12-hour French onion soup and champagne fondue at The Refuge's new ‘apres ski chalet’

Love cheese? Well you're gonna love this...

By Manchester's Finest | 1 December 2023

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The Refuge has turned its courtyard terrace into an après ski haven for the festive period, serving up a 12-hour French onion soup and a cauldron of champagne fondue.

We’re talking hot toddies, boozy (and non-boozy) hot chocolate, cosy blankets, twinkling Christmas lights, warm pretzels and generally cosy vibes, which will run through Christmas and right into the new year.

Called ‘Fondue’, the set up will also feature DJs providing the ‘Chalet Sounds’ from Thursdays to Sundays.

The new menu’s centrepiece is the gruyere and champagne fondue, served in a heated fondue pot with dipping prongs, and baked pretzels, heritage radishes and purple sprouting broccoli to dip into the molten goo.

But the star of the show is a traditional French onion soup, the onions cooked low and slow over 12 hours, and then topped with a grilled comte cheese crouton.

There’s also a an alpine-inspired tartiflette (sliced potato gratin with bacon and reblochon cheese and topped with kimchi), a Manchester rarebit made with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and Bury black pudding, and whipped heritage beetroot toasts with pomegranate.

On the warming drinks menu, there is a Hennessy cognac or Glenmorangie hot chocolate with ​​whipped vanilla cream, fudge pieces, grated chocolate, marshmallows and salted caramel, or a hot toddy with smokey Ardbeg whisky, lemon and ginger.

Cocktails include an Audrey Hepburn, featuring Moet & Chandon brut champagne, with vodka, violet, lavender and egg white, and the Brigitte Bardot – champagne with gin and basil cordial.

David Steel, General Manager of Kimpton Clocktower, said: “We’re very proud to be partnering with Moët & Chandon for our special winter terrace. We have all worked really hard to create an après ski haven for anyone living in or visiting Manchester. Our doors are open – we can’t wait to welcome you!”

Fondue will run in the Refuge courtyard all the way through to February.

You can book a table here…