Cocktail gardeners, croquet and The Lawns: ‘Natural oasis’ comes to Manchester’s Spinningfields

By Charlie Boydell-Smith

If you thought Spinningfields was already one of the green havens of Manchester’s city centre then be prepared for it to get even greener, as the area welcomes lawns and cocktail gardens.

A series of tiered lawns are coming to transform Hardman Square, intended for both summer relaxation and as a promotional space, conveniently called… The Lawns.

Not only will it mean more space to enjoy the sun (if you’re lucky), but there will be two new ‘pop-up’ bars (there’s that word again) to quench your thirst – The Long Bar and Bloom Bar.

The full plans of the revitalisation of the area have now been unveiled by owner and developer, Allied London.

Michael Ingall, Chief Executive of Allied London, said; “The former Hardman Square was only ever a temporary public realm solution, with the former grassed areas simply following the layout of an old master plan. It had no real form or purpose, and was becoming very tired.

“We have always tried to use future development sites for public realm and landscaping so people can use the entire area and importantly no one senses they are working in a development site. This means more investment and adds to the site’s sustainability, as we have proved already with Hardman Square, The Oast House and Courtyard. The Lawns are simply a continuation of this successful strategy.”

In addition, at the end of the month, two pop-up restaurants will be erected on the site.

The Long Bar, designed by creators of The Oast House, Spinningfields-based Paul Danson Imagineering, and Bloom, designed by another local designer Derwent Architecture will emerge at the end of May.

Bloom is described by those behind the project as a ‘natural oasis in the middle of the city’ and hopes to celebrate greenery and escapism. This includes ‘cocktail gardeners’, growing herbs and ingredients on site and plucking them fresh to make drinks before your eyes.

James Wrigley said: “We put a lot of time and energy into proposing a range of concepts for the area, and our ideas were well received.  The team are really excited about Bloom and are looking forward to bringing something different into the city!”

You may even be lucky enough to enjoy lawn croquet and beer tutorials, including a range of ales from local breweries.

The bar will be open 12.00-23.00 Sunday to Thursday, and 12.00-00:00 Friday and Saturday.

The Long Bar is due to open this weekend and Bloom will launch from May 30.

Mr Ingall continued: “We have really tried to work with local talented people, who share our vision and can interpret what we are trying to do, and we want to continue to work with local independent operators going forward.”

Spinningfields is a mixed use development site located to the west of the city centre, comprising of a number of business, retail and residential ventures.

Picture courtesy of Spinningfields, with thanks.

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