Went out with Manchester Posh Bars last night for a second time. A good crowd. I can see this group getting ridiculously popular over the next year as the venues we're checking out are among the best in the city.
We started in the ridiculously busy but warm and friendly Oast House in Spinningfields. Alchemist was full by the time we got there. I'm surprised they haven't upped their drinks prices if they've got queues like the ones they have. I remember friends not being able to get in due to a one-out-one-in policy last year. Around the corner we found the scenic Lawn Club, designed like a summer country club or an upmarket conservatory- wicker furniture, potted plants, floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Probably more scenic in the daytime when they roll out the deck chairs, the club is again popular and crowded with a bit of a wait for drinks, but it's a pleasant wait with a respectful clientele. From there we took the short walk to Suede, one of Manchester's hidden gems. Formerly Ampersand, and in around the turn of the century a new members-only club, Suede is a small but luxurious venue with elegant design. I used to go there in 2006, so it was interesting to see how little had changed: only the music and the people. It was still a good crowd without any problems. I was a little miffed, though, that we still had to pay entry when we were already on the guest list.
We got our picture taken on entry, a first for me, in front of the club's logo a'la Ibizan clubs and a growing number of more domestic venues. The décor was untouched as far as I could tell, and the movable central podium had also been left in place. The old-school dance and R'n'B had me thinking I was 18 again (minus the check shirt and gelled spiky hair). Incredible. I would have been happy to stay there, but the group was feeling a move.
A taxi ride got us to the Northern Quarter, and to the cripplingly busy Walrus, which had good music- as is always the case in this bar. It is also the only bar I can think of that conjoins with another. Tusk can be entered from their main door or through a literal hole in the wall between the two. Probably confusing after a few skinfuls. Alas, I was driving again so it wasn't a problem for me.
I can see the posh bars group getting obscenely popular over the course of the next 12 months. The places on the events will fill fast, so there could be nights out occurring more regularly very soon...