Yup, you read that right, I spent a Tuesday evening, as a 28 year old, in The Printworks, Manchester and do you know what? I loved it!
Throughout my day in work, people would ask if I had any plans for the evening and when I said I was going to The Printworks, they all said the same thing “I’ve not been there since I was a student”. My response was along the same lines, I don’t think I have been to The Printworks since I was a student either!
I don’t know why but The Printworks seems to have gathered a bit of a reputation amongst people my age that it is a student only zone, and as soon as the day comes that you have to hand in the student card and venture into the big, wide world, you also simultaneously say goodbye to The Printworks without even realising.
Feeling all nostalgic of times long gone, I ventured across to The Printworks after work to try out their ‘date night’ package. Obviously, as it was a ‘date night’ I bought the other half along but to be honest, this could work just as well for friends, family etc. as it is essentially an evening of food, drink and a film, all without having to venture outside into the often wet Manchester weather, as everything can be found under the one roof.
The Printworks was originally the premises of Hulton Newspapers and after numerous sales and expansions it became the largest newspaper printing house in Europe (according to Wikipedia anyway). Nowadays, The Printworks is now an entertainment venue full of restaurants, bars and a cinema. If you have grown up in or around Manchester, you will immediately think of the likes of Yates and Tiger Tiger but there are actually numerous bars and restaurants to cater for every taste.
Restaurant wise there is The Hard Rock Café, Busaba Eathai, Chiquito, Nandos and Wagamama’s amongst others. For a few drinks you can head to the lively Bierkeller or stay true to your inner student and prop up the bar at Yates.
For our date night we decided on Busaba Eathai as I had been wanting to try it for a while, since it finally opened in Manchester. A lot of my friends down in London had been raving about it, so I figured I should really go check it out.
We were greeted as soon as we walked in by the soothing scent of incense wafting across the entrance and we were quickly shown to our table. I couldn’t get over how packed it was for a Tuesday evening, and I was even more surprised to find a full spectrum of ages there.
I opted for the Thai Martini to kick things off which was made with gin, basil, lemongrass and elderflower and it was delicious! Chris (the other half) went for their own brew beer, the Busaba Saison Beer which included a selection of Thai ingredients including ginger, kaffir lime and lemongrass which he really enjoyed drinking. I also had a sneaky sip and I have to say, as a none beer drinker, it wasn’t half bad!
We sipped our drinks and crunched our way through a basket of prawn crackers whilst deciding what to order for our meal. It genuinely took forever as there were so many options to choose between! For starters we decided to share the tempura and mango prawns and for mains I went for the traditional option, Pad Thai, and Chris went for the duck massaman curry with jasmine rice.
Our starter was served surprisingly quick and I was a bit sceptical at this point as to how fresh the food was going to be. We had literally just placed our order moments before! However, I need not have been, as the starter was delicious, the prawns were coated in a light tempura batter, the mayonnaise was delicious (so much so we ate all the lettuce garnish to get the most of it!) with chunks of fresh mango dotted around.
We had a nice gap between the starters and mains, so we chatted some more, drank our drinks and soaked up the atmosphere. When our mains arrived, we were not disappointed. My Pad Thai was delicious and came with a healthy side of crushed peanuts, Chris’ massaman was devoured in a matter of minutes and I think if we had not been in public, he would have licked the bowl clean.
After a bit of a break following our delicious mains, we decided to order dessert. We normally share dessert (romantic I know) but on this occasion, we couldn’t decide between two and before we descended into a dessert related argument, we both ordered our separate choices! I went for the crème brulee, after our waiter recommended it (brave man!) and Chris went for the salted caramel chocolate cake. We tucked into our desserts as soon as they arrived and didn’t talk to each other until our plates were clear (a sign of a good meal!).
Completely stuffed from our awesome meal, we then ventured further into The Printworks to The Odeon in time for our showing of La La Land.
I was surprised by how large the Odeon is! It is spread over a few levels with random arcade games dispersed on each floor. I was impressed with the comfy seats and screen size and sound effects etc but I do have to say, the toilets were not the best, and could have done with a clean and the ice blast machine wasn’t working, gutted.
I’m not a film critic by any means so I am not even going to begin to review La La Land, but what I will say is that I loved it, Chris loved it and from the faces of everyone else in the cinema, they loved it too. I laughed, I cried and I felt my heart break in two all in the one film. It was like nothing else out in the cinema at the moment and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can highly recommend!
The End of the Night
We left The Printworks with smiles on our faces and our bellies still full from our delicious meal earlier on. I have to say that my night at The Printworks has completely changed my opinion and I cannot wait for another date night here. The restaurants were packed with people of all ages, there was a nice, safe atmosphere as you walked around and the fact we didn’t have to venture out into the Mancunian rain between our meal and cinema trip was quite the bonus.
So, forget your preconceptions about The Printworks, it’s not the student destination you used to know. It has some great restaurants to choose from for a good meal and with the bonus of their being a huge cinema in the same place, you really can have an awesome date night with your significant other, best friend or even your mum and dad!
Thanks so much to the team at The Printworks PR, Busaba Eathai and Odeon Manchester for an awesome night. I will definitely be back!
My night at The Printworks was complimentary but as always, all opinions are my own and 100% honest. Trust me, I would say if I didn’t like something!