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Manchester’s Food and Drink Festival Showpiece

Published on October 20th 2005.


On the face of it Villa Espana must have been pleased with their investment in the awards as headline sponsor of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. They had a tent put up in Albert Square for the duration, with Evuna, the up and down Spanish restaurant on Deansgate turning it into a tapas restaurant, the idea being that Villa Espana would have a nice little area to pitch diners into buying a lovely Villa, in Espana of course, having been seduced by the fab Evuna tapas, and typically Spanish atmosphere in the marquee (big tent).

Gordo took Lindsay Cessford in for a quick lunch one day. Looking forward to a nice paella and a few tapas, taking in the Spanish atmosphere. Cleverly, the tent had been pitched on Albert square on its lonesome well away from the hustle and bustle of St. Anne’s Square where the rest of the food producers had pitched camp, force of numbers and variety of events bringing in the crowds over there.

Not many over in Albert Square; this tent reminded Gordo of an old girlfriend. The lady did not put her wares on show, but when she opened her rather plain kimonos, there was some rather fab Agent Provocateur kit underneath. Striding across the square Gordo was eyeing up the rather plain tent, salivating as he went. Golly, there was a bouncer on the door, looking at people in a very menacing manner. This must be special.

As he went through the flap in the door, Gordo’s heart sank. Only baggy white M&S knickers in here. Along with three miserable diners. The budget for this lot must have been less than fifty quid. Tiny round tables, of the cheapest aluminium that you wouldn’t put outside a pub, bizarrely fitting only three of the crappiest aluminium chairs that Palma Airport thirty years ago would have been ashamed to put out. There was no-one greeting people on arrival. In twenty minutes Gordo watched as fifteen people braved the bouncer and walked in, looked around in horror, and walked out.

The menu was A5 sized paper of the quality ordered by Andrew Mullett, Financial Controller of Manchester Confidential, legendary for his tight fistedness. In our offices you have to be quick to proof read your printed matter as the paper may well have decomposed on the journey from printer to desk. This grubby little menu must have been there all week.

Gordo ordered meat balls in tomato sauce (well below average), fried cod (erm, ok-ish) Spanish Omelette (absolutely f*****g horrific). Paella? Certainly sir, there is a thirty to forty minute wait. Sod that. This tent, forlornly squatting in the corner of Albert Square was a complete disgrace. The organisers of what is supposed to be the showcase of what we Mancunians are getting up to food-wise should be made to walk up Deansgate showing their arses, which is exactly what Gordo will do if Villa Espana made any meaningful sales in the corner of that squalid little tent.

Mind you, Villa Espana? Sponsors of The Manchester Food and Drink Festival? Says it all about the organisers of this complete bloody disaster.

Gordo

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Anonymous

Depends on the arse.

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Anonymous

As usual mancon make no reference at all to the Irish Festival again .

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Anonymous

Double whammy of good markets too - Levenshulme have a food and drink only market on Saturday and…

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Anonymous

There are no excuses for arse-kissing.

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