Riddles Emporium Opens First Shop in Altrincham

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A new specialist spirit shop, from the owners of Riddles cocktail bar on Greenwood Street and spirit specialist Dave Marsland, owner of Drinks Enthusiast, is set to open its doors on 1st April 2017.

Riddles Emporium, with the tagline ‘Liquor and Sundries’, will sell a wide range of spirits, high-end products, cocktail equipment, books, bitters, homemade tinctures and syrups – pretty much everything you’ll need to make fine quality drinks at home. The shop will be the first of its kind in Altrincham and will also host regular small tasting events on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as the occasional classic cocktail masterclass.

Located at the former Ivy House site on Regent Road, Riddles Emporium hopes to contribute towards the regeneration of the Altrincham Market area, and to offer a unique retail experience for Altrincham residents. The shop will have a definite synergy with Riddles bar, adopting a similar vintage look and feel with a focus on classic cocktails and timeless flavor profiles. The new shop will house a wealth of bottles that are not widely available, perfect for special gifts, investment, or simply to vastly improve your own home bar.

“The most important thing for us is to share our passion for quality drinks, to enthuse others to be more adventurous with their choices and to introduce or take them further into the wonderful world of spirits and cocktails,” says Dave Marsland (28). “We are so excited about not only giving people the absolute best drinks in our bar but extending that into their homes too – and we know the people of Altrincham will love this. This town is definitely a knowledgeable and passionate place when it comes to fine drinking,” adds Del Lowe (33).

To accompany the launch of the shop, Riddles bar is releasing a series of cocktail instruction videos entitled ‘Making Drinks At Home’. Emma Rostaing (34) explains: “The intention behind these short videos is to inspire people to be more adventurous with drinks at their own social gatherings and to bring what we know into peoples homes. Obviously we love making drinks in the bar and nothing can beat the atmosphere of going out for a drink, but on those nights when you can’t get out or just need some peace and quiet, Riddles Emporium and these videos will give you the tools to create the perfect serve yourself.”

The shop will open to the public on Saturday 1st April and will be offering a series of five exclusive tasting events, free of charge. There will be a variety of different tastings covering the worlds of gin, rum, tequila, whisky and vodka. Only ten free tickets are available for each time-slot, so be sure to book yours as soon as possible. Tickets for these small tasting events can be obtained from Eventbrite, via a link on the Riddles Bar website: http://www.riddlesbar.com.

The website for the Emporium will launch in the next two weeks at http://www.riddlesemporium.com and products will be available to buy online.

For anyone passionate about fine drinking and drinks preparation this will be a fine addition to Altrincham’s growing independent retail offering.

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Coco’s Review

Recently, I ventured along the Metrolink line to Altrincham, a reviving town which has added a new addition to its ranks – Coco’s Italian restaurant. Located on Regent Street close to the main high street and the back streets of Belgian and European bars, it houses a small bar and long restaurant that s split into two. I met with my family and were quickly greeted and seated in the front part of the restaurant, close to what looked like a rather fantastic window seat looking out into the bustling back streets of Altrincham.

After browsing the rather extensive food and wine menu, I plumped for a pint of the Italian Birra Moretti and chose the ‘Gamberoni Aurora’ as my starter – king prawns baked in garlic, fresh herbs, cream and Napoli sauce topped with mozzarella and then baked in an oven. The Birra Moretti had an instant dryness to it, but had very little malt flavour which resulted in a rather light offering. Once my starter arrived, a nicely presented fanned casserole dish with 5 large king prawns sat in the middle of the garlic and herb cream sauce, with the lightly baked mozzarella layered on top. A unique idea that I’ve never come across before, I thought it made a change to the usual prawn cocktail. Perfectly cooked, the king prawns were piping hot, with the sauce a great compliment that didn’t look greasy or burnt around the edges.

'Gamberoni Aurora'

Once the starters were finished, my Calzone was on its way – a folded pizza with ham, mushroom, garlic, salsiccia and mozzarella served with a bolognese sauce. Brought out with simplicity being the aim, the calzone was presented in the middle of the plate, with the bolognese drizzled in the middle that let the sauce slowly branch out. Once again piping hot, there were good portions of the fillings, with only a small hint of garlic which didn’t overpower the meal. The mozzarella was light and didn’t ‘clog’ the mouth as I took each bite, which you can sometimes get with regular home-made pizzas.

All dishes were made to order, so there was a little waiting time between courses, however the ambience and feel of the place made it enjoyable. Conversation didn’t have to be on shouting level, the music had authentic Italian artists singing songs you would tend to find in a cafe square and the light colours of the walls mixed well with canvases of night skylines and drawn flowers – all which are available to buy.

Too full for dessert, a good choice on my part as the counter that held the fresh desserts seemed way too appealing, we finished off with another round of drinks and enjoyed the company of the friendly Italian waiters as the restaurant slowly went from full to empty. And this was on a Monday.

'Calzone'

This is a fine Italian restaurant which has only recently been opened. They pride themselves in using fresh ingredients, with the meat and cheese sourced directly from Italy, and fish from the local market. Excellent service, fantastic food and a great experience was had, and will hopefully have again when I’m next in the area. Would highly recommend!

For more information on Coco’s, including opening hours and private function availability, click here.

 

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Altrincham Bottle & Cask Festival Review

Today I attended the 3rd annual Altrincham Bottle & Cask Festival hosted by the Le Trappiste Belgian Bar in the historic Altrincham Market. After missing last years due to work commitments, I was looking forward to this years, and the promise of 30% more cask ales and cider than last year and with many new breweries making appearances, you’d be a fool to not go!

Only costing £5 to enter and £5 for a drink vouchers, me and my father made our way round the stalls of the local charity Stockdales, CAMRA as well as passing Dilli of Altrincham’s chicken and chorizo paella that they had produced. Le Trappiste had their own stall with a selection of lesser known Belgian, Czech, Dutch, German and American beers and there was a separate table of Ciders and Perrys. We made our way to the line of ales that awaited are taste buds. Local recognisable breweries include Dunham Massey Brewing Company, Bollington Brewery and Tatton Brewery entwined with lesser known Blueball Brewery of Runcorn, Wirksworth Brewery of Derbyshire and Red Willow Brewery of Macclesfied. Our first tipple of the day for myself was a recommended Porter ale from the Tap House Brewery of Derby named Dark & Dangerous (ABV 5%) while my father went for Derby based Dancing Duck Brewery and there 22 (Two Little Ducks) Copper ale (ABV 4.3%). For a starter drink, mine wasn’t too bad with a dark malt flavour with chocolate aromas, whilst my fathers was a balanced malt flavoured ale which set him up nicely for his next drink – Cheshire IPA from the Dunham Massey Brewery (ABV 4.7%)

Le Trappiste Belgian Beer range

I went for the bitter Little Bollington from the Dunham Massey Brewery (ABV 3.7%) which was a light ale with no distinct flavour reaching out at you. An easy drink that you can have a night of. The Cheshire IPA was a strong traditional IPA with a good mix of hops and malt. My father then went for one of Le Treppiste’s Belgian range –

Range ot Ales available

 Biolegere from the Belgian brewery of Dunpont (ABV 3.5%). It was a very light and blonde ale with again no distinct flavour reaching out to you. I went for the Oor Bonnie of Blueball Brewery in Runcorn (ABV 4.3%) which had a sweet nose of malt which gave off the aromas and flavours of caramel. A slight bitter taste rounded the drink off. I myself then went to Le Trappiste’s stand to try Callewaert Extra Stout (ABV 5%) which originated from the Struube brewery. This was a very nice dark, sweet beer that gave off a lovely brown head, perfect for my sweet tooth! My father opted for another local porter ale named Scoundrel (ABV 4.1%) from the Leatherbritches Brewery in Ashbourne. Another dark and smooth ale that gave off distinct chocolate and caramel malts.

 

To round off our visit we both went for the Le Trappiste Classic produced by the Bollington Brewery (ABV 7.4%). This was apparently made to celebrate the 1000th beer they sold! And to carry on the trend, it was a very dark and sweet Belgian ale to finish the day nicely.

The venue of Altrincham Market was perfect for the event, with me witnessing on several occasions people passing by and looking in, only to then be next to me in the que for a drink! The local band Bearfist were playing well-known rock songs from the 80’s to present day and the incredible smell of local award-winning restaurant Delli’s paella had me resisting splashing out! The crowd was a good mix of families, guys and girls, with soft drinks available for the designated drivers and wine for the ladies from Le Trappistes range (but to be fair, they weren’t afraid to have an ale in their hands!).

Overall, an enjoyable day out with some excellent beers from both the local breweries and Belgium itself. If you ever get the chance to go to these festivals, DO IT! There a great way of trying different drinks as well as supporting your local breweries. This is my 4th ale festival in 6 months, and my second hosted by Le Trappiste, and with 2 more coming up before the end of the year, there’s always plenty to go to and see!

For more information on Le Trappise, visit there website at http://www.letrappiste.com/

To join CAMRA and know when the next festival in your area is, see http://www.camra.org.uk/