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Pies, olives and chefs are all over us

Manchester Food and Drink Festival Market hits St Ann’s full in the cobbles

Published on September 30th 2009.

Pies, olives and chefs are all over us

It’s not a food market in the city centre until you can smell the Savin Hill farm stall or behold the smiling countenance of Michelle Partington, meat woman extraordinaire. This is where vast queues of shoppers and workers drool in longing as the enticing smell of rare breed meats waft amongst them.

In addition and to add a frisson of extra delight there’s a bunch of chefs getting their hands dirty. Thus for the duration of the Food and Drink Festival a large marquee at the church end of the market will house a host of chefs giving demonstrations including Michael Caines, Harry Yeung, Robert Owen Brown and Aiden Byrne.

Savin Hill is part of the special Manchester Food and Drink Festival Market in St Ann’s Square, of course, alongside loads of stalls providing bread, cheese, juices, jams, sweets, homemade liquorice, fudge, toffee, soups,sloe and blackberry gin, strawberry vodka and this, that and the other. Indeed a wide-ranging and sumptuous menu, straight from farms and restaurants throughout the North West of England.

There’s even a stall with no name that sells moist lush olives. Very intriguing, although the way the Confidential office gobbled handfuls down when a consignment was delivered back to MediaCentral in Quay House hints that the lack of a moniker makes no difference to their deliciousness.

The olives also show that although the grub and drink might be from here it may not have its origins here. Thus that quirky restaurant off Albert Square, Leonis Latin Cellar will be offering a fusion of Latin American, Spanish and Italian flavours. There’s also Turkish, Indian and Greek food in evidence.

In addition and to add a frisson of extra delight there’s a bunch of chefs getting their hands dirty. Thus for the duration of the Food and Drink Festival a large marquee at the church end of the market will house a host of chefs giving demonstrations including Michael Caines, Harry Yeung, Robert Owen Brown and Aiden Byrne.

Time to put on weight and forget the BMI index. It’s all rubbish any way. Bring us pies.

St Ann’s Square Fine Food market will be around from Wednesday 30 September until Sunday 11 October, open daily 10am to 6pm.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ancoats girlSeptember 30th 2009.

It's always the same stalls - and they're expensive! Manchester needs a better, permanent covered market a la Borough Market in London.

radiojaneySeptember 30th 2009.

M30you can get good quality fresh fruit from a couple of stalls on Church street and the prices are good too.its only across the road outside of the ARndale market..opposite the new Co-OpGresyou are probably right about mindset..but the tram is £3.50 and its wobbles like crazy from side to side im surprised it hasnt come of the tracks by now

M30September 30th 2009.

The Arndale Market? The one Greengrocers, Strawberry Garden is an absolute disgrace. They sell produce which if it hasn't already gone off, is on the turn. I've lost count of the amount of fruit and veg I have bought from there that has been substandard. That is sadly the only place to get fresh fruit and veg in the city in a non Supermarket location. When I lived in town in the late 90s and early noughties, there were stalls running all the way down Church Street from Tib Street to the Coliseum - why were they taken away?! Bury Market is fantastic, and every bit as good as its soundalike in London, but a bit of a schlep from Salford, where there's sadly no markets around any more. Viva La Flat Iron.

ChickSeptember 30th 2009.

It's the same with the 'Christmas' markets. The same old stalls, year after year, selling the same old tat. Why can't Manchester City Council focus on a local market, for local producers and businesses? If you want to visit a German Christmas market, go to Germany. Every year the prices go up and for some strange reason, there's always a stall selling bottle openers???

AnonymousSeptember 30th 2009.

Manchester's actually got quite a few. Anybody been to the Arndale Market recently?? Has an amazing selection of food. Especially fish and meat. There's also the Real Food Market in Piccadilly Gardens thats got local farmers and producers. On every other weekend. Plus all of the markets all around places like Wythenshawe, Gorton, Harpurhey, Longsight. There's also a wholesale market just off ashton old road. You've got to go really early in the morning but its amazing. Who needs London??

radiojaneySeptember 30th 2009.

Oh and the Demonstration tent is just a fraction of the size of last years in Spinningfields But i bet it will be packed being in St Anns while last years was always pretty much empty down in spinningfields Oh the Irony !!

radiojaneySeptember 30th 2009.

ancoats girlI totally totally agree XManchester really is lacking a good food market. I went to Bury for the first time last week Wow!!Why havent Manchester got this ?? Is it because they are considered too working class and dont fit in with the councils Image for Manchester ?After living in London for a Year I really miss the markets Camden, Columbia Road, Portobella, Borough market all fantastic Although Borough is a bit pricey and basically you couldnt do a weekly shop ther BUT it was great for special purcahses ..A bit of Kangaroo Bison or an Ostrich Burger!!Yes the Market in St Anns is the same same stalls Ok for tourists but for locals its just boringI suggets the flat Iron Market on chapel street should make a return and it could be extended to across the road under the railway bridges (just like Borough Market) on Gravel Lane..There is hardly any traffic there and it can be redirected along Victoria Street.

GresSeptember 30th 2009.

RadioJaney & Ancoats girl, Manchester does have one and as you said, it's in Bury. You would catch the tube to Camden/Portobello etc, so just catch tram- it's just mindset. Not having a do or 'owt and surely we could accommodate one in the city centre too. Infact isn't one planned for where Church St. multi-storey is when it's finally demolished & rebuilt?

Christopher ChorleySeptember 30th 2009.

Great point Gres. Just because Bury isn't 'Manchester' doesn't mean it's not close.There's loads of places to by fresh fruit and veg. Most suburbs have greengrocers. What about Rusholme for example? It's full of fruit and veg stores.There's plenty of Market's around to add to the ones Anon mentioned: Ashton, Urmston, Smithfield, chorlton precinct too etcBest place I think for fresh fruit and veg though is Bolton Market. Half the price compared to places like Arndale Fruit and Veg and the selection is huge. A return train is also cheaper than the tram to Bury and is probably a little quicker.

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