Okay, so we’ve just had a discussion in the office and there’s not actually a name for the area where Ramona is. Someone said ‘Lower Ancoats‘ and was scoffed at, it’s not in the NQ (which stops at Swan Street) and it’s not NOMA (thanks to Rochdale Road).
I once heard talk of calling this sliver of the city ‘Cross Keys’, or even ‘Smithfield’ but as of yet – it exists in a kind of no man’s land between many of the city’s better known areas.
Regardless, I used ‘Northern Quarter’ in the title so that you’d click it – and here we are…
A magical ‘winter village’ experience is set to descend upon Ramona and The Firehouse this winter, complete with tequila cabins, teepees and open log fires.
The whole of Swan Street, which is home to the two adjoining restaurants, will be transformed into a festive winter village with the existing outside space to be developed to provide more shelter to those wanting to escape the cold Manchester weather.
The plans for the festive village include cosy Colorado-style log cabins, each with its own fire and chimney, and those all-important teepees with open-log fires. It will also welcome pop-up stalls from independent traders in its own scaled-down Christmas market.
Ramona’s winter village will open next month on November 4th, with traders being given the choice of how long to trade for throughout both November and December. The teepees are open now and make for the ultimate dance tent, hosting a live stage with a mix of artists and bringing the party firmly outdoors as part of the upcoming winter festivities.
And, remarkably, the winter village won’t be going anywhere once the new year arrives – it will be open right through until April 2022, though the Christmas decorations will be scaled back a tad following the arrival of January.
The official announcement for the village, made via social media by the team at Ramona, reads:
W I N T E R V I L L A G E. Get ready for… Christmas Campfire. Dance Tent. Winter Market. Tequila Cabins. Runway. Winter Beer Garden. Margarita Bars. Pizza From Detroit. Peri Kitchen. Live Stage. Hot Chocolate. Mulled Wine. Coffee Hatch. It’s Christmas but good.
November 4th to December 31st. Ramona & The Firehouse. Together as one. Christmas 2021.
Andy Windsor, head of marketing at Ramona, said of the Winter Village: “The whole place is going to become a lot warmer! We built everything outside initially as we were coming out of lockdown but now we’ve launched The Firehouse which is inside.
“Ramona now lives in our MOT station too, but we still have the large 280 covers outside which are under teepees. The whole plan is to put in walls and roofs and fires and give it a lovely winter feeling.
“It’s a seasonal change to make sure that people can keep coming down, having fun, and getting together, but it is Manchester, so we need to make sure people are warm and dry!”
This comes just months after the official opening of The Firehouse which, unlike its sister venue that has become famous for dishing up slabs of pizza, has taken on a somewhat different vibe with the help of its ‘Slow Fires Open Kitchen’, which focuses on wood-fired peri chicken dishes.
Bookings for the winter village open on Wednesday 6th October – so make sure you head over to the Ramona website then to get your reservation secured.