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The Violet Hour

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Didsbury
4 out of 5 stars

Superb suburban cocktail bar with cosy sofas and a mature attitude to boozing. A seat in front of the roaring fire is a coveted spot in the colder months

It’s easy to become transfixed by the bright lights and big city buzz of Piccadilly and its surrounds, but Manchester’s suburbs are not quite as backwards as you may assume. Proving precisely this is West Didsbury’s Burton Road, a mecca for independent trading, post-office imbibing and eggs benedict galore.

And then there’s arguably the area’s flagship boozer, The Violet Hour; a cocktail bar that rivals any of its city centre equivalents. Residing in one of Greater Manchester’s most picturesque neighbourhoods, the bar sits on the site of the old Hibbert’s butcher’s shop, which had lain derelict and unloved for almost two decades.

The atmosphere is friendly, intimate and down to earth, where classic Chesterfield sofas invite you to kick back and exposed brickwork gives a gentle reminder that drinking here is an unpretentious pursuit. It’s the sort of place where you could happily catch up with friends in the evening or spend an afternoon nursing a whisky in one hand and a good book in the other. And for colder months there’s even an open fire to warm the coldest of cockles.

Drinks follow the ‘drink less, but better’ ethos, with binging discouraged in favour of truly savouring and appreciating booze. To help customers enter into such a mentality, cocktails have been made exciting with elements like maraschino dust, grapefruit zested popcorn and strawberry caviar, all of which sit on the right side of gimmickry to get us enthusiastic about alcohol again. Try the Penny Lane, a blend of Grand Marnier, rose, poppy, chamberyzette, mascarpone and orange flower water with Fossier biscuit for something a bit special.

Food-wise you’ll find a range of seafood, continental meat and cheese sharing platters, or small plates including dishes like potted smoked mackerel, stuffed vine leaves and hot and sour pickled prawns.

By: Jess Hardiman


Venue name: The Violet Hour
Address: 236 Burton Road
West Didsbury
M20 2LW
Static map showing venue location