive touches indoors by way of food and drink. Expect a festive take on a shepherd’s pie, cocktails with Monkey 47 gin and a polar bear dessert featuring white chocolate and spiced clementine. 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, hot chocolate, gluhwein and tons of live music and entertainment. Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, M2 5QR.
4. Bar Hütte
Adding to all of the bars in Manchester Bar Hütte is back and better than ever, with a whole lot of festive spirit to take in and another location situated at Kampus. Whether it’s a bit of karaoke in your own private ‘hutte’ you fancy, or festive cocktails in the cosy bar, there’s a little something for everyone this year. Plus, you can get involved in a wreath-making workshop to really feel festive and have your home ready for Christmas. Bar Hutte, Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, M3 4EN | Kampus, Aytoun St, M1 3GL.
5. 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 décor 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.
6. Freight Island
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 foodie spots like Parmageddon and Cocoa Cabana to a Santa’s grotto in the Plant Room and an Alpine ski lodge at The Mezz plus plenty of live entertainment. Not to mention all the stunning, twinkling lights! Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, M1 2PZ.
Opening in Spring 2021, Ramona has cemented itself as one of Manchester’s favourite bars in a very short space of time, and now, they’ve shown just what they can do in the colder months and festive season, too. Opening a stunning ‘Winter Village’ this season, 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. Ramona, 40 Swan St, M4 5JG.
8. The Refuge
The Refuge is bringing plenty of Christmas antics to the city this winter, with a seasonal takeover of its terrace known as Fondue. Expect winter favourites such as a Champagne fondue to share, decadent hot chocolates, hot toddies and lots of fizz. Now open, the new Fondue terrace space is fully heated and covered, so guests can get cosy and enjoy the indulgent food and drink on offer, while soaking up the festive décor, with warm lights and cosy blankets. The Refuge, Oxford St, M60 7HA.
9. Miracle on Cross Street
Back for for Christmas 2022, Miracle on Cross Street is one of the most festive bars in Manchester yet – with not only seriously impressive festive décor, but tons of incredible festive drinks on offer, too. From mulled wine to 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 décor, before trying out each and every festive-flavoured cocktail on the menu.
One of newest festive bars and restaurants to join Manchester for Christmas, is new 50,000 square foot beer hall and warehouse kitchen Diecast. The main factory floor has been given a festive twist alongside the launch of the brand new Diecast Winter Trailer Park and Night Market, festively named Winterhood. Featuring a NYC bodega, karaoke corner shop, hot chocolate and vintage stalls for the winter party season, Winterhood provides all that Christmas market good stuff within the exclusivity of a venue. Diecast, 51 Ducie St, M1 2JQ.