Yes, surprising as it may sound, I just had a wonderful night in Manchester, and nothing to do with food. If anything, the food was the bad part of the adventure. First, horrid fish & chips at a Road Chef on the motorway, then a disgusting steak sandwich at the Lowry hotel where I was staying, followed the next morning by a seriously poor breakfast — the room was lovely though. Thankfully, food was not why I had gone up to Manchester. I was there for the opening concert of the Manchester festival, in a space especially designed for it by my friend Zaha.
As to be expected, the space is spectacular. It also works brilliantly as a recital venue which made the pianist, Piotr Anderszewski, very happy. I am not sure if this proved to be an added inspiration but his performance of Bach’s Partitas 2 & 5 and English Suite 6 was beautiful. And of course, Zaha herself is totally fabulous, an absolute genius.
As for the audience, they were a mixed bag. Some stylish and others less so.
The evening finished with a reception in one of the galleries of the Manchester City Art Gallery (the space is created in one of the top rooms). Zaha said a few gracious words and I left shortly afterwords. All in all a fabulous evening. Such a shame about the food.
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