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Aubaine Closes, San Carlo II Opens, MCR Attacks Covent Garden, Tory Fountain

Sleuth Wk 40: It's a strange Manchester world

Written by . Published on September 27th 2013.

Aubaine Closes, San Carlo II Opens, MCR Attacks Covent Garden, Tory Fountain

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

Aubaine Closes San Carlo Opens

Breaking news Sleuth here.

One of Sleuth’s favourite London imports has closed. Aubaine in Selfridges has been taken over by the San Carlo Group - the most popular proper Italian restaurant in the NW. San Carlo also run the excellent Cicchetti as well (plus eleven other UK restaurants and outlets in Kuwait, Beirut and Bangkok). 

Opening at the end of October, San Carlo Bottega restaurant, champagne and cocktail bar will be located on the second floor. It will be more in tune with Cicchetti serving 'expertly crafted small plate dishes, influenced by Italy and Southern France'. Maybe a nod to Aubaine's French inflected menu there.

Then down in the basement (or 'lower ground floor') Pharmacia Del Dolce, a patisserie, ice cream parlour and café will open in November. This will serve freshly baked cakes, pastries and its own gelato. The Chemist of Sweetness (to translate the title - sounds a bit sinister to Sleuth) will offer take out and eat in indulgences. 

Sleuth wonders if the much mooted project to give the second floor restaurant with its stunning views (main picture at the top of the page) a second external entrance to enable it to open in the evening will get off the ground - so to speak. 

Pretty flowers in Aubaine soon to be San Carlo


Pretty flowers in Aubaine soon to be San Carlo

The Political Fountains Of Manchester

Sleuth has been staring at the dead fountain in the canal basin below the Bridgewater Hall all year. It's a bit of a rubbish, garden centre fountain for the scale of the space but it's better than nothing. Suddenly hey presto and the fountain is working again. As a trade show insider said to Sleuth, "Just as the Conservative Party arrives for its conference the fountain starts to function". The cuts that the Conservatives imposed following Labour excesses presumably caused the fountain to be turned off in the first place. Now for Manchester to look better during the Tory conference it's been turned back on. Sleuth approves - always try and impress the guests. And once the guests have gone let's keep it going to impress the locals too. 

It's a true blue fountain


It's a true blue fountain

Most Use Of The Word ‘Yorkshire’ In An Evening

Sleuth was at the launch of James Martin’s restaurant in Manchester 235 on Tuesday night. Lovely decor, lovely food, lovely man as well our James Martin, the chef and TV personality from YORKSHIRE. IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Sleuth being a Lancastrian couldn’t help but notice the number of times Jimmy M said the word ‘Yorkshire’. It was something like 22 times. Funny lot over those hills - Sleuth doesn’t know whether he should call a psychiatrist. Still full report and pictures on Monday from this latest happy edition to Manchester. 

Unconfirmed reports are that James Martin is from Yorkshire that's YORKSHIRE


Unconfirmed reports are that James Martin is from Yorkshire, that's YORKSHIRE

Mancs Overrun The Garden

MPA is the new and very quaffable ale from one of those fabulous and large family brewers in Greater Manchester, JW Lees. MPA stands for Manchester Pale Ale. Sleuth loves this silly strutting flash mob promo for the beer in Covent Garden. Shoulders back lads, swim dance at the ready.

Sleuth Eats Large

Sleuth has been looking to buy a tent, he feels the outdoor life might work for him. He was in Smoak the other day, the Malmaison eatery with the big meat appeal. He saw the menu. It was big – the size of a TV. He stole about twenty, stitched them together and spent a lovely night underneath the stars in the back garden talking to foxes and gnomes while being bombed by apples from the fruity trees above. The menu is so big that it thoroughly shocked a nun in the Confidential offices. 

Shocked nun on the big menu


Shocked nun on the big menu

Sleuth’s Pointless Sign Of The Week

Sleuth is a massive fan of utterly pointless signs. This one on Deansgate opposite Beetham Tower is a real favourite. 

Really, isn't it?


Do we need to be warned that this isn't an entrance?

Sleuth’s Favourite Overheard Conversation Of The Week

Sleuth is a massive fan of eavesdropping as well as pointless signs. Just off John Dalton Street on Thursday he was idling around when two men talking loudly passed by. “But would you marry an atheist?” asked one. “I couldn’t do that but…” said the other. “But what?” said the first. “But I’d marry a churchgoing prostitute,” said the other. Life is interesting, thought Sleuth. And weird.

Sleuth's Jaw-Dropping Moment Of The Week

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street and asked by policemen, concierges, atheists, Tory fountains, meaningless signs, shocked nuns, James Martin and all the people in Yorkshire: "If we're looking for the bust of a man about to be so surprised that he's preparing to catch his chin in his right hand, where could we find that in Manchester."

"Why," says Sleuth, "that'd be the bust of the genius Halle Orchestra conductor Sir John Barbirolli by Bryron Howard outside the Bridgewater Hall."

And to prove it he showed the policemen, concierges, atheists, Tory fountains, meaningless signs, shocked nuns, James Martin and all the people in Yorkshire these photos.  

Sir John is ready to receive his dropped chin

Sir John is ready to receive his dropped chin

Listen and praise is inscribed on the statue - that's what readers should do to Sleuth'Listen and praise' is inscribed on the statue - that's what readers should do to Sleuth

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

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2013.

I thought that the Italians used the spelling Farmacia for pharmacist (note use of "pharmacist" not "chemist"!)

Martyn CornellSeptember 27th 2013.

"Audeo et Gaudeo" is "hear and rejoice", not "listen and praise".

AnonymousSeptember 27th 2013.

Actually, it's neither: it's 'I dare and I rejoice'. ('I listen' would be 'audio'.)

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2013.

I thought the fountain had been closed to protect some geese that had nested in it. I live right by there and the fountain actually resumed normal service in July.

Stephen LakeSeptember 28th 2013.

I revel in the irony that in a labour safe seat and an overwhelmingly labour council they go all out to impress the Tories. Funny

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidSeptember 29th 2013.

Not that daft they probably realised who they going to be dealing with again as government after the next general election.Also Labour governments strangely seem to prefer helping London than Manchester.

Calum McGOctober 3rd 2013.

Yes but Stephen, if the place looks a shambles, they'll be more likely to hold future events elsewhere. What's wrong with making an effort?

Stephen LakeSeptember 29th 2013.

The reason Labour and The Conservatives alternate in having their conference in Manchester is because the North West is where the general election is won or lost. There are more marginal seats than anywhere else in the country. Lancashire being the most dense. Expect to see a lot more of Cameron and Miliband in the next 19 months.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
DavidSeptember 29th 2013.

That's absolutely true but as soon as the election is over they do nothing for the North West.Labour had over a decade to do something about the regional imbalance in this country between north and south,but was more concerned with appeasing the interests of London with the Olympics,numerous vast transport projects and the significant share of all arts funding.

AnonymousSeptember 29th 2013.

And the Tories have done what exactly? Lets face it, national parties of any colour have done little meaningful to tackle regional imbalances. The ONLY solution, long term, is for greater powers and resources to be devolved to the city where local knowledge, skills and more effective joint working and be employed to improve the city.

DavidSeptember 29th 2013.

It's the only solution.What we really need is what the Scots have,with the Scottish Nationalists.We need a northern based political party who wants to turf both Tories and Labour out.Such a party should demand maximum devolution if it supported a coalition government.

Stephen LakeSeptember 29th 2013.

Correct. A Northwest regional assembly was mooted but the last Labour government bottled it. Maybe it was because Blair didn't want Prescott as 'Prime Minister of England'. A North West regional assembly. Go on Dave I dare you!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 6th 2013.

actually the nukeys bottled it it was dead!

AnonymousOctober 6th 2013.

Actually we could put together one now with 'pool Cheshire, GM and the M65 corridor and Elect Sir HB as regional 'Chair' and grab spare royal (Harry?) to grace the occassions borrowing his dad's title as Earl of Chester. Or a dictator the Baron of the Trafford Centre and the Atlantic something or other.

AnonymousOctober 6th 2013.

I forgot we already have an occassionally resident Duke.

Penny CloustonSeptember 30th 2013.

Isn't it his left hand he'll be catching his jaw in unless he photo has been mirrored?

AnonymousOctober 6th 2013.

Pity Aubaine closing. I was hoping to read a review of the 'gold' plated burgers (designed I thig for skinny peole who wanted to wear their slim pants/jeans etc. while shopping.

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