What a way to end the week. On Sunday at the height of summer, a huge horde of Yelp Manchester enthusiasts descended upon Stockport’s gorgeous Victorian Market Hall to browse some rather different stalls at our very first Open Party.
They came empty-walleted, as these wares were there to be sampled, savoured and spoken about. Yelp’s Summer Stunner guests enjoyed tasty treats from no less than ten food and drink sponsors from around the Greater Manchester area.
(L-R: Little Bird Catering, La Chocolatier, The Butterfly Cupcakery and English Rose Bakery, Home Sweet Home, Barefoot Wine, Brockmans Gin, Siam Orchid, the 'Mancopoly' table, Hey Little Cupcake! and Stuart Thornley Cake Design)
There was an iced down barrel of Vitamin Water bottles to quench thirsts (which was emptied within minutes), but for those in the mood for something stronger, Brockmans Gin (made with ten botanicals), expertly crafted into fresh strawberry cocktails or cloudy lemonade coolers, was just the ticket. Meanwhile, nobody could resist the sheer volume of Barefoot Wine on offer with whites, rosés, reds and even dessert wines to die for. Both came accompanied by friendly faces, knowledgeable staff and a plethora of informative material including Barefoot schwag bags!
'Can we do it all again tomorrow Em, can we?' asked Lee Z. Now that'd be spoiling you…
The Market Hall paid host to delicious nibbles including innovative push-up cakepops from Dukinfield's Stuart Thornley Cake Design, spicy Thai fishcakes with sweet chilli sauce and fresh coriander courtesy of Siam Orchid Catering, truffles of many varieties a La Chocolatier of the Royal Exchange Theatre Arcade, light crisp and colourful English Rose Bakery macaroons, savoury polenta muffin bites and gazpacho shots from Little Bird Catering, sundaes and cake slabs from Northern Quarter new kid on the block Home Sweet Home, and city centre business district Spinningfields and leafy rural Poynton went head-to-head as part of a friendly cupcake contest between Hey Little Cupcake! and The Butterfly Cupcakery.
The Manchester Twittersphere went cataclysmic mere minutes after the event. Emmapple33 enthused, ‘Mmmmm cakes and loved the gin 😉 thanks’. VanessaThirsk ‘had a great time at the foodie fair in Stockport,’ and MartinBain ‘really enjoyed the event at Stockport Market. Good food, good drink and met some great people. Thanks!’ Sarzg ‘loved @LittleBirdFood’s gazpacho and prawn and dill canapés – delish!’
Gabi S wanted 'to say thank you for organising this lovely event that helped me discover divine Brockmans and Stuart Thornley Cake Design! I also loved the Barefoot Rose wine (very crisp and fruity) and the delicious brownies from Home Sweet Home!' Brand new Manchester Elite Arsheen Q found 'great food, lovely people and a sweet vibe at the lovely Yelp Summer Stunner at Stockport. Discovered gems like Home Sweet Home, Little Bird, Hey Little Cupcake and La Chocolatier! Will be making a trip to Home Sweet Home soon to delight in all their cakes and malkshakes. Oh and Stuart Thornley Cake Design had the yummiest cake pops I have tasted. Soft and melt in your mouth!'
But if anyone needed a rest after all that, there was Mancopoly to be played – yes, you guessed it, Monopoly: The Manchester Edition.
(Screen Stockport's Video below)
And this event summary would be far from complete if we neglected to mention the awesome Screen Stockport, who talked all things film and video to our enraptured attendees, and captured the most amazing video of the Summer Stunner above. It's an utter delight – do watch it. And don't miss their independent film fest on Saturday the 17th of September!
(Watch out for that Yelp-inspired and colourfully eye-catching bunting draped all around… if you want your own, you'll have to take it up with Bunting Queen. And boy, did Harrison Edwards take some stupendous snaps for us.)
We'll leave the last word to the delightful Kelly F: 'Wow – what an event, massive congratulations to the organisers and the stall holders. It almost seemed a shame to eat such beautifully presented food. A special mention needs to go to Home Sweet Home for their amazing Carrot Cake Sundae.
'Thank you Yelp for putting on an amazing night, a couple of questions remain… When is the next one? And where can I sign up to it?' Well Kelly, until then let's keep an eye on that Talk page, don't forget to read the reviews here, have a gander at the pics on Flickr… and aside from that, we'll SYOY.
Love, cakes and a far from maudlin Mancunian musical soundtrack…
Yelp Manchester Community Manager Emma-Lou H
(flagged by our super Yelp ex-pat Kevin L, and Leeds and Edinburgh counterparts Rowena H and Jenny L)