The team behind Escape to Freight Island, at Depot, Manchester has announced a brand-new all-encompassing food and drink masterpiece for 2021.

Kantina Weekender, running from Friday, 28th May to Monday, 31st May only, at the much-loved and iconic Depot Mayfield.

Escape to Freight Island is an inspiring urban landscape and vast industrial fairground of food, drink, music and entertainment, and was the standout success in COVID safe hospitality last year.

Home to some of Manchester’s most highly regarded restaurants, bars and music and
entertainment line ups, Escape to Freight Island is made-up of a grand Ticket Hall, a covered outside courtyard and a brand-new Pavilion filled to the brim with plants, creating a calm, green, urban oasis.

Kantina Weekender celebrates the joy of food and drink, in all of its depth and diversity. Kantina Weekender will showcase the culinary talent at Escape to Freight Island, while introducing into the space for the very first time, some of the UK's most prestigious chefs, cocktail makers, brewers and local restaurant heroes.

The first phase line-up has been curated with a passion for incredible food, craft-beers, new-world wines and liquors – with the ethos to match the stellar line up of the in-house vendors at Escape to Freight Island – with special partners for next level collaborations.

Mary-Ellen McTague, from Creameries in Chorlton will pair with Great Northern Pies; Gary Usher from Elite Bistros will partner with Forever Changes; Tast of King Street and Baratxuri will join grill forces and Pippy Eats with Mi+Pho for noodle heaven.

The line-up also includes Stosie Madi, from Parkers Arms, the legendary Simon Martin from
Manchester’s first Michelin starred restaurant in 41 years Mana; Michelin starred chef Brad Carter of Carters of Mosley will partner in house resident Madre, and finally Higher Ground.

More information about these incredible chefs will be announced in the coming weeks.

Joining Dan Hope of Escape to Freight Island’s Plant Grill and as a key part of the Kantina
Weekender will be Sam Buckley, from the applauded Stockport-based restaurant Where The Light Gets In, which has most recently taken the accolade to become one of only 23 businesses in the UK and Ireland to receive a ‘green’ Michelin star. The new ‘green’ star celebrates sustainable gastronomy practises and recognises the restaurants who are leading the way in sustainability.

“I’m absolutely delighted to finally be cooking at Escape to Freight Island. It’s an incredible space in the heart of the city and Kantina Weekender will be a great return for food fans across the country.”

(Sam Buckley, Where The Light Gets In)

Dishoom, the nation’s favourite Bombay comfort food will be at the weekender, Pomona Island will team up with Lervig and Northern Monk; Deya and Camden Town Brewery will complete the beer offering and on the wine side, Charlie Miller from the Laughing Heart and Dom the Som aka Dynamite MC, will join other special guest wine experts to be announced soon.

As ever, during Kantina Weekender, Escape to Freight Island will host a vibrant roster of iconic accompanying live entertainment, exclusive talks on stage, satellite events, wine tasting and a guaranteed feast for all.

The charity partner for Kantina Weekender will be Eat Well MCR – a Manchester collective made up of hospitality professionals and volunteers from all sectors delivering meals to people facing challenging circumstances in the Great Manchester area. A percentage will
be included on to bills with the choice to opt-out.

“Kantina Weekender is an opportunity to finally come back together and share in the joy of food and drink. We are very proud to be able to showcase the talents of the Escape To Freight Island residents whilst they collaborate with some of the UK’s most prestigious chefs, brewers, bartenders and all round hospitality heroes. Manchester’s food and drink scene is a special one and we can’t wait to celebrate it.”

(Dan Morris, managing director of Escape To Freight Island)

As well as its culinary kudos, Escape to Freight Island won countless accolades in 2020 as an industry and world innovator when it came to operating during the pandemic, establishing itself as a social and cultural hub.

This will of course continue in 2021, as soon as the hospitality industry is given the green light to reopen.

Kantina Weekender will truly be a feast for the city, find out more here.


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