They say you can choose your friends but not your family. Luckily for me, I would class my sisters as both and on a recent trip home to Manchester, we had some quality family time, with drinks, dresses and delicious dishes at swank Spinningfield newbie, The Refinery.
In classic Mancunian manner, the rain poured so we couldn’t sit outside and people watch in the gorgeous outside space The Refinery boasted, so we escaped the downpour and was greeted by stylish interiors, quirky décor touches and dim lighting. It would make the perfect spot for intimate catch ups, first dates and special occasions especially if you wanted a chance to dress up a little.
We were seated by the pass, where we could see an array of British classics, fusion favorites and daily specials fly out of the kitchen, making us even hungrier. Me and my sisters were in need of refreshing after an intense shopping afternoon so revived ourselves with the extensive drinks menu with fancy cocktails, bar favourites and modern mocktails too. For starters, we opted for the trio of fries (it was the weekend, and we couldn’t choose just one of the mouthwatering carbs), crispy squid and chicken satay skewers. The skewers were juicy and came with a moreish dipping peanut sauce, whilst the squid was fresh and zingy with freshly squeezed lime, but the trio of fries were the real star of the starters show. The roman fries were salty with parmesan, and pungent with heady truffle oil; the sweet potato fries crisp and paired beautifully with garlic aioli and the cowboy fries sweet and sticky with a BBQ sauce glaze.
For mains, Hannah went for the classic fish pie topped with cheesy mash and a giant king prawn, popping out of the top inviting you to tuck in your fork. A rich creamy sauce and hunks of fish lay underneath and Hannah waited impatiently for it to cool down enough so she could wolf it down. Shen went for the cod with herby new potato mash and seasonal artichoke, whilst I also went fishy with the hake saag aloo special; a piece of perfectly cooked hake lay on a bed of wilted, spiced spinach and crispy roast potatoes and a curried sauce.
For desserts, we went light and refreshing with a lemon tarte with crème fraiche whilst Shen went for the sundae which was almost as big as her!
GO FOR: it’s sheepskin blankets and copper finishings. It’s going to be my go-to for drinks with a side of gossip with the gals or even a date venue if I ever manage to find that cheeky northern chap I’m desperately after…
The Refinery is yet another place in Manchester showing just how far it’s come as a dining destination and one place this London Adventurer needs to explore a lot more.
The Refinery Spinningfields
XYZ Building, 2 Hardman Boulevard,
Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3AQ