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On The 7th, MediaCity, Reviewed

Lynda Moyo isn’t quite in seventh heaven, but give her a lanyard and Tom Jones and she might just be there

Written by . Published on June 27th 2013.


On The 7th, MediaCity, Reviewed

PRIVATE members clubs tend to fall into two categories, the wanky and the swanky. Ultimately though, it comes down to the clientele who frequent them, as to how they eventually become labelled.

With the arrival of MediaCity and with it, the relocation of 2,300 BBC staff, there was never a better time to reinvent the private members club. 

Here in Manchester, the two best known private members clubs are, perhaps, The Press Club on Queen Street and The Circle Club in Barton Arcade.

Both claim to be venues for creatives working in the media or, as the 143-year-old Press Club puts it, ‘originally intended as a drinking establishment for late-finishing journalists’, hence its 6am curfew.

It all sounds very old school Don Draper-esque and with such a wide selection of wonderfully atmospheric city centre bars these days, it’s a wonder why they still exist.

Some even argue these so-called private members clubs have lost their edge and exclusivity. The Press Club for example recently opened their ‘late-finishing journalists’ membership to employees of BUPA and the NHS. And as private clubs go, or indeed any club, glamorous it is not.

But with the arrival of MediaCity and with it, the relocation of 2,300 BBC staff, there was never a better time to reinvent the private members club. With direct links to MediaCityUK a screening room, event space and bar complete with cocktail and food menu, On The 7th is the new school cool.

Like a corporate speakeasy, On The 7th isn’t very easy to spot. The mysterious entrance actually leads you to a desk where you’re then directed through doors to a lift and up to the seventh floor. Take a wrong turn and you may end up on Jeremy Kyle’s couch - the building has all sorts going on.

Entrance to On The 7thEntrance to On The 7th

Once up there, another desk awaits and this time there’s a curious MI5 looking thumb scanner to sign yourself in. With no one at the desk on our arrival, there really was nothing to stop non-members waltzing in. Nevertheless, once inside, there is an air of exclusivity about the place, until you realise everyone else is wearing lanyards and you’re not.



That’s because most members seem to be from the Beeb where lanyards with elaborate job titles are of course part of the uniform.

Even as a non-Beeb though, it was easy to feel at home.

On The 7th is part of the Eclectic Hotels group who are also responsible for The Great John Street Hotel, Didsbury House and Eleven Didsbury Park hotels. While On The 7th isn’t a hotel, it certainly has the whole boutique hotel lobby vibe going on with its low lit faux oldie-worldie furnishings and impressive window views.

While it may look the part, on a practical note we did immediately wonder how easy it would be to navigate a knife and fork around a plate on a knee-high wooden table while sat on an executive chair.

As a matter of fact the lamb burger (£11) and a bubble and squeak artisan pie (£8.50), both served with fries and salad, came on wooden slabs rather than plates making it even more fiddly, but both tasted great. The lamb burger may not look as fancy as others but it was crisp and juicy. The pie, which was the only one of four pies available due to the fact “we’re changing the menu” was also top notch. None of this Holland’s rubbish, but deep filled and bursting with coconut and mustard flavour.

Lamb burger at On The 7thLamb burger at On The 7th

The only downside was the accompanying fries which were over-salted to the point where we resorted to vinegar to try and drown it out. What worked better as a salt dilution however, was the drinks of which the menu is vast and varied.

Despite not drinking alcohol on that particular night, the non-alcoholic apple mojito (£4) gave a good insight into their mixological style.

Cocktails are definitely the in thing here with a menu of 20 or more. Plus anyone who can make fizzy apple juice into the stuff sipped on a Sandals' holiday definitely deserves recognition. If you’re after draft beer, Estrella at £4.20 a pint is all they have on offer, much to the eye roll of my guest. 

It's all worldy bottled beers from Asahi (£3.70) to Innis & Gunn Original (£4.50). Add to that the worst attempt at a Manchester tart I’ve ever seen with sickly sweet custard that hadn’t set making its great escape from rock hard pastry like a weeping wound, and we both agreed that in spite of excellent mains there were still things to be worked on here. 

Inside the bubble & squeak pie at On The 7th

Inside the bubble & squeak pie at On The 7th

But then again, there’s so much more to this place than just food.

While we didn’t get to see any famous faces sadly, rumour has it The Voice judge Tom Jones has nipped in for a quick half after filming.

There's also that private screening room that can be hired by members plus conference rooms. We also noticed a few very neat looking private snugs with their own wide screen TVs that had been bagsied by a big group of Beebers.

Members can  get involved with all sorts of events hosted in On The 7th too, recently including a fashion sale and chocolate making party. They should certainly make more of these extras because when MediaCityUK gains a few more independent bars and quality restaurants where entry is free, they’ll need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Manchester tart gone gooey at On The 7thManchester tart gone gooey at On The 7th

As the website says: ‘The philosophy is to create a destination that not only fulfils the basic need to refuel but is somewhere to relax, work, socialise and entertain, a destination to impress surrounded by like minded souls and ultimately a place that has a feeling of ownership by the members.’

On The 7th is certainly doing all it can to live up to its mission statement and after a few menu tweaks, more special events and membership offers, it will continue to draw in the media rich community which surrounds it.

It could potentially become the social key to the Quays. At least for now.

Follow Lynda on Twitter @lyndamoyo

Annual membership at On The 7th costs £120 and can be paid in quarterly instalments of £35. For more information, please visit eclectichotels.co.uk/on-the-7th/

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE.  

On The 7th, 7th floor, The Landing, Blue Tower, MediaCityUK, salford, M50 2ST

Rating: 14/20

Food: 3/5
Drink: 4/5 
Service: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away

 

A would-be Don Draper?A would-be Don Draper?

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

StephJune 26th 2013.

Bubble and squeek doesn't belong in a pie.

IanJune 27th 2013.

£10 a month for that?

1 Response: Reply To This...
GordoJune 29th 2013.

Oh god Ian, the price of everything and the value of F*** all. You are such a pain. But we love. Did you try The Monkey out for cheap pints by the way? I think the demographic in there would suit you as well.

Justin MooreJune 27th 2013.

It closes on a Sunday - and members have recently received an email saying they're closing most weekends! It's a bit over rated to say the least. It normally shuts over Bank Holidays too. :( However, I do like the cocktails and the atmosphere can be good when there are other people in it. But mainly it's quiet and a bit bare. I have been to a couple of networking events there - the cinema room has a pop-corn machine which is fun when watching a movie/presentation - comfy seats too! I saw Ben Elton there recently - but that's all so far! We normally go for drinks at Damson now.

AnonymousJune 27th 2013.

Doesn't open weekends, and full of people wearing their work lanyards when not actually in work. For that reason, i'm out.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Big Boy BoydJune 29th 2013.

I bet they're crapping themselves...

AnonymousJune 29th 2013.

Hahahahah

AnonymousJune 27th 2013.

Nowhere in Salford should you have to pay more than £3.70 a pint. I hope it does well but likely to find it tough unless it starts subsidising. A lot of members clubs in London offer discounts on drunks etc Dock Bar is better choice before people head to central Manchester. The pints are actually cheaper at the Alchemist in Spinningfields!

AnonymousJune 27th 2013.

Of course you could've eaten your dinner in the dining room instead of your 'executive chair'! *eyeroll*

AnonymousJune 27th 2013.

This kind of misses the point. As a (non BBC) media person, I use it as a handy place to have a meeting, grab a coffee, do some work, between business in that part of town. I've used the screening room on occasion, too. Your terrible pictures don't really do the place a justice! And BBC lanyards don't have job titles on, elaborate or not, so that's pure fantasy.

AnonymousJune 27th 2013.

As most BBC staff didn't want to come to Salford in the first place I suppose a private club is a good way to make sure they don't mix with the locals in the pubs and clubs etc.

AnonymousJune 28th 2013.

BBC lanyards don't have job titles on.

BBDJune 29th 2013.

Media City is new, and therefore needs to settle down a bit. This place is a good addition, run by the excellent Eclectic Hotel group. DuriNg the week it's pretty busy, at the weekend, obviously everyone goes home, so it's quiet. It will be for a year or two.mAs was Spinningfields. Give Media City time, it is going to sing. Great Lamb Burgers here by the way.

GeorgeJune 29th 2013.

Majority of Private Members Clubs, being it in England or abroad close at weekend, as it was pointed members mostly business persons spend weekends outside the city...Manchester has other two clubs The St. James's Club, established in 1825 ( the oldest Private Members' Club in the country outside London!!!) and The Racquets Club.

TamaraFebruary 25th 2014.

I have to say it was really bad for the following reason. We booked a table for 2, via bookatable, for Saturday afternoon tea, but when we actually got there there, the security did not let us even to get in the building because apparently there was no staff. Either On The 7th forgot they have a business and should not take bookings if there is no staff, or they are so bad at customer service could not be bothered to brief the security. Disappointing but hopefully they will improve.

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