Sitting in a boozer with some mates and a couple of drinks while sharing some food is one of life’s little pleasures. Especially if it’s in one of these places…
A whole half of Bakerie’s menu is dedicated to Sharing Boards – and this kind of dedication definitely deserves some recognition. There are four massive boards to choose from – meat, cheese, seafood or vegan and each one comes fully loaded with a choice of 3 dishes from a pretty impressive selection. I’m obviously not going to start listing everything but special mention should be made to their duck, saddleback pork & Sichwan flower pepper salami – it’s amazing. Each platter comes with a basket of their phenomenal bread too! Finally, if you go between 3pm and 7pm Monday to Friday you can have 2 of these boards plus a bottle of wine for only £25.
Bakerie, 45 Lever St, Manchester M1 1DN
0161 236 9014
As typical purveyors of nicely presented gourmet fine-dining style British food you’d probably think of Grafene as being the last place to get hold of a lovely sharing platter – but you’re wrong. As part of their new Bar & Terrace Menu you can get your hands on their Deli Board, which comes for 1 person (£7.50) or 2 (£14.00). (The picture above represents the ONE person version – so just double it for the TWO person one please). You’re going to get a slab of wood crammed with cured meats, parfait, some amazing looking Scotch Eggs, cheese, chutney and bread. For any ignoramuses out there – and that includes myself because I’ve just had to Google it – parfait is a posh name for the pate.
Grafene, 6, 55 King St, Manchester M2 4LQ
0161 696 9700
Bock Bière Café
I was in here last Friday picking up my free pint for registering to vote (which I think is a bloody brilliant promotion) and downing a few bottles of Delirium Tremens when I spied some rather impressive looking sharing boards at someone else’s table. I was immediately jealous and starting staring at the food and dribbling, pretty much ignoring my mates and concentrating on the other table. They have 8 different sharing boards ranging from £10 to £20. The one I was staring at was the Afumicato (£20) which comes with smoked chicken, smoked sausage, Talleggio (cheese), grilled aubergine, homemade black olive tapenade, homemade apple beer chutney and herb Focaccia bread. They have one for different tastes and diets though so check them out. Perfect for enjoying while drinking some proper strong, brilliant Belgian beer.
Bock Bière Café, 10 Tib Ln, Manchester M2 4JB
As peddlers of a massive range of beers and ales, Beermoth Cafe have tailored their food to fit perfectly with a couple of bottles of beer while you chat to your mates. This means boards. Food you can just pick at while you bore Gary with the story of where your new craft ale comes from while he sups a Stella. There’s a few to choose from including a Fish Board, Cheese Board and Meat Board. Cheeses can change each day, but they do a 14 month matured cheddar which sounds delicious – perfect with a bit of chutney and a bottle of Porter.
Café Beermoth, Brown St, Manchester M2 1DA
0161 835 2049
Housed in the Principal hotel and featuring the stunning Winter Garden – Refuge is an excellent place to waste a couple of hours chatting someone up on a first date, or just catching up with some friends that you haven’t seen for about 35 minutes. Of course, while you’re chatting there is nothing better than having a sharing board in front of you, and here Refuge don’t disappoint. They’ve got a Meat Board (£11.00) which is packed with Serrano ham, smoked mutton, duck ham, truffled lardo and Chorizo with pickles and bread or the Cheese Board (£12.00) which has Shorrocks Bomb, Wookey Hole, Blue Monday, Taleggio and Pave Cobble cheeses with little bits of quince, pickles and nuts. A special shout out should also go to their Roast Dinner Platter for Two on Sundays – it’s the king of platters featuring the king of meals.
The Refuge by Volta, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
0161 233 5151
Scene Indian Street Kitchen
You’re sat outside in the sun over at Scene on Spinningfields and you’re having a drink, having some banter, perhaps having some Shisha and you start feeling a bit peckish. Fear not – Scene have sorted you out – there’s no need to start sucking on a button or eating the fluff out of your pocket. They offer a Meat platter or a Veggie platter – each one featuring a great selection of Indian street food treats which you and your mate can snack on. I’d personally go for their Vegetarian option (£12.95) because it features Paneer tikka, which I love, but also samosas, bhaji’s and aloo tikki.
Scene Indian Street Kitchen, 4 Left Bank, Manchester M3 3AN
0161 839 3929
Good old Levenshulme! Now I’ve moved here I just won’t shut up writing about the bloody place – but The Buttery, which is conveniently located next to the old Post Office, has some seriously amazing platters up for sale and it would be criminal not to include them. Basically each day they will list a selection of meats, veggies, cheese and snacks where you can then choose any 6 for £12.95 or 3 for £6.95. Excellent. The only problem then is that if you want to sit outside on their terrace you have to put up with stationary cars and shouting cyclists on the road right next to you. Although if you have enough of their booze, the noise quickly gets drowned out.
The Buttery, Levenshulme Delivery Office, 30 Albert Rd, Manchester M19 2FP
0161 248 7990
Massive sun-terrace-packing Dukes 92 might be jam packed with the Mini-convertible driving Cheshire crew on sunny days, but their platters are definitely worth a visit, and to be fair, it’s an excellent place to have a few beers and some food. Sharing board wise they have 3 different sized options available depending on the amount of people you have with you (1 person option for me then!) where you can choose from a huge selection of meat, cheese, fish and salad depending on what takes your fancy. If you go for the Big Board for 2-3 people (£15.00) you can choose from 4 meat, fish or cheese items and 2 salads – pretty good that I reckon. Their cheese section is brilliant by the way, and includes Knutsford favourite Drunken Burt.
Dukes 92, 18-25 Castle St, Manchester M3 4LZ
0161 839 8642
Monolithic Gastro pub The Wharf, cradling the Castlefield canal like the Big Breakfast house is a great place for a drink and some food, especially if it’s sunny and you can get a seat out on their spectacular beer garden. While out there you could do worse things than order their Manchester Platter (£19.95) which comes complete with Castlefield eggs, Sausage and black pudding roll, Ham, Blacksticks blue cheese, Savoury Eccles cakes and a beef hash cake. A Castlefield Egg is a pork and black pudding Scotch egg in case you’re wondering.
The Wharf, 6 Slate Wharf, Manchester M15 4ST
0161 220 2960
This one is a bit different and may not technically be a sharing board but instead just a bunch of starters piled high on a plate. You can get that anywhere. But I’ve included it because for £15.90 you can get a massive pile of cheeseburger spring rolls, short rib croquettes, mac and cheese balls and buffalo chicken wings. It sounded too good not to include it – especially them cheeseburger spring rolls – I could probably eat them from now until I die. Which wouldn’t be too long after that come to think of it.
Turner St, Manchester M4 1DW
1 Ogden St, Manchester M20 6RD
0161 839 2200
Sculpture Hall Cafe
Hidden away in the truly spectacular Town Hall, Sculpture Hall is a fantastic space with enough character to keep you sat there for a full afternoon just looking at the walls. They have an excellent menu of Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon Tea available with some truly amazing cakes on offer too. But this is an article about sharing platters so I will get on to that. For the price of £25 you get a massive amount of local grub and 2 bottles of Manchester Ale – including potted Yorkshire ham, Andrew Jones’ hand raised pork pies, Mrs Kirkham’s creamy Lancashire cheese, Cumbrian pastrami, Manchester sourdough and plenty more. One of the best in the city this one.
Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester M60 2LA
I was once in The Lowerhouse pub in Derker as a kid and saw that they had packets of Ploughman’s Lunches behind the bar alongside the usual selection of peanuts and pork scratchings. The things weren’t even in a fridge or anything – I can’t imagine how horrible they were. But you’ll have no such issues when they wheel out the Ploughman’s (£8 for 1, £13.99 for two, £19.99 for three) over at Allotment in the NQ. You get a selection of 3 cheeses (depends on what they have on at the time) with crackers and all the trimmings including mushroom pate or deep fried brie. They also do a brilliant but very naughty Manchester Chocolate Board (£5 for one, £9 for two) which features a selection of five handmade chocolates from Manchester Chocolatier Martin Chandler alongside some chocolate dipped fruit. Just don’t tell Janet at Slimming World.
Allotment, 24 Dale St, Manchester M1 1FY
0161 222 0580
The Oast House
With its huge terrace, prime Spinningfield’s real estate and very impressive design – The Oast House is one of the best places in the city to enjoy a bevvie on a hot day, and it’s not uncommon to find it busier than a Post Office on Pension Day. Their particular platter is called the Oast House Deli Board and for £10.75 you can choose 4 items from a long list of foods including salads, veggies, meat, cold cuts, fish and cheese with any extra items costing you an additional £2.95. Much better than one of them kebabs that they do – especially on a sunny day!
The Oast House, The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
0161 829 3830
I’ve been out of the country for the last 4 Christmases and the reason for this is because I bloody hate it. Everything kicks in right at the beginning of November so by the time December rolls around I’m sick and tired of bloody Mariah Carey and Christmas adverts and all that rubbish. Instead I’ve headed to the beach somewhere in Central America to escape the whole thing and get a tan. The only thing I’ve missed though is the cheese. Nothing beats eating a full cheese board with all the trimmings and some Port. To be fair though, I could just do this any time – screw Christmas. I could just head on over to Whiskey Jar who have a Cheese Deli Board for a tenner which includes 3 cheeses of your choice alongside crackers, bread, chutney and all the rest. I don’t know if they sell port though – could probably just have one of their 300 whiskeys instead.
The Whiskey Jar, 14 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FF
0161 237 5686