I am somewhat surprised to find that the pages in my swot-tastic Moleskine diary are looking pretty full for January, with most of the social engagements revolving around food (yes, pick yourself up off the floor - I agree that this is most unusual). Perhaps it's the fact that when routinely wearing ten layers of clothing to work it scarcely matters whether a teensy tiny muffin top is starting to form underneath, or maybe it's the stomach-flattering properties of a good sturdy pair of tights, but January just seems to invite a bout of significant overeating.
Here are a few suggestions where to bank those life-affirming calories:
1. The Limetree, West Didsbury. This is one of Manchester's best restaurants, full stop. The food is superb, so I'm beyond excited at the prospect of the Game Menu they are running between Monday 17th and Wednesday 19th January: three courses for £17.95, or £30 including a glass of wine with each course. The menu offers a choice from three options for each course; I have my beady eye on the pheasant and pork terrine for starters and the partridge breast with red cabbage for mains. The dessert options are not listed on the website, but I am assuming they will be fairly traditional pud choices rather than rabbit rice pudding or pigeon profiteroles; I'll let you know though. Visit the website for more details or call 0161 445 1217 to book.
2. Room, Manchester. One of central Manchester's classiest restaurants is once again running its Great Winter Sale, offering a Diner Discount card that entitles the greedy bearer to 50% off the a la carte food menu. The offer is available Monday - Friday until 7.30 until February 11th; you do need to visit the website and sign up but this is fairly painless. A word of warning; Room has an excellent bar which is NOT part of the 50% off deal, and if you get through assorted cocktails, a bottle of champagne and a little something off the wine list, the saving on your food might not look quite such good value and you will find yourself on the bus home. I speak entirely hypothetically, of course.
3. The Mark Addy, Salford. The Addy can always be relied upon to provide an array of interesting events, and this January is no different. Readers of a poetic bent may wish to celebrate Burns Night on the 25th, with an evening that tantalisingly promises "As usual, Haggis, Whisky etc will be enjoyed, amid some Gaelic dancing and ri-ra" - one rather wonders what the "etc" might be (well, Mr Liz is not wondering, as he has been unable to get past the words "haggis" and "whisky" and is busy putting his shoes on); or, like us, you may wish to go to the six course Gourmet Evening the following night. Apparently I have promised to drive on Gourmet Evening, an allegation I find difficult to believe, so if you see a couple arguing very quietly but very fiercely, pushing car keys at each other with increasing ferocity, that'll be us; see you there....