Manchester Pride this year was a blur of booze, glitter and falling over with my friends. I had a great time.. the bits I remember anyway.
Having been inebriated since Friday afternoon, come the Sunday lunchtime I was pretty delighted to be eating a substantial meal, even if it did come with unlimited drinks I probably didn’t really need. Organised by my friend (and Chinese fashion icon) Craig, the Sunday brunch part of Pride has sort of become a new tradition. Last year the food was unmemorable (I don’t even remember the name of the place we ate in) and we ended up just getting lairy and making a scene. Several actually – I realise that says far more about us as a group of humans than the brunch.
This year’s communal feast took place at Banyan, with a large group of hungover/still drunk idiots decending on this Spinning Fields restaurant. We didn’t break any glasses or flip a table with a Zumba instructors bottom this time, but we did have a good value bottomless brunch. It’s quite dark inside – hence the crap photos to follow – with lots of low lighting (probably just as well judging by the state half of us turned up in) with a mixture of booths and high tables. It also has really lovely toilets, which the women reading will know is something of value and happiness when you hit your mid thirties, for some reason.
For £27 you get a dish from a selected brunch menu alongside unlimited Prosecco, Coors, Bloody Marys and Aperol Spritz for 90 minutes. For a fiver more you can upgrade to more substantial dishes like a Sunday roast or a burger. The upgrade is almost essential when you see the limited options on the basic menu, so resign yourself to paying £32 and have a better time. All of us who paid the upgrade we’re happier with their food and portion size. When I discovered this also gets you access to unlimited red wine (bonus adulting level unlocked) my mind was made up.
Many opted for the gravy-fuelled carb loading option, probably because the basic options were all far too healthy to be quite honest. Who wants to eat beetroot hummus when they’re rocking a 8/10 hangover? Your choice of either half a chicken or roast beef comes served with roast Maris Pipers, swede and carrot mash, seasonal greens, a Yorkshire pudding and what the bar call ‘the very best gravy’, which is quite a bold statement.
We managed to plough through a few rounds of drinks before the food arrived. Plentiful fizz and cocktails (made a bit too slowly) kept everyone occupied, with a special shout-out going to the Bloody Mary that packed just the right amount of spice once I asked for more kick.
The sirloin of beef was tender enough and nice and pink. I found myself being more excited about the Yorkie pud that nailed the crispness you’d want. The roast spuds and veg were fine but not worth going further into here. There was boiled green things etc. But what about that ‘best gravy’ we were promised? Well – it’s alright. I didn’t get much of a meat juice flavour from it but it smothered the meat nicely and there was shed loads available.. a bit like the homosexual offering at brunch, tbh.
People around me enjoyed the breakfast hash and burgers, although I couldn’t help but think it’s a bit cheeky to demand yet another few quid for additional cheese when people are already paying an upgrade fee just to eat the bloody thing. The chicken schnitzel wasn’t worth writing home about but wasn’t awful.. I was glad I made the roast dinner choice anyway.
The bottomless option at Banyan Spinning Fields is available every Saturday and Sunday 11am through to 3pm – you need to prebook. The roasts specifically are only available on Sundays but other ‘deluxe’ options including steak frites and loaded burgers are available both days. Good value, decent enough grub and a pretty venue if you’re planning a big group outing. Service could be a bit faster but when you’re trying to look after a rowdy table of 20+ Pride prats you’re probably more focused on getting through your shift without screaming.
If you’d like to know my top picks for Sunday lunch in Birmingham have a look at my roundup post.
Banyan Spinning Fields, Vantage Point, Manchester, M3 3PL
Disclosure: we paid in full for all food and drink. All words and photos are mine