Swankier than average bar-hotel, serving fine food and creative cocktails. There are 19 boutique rooms, should going home prove too much effort
Set within the heart of Manchester’s main gay area, Velvet is a boutique hotel, restaurant and bar that adds a touch of class to the revelry of Canal Street. As one of the few proper cocktails joints in the Village, Velvet has become a forerunner in luxurious drinking and canal-side dining.
Serving up a sturdy menu of British and continental favourites, the basement restaurant is a popular hangout for the hungry folk of Canal Street. With dishes like grilled hake, rabbit pot pie, corn-fed chicken cassoulet and smoked mackerel salad, the fare on offer is refined without feeling too contrived. There’s also a good selection of steak, with beef sourced locally from Glynn Brothers Butchers in Partington.
Cocktails cover most of the classic ground with the ultra-boozy long island iced tea, cosmopolitans and manhattans. But there are also camper, more exciting drinks with Velvet specials including the ‘Glitter Ball’, a blend of four types of vodka and lime, and the ‘Tokyo Green Tea’, a mix of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, Midori, lime juice and ginger beer.
With the food, drink, plush interiors and the 19 individually decorated boutique hotel rooms all sufficiently opulent, the crowd becomes a mixed bag of city workers, small parties and tourists that ensures a night at Velvet is different each time. At weekends this expands to absorb the local merrymakers with DJs playing an eclectic and funky mix of tunes, making Velvet a good all-rounder.