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Swish New Terrace At Zouk

The plush place to go for outdoor dining or an all-weather smoke

Published on December 23rd 2014.


Swish New Terrace At Zouk
 

Promotion

LOVE a smoke or a sheesha but don’t enjoy the shivery temperatures you usually endure at this time of year? Check out Zouk’s luxurious new outside terrace. It re-opened last week after a £200,000 transformation into an enticing all-weather area that feels more indoor than out.

The overall effect is a secluded, stylish, heated garden with lots of greenery and natural materials

The new terrace has a retractable roof and screens of bamboo and grasses that keep the cold out, while still giving you the perfect outdoor space to enjoy a hot tea, a bite to eat or an authentic sheesha. There’s also lots of outdoor heaters for extra cosiness (and when it’s full, the body heat keeps things toasty too).

Inside Terrace Full LengthInside Terrace

The whole terrace is clad in compressed bamboo with new tables, LED lighting, new decking, fabulous glazing all around, and a new roof.  The layout has been redesigned with small booths suitable for couples or small group of friends or larger raised booth areas for bigger parties.

The overall effect is a secluded, stylish, heated garden with lots of greenery and natural materials. There’s even a tree growing out of the decking.

It’s available for private hire – you can book the whole space, a small private booth or a larger booth. In summer, it’ll be ideal for drinks receptions, a sheesha and cocktail party, or outdoor dining.

Sheesha Booth 2Sheesha Booth

Zouk think it must be one of the best outside spaces in the city, and judging by the numbers it’s already attracting, sheesha fans think so too. It’s had some very busy nights even though it’s only been open a week.

Their new Iranian sheesha specialist, Sammy, who blends the tobacco and prepares your pipes, is proving popular as well. He uses the finest quality authentic tobacco in the Egyptian sheeshas, with flavours including apple, grape, watermelon, mint, orange, strawberry, pomegranate, kiwi and lemon (all £12).

Zouk also offers the unique Blue Mist Sheesha (£15). This one has a very individual, fruity flavour that’s best described as a little bit like Red Bull. And for the ultimate exotic sheesha experience, try their Pineapple Fresh Fruit Head Sheesha (£20). With this, you inhale smoke through a pineapple so every puff is infused with extra fruitiness.

SheeshaSheesha

The terrace is a multi-functional space not only used for sheesha but also perfect as a cocktail spot with the option for a rain-free, cold-free cigarette. Some people are even having a sit down meal out there – in December. Proof if it’s needed that this is one outdoor area you can enjoy whatever the weather.

Sheesha pipes at Zouk cost £12 and are typically shared by two, three or four people. Zouk is on Chester Street, just off Oxford Road.

Not tried Sheesha before? Confidential went to Zouk earlier in the year to blow some bubbles – here’s what you can expect:

Confidential goes for a sneaky lunch time smoke

Two of the Confidential team, Mickey and L'Oréal, are sheesha regulars so they took care of the tobacco selection, ordering Double Apple and an Orange and Mint mix. The waiter prepared the water pipes then handed each of us a disposable mouthpiece, putting any hygiene worries to rest.

There's a sense of ritual about sheesha, from the mixing of the tobacco, to the preparation of the ornate hookahs with their burning coals, to the inhalation, which is done cigar-style into the mouth rather than cigarette-style into the lungs.

That slow breathe in, the water bubbling beneath, was soothing. And the taste of flavoured tobacco was much more pleasant than a Marlborough Light. Simultaneously clean and smoky, cool and warm, relaxing and stimulating, the appeal was becoming obvious.

This was a lunchtime session with colleagues but you're more likely to go for sheesha in the evening with friends. L'Oréal explained that the smoky, fruit-scented haze feels romantic at night, and the act of passing the pipes between you is sociable and intimate.

L'Oréal and Mickey recommend ordering a mint tea or hot chocolate with your sheesha, but not alcohol (you'll be so light-headed you'll float away). They praised the quality of the tobacco at Zouk - the Al Fakher brand used here is considered one of the smoothest around. And they pointed out that Zouk is, they think, the only sheesha place in Manchester city centre.

The new Zouk terrace is open now with sheesha available daily from noon to midnight.

CocktailsCocktails

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