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Botanist Bar Deansgate Opens And The Longest Hotel Corridors In Europe

Sleuth Wk 30: champagne, faith, views, views and views

Published on July 18th 2014.

Botanist Bar Deansgate Opens And The Longest Hotel Corridors In Europe

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Botanist Explores Deansgate

Sleuth learns The Botanist is to open in the first week of August on Deansgate. This is part of the New World Trading Company which is part of Living Ventures. There are others in Leeds and Alderley Edge. It will feature a deli, rotisserie and BBQ plus cocktails, craft beers and ales, Champagne and wine with live music will be available every night too. For one member of Living Ventures this will be a home-coming. One of the main bosses, Tim Bacon, cut his catering teeth on the site when it was called JW Johnsons back in the eighties and nineties. We'll be in like a shot to review when it opens. 

Longest Corridors

Sleuth was at Macdonald Hotel on Wednesday. Whilst enjoying the magnificent steaks, one of which is pictured above, the gorgeous sweep of the 1972 ex-Telecom building was discussed. "It's the sort of building where you expect Sean Connery in his Bond years to be taking a vodka martini at the bar. It has late sixties-early seventies jetset appeal," said Sleuth. Paul Bayliss the manager agreed and then said, "And it has something else as well. This hotel has the longest hotel corridors in Europe." Sleuth loves a good Manchester fact. 

The long sexy sixties sweep of the Macdonalds Hotel indicates length of the corridors

The long sexy sixties sweep of the Macdonalds Hotel indicates length of the corridors

Views To Make You Weep

By the way the views from the roof of the Macdonald Hotel are some of the best in the city. 

Sunset over Manchester from atop the MacDonalds Hotel

Sunset over Manchester from atop the MacDonalds Hotel

Landmark Building Disappears

Speaking of buildings Sleuth looked up on Thursday and wondered where does the Civil Justice Centre finish and the sky begin.

Civil Justice Centre - where

Civil Justice Centre - where?

Cloud Spears Landmark Building

Speaking of the sky, Sleuth was in Castlefield and saw a cloud spear Beetham Tower. 

Cloud spears Beetham

Cloud spears Beetham

Corn Exchange Yard Sale: Everything’s A Tenner

The Corn Exchange is being transformed to house thirteen restaurants and a boutique hotel. So they're selling everything in the place off. Everything - including the central steel pod, which once housed Caffé Nero. The sale is at 9am on Saturday 19 July and everything is fixed with a £10 price tag. The only catch is that all items purchased must be taken away either on the day of purchase (or with prior arrangement for bigger ticket items) at the buyer’s expense. There's everything on offer including the kitchen sink - there are six back wash sinks listed to be exact - right down to picture frames, mirrors and beanbags. This one-day event will also raise money for Forever Manchester with a donation made for each sale. So if you feel your life is missing a steel pod ten metres high by ten metres it's yours for a tenner. Sleuth wouldn't have it for a £1. Then again the scrap value alone...

The worse design feature in a Manchester building ever


The worst design feature in a Manchester building ever

The Problem For The Corn Exchange

Sleuth reckons the big refurb of the Corn Exchange has a problem. All the big names Hawksmoor, Iberica are coming to join the Manchester party but opting for the Spinningfields area. There might be nothing left for the Corn Exchange especially as Sleuth hears Iberica were targeted as an anchor tenant.


Some good news for the Corn Exchange though. During the refurb Pan Asian restaurant Tampopo (also in Albert's Square), now going for 17 years, will be chucking up a pop-up on Exchange Square. There'll be room for 35 bottoms and an integrated kitchen serving 'a short and sweet selection of their most popular Pan Asian dishes', a bar and a takeaway. Not bad for a paintballing shed.Tam-Pop-Up


Extreme Britishness

Sleuth had a drink in The Wharf pub in Castlefield on Thursday. People coming in from the outdoor area for a drink instead of lining up at the bar were queuing. Very polite. Very British. Very slow. Suddenly one of the bar staff cracked. "Come on everybody, this isn't the post office," he shouted. The queue broke and normal service was resumed. Everybody breathed a sigh of relief.

Queue in The Wharf

Queue in The Wharf

British Bulldog Spirit

Sleuth went down to the chip pan fire in Albert's Shed for a chat with James Ramsbottom, the owner. This is the story. Albert's Shed adjoins his other business in Castlefield, Dukes 92. "We'll try and open Dukes 92 later in the day," said James. "Although the beer might be a bit warm," quipped a member of staff. That's how to face down adversity thought Sleuth, laugh it away.  

James Ramsbottom on the day of the fire

James Ramsbottom on the day of the fir

MEN Ask For Help

The editor took some pictures of the fire at Albert's Shed and tweeted them. The MEN Newsdesk tweeted him: 'Hi, we're just getting a story together on this. Are we able to use this picture please? We'll credit you.' The editor pointed out that he was the editor of a rival media organ in Manchester but yes they could use a picture as long as they credited the picture www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk. The MEN didn't use the picture. 

More Fires Made Of Italian Beer

There's a Birra Moretti promo event down at Old Granada Studios this weekend. The press launch was on Thursday and three Confidential boys drank all the beer they could find. They'd wanted to bolster their booze with some pizzas from the wood-fired pizza oven. Unfortunately the organisers had put the pizza oven with its wood fire high on five wooden pallets. The wooden pallets decided to join in and caught fire. Fire extinguishers and lots of rushing around. So no pizzas but more beer. Hurrah.

Some More Long Corridors

After our longest corridor in a hotel story the Birra Moretti event broke the longest walk to the loos record. 

Longest loo walk ever

Longest loo walk ever

Festival Pie With Oysters

Pie for the FestivalPie for the FestivalSo Sleuth and Gordo went to Prestwich for the launch of the Manchester Food And Drink Festival Pie. Mary-Ellen McTague of Aumbry Restaurant had created a beef and oyster pie using festival sponsors Thwaites' Big Ben craft beer. 

The pie was delicious but very very small. Gordo looked devastated. 

Anyway here's the recipe if you want it.


Suet pastry

250g suet

500g self raising flour

12g salt

300g ice cold water


1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl

2. Slowly add water & bring together to form a dough, taking care not to overwork.

3. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest for at least 2 hours

4. Roll suet pastry out to approx. 3mm thickness

5. Wrap in clingfilm & leave to rest again for an hour

6. Butter pudding moulds then line with pastry

7. Cut out lids and set all aside in fridge


Beef & beer gravy

200g good beef gravy

1 bottle Thwaites Big Ben, reduced to 1/3 original volume


Per pudding:

15g shredded braised beef

1 oyster

10g beer & beef gravy

Pinch tarragon



1. Mix the braised beef, gravy and tarragon together

2. Shuck and clean the oyster

3. Place a spoonful of the beef mix, then the oyster, then another spoonful of beef mix into the pudding

4. Place lid on top and crimp edges to seal

5. Place in the freezer overnight to freeze fully

6. Cook in simmering water for 22 minutes then serve with more gravy and buttered greens


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

AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

The MacDonald hotel is a beautiful building proving that not all 1960s building were bad. It's a shame that the building on Piccadilly Station approach (is it the same architect?) isn't turned into a hotel too.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

Gateway house is a listed building [sadly]. I remember seeing the MacDonald Hotel building when I was a kid in the seventies. When the flyover next to it was a large roundabout even. The building was empty for well over ten years from new before BT occupied it.

AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

It's come to something when the city's regional paper can't send their own reporter to a story happening inside the ring road...

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Sharyn CaseJuly 18th 2014.

That would mean actually doing some work which they arent too keen on, if you follow their Twitter account its the same articles regurgitated or they just wait for someone to tweet a story

AnonymousJuly 18th 2014.

It's come to something too, when more & more "Manchester stories" seem to be appearing on the Daily Mail website "well before" the MEN one?

Calum McGJuly 18th 2014.

Talking of the Beetham Tower... with the current building work, they seem to be bolting all the windows in with nasty-looking metal clips. Does anyone know if these are temporary or permanent? They look goddamn awful!

LesleyJuly 18th 2014.

Hate to say this Sleuth but think you spelt "worst" wrong in relation to caption under photo of Corn Exchange. My husband told me not to let you know but..........

3 Responses: Reply To This...
SleuthJuly 19th 2014.

The worst should have happened...

Barry MaginnJuly 19th 2014.

And I think an 'e' is missing in the caption for the James Ramsbottom image.

SleuthJuly 21st 2014.

Shoot the subeditor

Andrew JonesJuly 18th 2014.

Quite like the Nero metal sphere of doom...

Henry VJuly 19th 2014.

Can someone give that Beef and pudding that recipe for pudding? They serve the worst in the North West.

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