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SLEUTH: Dockyard Bar For Spinningfields | 7 New Restaurants | Trafford Centre Love | Sexy Spuds

Sleuth Wk 46: Drink, Breezeblock, Love, Pride, Potatoes

Written by . Published on November 7th 2014.

SLEUTH: Dockyard Bar For Spinningfields | 7 New Restaurants | Trafford Centre Love | Sexy Spuds

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

The Dockyard In Spinningfields

So in January the current Manchester Food and Drink Festival pub of the year, The Dockyard at MediaCityUK (main image above), will like an amoeba resort to binary fusion, split itself, get on a barge and float down to Spinningfields where it will raise the old, cold, dead corpse of Cafe Rouge (Cafe Rouge, by the way, is French for pastiche). Sleuth is pleased. The Dockyard at MediaCityUK has revitalised a get-in get-out Quays development by giving Beeb people a place to linger and chat and flirt before scooting home. It will be interesting to see if The Dockyard can prove as attractive in the city centre. Sleuth reckons it'll be just fine and Spinningfields will be all the better for it.

Dockyard, MediaCityUkDockyard, MediaCityUk

Cafe Rouge to turn DockyardCafe Rouge to turn Dockyard

Dockyards Spinningfields sketchDockyards Spinningfields sketch

Room And Snails And Just The Fact Of Grandeur

Sleuth loves snails. To eat. Slugs he can't stand, slimy shell-less idiots, but escargots are little loves. So Sleuth is prepared to fall in love with Room Restaurant all over again because it's doing snails, oh, and not least because its 1871 Gothic dining room is simply one of the best historic dining spaces in the North West. It's grand. Makes you feel heroic. As does the cooking of ex-Grosvenor Hotel, Chester, chef, and new Room chef, John Retallik. The 'corned oxtail, snails, parsley and liquid ravioli' sounds just grand, as was this 'scallops, pigs trotter, white pudding and Earl Grey infused raisons'. 

Scallops. pigs trotters and the rest

Scallops. pigs trotters and the rest

Grand RoomGrand Room

Corn Exchange - Give 'Em A Chance Eh?

Since the IRA bomb gave it a good hiding in 1996, the Corn Exchange has had a sorry old time. Reopened as 'The Triangle' shopping centre in 2000, the building had a dismal stint in retail. So Sleuth was pleased this week to join a colleague for a walk-around the developing Corn Exchange, this building has deserved more for two decades and a £30m 'all food' renovation from owners Aviva should have it looking spick and span again. There's currently up to 100 workers on site beavering away to get the place ready for a June 2015 opening.

During the tour developers revealed the twelve restaurants that have already snapped up two to three storey units in the all new Corn Exchange, these included seven new names for Manchester (revealed here). Ok, ok a good number are chain'ish and some not terribly exciting, but Sleuth is going to reserve all judgement until summer 2015 and thinks you should too. Give 'em a chance. Chain or not, Sleuth has heard good things about London-operators Wahaca and Pho, and is looking forward to seeing Individual Restaurants (Piccolino, RBG, Zinc) release a brand new concept on Manchester.

Developing Corn ExchangeDeveloping Corn Exchange

Trafford Centre Makes The Financial Times

Sleuth loves Manchester to be part of the urban global network. So he was delighted that in last weekend's Financial Times, correspondents round the world were asked which building they would demolish. Entries dived in from Berlin, Beijing, Cairo, Mumbai, London, Paris.

And Manchester.

Kate Allen suggested the Trafford Centre was 'a testament to triviality both in form and function. Its design is a rococo pastiche, a multi-coloured marble and glass temple to consumerism. Built on the site of that industrial marvel, the Manchester Ship Canal, the centre symbolises Britain's shift from a global industrial leader to a country with diminishing influence and an economy dependent on high levels of personal debt and frivolous spending. I would demolish it and build something more socially useful in its place - a factory, perhaps.'

Sleuth loves the Trafford Centre. He reckons there has be a place for garden centre sculpture to end its days

The taste exercised by the Trafford Centre, as evidenced by this huge light fitting, is beyond reproachThe taste exercised by the Trafford Centre, as evidenced by this huge light fitting, is beyond reproach

MCR's Most Tenous Cocktail

Sleuth's colleague, Neil Sowerby, taking a break from intense research into wine and beer, checked out the new winter cocktail list at Cloud 23. The Hilton’s panoramic eyrie has long designed cocktails on a Manchester theme, but it was still a surprise they’ve come up with a belated alcoholic tribute to Becks, the football icon not the lager. The '7’s Club' cocktail nods to the significance of the No7 shirt worn by Manchester United heroes. So for David Beckham we get a mix of Haig Club whisky (he advertises it), Dubonnet (remember the brief shopping trip at Paris St Germain?), Rosemary and Demerara Syrup (Milan?) and walnut syrup (Los Angeles).

Neil thought all this a mite tenuous but was won over by the presentation – each cocktail comes on a small astroturf pitch, about the size of Tottenham Hotspur’s. Oh yes, and the ice cubes are moulded to resemble footballs.

7's Club, Cloud 237's Club, Cloud 23

World's Tallest Cocktail

More spectacular still is the 'Stratospheric', a self-referential homage to the Beetham Tower. It’s probably the tallest cocktail in Britain (the price is pretty steep too at £23 a go). Sowerby liked the citric rush of Citroc Red Berry, Tanqueray 10 gin, hibiscus, raspberry, passion fruit and champagne in a tiny silver goblet at the top of a 3ft plus glass pumping out dry ice. Barmen restrained him from using it as a lightsaber.

The StratosphericThe Stratospheric

Movement On Stubbs Mill

Developers Urban Splash have finally unveiled plans for the derelict Stubbs Mill in Ancoats by the Ancoats Canal, a site they acquired in 2003. Stubbs will be transformed into 30,000 sq ft of industrial office and workspace with a 'raw feel'. Though, looking at this marketing image, Sleuth reckons 'raw' could at least include a desk. Suppose wi-fi is out of the question?

Stubbs MillStubbs Mill

Sleuth's Best MCR Building Recreated In LEGO Of The Week

To commemorate Remembrance Sunday model builders at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Manchester have built a new model of the Imperial War Museum North. Following a public vote in 2013, LEGO fans in Manchester voted the iconic finned building at Salford Quays their favourite modern building in the city. Sleuth reckons they must have missed the new Premier Inn on New Quay Street...


IWM North and a little LEGO versionIWM North and a little LEGO version



Those Sleuth Manchester Awards For Senseless Red Cards In Full

Chris Smalling (special commendation for not remembering he'd been booked a couple of minutes earlier and his team needed to win).

Fernandinho (another special commendation for forgetting his team needed to win and getting sent off after being booked a few minutes earlier).

Yaya Toure (extra special commendation for forgetting that his team needed to win, they were losing and down to ten men and playing nine against eleven wasn't going to help).

Red-faced Manchester based players

Red-faced Manchester based players

Sexy Potatoes

Sleuth has always found the Germans to be a funny lot: Currywurst, merciless-punctuality and unreasonably long words, Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung for example - which basically just means speed limit. But even this one is weird for them, a 2015 'hot potato' calendar by the Bavarian Farmers Association which includes a number of nudey women writhing around on that most dumpy of veg, the potato. You wouldn't catch Aunt Bessie doing that...

Oooooo potatoesOooooo German potatoes

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

AnonymousNovember 7th 2014.

Dockyard is a good addition but what are they doing with Mr Pilling's?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

Hopefully this Dock Yard might have a bit more of a nod to Manchester's past shipping heritage. Photo's of Manchester Liners, Mr Pilling, not stock ones of bloody New York.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

Fully agree with this. But is he listening?

Mick ProctorNovember 7th 2014.

I like currywurst - sausages in curry sauce , what is not to like ?

AnonymousNovember 7th 2014.

I believe the photo of the three models was actually going to be the cover of the sixth Roxy Music album, but Jerry Hall kiboshed it.

Mark McGinnNovember 7th 2014.

"Give 'em a chance" to give money to confidential for puff pieces.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark Garner, The PublisherNovember 9th 2014.

Cutting, Mr. McGinn, cutting.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

That stupid chandelier at the Trafford Centre always makes me smile. It's just so utterly shit isn't it?

9 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

Yep it's shite, but it's not as ugly as Piccadilly Gardens or a rubbish rat infested Chinatown. It may be a bit tacky and bit over the top but it's clean it's free to park and you don't have to dodge bible bashers and drug dealers.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

I love how defensive people get about a shopping centre. Those vacuous types who identify so strongly with the Trafford Centre because they don't have to negotiate public space and encounter, you know, poor people, are PRECISELY the sort of people who would be impressed with this hideous chandelier... And plastic dolphins squirting water. And fibre glass urns. And John Whittaker's granny's used Mercedes. Ultimately, it's a shit shopping centre, a place for buying things just like the Arndale centre but with added fibreglass.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

Yeah totally.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

I've lived in Manchester most of my life and I've never been in the Trafford Centre or the Arndale. My problem with the Trafford Centre is that it looks so dreadful on the outside. I know its looks probably appeal to the type of person it tries to attract, but other huge shopping centres around the UK manage to attract equally huge numbers of visitors without such appalling exterior styling.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2014.

I have young people who rent rooms from me from around the world for weeks at a time and many adore the Trafford Centre and tell their friends back home about it and the way it looks, some say it's the best place in Manchester. It's not my favourite place by any means but many love it.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

The design of the Trafford Centre is based on the building that housed the great art exhibition in the 1850's the random statues etc also reflect that. For that reason I quite like it when I wander around it now. It certainly appeals more than that utter shitpit the Arndale - that should've been flattened after the IRA bomb. A horrible thing the have in any city centre

AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

And I love how people ridicule everything about or anyone who dare venture into the Trafford Centre. It seems a lot of people have a really critical eye and immaculate taste and love nothing more than finding fault with a marble statue or a chandelier, yet those same people are never that critical of the Arndale or Piccadilly Gardens or any other part of town. Why is that? And how can people have such an opinion and then state they've never set foot in the place? What's wrong with doing a full days shop, having a meal and catching a film all under one roof. You are warm and dry, it's clean, your not gonna get flattened by the metrolink and you wont get attacked by pigeons, dealers or god botherers, and on top of all that you don't get your pants pulled down by parking there. I live in between town and the Trafford Centre and use both depending on what I want.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

I wonder why the people who don't go to the Trafford Centre feel the need to tell anyone who'll listen that the place is shit, vulgar and an abomination and the people who go there are shallow vain and vacuous with zero taste, yet the people who go to the Trafford Centre never feel the need to slag off people who choose to shop elsewhere?? I had the misfortune of paying £12 for a few hours parking in town the other week. Maybe people are fed up of being ripped off?

AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

It really says a lot about modern society that people's identity is so aligned to a particular shopping centre and jump it's defence when someone pokes a bit of fun at it as though you had insulted their own mother. This is ludicrous. The Trafford Centre is just a shopping mall, little different to the Arndale centre but what it makes up for in ambience and choice it throws away with its sheer vulgarity and poor taste. Both, ultimately, are shopping malls. PLACES FOR BUYING THINGS, nothing more, nothing less. I use them both but it does strike me there is a certain type of person that thinks that using the Trafford Centre confers onto them some sort of superior social status; people who try to insulate themselves from the 'riff raff' element you might bump into in Piccadilly Gardens or any other public space as much as possible. It is for those vacuous types that this hideous lamp and all the other daft frippery is designed to impress.

AnonymousNovember 10th 2014.

Yes how dare anybody say something positive? What is wrong with you all? You're right about the people though, the Trafford Centre is more likely to appeal to the affluent types from Wilmslow and Hale etc. the sort of people who would never be seen anywhere near the Arndale or Market Street.

Mark FullerNovember 10th 2014.

Far too many nouveau-riche Cheshire Tories in the Trafford Centre. The place should be flattened, preferably with them in it.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2014.

Aww, a class warrior. How sweet.

James CunninghamNovember 11th 2014.

I'm really pleased Dockyard is coming to breathe life into that area of Spinningfields.. I walk past that site to work and it's such a shame that the area is so deserted..this really could be an important catalyst for change in this area!

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