Hard Rock Cafe Want To Spritz Up Your Summer!

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Hard Rock Cafe have brought out their latest cocktail creations for the Summer season, focusing on the ever-popular Spritz, twisting them with familiar names such as Bombay Sapphire, Jack Daniel’s, Grey Goose and Chambord.

Kick-start with my personal favourite of the ‘Jack and Diane’ that see’s Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 combined with Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with lemonade for a bold hit of whiskey and orange. A close second for me is the ‘Chambord Supernova’ that see’s Chambord blended with St Germaine elderflower and topped with Prosecco, soda and a lemon twist. Rich, refreshing and offers a long finish!

A fantastic Grey Goose offering in ‘Good Limes, Bad Limes’ is available, showing the flavours of St Germaine elderflower, fresh limes, Prosecco and soda, whilst the ‘Thyme Warp’ offers a highlight of the Bombay Sapphire experience with fresh lemon juice and tonic, with a sprig of thyme to bring out the fresh aromas.

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The two other Bombay Sapphire creations include ‘Gin Ginie’ that see’s the bolder profiles of Chambord mixed with the British gin and bitter lemon, topped with a sprig of mint, whilst the ‘My Gineration’ focuses on the gin with orange juice, tonic and plenty of orange peel for garnish.

Six refreshing serves, priced between £9.45 and £9.95, served up, if you wish, within a Hard Rock souvenir mason jar (for £11.80) whilst rocking out in the sunshine (or what’s left of it) on their terrace. And if you’ve ever read my previous features on Hard Rock Cafe’s food offerings, you’ll know you can make an afternoon of it!

Jack & Diane with a Guinness Bacon Cheeseburger for me. I’ll see you at the bar.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

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Bombay Sapphire’s ‘The Glasshouse Project’ Continues World-Wide Multi-Stop Tour In Manchester

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BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, the world’s number one premium gin, has announced
Manchester, UK, as the next stop of The Glasshouse Project. Taking place 14-16 August, the vibrant city is the second stop in the global tour of the brand advocacy initiative following the launch of this year’s programme in Mallorca last month. Designed especially for the world’s top-tier bartenders, The Glasshouse Project aims to push the boundaries of creativity within mixology.

Through collaborative, interactive talks and seminars led by leading figures from both inside and outside the drinks industry, The Glasshouse Project looks to identify how cultural, social and economic influences and trends can affect gin consumption and cocktail creativity. The outcome is a series of workshops designed to rethink mixology in the gin category and provide attendees with the information and inspiration to create their own bespoke serves to list in their respective bars.

The session has been put together by Renaud de Bosredon and Sean Ware, U.K. and Northern Europe Brand Ambassadors for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE respectively, and will be attended by Raj Nagra, Global Brand Ambassador for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, with speakers including Mark Shayler (Director of This is Ape, a sustainable innovation consultancy), Dr. Rachel Edwards-Stuart (Food Scientist and Flavour Expert), Chris Hines MBE (Founder of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project) and Sean Pillot de Chenecey (Futurologist and Trends Consultant).

Following the successful pilot in London last year, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE announced the global expansion of the programme. Julian Davies, Global Marketing Manager at BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, says of the initiative:

“BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has been driving the conversation in gin for the last thirty years and The Glasshouse Project is our logical next step in pursuing excellence and innovation for the gin category as a whole.

“Last year’s inaugural workshop was hugely successful in terms of opening up conversations with some of the world’s best bartenders and serves as a platform for this year. The sessions are designed to be a genuinely memorable experience for our attendees and draw in elements of other creative disciplines to add value to the art of mixology – it’s a purposely collaborative and interactive initiative, as these
bartenders are at the top of their game”.

While the initiative has a global reach, each event will have a highly localised feel with the content of each individual workshop cultivated with the specifics of each market in mind. The Glasshouse Project sessions are part of a three-step process with follow-ups taking place in each individual market. Each attendee will lead a tasting session attended by fellow mixologists, designed to showcase how they’ve incorporated learnings from the workshops into their day-to-day work, as well as taking part in various other brand initiatives at local and global levels.

Further sessions are scheduled to follow in Germany (August), Sydney (September) before wrapping up in Asia and Africa (November). The activity will culminate in an exhibition of the results of the workshops at Laverstoke, Hampshire, home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, at the end of the year.

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress Launches ‘Bassano Aperitivo Season’

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Pop-up innovators Bassano Events and their Manchester venue, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress located on First Street, are launching a tasting calendar of Italian aperitivo over the next two months.

Focusing on Distilleria Nardini, the namesake of the bar name Bassano with its origins from Bassano del Grappa in Northern Italy, guests will enjoy one of the famous serves originating from the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge distillery, the Mezzoemezzo, itself combined with soda and a twist of lemon. A closer look at the flavour profiles of Nardini Grappa Bianca 40 and a selection of their liqueurs, including the citrus peels of Acqua di Cedro, juniper led Ginepro and the almond profiles of Mandorla.

Each session looks to finish with a refreshing Nardini Ginepro and Tonic, as well as a classic offering of Italian Antipasto courtesy of PizzaExpress.

Each hosted by Dave Marsland, co-owner of Bassano Events and brand agency Drinks Enthusiast, the Bassano Aperitivo Season is said to demystify the Italian spirit category, showing off the tradition of grappa and aperitivo and its versatile use within simple mixers and flavours.

All sessions will be held within The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, itself opening in June 2017 to bring the modern Italian cocktail bar concept to the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Dates of the Bassano Aperitivo Season;

18th August
25th August
31st August
7th September
21st September
28th September

Price;
£15 pp – tickets can be purchased in venue or via http://www.thebassanobar.com

General Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Address;
The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

#BassanoMcr

ALL DRINK IMAGERY BY GEORGIE GLASS/ WWW.GEORGIEGLASS.CO.UK / @GEORGIEGLASS_

Peroni Ambra Brings A Taste Of Italy To Manchester This Summer

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To celebrate the launch of Peroni Ambra, the Italian brewer has partnered with The Oast House in the heart of Manchester to open ‘The Apertivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ this summer.

Peroni Ambra extends the brand into a new territory, for the first time since its creation in 1963. Inspired by the classic Italian aperitivo, Peroni Ambra combines crisp and refreshing Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the sharpness of Italian Chinotto – a rare Italian citrus fruit, grown and harvested in the region of Liguria, North West Italy.

The new product is inspired by the Italian ritual of the bitter ‘aperitivo’, a pre-dinner drink designed to open the palate and stimulate the appetite. Distinctively, Peroni Ambra is served from its 250ml bottle into a bespoke tumbler glass, over ice, and garnished with orange peel, opening the senses in anticipation of the first sip. It has a bittersweet yet balanced flavour, which leaves the palate cleansed and refreshed. With the attention to detail synonymous with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Italian designer, Andrea Morgante, was commissioned to design the bespoke glass – each one handmade, crafted by a small artisan Italian glass production house.

Capturing the essence of Italy, guests will be transported to the rural Chinotto grovesof North West Italy during the special four-day residency, from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June. The Oast House has been beautifully transformed into an immersive Italian setting, where consumers will discover the authentic tastes and rare ingredients of Italy.

‘The Apertivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ will also play host to a contemporary orchestra and DJ collective, allowing guests to enjoy a snapshot of authentic modern Italian culture. The Urban Soul Orchestra, comprising a talented all girl string quartet and DJ from music curators, Euphonica, will be playing laidback Italian grooves between 6pm and 8pm on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June.

As with all Peroni products, this innovative new drink offering is brewed and bottled in Italy. Reaffirming Peroni’s passion for craftsmanship and authentic Italian heritage, their master brewers have worked closely with the farmers of Besio, where the Chinotto is sourced, to perfect the recipe.

Pronounced Kee-not-toe, the Chinotto fruit is extremely rare, grown in small areas of rural Italy based on the climate. The Chinotto fruit is an ingredient used in aperitivos, as the bittersweet taste stimulates the appetite. Carefully blended with the crisp and refreshing taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro, it creates the perfect balance, making Peroni Ambra the perfect drink to start the evening.

‘The Aperitivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra’ takes residence at The Oast House:
The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
From Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June

For more information visit: http://www.thehouseofperoni.com

The Bassano Bar and PizzaExpress To Partner Up in Manchester This Summer

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The nation’s favourite restaurant chain PizzaExpress and pop-up innovators Bassano Events have joined together to bring ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress’ to Manchester. Opening June 21st at PizzaExpress’s First Street restaurant, the modern Italian cocktail bar concept will be a first for the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Augmenting the much-loved and increasingly broad PizzaExpress menu, The Bassano Bar is keen to promote a range of traditional Italian drinks, including grappa, Italy’s much under-rated national spirit. Originating from Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region, Nardini is Italy’s most prestigious grappa brand, with the distiller’s home town providing the inspiration for the name of the bar.

Working alongside PizzaExpress, owners of Bassano Events Dave Marsland and Nick Hopewell-Smith have taken the opportunity to bring a flavour of Italian serves to the terrace of First Street, Pizza Express’ newest restaurant in the city, located in one of Manchester’s most dynamic leisure areas.

Dave is a well-known drinks expert and trainer, creating brand agency ‘Drinks Enthusiast’ in 2011, with his own spirits retail business in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.  A marketing professional with over 35 years experience, Nick is the initiator and creative driver behind The Bassano Bar in London and a specialist importer of Italian spirits and liqueurs from The Nardini Distillery.

With an al-fresco feel to the venue, making use of its natural light and, hopeful, Summer months, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress will be a welcome addition to the Manchester bar scene.

Opening Hours;

Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

Address;

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

Image by Georgie Glass / www.georgieglass.co.uk / @georgieglass_

Sons of Armagnac Launches Across The UK

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Sons of Armagnac is the new awareness campaign spearheaded by UK innovator Emporia Brands and its Armagnac partners Comte de Lauvia and Marquis de Montesquiou. Starting on June 12th and ending on 18th June (Fathers Day), many of the top bars and retailers across the country will be taking part in raising the profile of the Armagnac category with cocktail specials, menus, events, tastings and more.

Specially created Marquis de Montesquiou cocktails can be found across London, including Skylon, German Gymnasium, Looking Glass Cocktail Club and Hush, as well as Cottonopolis based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Manhattan in Liverpool, Nitehawks and Bonbar in Newcastle, Vice & Virtue in Leeds and Manhattan 34 in Leicester. Some of the UK’s premier dining arenas are also combining their expertise with Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac by offering specials within Harborne Kitchen in Birmingham and the aforementioned Vice & Virtue in Leeds.

Comte de Lauvia has been the chosen brand to be highlighted within unique serves from venues such as Merchant House and The Light Lounge in London, to The Edgbaston in Birmingham and Petit Parlour in Liverpool. 155 Bar & Kitchen in London, World Service in Nottingham and Wygston House in Leicester have put together at a food pairing menu for the week to highlight the versatility of the Armagnac category.

Retailers from across the UK are also getting involved, including in-store promotions of Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac within Riddles Emporium, South Manchester, 23 Wines & Whiskey in Leicester and Fenwick’s in Newcastle. Comte de Lauvia Armagnac will be highlighted across all Harvey Nichols stores, including in-store tastings, in the UK as well as Riddles Emporium.

Specialist online retailers are joining in, with 31 Dover offering £3 off a purchase of Marquis de Montesquiou Armagnac Fine, £4 off the Reserve expression, and £5 off the XO. The Drink Shop are running a week-long offer of 20% off both the Marquis de Montesquiou and Comte de Lauvia expressions, and finally Drinkfinder have put together 20% off the full Marquis de Montesquiou range until Father’s Day.

For more information and for a full list of activity during the Sons of Armagnac week, please visit www.emporiabrands.com/sonsofarmagnac and www.emporiabrands.com/s/Art-Of-Armagnac.pdf

#SonsOfArmagnac

Finalists Announced at Northern Restaurant & Bar Cocktail Competition with Whitley Neill Dry Gin

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Finalists announced for the Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual cocktail competition, sponsored by Whitley Neill Dry Gin, with the chance to win a once in a lifetime VIP visit to South Africa.

Competitors have been asked to submit one unique drink, containing a minimum of 35 ml of any Whitley Neill Dry Gin expression, and adding inspiration of the gin’s South Africa influence.

Four finalists, chosen by a blind judging panel of gin experts including founder Johnny Neill, have been chosen, and they include;

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi’s Italianissimo, Leeds
Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh
Jenny Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff
Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six (Battersea), London

Each finalist will be invited to the final of the competition at Northern Restaurant & Bar in Manchester on Wednesday 22nd March 2016 at 3:15pm. The competition is hosted by Dave Marsland aka Drinks Enthusiast and Halewood Wines & Spirits, the distributors for Whitley Neill Dry Gin, and compared by spirit writer Joel Harrison.

The winner will visit South Africa in late 2017 as the guest of Whitley Neill Dry Gin, which has previously beaten off the challenge from the World’s finest gin brands by winning gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014. The visit will also include a 1 day safari.

Northern Restaurant & Bar is the biggest hospitality show in the North. The show’s Spirit Room is the largest curated selection of spirit brands on show outside London. As well as the Casco Viejo cocktail competition, the Drinks Live theatre features a line-up of tutored tastings and masterclasses from some of the best names in the business. Tickets are free to anyone actively working in the hospitality industry, register now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk/webtickets

The House Of Peroni Brings A Taste Of Italy To Manchester This Spring

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Italians have always sought to push the boundaries to create something unique – from the pioneering Renaissance art movement that placed Italy as the capital of the world’s art scene, through to Carlo Peroni, who in 1963 was inspired to craft the first premium Italian beer.

To celebrate the quality of craftsmanship that is so inherent to the Italian way of life, The House of Peroni will be opening its doors in Manchester, giving visitors the chance to experience art like never before, all within the backdrop of a vibrant Peroni Nastro Azzurro bar.

The House will open its doors in Manchester’s bustling Spinningfields Square for a special four-day event from Wednesday 5th April – Saturday 8th April that will allow guests to experience a virtual world that blends art and technology.

THE ART EXPERIENCE

The brand has teamed up with Beautiful Crime Agency and three featured artists to produce bespoke art using innovative technology from Tilt Brush by Google. Guests visiting The House of Peroni will be able to virtually step inside these artworks and explore the pieces, before being given the freedom to experiment and explore their own artistic talent, under the guidance of an expert.

Brit artist Carne Griffiths, along with 2016 Lumen Prize winner Fabio Giampietro and Italian graffiti artist, Peeta, have each created incredible virtual reality pieces around the theme of ‘craftsmanship’– a quality inherent to Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Italian artist Fabio Giampietro (2016 winner of the prestigious Lumen Prize for digital art) has drawn on his early childhood memories with his carpenter uncle and blended this with his love of the ‘Futurismo’ art
movement of the early 20th century.

Fabio comments: “My signature style is to create a fairly abstract cityscape and play with a sense of perspective. For this project, entitled ‘Neon Vertigo’, I’ve invoked the craftsmanship that was apparent in my uncle’s joinery work and related it to architecture and the concept of the ‘metropolis’ – a motif that is apparent throughout all of my work.”
Brit artist Carne Griffiths found his inspiration from his 12 years as an embroidery designer, from which came a real fascination with the creation and manipulation of the drawn line. Similarly, Italian artist Peeta, has looked to his own heritage and experience in the art world to bring his work to life – using Venetian ‘Murano’ glassware as his muse.

THE BAR

The pop up will play also play host to a bar and aperitivo area, where guests can enjoy an evening with friends over a Peroni Nastro Azzurro, an infusion and a selection of antipasti all against a backdrop of works from our resident artists.

Award winning ‘Master of Mixology’, Simone Caporale will also return for a third year to bring his inimitable style of cocktail mastery to the infusion menu. With gin, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and sweet, spring-like citrus notes, the Oro Liquido liquid gold serve glows bright from the menu and is joined by L’Astratto – a long, more bitter serve featuring flavoured, coloured ice cubes. A fragrant take on the traditional Bellini, the Peroni Peony will feature crisp white peach, grape, peony and magnolia flowers. Finally, the classic Peroni Negroni will also re-join the menu for another year.
The centrepiece of the pop up, will be an eye-catching bar structure created by renowned set designer Petra Storrs. For her distinctive design, she has been inspired by the rich colour palette and playfulness of the light effects in the Tilt Brush technology, and blended it with the iconic Peroni Nastro Azzurro ‘blue ribbon’ to create an incredible focal point.

The House of Peroni takes residence at
Spinningfields Square, Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3AP
from Wednesday 5th April – Saturday 8th April.

For more information visit: http://www.thehouseofperoni.com

St Lucia Distillers Set to Travel Around the UK

Distillers-Final-LogoThis March and April, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a calendar of events involving its award-winning St Lucia Distillers range, after the initial success of last year’s programme.

Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland and the Emporia Brands team will be touring fifteen cities as they bring together the Chairman’s Reserve range, which includes Gold, Spiced, White Label and Forgotten Cask, the Admiral Rodney, and an edition of premium expression 1931, plus a selection of the distillates from which they are blended.

In 1931, the Barnard family founded a distillery at Dennery, St Lucia. Now based on the other side of the island at Roseau, the distillery has been considerably modernized and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. The installation of pot stills in 1998 added considerably to the variety of rums being produced in this highly regarded distillery which received the accolade of Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge, one of six trophies received in six years – a unique achievement.

With the premise of a flavour experience, the tour sees an approach to the range that offers bartenders and key industry figures invited to not only learn about St Lucia, but ideas on how to embrace the versatility of St Lucia Distillers, from the Spiced variety to the rare 1931.

Cities on the tour include Manchester, London, Leeds, Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Reading, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, with Emporia Brands looking to strengthen their campaign as they look ahead to the next instalment of the ‘Chairman’s XI’ with their ever-expanding sales team seeking out some of the UK’s best and brightest to follow in the footsteps of some of the industries key figures, including Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club in Manchester, Danny Murphy of Aloha in Liverpool and Adam Binnersley of the MOJO Group.

Places are limited for each session, due to the rarity of gaining the exclusive 1931 and distillates for the tasting’s. To secure your place, please contact Dave Marsland at dave@emporiabrands.com, stating the session you wish to attend from the list below.

Manchester       Mojo’s, 9th March, 1:30pm

London                 Burlock, 15th March, 2pm

Leeds                    Mojo’s, 15th March, 1:30pm

Brighton              Oki Nami, 21st March, 1pm

Liverpool             Maya, 23rd March, 1:30pm

Birmingham       Island Bar, 4th April, 2pm

Nottingham       Brass Monkey, 5th April, 3pm

Leicester             The Queen of Bradgate, 6th April, 2pm

Newcastle          Alvino’s, 11th April, 1pm

Edinburgh           Reekie Tiki, 16th April, 4pm

Cardiff                  The Dead Canary, 21st April, 2pm

Aberdeen           Bos’n, 23rd April, 3pm

Dundee                 Draffens, 24th April, 4pm

Reading                               Milk, 26th April, 2pm

Glasgow              Distill, 26th April, 4pm

 

Follow Chairman’s Reserve on Twitter @ChairmansUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChairmansReserveUK and Instagram at  www.instagram.com/chairmansreserveuk

Follow Emporia Brands on Twitter @EmporiaBrandsUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/EmporiaBrands and Instagram at www.instagram.com/emporiabrands

Manchester’s Retro Retreat Club Tropicana Relaunched After Major Refurbishment

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Club Tropicana, located on Manchester’s vibrant Canal Street, has undergone an impressive six-figure sum refurbishment.

As Manchester’s only 80s themed nightclub, the venue enlisted the help of Warrington based interior design and architecture firm DV8 Designs to create a striking retro concept, which pays homage to the very best of yesteryear.

In line with the major overhaul, the club now showcases a statement neon bar, colourful artwork featuring the era’s favourite icons and a neon disco sign, together with private booth seating areas.

Owner of Club Tropicana Lee Montgomery said: “As part of our interior refurbishment and overhaul, we wanted to create a totally new concept that was something completely different within the city of Manchester. Located in the heart of the Gay Village, our new 80s theme will welcome disco divas and glamorous guys to channel their inner Madonnas and Michael Jacksons all weekend long.

“Club Tropicana’s new look features design elements thrown right back to the 80s including bright colours and plenty of glitter, contrasted against modern design ideas such as industrial metals behind the bar. Here at Club Tropicana, the drinks may not be free – but the good times certainly are!”

In addition to serving an impressive cocktail menu that contains concoctions such as Club Tropicana, Absolutely Fabulous, Electric Dreams, Maverick and Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Club Tropicana’s live DJ plays the very best of the 80s ranging from Wham! to Duran Duran and everything in between.

Located above Club Tropicana at its 33 Sackville Street venue is REM Hotel, which has also undergone a total makeover as part of the overall refurbishment. All six rooms have been creatively transformed to offer comfort and style for party-goers, tourists and business delegates alike.

Lee added: “In contrast to our all-out, outlandish features of Club Tropicana, our in-house REM Hotel features neutral colour schemes, relaxed furnishings and comfortable beds to guarantee a good night’s sleep.

“Ideal for friends, couples and even those visiting the city on business, the new-look hotel rooms will allow our guests to explore all that Manchester has to offer and is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Manchester Piccadilly train station.”

Club Tropicana is open Friday-Saturday 7:30pm-3am – entry is free.