Jess is a freelance writer who loves booze, films and food. She's also probably responsible for at least 90% of the world's sherry consumption. Follow her on Twitter at @jess_hardiman
Listings and reviews (35)
The Graff Cafe
A collaboration between The Bench 504 & Scribble N Scratch, The Graff Cafe is a place for artists and musicians to network and socialise. Open early for locally sourced coffees, you'll also find freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and a huge range of graffiti and street art products including paint, pens, drawing markers and inks, along with a selection of rare trainers and clothing lines by local artists.
The Elbow Room
A late night American-themed pool bar on Park Street, The Elbow Room has two floors and is open until 2am throughout the week and until 4am at weekends.
The Lawn Club
Inspired by the old school charm of a classical English garden, The Lawn Club is a bar and restaurant serving up locally sourced, seasonal food by chef David Gale. Things rev up a gear or two come the weekends, which welcome a roster of well-known names of the Mancunian DJ circuit.
One of Bristol's leading superclubs, Pryzm is a 'futuristic, exclusive and stylish nightclub concept' based in the heart of the city just shy of its iconic waterfront.
One of the North's biggest clubs, Control is a 3,000-cap venue boasting two arenas spanning 25,000 square feet, seven bars, a 24 hour license and the world's first LED Geodome, plus stunning lighting and special effects, LED video walls, mezzanine levels and an outdoor heated terrace.
The Wonder Inn
An event space in the heart of Manchester seeking to 'raise the vibrations of our community and the planet through creativity and the celebration of art', housed in a beautiful listed building built in 1810.
A new public square sandwiched between the CIS Tower, New Century House and Hanover Street (opposite Victoria Station), that's been created as part of the £800m NOMA development.
Housed in a stunning grade II-listed former tailor's studio on the corner of Newton Street and Dale Street, Cottonopolis is a slick bar and restaurant serving up sushi and more to the people of Manchester's Northern Quarter. An open kitchen reveals the craft behind the food, showcasing the chefs serving up a menu divided into four sections of 'Ice', 'Fire', 'Steam' and 'Oil' - think classics like sashimi, gyoza, nigiri, bao buns and dumplings. And while a very small handful of dishes, such as the tiger prawn tempura and pork scratchings, may not prove much to write home about, elsewhere on the menu you'll find undeniable highlights - at the top of which is the beef tataki, served ingeniously with tangy onion ponzu, spring onions and crispy shallots. Seriously good. Drinkswise, we're talking cocktails that sit (for the most part) just on the right side of gimmickery, though beneath the frills sit strong flavours and clever blends, including the Rose & Shine, a delicate mix of Ketel One vodka, Belsazar rose vermouth, Peychaud bitters and prosecco, as well as the Cotton-Hopper, with Calle 23 blanco tequila, matcha tea, branca menta, cream and gomme.
The HQ for well-loved brewery Runaway, which also uses the vast space for events including food and drink festivals and brewtaps.
Track is a craft brewery situated in the heart of Manchester near Piccadilly Station.
Book now as The Gin Journey comes to Manchester
Whether it’s the simple pleasure behind a good G&T or the national pride it’s able to rouse without the need for skinheads and the EDL, it seems we’ve never been crazier about gin – and yet often we find we know little more than the fact that it’s got something to do with juniper berries and that Hendrick’s tastes like cucumber. Tapping into the nationwide gin buzz while also helping us get hands-on with the endless potential it possesses, The Gin Journey is a playful, interactive, educative gin trail that takes booze fans around Manchester in five drinks and venues, harnessing the best that the city has to boast in the botanical realm. The innovation of Leon Dalloway – whose roots with Manchester run fairly deep, having previously worked its lively bar scene – The Gin Journey started life just a couple of years ago in the capital, where the abundance of exciting London distilleries like East London Liquor Co., plus a healthy revival of the gin parlour, proved ample ground for exploring. The next step sees Dalloway bringing the Gin Journey to Manchester, with tickets now on sale for the first series of journeys running throughout February. “The whole evening is about gin’s connection with Manchester and the Bridgewater Canal, as the canal was obviously the trade route for the eighteenth century, so lots of botanicals came through there. We’ll also be talking about the history of gin and the UK, along with the gin craze and resurgence of gin parlours.” On the agenda y
10 events proving January in Manchester doesn’t have to be dry
Once all of the hysteria from Christmas and New Year’s Eve – a festive period that makes the space of a week feel like a lifetime – has eventually worn off, you’re left with something of a void. While part of you is glad it’s all over, where once your calendar was filled with parties, buffets, dancing and drinking, lies a tumbleweed of detoxes, diets, people clambering onto the wagon and a Christmas pud that no one wants to finish. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And we have 10 things to do to prove it… The Girls, The Lowry, Fri 8 – Saturday 30 JanuaryA new musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, ‘The Girls’ is inspired by the story of the Calendar Girls (yep, it was made into a film, too), exploring how an intriguing project in a sleepy Yorkshire village soon helped a bunch of ordinary women achieve something extraordinary. As such, you can look forward to it warming your heart as the Christmas glow thaws. Global Roots x Banana Hill, Soup Kitchen, Friday 15 JanuaryParty season may have struck you hard, but 15 days into the new year you’ll find few reasons left to not get back on it. The solution can be found in Soup Kitchen’s basement, as it welcomes Dark and Lovely Global Roots and Banana Hill, teaming up once again as part of their quarterly takeover for sounds from across the world, featuring guests Thris Tian and Contours. Chali 2na, Band on the Wall, Saturday 16 JanuaryGet the January cobwebs shaken from your system by the signature baritone vocals of Chali 2na – best
10 Bristol events to enjoy in January
January is always grim. It’s all detoxes, kale, festive guilt, empty gig calendars and significantly less booze than the month before. But that’s not to say there’s no hope, for this January in Bristol there’s plenty of life post Christmas – and we’ve compiled a list of ten things to do to prove it: The Light Princess The Light Princess One of the few good things about January is that the Christmas shows are often still loitering around, such as the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s festive offering ‘The Light Princess’. This follows an extraordinary princess who lives in a kingdom far, far away (as many do), and more importantly has no gravity. Inspired by George MacDonald’s beautiful original fairy tale, the enchanting story has been brought to life by an immersive set design, theatrical magic and original music. The Light Princess. Until Sunday January 10. Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Road, Bristol, BS3 1TF. More details here. Craig Charles Funk and Soul New Year's Day Having hosted his own radio show on BBC Radio 6 and thrown his Funk and Soul parties across the nation, Craig Charles is an undeniable music maestro, whose passion behind the decks is certainly a sight to behold. No greater time, then, than New Year’s Day, where the 'King of Funk' will help you ensure you start the year as you mean to go on. Craig will be joined by special guests The Allergies, DJ Cheeba and Sir Funk. Craig Charles Funk and Soul NYD. Friday January 1. The Lanes, 22 Nelson Street, Bristol, BS1 2LD
Seven top picks for New Year's Eve in Bristol
From bingo and live music to huge themed nights, Bristol’s got you covered when it comes to the countdown to 2016. Here are our pick for some of the best things to do this New Year’s Eve: The Final Frontier NYE Go ‘Beyond Space and Time’ with an intergalactic-themed New Year’s Eve do from the Shapes gang, who’ll be taking over The Island, the Old Crown Courts and prison cells with over 50 great musical names. One the bill you’ll find Midland, Nick Hoppner, ELA 303, Thomas Kenyon, Congo Natty, Kahn and Neek, DJ Die, Troy Gunner, Wonka and Syn and many more, as well as a huge cast of actors, performers, designers and production builders to ensure the venues look the part, too. The Final Frontier NYE. Bridewell Island, Bridewell Street, Bristol, BS1 2QD. More info here. In:Motion presents NYE It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve in Bristol without something seismic going down at Motion. This year it won't disappoint: alongside Birmingham DJ Hannah Wants and the legendary Roni Size, there'll be three rooms of DJs and MCs, including Lil Silva, Gotsome, DJ Barely Legal, CKTRL, DBridge, Sam Binga, Chimpo, Turno, Jaydrop, Fireman Sam and many more. Don’t forget, there’s also an equally massive New Year’s Day party… if you’ve got the stamina. In:Motion presents NYE. Motion, 74 Avon Street, St Phillips, Bristol, BS2 0PS. More info and tickets here. The Richard Heads If you'd rather ring in the New Year with some live music, punk rock three-piece The Richard Heads will be performing a
Christmas shopping guide: North Street
While Bedminster may have its share of high street chains such as Boots, Asda and Aldi, it's also home to some great independent shops and businesses. North Street in particular is a great destination for those seeking extraordinary gifts that are far more fun to unwrap than that Lynx gift set you were going to resort to: Rhubarb Jumble Rhubarb Jumble Rhubarb Jumble is a well loved treasure trove of ‘nifty threads and oddities for the home’, including vintage clothes, bags, hats, pins, scarves, homeware, furniture and kitchenalia. It’s the sort of place where hunting down presents is as much of a treat as the gift itself, as you’re surrounded by an enchanting world of retro Babycham coupettes, ornate mirrors, Lea Stein glass brooches and old children’s toys. Rhubarb Jumble, 52 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1HJ Auraura Auraura A family run store founded back in 2010, Auraura is one of North Street’s favourite gift shops, known for packing its small space with perfect present potential. Its range of homeware and gifts span everything from retro style tins to artisanal soaps, as well as Christmas products like twee decorations and alternative advent calendars. Auraura, 26 North Street, Bristol, BS3 IHW Paper Village Paper Village Paper Village is an art, craft, wool and fabric shop, which doubles up as a community resource and workshop space. Here, you’ll be able to cater for the crafty, creative types this Christmas with high quality sketchbooks, decopatch and decoupag
Christmas shopping guide: Gloucester Road
As grateful as Dad might appear for his two-for-£5 socks from M&S or Grandma for her lavender draw liners, these days we’ve got no excuse to not get at least little more creative with our gift buying at Christmas. As the longest stretch of independent shops in the UK, Gloucester Road provides ample opportunity to do just that, with everything from screen-printed artwork and handmade jewellery to home brew kits: Fig Fig is the venture of a small co-operative of six creatives, who each bring their own skills and disciplines together in a beautiful independent gift shop. Here you'll find India-born Chitra Merchant’s prints; kiln-formed glass by Robyn Coetzee; Sinead Finnegan’s embroideries; elegant silver jewellery by Jemima Lumley; and Jane Ormes’ humorous prints and hand-stitched portraits can be commissioned to textile artist Kate Tarling. Gifts here are packed with the skill and unique charm that simply can’t be replicated on the high street. 206 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8NU Born Founded back in 2000, Born started when two sisters wanted to bring natural, organic, fair trade and practical baby products to the people of Bristol. Since then the pair have garnered a great reputation for offering baby essentials, in-store events or just good advice. It's also one of the city’s most environmentally friendly businesses, having won the Sustainable Business Award back in 2004, before being induced into Bristol Zoo’s Walk of Fame as Most Eco-Friendly Business in 2013. Born
Ten of Manchester’s hotspots for freelancing and co-working
These days, the concept of the traditional office-based nine-to-five model is continuously being turned on its head, with the flexibility of the freelancer beginning to reign supreme. But while the idea of slouching on your sofa to crack on with an afternoon of work may seem like bliss, in reality it’s never as good as it sounds. Luckily, Manchester’s got an abundance of alternatives, with loads of great coffee shops, bars, co-working spaces and libraries right on your doorstep. Foundation Coffee House Foundation is a stunning design-led space kitted out by the clever folk of No Chintz. As a result, it’s got a great creative, inspiring vibe, along with a row of window seats that’ll let you look down at the bustling scenes of Lever Street below when your brain needs a breather. The coffee’s good – the sarnies less so – and it’s got such impressive square footage (3,500 sq ft) that you’ll rarely find yourself without a seat. Ezra and Gil A beautiful large space in the heart of the Northern Quarter, Ezra and Gil is the freelancing dream, with stripped back décor, seriously good coffee, delicious (though not cheap) food and a mix of small tables, large benches and stools in the window. That said, the people of Manchester have well and truly taken to this joint, meaning that it’s often quite busy… and you’ll often find yourself wandering in from Hilton Street, scouting your way through the room with unconvincing nonchalance, before being rejected out onto Newton Street
Elves descend on Bedminster for Christmas trail
It’s been a while since we waved goodbye to the Shaun the Sheep trail, but you’ll soon have something to fill the void, courtesy of a troupe of mischievous elves that have taken over Bedminster and Southville... There are one hundred Bedminster Elves to find, each designed and decorated by local schoolchildren and artists. They’ll be hiding in windows, trees and around the streets from Saturday November 28, poised and ready to be discovered by families throughout the Christmas period. Bedminster Elves Along with the wooden elves, there'll also be four elf-made properties to visit: the Elf and Safety Office, Elf Hotel, Santa’s Mailroom and the Elf Workshop. Each of which will be interactive and feature voice-activated experiences, lighting effects and falling snow, while Santa’s Mailroom will provide children the chance to post their Christmas list to St Nick himself. The city’s young elf-seekers will be able to check in at Candy Check Points to let their friends know how many elves they’ve managed to unearth, and some of the elves will even come with their own sElfie stick (geddit?) so that the victors can capture a moment with the elf they’ve managed to locate. Your guide to help find the little guys comes in the form of the Bedminster Winter Map, available from shops, cafes, venues and the tourist information office from Monday November 16, which will detail the four elf properties and check point, as well as the location of another landmark to hunt down – a seasonal
Christmas shopping guide: Clifton Village
Get off the high street (and the internet) this Christmas and make a beeline for Clifton Village and its beautiful shops, delis and antiques stores. Here are just a handful that are great for gift hunting: Pod The Pod Company First opened in Clifton back in 2001, Pod has since expanded out to Cheltenham and Oxford. It’s a great spot for design-led, colourful and kitsch products from brands including Nicky James, Orla Kiely, Caroline Gardner and Tyrrell Katz, with a particularly good selection of novelty homewares and baking equipment. It’s got plenty of bits and pieces for children, too, and for Christmas you’ll also find fittingly twee decorations on the ground floor. Pod, 24 The Mall, Bristol, Avon, BS8 4DS Arch House Deli Arch House Deli Everyone loves to receive something edible for Christmas. At the Arch House Deli, you'll find something a little more special than the usual giant Toblerone, with Bellevue tea, infused oils, and spices and herbs sold by the gram. If you're after something sweet, there's confectionary from James Chocolates, Montezuma, Valrhona and local chocolatier Frances Cooley. The deli can also rustle up a gift hamper if you’re after a Christmas Day showstopper, with prices ranging from £15 to £250. Arch House Deli, Arch House, Boyces Avenue, Bristol, BS8 4AA Otomi Otomi Otomi is a small Mexican shop in Clifton Arcade named after a tribe from Guadalajara, where the brand began. The store sells colourful stock you definitely won't find on
Love through a Lens: November highlights for BFI's love film season
BFI Love is a season of films to fall in love with and movies to break your heart, reminding us of cinema’s enduring power at Watershed until December. While we're already midway through the season, there’s still lots to see. Here are some November highlights: Night on Earth Stranger Than Love (Friday November 27), is part of a late-night double bill exploring the alternative side to love, through the lens of indie film director Jim Jarmusch. Breaking away from Hollywood’s traditional approach when depicting love, Jarmusch's films take on something more nuanced, whether that’s the awkwardness of a first meeting, unusual pairings or simply the odd nature of human interactions. A line-up of two of Jarmusch's earlier films – ‘Mystery Train’ and ‘Night On Earth’ – reveals the complexities of relationships, with a musical interlude courtesy of the guys from Rise record shop, who'll be spinning R&B and rock n roll in the bar. True Romance From November 20-22, Watershed is also screening Tony Scott’s bloody ‘True Romance’, which sees an unlikely duo elope, steal a fortune in cocaine and hit the road, dodging pimps and hitmen on the way. Not quite as twisted as 'Natural Born Killers', but still a sweet, charming, gun-toting gem. Dr Zhivago Along with screenings of David Lean's stunning romantic melodrama ‘Dr Zhivago’, which portrays love set against the backdrop of the Russian revolution (Friday November 27-Thursday December 3), Watershed is also hosting a series
International Sherry Week in Manchester
We need to talk about sherry – that fortified wine that you’d probably more often associate with an eighty-year-old pensioner called Phyllis than the bars of Manchester. But that stigma deserves to be lifted, and to prove it this November, in steps International Sherry Week, urging you to cast aside those dated images of net curtains and crystal cut glass, because sherry’s back… and better than ever. Whether it’s the sticky-sweet liquid raisin joy of a shot of Pedro Ximenez poured over a bowl of ice cream or a crisp dry fino when you get in from work, there’s an entire spectrum outside of Grandma’s liquor cabinet. That said, Grandma’s onto something here – the cream stuff’s good too. Salut Sherry Week wouldn’t be right without the wine bods of Salut getting involved. Thankfully they’ve come up trumps with a flight of Manzanilla, Palo Cortado and Oloroso – 50ml of each for £6.50 – from Lustau, the self-titled best sherry in the world. Common Over at Common the focus is on the Palomino dry styles because 'we love their work and we think you will too.' We concur, and to showcase the best that dry sherry has to offer they’ve got a fino flight with Fernando De Castilla’s Classic Fino and fuller bodied Valdespino Fino Inocente, along with an introductory flight showcasing the holy trinity of Manzanilla, Fino and Amontillado. Evuna <img id="3a06abb5-55bc-6e05-bbbc-310c8ecebe02" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="" type="image/jpeg" total="80670" loaded="80670
November highlights at Colston Hall
As Colston Hall gears itself up for another month of great gigs, comedy shows and more, we've picked out some of the best things happening at the city-centre venues this November - with everything from the music of David Lynch and off-kilter LA pop, to Gershwin and Balkan-style folk. So, despite the unfortunate news that Reeves and Mortimer had to cancel their hotly anticipated gig due to Bob Mortimer's heart surgery, there’s still lots more to get excited about this month: Hot 8 Brass Band Best known for one of the world’s greatest covers (a brassed-up reworking of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’, as you'll see above), Hot 8 Brass Band are a good-time gang from New Orleans, who since forming in 1995 have supported the likes of Mos Def, Lauryn Hill and Mary J Blige. You’ll be guaranteed a gig packed with energy, noise and brassy oomph held together by immense tuba bass lines from band leader Bennie Pete. Tuesday 3 November, 20.00, £18.50 inc. booking fee Julia Holter <img id="80ddf6f4-f84b-762a-865b-bd9c45febb4e" data-caption="" data-credit="Tonje Thilesen" data-width-class="100" type="image/jpeg" total="90887" loaded="90887" image_id="102940201" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102940201/image.jpg" class="photo lazy inline"> Tonje Thilesen After first making musical waves with debut album ‘Tragedy’ back in 2011, Julia Holter is now loved worldwide for her uniquely mesmerising and quietly eccentric sound. The LA-based artist makes her way to Bristol this Nov