A Miso Masterclass, the The Royal Exchange Re-Opens & the Best Things to do in Manchester This Week

Also including a Musicals Party, Vegan Tapas and Glasgow Film Festival at HOME.

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 8 March 2022

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Monday 28th February – Sunday 6th March

Waking up this morning was a bit of a punch to the gut to be honest. I’ve spent most of my weekend basking in the sunshine, surrounded by that familiar aroma of summer, a particular scent you can’t quite explain but it screams tinnies in the park. 

But now, we’re back to the pissing rain. Of course we are, we’re in Manchester. So, if you’re crying into your sad Monday Morrison’s salad bowl because your beer garden plans have been utterly ruined, we’re here to help. 

There’s loads of stuff going on in the city this week that doesn’t require the help of our long lost friend Mr Sunshine. It’s also PANCAKE DAY on Tuesday, arguably one of the best days of the year, so pick that face up and arm yourself with some Jif. It can’t be that bad, can it?

Best Places to Eat Pancakes in Manchester

Food & Drink

This Wednesday, as part of GRUB’s International Women’s Day celebrations, Lass Fest’s Drinks Tasting event will take place. Hosted by some inspiring women from the drinks industry, you’ll be guided through tastings of whisky, rum and beer, all while finding out some juicy industry gossip!

Speakers include; Charlotte Coyle, Brown-Forman’s UK Malts Ambassador; Chess Slattery, beer sommelier and Neptune Brewery’s Sales & Beer Experience Manager and Cleo Farman, Founder of Diablesse Rums.

Lass Fest’s Drinks Tasting @ GRUB

You may have heard already, but Deansgate Square has a new pal popping up this week. Pesky is a restaurant serving creative cocktails and innovative seafood, founded by food and drink enthusiast and trained molecular mixologist, Zaide O’Rourke. Opening on Wednesday, it’ll serve simple but delicious seafood and ‘land food’ dishes, alongside a stunning selection of drinks.

If you’ve ever fancied trying your hand at perfecting the art of Miso making, then get yourself down to Pollen Bakery this Thursday. You’ll join fabulous fermenter, Robin Sheriff from The Koji Kitchen and learn how to make your own miso to take home with you, as well as the ins and outs of koji making AND you’ll get to taste some seriously unique and fab ferments!

Miso Masterclass @ Pollen Bakery

Also starting this week is our good plant-based pals at Black Leaf’s new tapas menu! 12 dishes will be hitting the menu, created by their brand-new chef, Chris Nuttal. It launches on Tuesday and is available Monday – Saturday from 5pm with last seating at 9pm.

Black Leaf are also offering 25% OFF food Monday through to Wednesday for the whole of March, so make sure you get yourself booked in ahead of the rush!

Book a Table @ Black Leaf

Art & Culture

Quartet is a series of exhibitions held at the Holden Gallery celebrating the work of Manchester Metropolitan University students who graduated in 2020 and 2021. Opening again this Thursday, the exhibition will showcase Media work that spans animation, filmmaking and photography, with the exhibition running until 16th March. 

This Saturday sees the opening ceremony of the Muslim Women’s Art Festival take place at the Whitworth Art Gallery on Oxford Road. The foundation celebrates and elevates Muslim female artists from across the globe, and you can expect workshops, celebrations of multi art forms, as well as work from Hanna Ihsan, Atefah SeifI, Aysha Yilmaz, and Asma Jadakara Desai

Muslim Women’s Arts Foundation @ Whitworth Art Gallery

Also this week, Glasgow Film Festival begins at HOME. It’s wide-ranging programme celebrates every corner of world cinema and provides a fantastic showcase for the best of Scottish film. This year, the festival has decided to take its premiere screenings to cinema partners across the UK! Lucky for us, we’ll get to see the full programme here in Manchester. 

Finally, after far too long, the Royal Exchange Theatre will re-open its doors again this week. A searing adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s original masterpiece, Nora: A Doll’s House, directed by Royal Exchange Theatre Joint Artistic Director Bryony Shanahan, is a gripping story of female empowerment. The production begins this Friday and is available until the 2nd April. 

Nora: A Doll’s House @ Royal Exchange


Stand Up & Feel Good is back again at Feel Good Club this Thursday! After the sell out event in November, it will once again be another fantastic night of comedy from some of the best female comics from across the North West, all to raise money for Contact Hostel and support homeless teenage girls from across Manchester. 

The line-up this month features; Anna Thomas – BBC New Comedy Award Winner 2021, Alex Stringer, Eryn Tett, Justina Seselskaite, Annabelle Devey, Charlotte Cropper, Seeta Wrightson and Tegan Marlow.

The Castle Hotel will launch the Gathering Speed Programme – a zine including photos, chatter and information about the bands you will spend the evening feasting your ears on this weekend. There’ll be music from pop, punk and alternative bands; Jerry, Workfriends and All Girls Arson Club

Gathering Speed @ The Castle Hotel

This Wednesday, RUSH: A Joyous Jamaican Journey is at the Lowry Theatre. Telling the story of Reggae music and the Windrush Generation, you will hear how this music took the world by storm. Narrated by comedian, John Simmit and featuring ska, rock steady, calypso, gospel, lovers rock, dancehall and Reggae played live by the JA Reggae Band, you’ll be spending the evening dancing away to the music of Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Lord Kitchener, Millie Small and many more.

RUSH: A Joyous Jamaican Journey @ The Lowry Theatre

Music & Clubs

The Blues Kitchen welcomes K.O.G this week. Delivering infectious West African vibes from Ghana via Sheffield, K.O.G’s diverse origins conflate to whip up a signature heady brew of afrobeat, hip hop and soul.

K.O.G has been making great music now for 7 years alongside his Zongo Brigade and are at the forefront of the UK Afro-Fusion scene alongside bands like Nubiyan Twist, Onipa, London Afrobeat Collective, Mansion Of Snakes and Afriquoi.

K.O.G @ The Blues Kitchen

Image: Guillaume Kayacan

ALiA makes her Manchester debut at YES this Friday. The 21-year-old DJ has perfected her craft, taking the Belgian club scene by storm. Her eclectic musical background enables her to jump from almost any genre into some seriously dirty basslines lines, keeping you wondering exactly what is coming next.


What’s better than embarrassing yourself on the karaoke at 3 o’clock in the morning, belting out Grease is the Word? Absolutely nothing if you ask me. That’s why I’ll be getting myself down to The Deaf Institute this week for their Musicals Party. Expect non-stop hits from all the very best cheesy classics, including Grease, Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and West Side Story!

The Musicals Party @ The Deaf Institute

Rounding off this week’s music events is Kiran Leonard at The White Hotel. This Friday he’ll bring his music which is packed with dizzying chord structures and fractious, darting rhythms, managing to find so much freedom and exploration with sounds and textures to the city. Definitely one not to miss! 

Kiran Leonard @ The White Hotel