Friday, 6 November 2015

Washhouse: Manchester's Dirtiest Speakeasy

I've always wanted to go to a speakeasy bar - and since there was so much hype about The Washhouse when it opened earlier in the year, I was excited to check it out. I made a reservation for my birthday and (when we finally found it) had a brilliant night.

Once you actually find the building, step into the laundry and then you'll have to figure out how to be let into the hidden bar. But it's all part of the fun - even the website is disguised as a laundry too.

Yep, you have to delve past the dirty knickers...

Inside you're led to your table and I was really shocked at just how tiny the place is. There are only a few booths, and the intimacy really makes it feel exclusive. Of course, the most impressive thing about The Washhouse is the cocktails - the menu is wasted on you if you decide to go for a beer or spirit and mixer. We decided to be daring and choose some of the most innovative mixology wonders, including cocktails with cakes, popping candy and sugar puffs. As my other half is a cocktail bartender himself, he's hard to impress but couldn't fault the unique concoctions.

My favourite was the 50 Shades - trust me I'm no fan of the books but this little beauty is hard to resist. It even comes complete with a real rose - it's the little extra touches on each cocktail which really make the experience first class.

This is a dark drinking den you should definitely check out - just be sure to make a reservation first - and it books up fast. 

Whoops..looks like I broke the first rule! But I had to share it with you... Jx

Monday, 2 November 2015

Greater Manchester Comedy Fringe Festival - Opening Night Review

Cupid's Stunts and Plenty of Fish - Egriega Productions
01/11/15, Albert Square Chop House

I'm a big fan of fringe festivals and a big fan of comedy, so I knew the city's comedy festival was something I'd be interested in. With so many shows taking place on opening night, it was hard to decide which to go and see but I finally settled for Egriega's Cupid's Stunts and Plenty of Fish.

This comedic musical performance delved into the world of online dating, where of course there are plenty of opportunities for laughs. The piss taking is even more brilliant though, when the star of the one man show reveals he really does know what he's talking about - as he met his current partner on Plenty of Fish (and dated plenty more before that).

The stage was set with artwork titled 'Pussies I have known.'

It's fair to say that opening night (and the premiere) didn't go without a few technical glitches... it was a show where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, but it still felt so right. Pieter is an absolute natural when it comes to poking fun at mistakes, improvising and keeping the crowd laughing whatever happens. He's also a really talented musician and takes the audience on a musical journey which can only be described as a crazy collection of personal experiences - starting with the time he lost his virginity.

One of Pieter's most significant life experiences which he talks about is his stroke, which changed his life a couple of years ago. Re-learning how to play his instruments has been a huge part of his rehabilitation and recovery but of course he still managed to make a few jokes about it - such as his internet dating profile turning into an advertisement for a full time carer. Suffering a stroke has of course had a huge effect on Pieter's life, and it could have been the end of his music and painting talents. However he fought back, and as a performer in his own right, I don't think this show needs to be defined by that event. It's unique and funny and deserves to stand alone, although Pieter is of course an inspiration to other stroke survivors.

Image credit - Nigel Maitland

Cupid's Stunts and Plenty of Fish plays again 8th November at Taurus Bar, and I recommend you go and see it if you like new music with a twist and want to be entertained on a Sunday night.

There's also lots more to see as part of Greater Manchester Fringe. There's 5 or 6 shows to choose from every single day in venues across Salford and Manchester city centre so take advantage of the cheap laughs. Link to programme and tickets below. J x