Bring your hamper: Manchester Picnic Weekend is coming to Piccadilly Gardens again

By James Riches

Piccadilly Gardens is all set for the return of the hugely popular Manchester Picnic next weekend.

Last year’s feast of food attracted some 10,000 people to the city centre, prompting organisers to bring it back for a second helping from August 5th-7th.

Speciality market stalls will be joined by top restaurants as visitors take their seats on one of 60 picnic tables to enjoy some of Manchester’s finest cuisine.

Alexandra King, Director of organisers Piccadilly Partnership, said: “There seems to be a real appetite for city centre outdoor event demonstrated by the large numbers attending the Northern Quarter street parties back in April.”

And Councillor Pat Karney, city centre spokesperson for Manchester City Council, said: “There is already a real buzz about the event and The Manchester Picnic Weekend is set to be a highlight of our city centre summer activity again this year.”

Visitors can benefit from plenty of attractions throughout the weekend, including a DJ, science festival and Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

Of course, the food is the main event here, and picnickers will be able to sample seafood salads, jerk chicken, paella, hog roast and traditional summer favourite strawberries and cream.

Prestwich eatery Aumbry, voted Restaurant of the Year at last year’s Manchester Food and Drink Awards, is joined by stalls from The Mark Addy, Harvey Nichols and Ginger’s Comfort Emporium.

Harvey Nichols General Manager Iain Mackenzie said: “We think it is a great event where Manchester’s food community can get together and showcase the fabulous cuisine that the city has to offer, in a relaxed and family friendly environment.”

Those attending should also keep an eye out for the television cameras, with UKTV’s Good Food Channel featuring the picnic in an episode of Monster Munchies, hosted by former England rugby player Matt Dawson. 

Picnic areas will be accessible from 12pm-6pm on all three festival days.

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