Spinningfields. At one time, it was little more than an impersonal jumble of steel and glass, a ghostly enclave of chain restaurants that no-one either knew of or deigned to visit.
Once, but not any more. Now, Spinningfields is the city’s best attempt at owning the Great British Summer.
Whether it’s the DJs at Neighbourhood blasting out “Get Lucky” on an overcast Sunday afternoon, or the free live music of Spinfest on a Bank Holiday weekend in The Avenue Courtyard, or the sun-worshipping hordes flocking to the bright yellow deckchairs on The Lawns, there’s no doubt that, rain or shine, Spinningfields knows how to celebrate the seasons.
New pop-up IN Bloom is the latest bar to thumb its nose at what is, too often, the grim, grey reality. Instead, it presents a pleasant, green fortress against the changeable elements, channelling the Platonic ideal of the British summer.
A joint venture between Allied London and Fluid Bars, who have provided pop-up bars and bar services for events across the city for the past five years, IN Bloom is designed to be the perfect blend between the natural world and urban jungle.
Cubic in shape and clad in galvanised green living walls, the structure has a timber frame and provides an undercover area that opens up to face The Lawns and the big screen.
The bar also has its own herb garden, with pots of rosemary, thyme, lavender, mint and basil ready to be used in both the food (think simple, artisanal, wholesome – platters and the like) and spirit infusions, such as lavender Earl Grey gin.
It’s an immediately pleasing environment. Inside, the mint green walls and fresh flowers create a calm haven, whilst the outside terrace is tastefully decked out with the kind of furniture you may covet for your own garden: our personal favourite being the circular rattan day beds with retractable canvas hood – perfect for cosying up with friends and relaxing over a glass of rosé, or perhaps the Italian alternative to Pimm’s, the Aperol spritz.
With Wimbledon fast approaching and Screenfields set to turn The Lawns into an open-air cinema on Thursday nights throughout summer, IN Bloom is looking to be the perfect candidate for laidback al fresco drinking in the heart of the city – and if you fancy something a little different, there’s always the futuristic-looking, modernist metal den of cool The Long Bar spinning Balearic and soulful grooves across the green.
IN Bloom, Spinningfields Estate, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3JE
Opening hours:12.00-23.00 Sunday to Thursday, and 12.00-00:00 Friday and Saturday.
Find out what else is going on at Spinningfields this summer at Spinningfields Online: