Searching for a chic twist on cocktails with the gang? Look no further. The Daisy, a secret spot beneath Evelyn’s Manchester Café Bar on Tib Street, is nothing short of a welcoming oasis, providing unique drinks with a Parisian theme. Read on to see what I thought of my Sunday evening visit.
Although a little hard to find, once located, the descent to The Daisy bar immediately provided a sense of escapism from the hustle and bustle of Manchester city centre. It has to be said though, that the artwork framing the walls of the main room injected the Northern Quarter's playfulness to an otherwise sophisticated venue. Ranging from colourful pop art to neon signs, the backdrop of this stylish, French meeting spot is hard to forget - and who would want to?
The predominantly candle-lit space is another contributor to the atmosphere. Even the bar itself is covered in a medieval-style collection of artfully melting candles. It’s safe to say that haters of putting the big light on would be in their element here. With a chilled mix of music humming at a conversational volume from the DJ decks in the corner – no doubt a staple of every Friday and Saturday night – The Daisy absolutely nailed laid-back vibes. Aesthetics aside, the small groups huddled on green velvet sofas and couples balanced on bar stools were there for one reason; you guessed it, the cocktails.
Taking my pick from the extensive menu, I felt spoilt for choice. The bar staff were more than willing to give recommendations, even offering to make any classics not listed. First up, the floral and elegant A La Folie (£12). By far the most intricately presented cocktails of the evening, this purple, foamy number filled the top part of a martini glass, which balanced in a bowl of scented smoke. The scorched plants at its base released small bubbling clouds of gas when the drink was lifted, combing an elderflower flavour with wizard-like alchemy.
As a lover of the classic, I just had to see what Joe’s espresso martini (£11.50) had to offer too. Fitting the vibe of the bar, this take on the cocktail was less sweet, with a stronger coffee taste than usual. While more suited to proper caffeine drinkers, it was still delicious, and garnished with fresh strips of orange for a hint of citrus. Meanwhile, my drinking partner sipped Long Beach (£10.50). Surprisingly not like the similarly named long island iced tea, this was a refreshing reminder of sunny holidays abroad. Ice took up most of glass, however, which was a little too much for me given the British weather. Coconut rum, tequila, and pineapple flavours were muddled together here, alongside a small piece of chilli on top for an added kick.
The ideal date night picks, Passionnement (£13) and the tonka bean French martini (£10.50) aren't to be overlooked either. Both were deliciously fruity, although the former paired Champagne with wild strawberry, vermouth and chocolate. The latter also needs a special mention for its row of little pink hearts drawn across the top, rounding off the vodka, tonka, Chambord, pineapple and saline mix.
Saving the best 'til last, Un Peu (£9.50) was my favourite cocktail of the evening, and unexpectedly so. Not small as the name suggests, it was the Goldilocks of drinks: just right. Light and refreshing, this chardonnay-laced concoction of bergamot, peach and mezcal rinse made an ideal palette cleanser - a lovely one to finish the night.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Overall, The Daisy Manchester is great for a relaxed date, a chatty catch-up with friends, or a few subdued cocktails before hitting the town; such an intimate venue deserves praise for the calming atmosphere it offers – a rarity in such a lively city. Now that I’ve visited, I'll have to recommend this venue to friends and visitors alike, no doubt seeming much cooler than I actually am. Au Revoir.
💰 The damage: £66 for six cocktails.
📍 The location: 44 Tib Street, M4 1NB.
👌 Perfect for: Laid-back gatherings and intimate date nights.
⭐ Need to know: Check accessibility, as the entrance is down a set of stairs.