Thursday, 29 December 2016

Hard Rock Café – Manchester Visit

I’d been meaning to write this post last week, before my house descended into Christmas madness, but work and other commitments piled up, so I’m only just getting around to it now. The weekend before Christmas was supposed to be the date of our wedding, but the original venue cancelled and we suddenly had a free weekend on our schedule. Rather than sitting around thinking about how we could already be married, we decided to book a weekend mini break away together, and Manchester seemed like the perfect escape. We didn’t get much opportunity to explore, given the Christmas craziness, but I did get the chance to visit another Hard Rock, so here is an account of my latest café visit!


The Manchester Hard Rock Café is conveniently located close to the heart of the city, in the Printworks just off of Exchange Square. With a tram stop almost right outside, and a short walk from a couple of train stations, you should have no difficultly planning a visit. Our hotel was about a ten minute walk away, so we already knew this was our first stop once we’d checked in!

By the time we arrived in the city, it was already dark, as is common in British wintertime, but I knew there was a huge neon guitar, the size of a building, waiting to guide us to the venue - imagine my disappointment when we turned the corner and saw nothing. The staff informed us that they showed up to work one day and it had been removed without explanation, which is a shame for such an iconic symbol of Hard Rock. Regardless of this initial disappointment, the café looked lovely once we were inside. This close to Christmas, there were festive decorations everywhere, and a huge tree took pride of place in the centre – I couldn’t help feeling the excitement that had been somewhat lacking in recent weeks. The variety of memorabilia was also top notch, and we even noticed a gold sparkly jacket, which had been worn by Elvis, on display in a corner!

It’s not often I get the chance to enjoy a meal with Paul, without our kids in tow, so I was particularly looking forward to enjoying a cocktail (or two) and some adult conversation. There was a handy new limited edition cocktail menu to choose from and I was so eager to try one, that I didn’t actually bother reading the ingredients, and just went for the nicest colour – turns out Sangria wasn’t what I thought it was, and that was the major component of my drink! Paul played it safe with a Corona, and promised me I could try one of the creamier looking cocktails for dessert!
 
With all the travelling, and lack of a proper lunch, we were starving and couldn’t wait for food. Knowing the portions are quite large, we opted to share a starter of my usual good old potato skins, before digging in to a legendary burger each – yey for ‘2-for-1’ coupons! Paul opted for the regular legendary burger, with beef patty and all the trimmings, but turns out the local legendary was a chicken burger, which is right up my street! Given the proximity to the famous ‘curry mile’, Hard Rock Manchester have tried to combine everything we love about burgers, with a good old fashioned tikka masala, and it’s beautiful! With the mango chutney on the underside of the bun, and the mint raita accompaniment, I’m sad this isn’t something I can order again closer to home!



Knowing that I never leave a Hard Rock empty handed, Manchester would be no exception. Since discovering the pins are much easier to transport, I opted for a new one to add to my collection, but I also gave Paul the opportunity to choose a new t-shirt as an extra Christmas present. This would have been easier if the shop was a little bigger, but after asking a staff member to reach a few different ones down for him, he eventually settled on a design he liked.


Overall, this visit was great and, thanks to a priority seating coupon, we didn’t even have to wait for a table! Our server, Monika, was also fantastic and really made us feel at home during the evening – if it wasn’t for her glowing review of the burger, I would never have tried the magnificent curry in a bun! I could have quite easily eaten here for a second night in a row and, if it wasn’t for our mutual love of Nando’s, we probably would have! After living near Manchester for a year as an undergraduate, I’m surprised I never visited this café before, But I’ll definitely be sure to go again if I’m ever back in the area!
 
What’s the most recent Hard Rock you’ve visited?
 
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18 comments

  1. I love Hard Rock. If I go somewhere and theres a Hard Rock i will go in. The food is great. I haven't been to the Manchester one

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    1. I can't wait until my honeymoon, we get to tick another one off the list! :)

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  2. I love Hard Rock Cafes and have been to a couple, but not the Manchester one. It looks great. Kaz x

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    1. It's a decent size and has some great memorabilia - definitely worth a visit if you're ever in the area! :)

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  3. Oh the one in Sydney is just out of this world - its the only time I have been in one but certainly would again if we had one closer

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    1. I'm hoping to go to the Sydney one when we next visit some family, I've head great things about it! :)

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  4. I love Hard Rock Cafe, I've only been there once but it was fantastic! What a lovely time it sounds like you had, and the food looks yummy! Shame about the guitar though!

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    1. I can't wait to go to my next one - Hard Rock Seattle, here I come! :)

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  5. I have never been to hard rock before! Yay for coupons and I do love Corona as well x

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    1. Give the London one a try if that's you're local? Although make sure to avoid peak times! :)

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  6. I never been in Hardrock cafe and it really sounds interesting for me, I want to go there soon.

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    1. It's definitely worth a visit, I can't wait to go to my next one! :)

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  7. This is such a great place, i always pop in for a coffee there whenver I am in town.

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    1. The bar is pretty big, I just wish I'd picked a different cocktail haha! :)

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  8. I've passed many hard rock cafes, but somehow have never been. Love Manchester though! Where i was born so bit bias...

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    1. You should pop in next time you pass one, the food is fantastic! :)

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  9. I've only been to 2 Hard Rock Cafes, the one in Edinburgh which was great and I've been to the one in Cologne which was great the first time and terrible the second time! I would love to try the one in Manchester and see how that one is.

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    1. I've been to Edinburgh several times, it can get pretty crowded when it's busy. I suppose they are like any restaurants, but I've enjoyed every visit I've ever had to one, so I'm happy to keep going back! :)

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