New garden-inspired NQ bar Alvarium is blooming
NORTHERN Quarter venues don’t always deliver that famous Northern warmth, but the latest opening has a sunny aspect in more ways than one. Offering friendly service and tables perfect for catching those precious rays, Alvarium also brings the outside in, with unique décor including a ‘green wall’ and lots of pots of flowers, plus plenty of drinks using fresh, natural ingredients inspired by the great outdoors.
Manchester is at the root of the new café / bar on Dorsey Street, just off Tib Street, with the city’s symbol of a bee featuring on the freshly painted murals and honeycomb-shaped shelves – Alvarium is the Latin word for ‘hive’. The newly opened premises – previously Cord – aim to provide an oasis of calm in the middle of Manchester, with strings of twinkling fairy lights, a low level of background music and staff who know their onions.
This is welcome when faced with an extensive list of drinks, including specially created ‘house’ cocktails plus classics, both draught and bottle beers, wines and Prosecco (half of which are vegan friendy), and any number of hot drinks and soft options.
The cocktail menu offers something new along with some crowdpleasers, and owner Braddan Quayle says it took nearly a year to develop to get it diverse enough to cater for as many palates as possible. So whether it’s an Espresso Martini you fancy or something new, you’ll find it here – we’re tempted by the oh-so-pretty pink concoction on the Alvarium homepage, which turns out is a Rosemary Fountain mixing together vodka, homemade rosemary syrup, grapefruit, fresh lime juice and bitters, and garnished with a sprig of rosemary, which will soon be grown in the on-site greenhouse. Continuing the bee theme, the Royal Nectar is another one of the signatures, combining fresh honey – locally sourced, of course – white rum, Cointreau and freshly squeezed lemon juice, garnished with orange zest and real honeycomb.
Other food on offer is healthy light bites, including snacks and sandwiches, and Zara Cakes-supplied sweet treats – with afternoon offers of a hot drink and cupcake (including vegan) for just £3, and a hot drink and slice of cake for £3.50. Sunday through to Friday there’s Happy Hour between 4pm and 8pm, when you can enjoy 2 for 1 cocktails, £12 jugs of Sangria, selected beers, bottles of wine for £8 and bottles of Prosecco for £12.