It was on a balmy night in Manchester when Brasserie Abode threw open its doors, banged on its bongos and welcomed Manchester into its loving, refurbished arms.
If the recently rebranded bar and restaurant is anything like its welcome party, us mancs (born and honorary) are in for a treat.
Last Thursday I got a glimpse into the mirrored spectacle that is the new Brasserie Abode. On Piccadilly, it’s the bar and restaurant of, yes, Abode Manchester.
My first foray into the Manchester hotel bar ‘scene’ (pretty sure it’s a scene), was back in 2000 and the bar at the V&A hotel (Manchester Marriot) when I worked for Granada TV. A shooting schedule’s throw from the studios, the bar was oft frequented by those who both did and didn’t have homes to go to, after a hard day’s media-ing.
Seeing as you didn’t ask, my top 5 hotel bar moments:
- seeing Hank Marvin (Malmaison – he looked hungry);
- being given drinks on the house because the owners were having a dinner party ‘out back’ (B&B in Edinburgh);
- seeing Tilda Swinton with one of her two infamous (at the time) other halves..or quarters, I suppose (The Mandeville, London);
- watching a man stand on stage holding an eagle aloft for 15 minutes,saying nothing. absolutely nothing. then eventually walking off again leaving the audience, and eagle, equally confused (Tenerife, obvs); and
- I can’t think of a fifth.
Despite these examples, I’ve always been a bit dubious about hotel bars – they can sometimes feel a lonely place and a bit of an add-on.
- Lonely travelling salesman
- Lonely travelling for work to the other office person
- Lonely can’t get a drink anywhere else person
- Lonely person
- Bit seedy?
- The Major ordering his sherry in Fawlty Towers (six o’clock Fawlty!)
Whilst they don’t guarantee Hollywood stars with unusual spousal arrangements or perplexed birds of prey, they do bring a stylish, French themed, smart and sophisticated destination bar and brasserie to Manchester.
Previous incarnations included Michael Caines fine dining restaurant (not a lot of people know that – they do actually) and a Hotel called the Rosetti.
Another tick on its mancunian credentials (the main one being actually being in Manchester, of course) which the building brings, is in its DJ history. Amongst others, one Mr Dave Haslam used to play down in the basement (now the restaurant) – legendary night Chica Chica Boom, 2003?
Well the DJs are back on the menu, including VIVA Ems, recently returned from up and coming festival Glastonbury.
Along with some fine friends on the bongos and trumpet, she entertained with a fantastic set at the launch. I understand it’s vocal house and tech house.
I can confidently say that her house brought the launch night home at Abode.
House puns. Right there ⬆️
I’m yet to sample the restaurant side aside from some fine canapés – oysters. I managed to eat my third lifetime oyster which was a pleasure.The first two, some years back, were taken in the safety of my own home. There was carnage and drama on that occasion. I won’t go into details but think choking, tears and recriminations.
But for now, I can give my two penneth on Brasserie Abode as a bar –
I think the biggest compliment I can give it (purely in the context of my above musings, you understand ), is that you definitely wouldn’t be depressed here, or here out of desperation. You wouldn’t know it was a hotel bar. And by that I only mean good things.
Definitely a destination bar, there’s no place like Brasserie Abode.
Another house pun ⬆️
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