When I heard that there was an event which combined three of my favourite things – photography, food and drink – I was excited to say the least. When I was told it was free and would include complimentary cupcakes, pizza and rum-based cocktails I wanted to know where to sign up, and fast.
This was my first introduction to Yelp Manchester. For the uninitiated, Yelp is “an online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know.”
As a fellow happy-snapping, all-round Manchester enthusiast, it sounded right up my street, and I was looking forward to meeting other likeminded locals and trying out some tasty treats.
Our photo walk, under the laidback tutelage of professional photographer Jody Hartley, began at Hey Little Cupcake! in Spinningfields – a gorgeous little cupcakery with, dare I say it, an excellent taste in magazines… 😉
After eating our bespoke Yelp cupcakes we then headed off, goody-bags and free rain macs in hand, with a quick photo stop at the John Rylands library, where everyone tried to outdo each other with crazy close-ups and weird camera angles. I was quite pleased my shot, which I shall name: Getting’ Ziggy Wit It.
We then ventured into the wilds of Salford via the magnificent Trinity Bridge. Sadly the weather wasn’t the best, with grey skies looming, but I found my pinhole setting came in handy to capture a moody geometric close-up of the bridge.
From here, we wended our way round the streets of Manchester back towards the Cathedral and its temporary timber pop-up replacement.
We then walked up towards the Northern Quarter, past curry café legend This ‘n’ That, to our next stop off, Slice.
Owners Liam Cassidy and Matt McGuirk welcomed us with a kingly spread of antipasti (olives, artichoke hearts, mozzarella balls, sun-dried tomatoes), home-made focaccia and a sample of their pizzas, including broccoli and chilli; rosemary, potato and sausage; and the classic margarita.
Liam and Matt are clearly very proud of their artisanal approach to Italian street food, inspired by Rome, and well they should be. The kitchen is open plan and all the bread and pizza is carefully and lovingly hand-made on site each day.
This attention to detail is reflected in the taste and quality of the food, and with most pizzas only costing £2 or thereabouts for a slice, it also represents excellent value for money.
Filled up with pizza goodness, we moved on to our last and final stop, Keko Moku, for some tiki cocktails; but not before I got in one last arty puddle shot.
As we settled into our seats, we all watched wide-eyed as the bartenders wove their magic, setting things aflame and preparing three giant sharing cocktails for us. My favourite was most definitely the Zombie, which came in a glass bowl bigger than my head. Rest assured I didn’t drink it all by myself, whatever my friends may believe!
All in all, it was a fantastic evening which provided a brilliant opportunity to try out, and snap, a few quality Manchester landmarks in the company of new friends. I look forward to the next one.
Shrimoyee Chakraborty – Yelp Manchester Community Manager
Hey Little Cupcake!, Little Quay Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3HF
Slice Pizza & Bread Bar, 1a Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1DN
Keko Moku, 100 High St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1HP
Get involved at Yelp Manchester: www.yelp.co.uk/manchester
Words by Alaka Prodhan (@EchoingBronze)