It's 4 days 'til your girlfriend's birthday. If she finds out you've not sorted anything, you're getting a one-way ticket to Dumpsville.
Well, Ben Brown has been in a similar situation – so he’s here to help. You can thank me later…
This is definitely up there as one of the best ideas in the city – book out Randall & Aubin’s private space (with 15 or more people) and you get your very own Personal Chef! They’ll be on hand to cook up one of the set menus on offer, or to cook you whatever you like from the main menu. They can also show you some of their skills, teach you a bit of cocktail making or generally just be charismatic and interesting. If you truly want an indulgent celebration – this is the one.
Randall & Aubin, 64 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BN
The back room in The Pen & Pencil is its very own private venue complete with a proper bar, capacity for 60 and its own sound system. You can book it for any sort of celebration you desire but my personal favourite has to be the option to book their fantastic All-Inclusive Bottomless Brunch any time you like (as long as you have the numbers that is!). With this brunch you get UNLIMITED food & drinks for 3 hours, and it can be ANY day of the week! I mean, just look at those dishes above – you and your friends are going to love it!
The Pen & Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
Anyone who has been in the speakeasy in Black Dog will know that the space is perfect for any sort of get together or party. First of all, it needs a code for the door so some random isn’t just going to walk in and ruin everything. Next there’s a fully stocked bar, your own toilets and plenty of plush seating all about. Finally (and some would say most importantly) – there’s a bloody Pool Table right in the middle of the room. As you’d expect they offer a wide range of packages for you to customise your celebration.
Black Dog, 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW
Nobody parties quite like the Spanish and so if you’re looking for somewhere to have a great birthday party then La Bandera is certainly worth a try. You can hire out a great space near the bar called The Action Theatre that is perfect for between 10-20 guests. There’s nothing better than tucking into some lovely tapas dishes, or perhaps even one of their HUGE cheese and meat platters, all while enjoying the best Spanish wines in the city (or perhaps some seriously good cocktails).
La Bandera, 2 Ridgefield, Manchester M2 6EQ
0161 833 9019
You might not expect this but there’s a fully-fledged Tiki bar on the second floor of BBQ restaurant and bar Cane & Grain. Yep, walk up two flights of stairs and you’ll end up in The Liars Lounge – a dedicated private hire area that also doubles up as a pretty rowdy club on the weekends. They’ve got their very own dedicated cocktail menu in here, plus that wonderful Cane & Grain food and plenty of space in which to drink, eat, dance or whatever people do at parties nowadays. I wouldn’t know – I’ve not been invited to anything for ages.
Liars Lounge, 49 -51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Hidden round the far end of Hawksmoor is their brilliant private dining room, a space that fits up to 15 people and is perfect for intimate celebrations where all you want to do is eat the best meat in the city while drinking some great wine and cocktails. Everyone knows that Hawksmoor do THE BEST steaks in the city so if you’re looking for somewhere for your dad to celebrate his birthday – this is it. You’ll blow his socks off as soon as he tastes the meat in here – he’ll never go to Wetherspoons on a Tuesday again.
Hawksmoore, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
Hire yourself ‘The Study’ at Albert’s Schloss and not only will you now be able to enjoy their raised private dining area but you’ll also become a member of their Supper Klub. What does that mean? Well, they draw the curtains, closing you off from all the riff-raff on the bar, and they take you on a journey to dinner party debauchery complete with Alpine gastronomy and personally hosted by Prince Albert and Queen Victoria themselves. Expect plenty of weird shit.
Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter St, Manchester M2 5QR
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to celebrations over at Tattu. Not only does everything look absolutely spectacular (ensuring those extra brownie points) but you can tuck into some of the most delicious and impressive dishes and cocktails this city has to offer. Sitting down in one of their stunning spaces, with a ton of dry ice all over the place is an Instagrammer’s dream – so if your other half (or friend) is never off the bloody thing – Tattu is the place for them. Their Rose Garden is particularly impressive – with space for up to 60 people, or, if you’re really popular you can just book out both floors of the restaurant for your 200+ best friends (and followers).
Tattu, 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB
They can accommodate group bookings from 10 people right up to 200 people over at Zouk – not only do they have ample space but they’ve also got the experience and the know how to pull off anything! Probably one of their most impressive group offerings is their brilliant Whole Stuffed Lamb, a huge feast that can feed up to 20 hungry people. Give them 48-hours’ notice for them to cook it for you and you’ll have a feast fit for a king (or Queen) – a whole lamb stuffed with rice and vegetables and smothered in Zouk’s signature spicy gravy. I’ve had it – it’s the best!
Zouk Tea Bar & Grill, 5, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5QS
Not much touches bowling for sheer group-related fun and over at Dog Bowl you can fix all of your celebration needs by booking out a lane for everybody, getting competitive and eating and drinking way too much. The price per person varies depending on when you want to get it booked for but you’ll always be guaranteed a good time, and here’s a little tip for you – order their HUGE Lane Closer Burger if you’re getting some food – it’s phenomenal. Alternatively, if you want to book the WHOLE venue out – complete with all 5 alleys – you can do that too.
Dog Bowl, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
If there’s just a few of you and you’re looking for something low-key but nice enough that you can wear your gladrags, Cottonopolis is the one. Sundays are filled with all-you-can-eat Dim Sum in a laid back dining style. So laid back in fact, you won’t even have to get out of your private booth, the Dim Sum is brought directly to you on the specially designed trolleys. Even your drinks are brought directly to you, including sharer bottles of beer, speciality wines and sharing cocktails.
Cottonopolis,16 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AE
Sounds about as random as it is. Dive NQ have a massive outside seating area, complete with umbrellas for when that inevitable rain falls. That combined with the brand new kitchen take over means you can neck as many pints as possible all while scoffing down a katsu curry or sushi rolls. It’s a pretty niche event but also completely possible that I’ve just combined someones two favourite things. If not, Dive NQ have loads of other options for hire including private bars and the entire restaurant complete with your very own quiz night.
Dive NQ, 12 Tib St, Manchester M4 1SH
Sticking with the ‘organised fun’ side of things here and you can’t go wrong with Flight Club – a darts experience like no other. If you’ve never been or even heard of it then listen up – because you don’t want to miss out on this. Get yourself booked in on a weekend (each oche area can hold a maximum of 12 people) and you get darts, bottles of Prosecco and bottomless pizza for 2 hours. It’s great fun and even better when you win.
Flight Club, Ship Canal House, 98 King St, Manchester M2 4WU
I once attended a wedding at Twenty Twenty Two and it was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to. Not only does the space look cool AF but you can also take full advantage of one of their main draws – those ping pong tables. There’s a small private room that’s the perfect size for birthdays, then there’s the back room which you can hire out for photo shoots, fashion shows or that kinda stuff, or you can just book the whole place out and go bloody mental. Ping Pong, cocktails and great tunes – what more could you want?
Twenty Twenty Two, 20 Dale St, Manchester M1 1EZ
If you’ve got a small group and you want to celebrate something by getting all hot and bothered in a room together then look no further than Breakout. They offer a wide-range of rooms that you have 60 minutes to escape from – ranging from a piss easy 2 stars right up to an almost impossible 5 stars. They’re a great way to truly test your friendships too – see if you can handle the pressure as the clock ticks down further and further.
Breakout Manchester, 51 Church St, Manchester M4 1PD
There’s not much else in the city that will show off just how impressive you are than booking out Dakota’s very own Champagne Room, a space that suitable for up to 22 guests to eat and drink. As you’d expect they can tailor your event to however you like; from Champagne receptions to whisky tasting, networking and events. You’ll feel like a right set of ballers sat in here – sipping Moet like it’s London Fashion Week or alternatively you can even book their outside (heated) terrace if the weathers decent.
Dakota Hotel, 29 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JL
Of course, the MASSIVE Ivy in Spinningfields has plenty of options available for private parties and celebrations, whether it’s booking out a table with your mates and spending too much money on bubbles or hiring out one of their dedicated private rooms and going all out. Their Dalton Room offers a stylish space for up to 40 guests while their Geisha Room will make you and up to 19 other guests feel like you’ve just walked into a Yakuza meeting in Tokyo. Finally – their Skylight Terrace is available to hire and is probably the ultimate space for drinks and canapes in the city.
The Ivy, The Pavilion, Byrom St, Manchester M3 3HG
The Den is tucked away behind the Winter Garden at The Refuge and filled with a load of games for the perfect chilled out, group fun vibes. There’s a private bar, meaning there’s now queuing which is the last thing you wanna be doing as the Birthday Boy or Girl. It also means more time playing Mario Kart, which is a win-win for everybody. The snooker table also transforms into a dining stations so you can pause the fun and dig into the massive sharing platters.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
BAB is everybody’s favourite chilled out spot in the NQ created kebabs that made you wanna sit down and actually enjoy all the delicious and sometimes weird flavour combinations. Of course, they quickly became masters of cocktails too, and you can learn everything. The schools teaches you all the secret tips of the trade and gives you the chance to show off your new skills. And just to make it better, you can add on massive sharing platters of the delicious mezze dishes.
BAB, 14 Little Lever St, Manchester M1 1HR
A surprising addition is the intimate cafe on Deasngate. What you might not know is this place literally flips into a bar in the evening, turning off the coffee machine and opening the gin bottles. The space holds around 30 people and everyone gets a complimentary glass of prosecco when you book – ideal. On the menu is a specially curated cocktail menu including, of course, the most impressive espresso martini in town.
Over Under, 111 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BQ
Everybody’s favourite neighbourhood spot is easily Volta. Tucked away in the West Didsbury, it’s laid back dining and inventive cocktails all inspired by global travels. You can hire out the entire top floor for your shindig and tuck into to some worldly foods and natural wines. It’s chic, trendy and close enough to home you can stumble back without spending a penny on a taxi.
Volta, 127 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2LN