Nestled down the side of the grand Kimpton hotel on Manchester’s Oxford Street, The Refuge is a gem of a bar and restaurant. It’s the home of the famous ‘The Glamour of Manchester’ mural that you’re sure to have seen all over Instagram, but as well as that, the building it resides in is dripping with history. Taking its name from its past, the building was formerly used as the home of life insurance and pensions company, Refuge Friend in Deed Life Assurance and Sick Fund Friendly Society – which was founded in 1858. The Refuge building as we know it was completed in 1895, designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse and featuring his characteristic high Victorian finishes that can still be seen throughout the premises now.
Anyway, enough of the history lesson and more of the food. If you didn’t know already, the spot serves up some incredibly tasty meals, with globally influenced dishes created with local ingredients. Run by Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey, the team behind Didsbury’s Volta, the restaurant is also a contender for the best place in Manchester to grab a Sunday roast. We know, it’s a bold statement, and we stand by it.
Serving up this giant masterpiece on a platter, The Refuge offers guests a whopping roast dinner platter with all the trimmings for £39. On the plate you’ll find rump of beef, half a roast chicken and a pork loin with roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, Vimto cabbage, buttered greens, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puds and pan gravy. Yeah, I’m out of breath just listing it all.
The platter is designed for two people with the portions so big, you’ll likely need some stretchy pants to get through it. That’s what Sundays are for, right? Like there wasn’t enough on your plate already (quite literally!), there are even Sunday roast sides available to order, including dishes of roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, and cheesy mash. All sides can be added to your meal or enjoyed as a kind of DIY roast or tapas with three sides available for just £12.
If sharing isn’t your thing, individual roasts are available to order, with a Vegan roast, rump of beef, pork loin and half roast chicken to choose from. The veg is glazed with maple and the greens are cooked in butter – bumping them up from the afterthought of the meal, to a real highlight. Individual roasts cost £17 each and booking is advised to guarantee a table on the day. When you’ve finished your meal, their indoor Winter Garden is on hand to relax with one of their many cocktail options, with beautiful botanical decor and trees bringing the outside in.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester, M60 7HA.