Masons, Manchester

I’ve walked past the building on Bridge St loads since it opened and have always fancied going in, so I was right excited when my friend announced she was taking me to Masons in Manchester for a birthday treat.

What greets you is a beautiful old building with full on art deco features. The entrance hall could be stuffy but the staff instantly put you at ease, getting the door for you and welcoming you with huge beaming smiles.

Masons is really cosy inside. There aren’t too many tables (sorry I didn’t count) but in this world of super restaurants, it’s a treat to be in intimate surroundings. The private booth is perfect for those dates when you want it to be just you but if that’s gone, there are plenty of tables with privacy. We had a booth in the window and the staff were attentive without being annoying, something other restaurants could learn a trick from.

The best bit for me was that we were totally unhurried. I appreciate it was a Wednesday night and this could be different at a weekend, but I absolutely hate going for a fancy meal and being in and out in less than an hour.  If you’re paying premium it should be an experience rather than practically being pushed out of the door.

We swerved starters in favour of the Martini trolley, well they have olives in so they can be classed as starters can’t they? The barman was incredibly enthusiastic about his wares although I have to say, they need to get him a taller trolley otherwise he’s going to do his back in.

Two deliciously dirty martinis and some bread installed, we perused the menus for main course. I went for chicken wrapped in parma ham, new potatoes and mushrooms and my friend went for steak with vine tomatoes.  Neither disappointed as you can see from the picture.

I may be on a bit of a health kick at the moment but it was my birthday and I was going for dessert. In one of those weird deals you do with yourself I said no to sticky toffee pudding and yes to Mount Gay Chocolate Marquise. Like it would make masses of difference.

Unbeknowst to me, my “friend” had told the staff it was my birthday so I was treated to a chorus of Happy Birthday from the entire restaurant but the dessert that waited was worth it so I didn’t mind too much.

Two unhurried hours later, my friend and I had caught up on all our news, had some wonderful food and left with that nice glow you get after a right good meal. I’d definitely recommend Masons if you’re looking for a food with decent price in Manchester city centre.

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