You know when you see artist impressions of something and the reality is quite different? That happened with the flats opposite mine. Thankfully it didn’t happen to The Refinery. Part of the Drake & Morgan brand, it’s a new bar located in the heart of Spinningfields, Manchester. Opened just in November, I attended the launch night and had nothing but rave reviews. So when I was invited back for brunch, I left the comforts of my NQ for a Spinningfields Sunday session.
First off, the place has the wow factor. A massive pat on the back to whomever designed it. It oozes luxury and warmth. Soft lighting sweeps across the ceiling with chairs adorned with faux fur coverings, and that’s before we get started on the marble tables, beautiful art, monochrome accents and a perfect juxtaposition of the new and old. Oh and the outside terrace comes with blankets and hot water bottles for the colder months. There’s so many spaces to eat and play here - from the high table bar section great for after work drinks, to what I like to call the snug - a carpeted area perfect for getting some work done and separated away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the venue. And finally, where we dined - the main restaurant area which is dotted around the open kitchen.
Feeling pretty hungry, I opted for a full English which comes with everything you could ever want and due to Dry January, I ordered a Garden Fizz mocktail. Did I miss my usual brunch mimosa? A little, but luckily it was delicious and one I recommend you try should you visit. Service was super speedy and our food came out looking an absolute dream. Style over substance? Most definitely not. It tasted just as good as it looked. A worry you sometimes have with a full English is how healthy it is. Let’s not lie and say it’s the world’s healthiest dish because it isn’t but this one tasted as healthy as they get. It was filling but not greasy and the ingredients tasted of great quality. Safe to say I finished it all and left feeling comfortably full. The poached eggs in particular were cooked to perfection and I’m pretty picky with my eggs. I did toy with the idea of pancakes instead but opted for savoury instead of sweet so it’s something I definitely want to try on my next visit.
The staff were just as delightful on this occasion as they were on the launch night. They’re clearly passionate about the brand, the venue and the food which is great to see and they made our visit an absolute pleasure. I do wish I could move it closer to the NQ so it’s on my doorstop, but I’ll tell you one thing - it’s bloody worth the walk.