Grand Pacific is one of the latest openings from Living Ventures, who are pretty much responsible for the entire bar scene in Spinningfields. There has been some competition from independents such as In Bloom and Neighbourhood bringing their own unique spin to the scene, and with LV's other new venue Artisan opening up around the same time as Grand Pacific, Living Ventures ran the risk of spreading themselves too thin. I headed down to find out.
Grand Pacific is accessible via the back of Australasia or via its own entrance behind Emporio Armani in Spinningfields. The outside area with its large tables and comfortable seating dominates the venue and immediately transports you to the sunny climes of San Tropez. The comforting and continental theme continues into the main bar with a colonial themed restaurant complete with light wood, wicker and some great art.
Clientele and Atmosphere
I wanted to check out the Asian High Tea so I headed down with friends on Saturday afternoon. Despite arriving early the outside area was already full of Manchester’s finest enjoying the sun. Huge canopies above the dining area showed that come rain or shine this is clearly one of the places to be seen in Manchester this summer. Unsurprisingly the place was filled with Young Professionals nursing last night’s hangover with some amazing Mocktails, or those who had just spent some serious money in some of the surrounding shops. Helped by the impeccable service of the staff Grand Pacific still manages to carry off a relaxed vibe, so despite our less then designer attire our group felt welcomed and comfortable.
Food & Drink
Compared to my usual Saturday morning breakfast of Marmite on toast, the chance to sample Grand Pacific's Asian High Tea was a welcome change. Served in two ‘waves’ (see what they did there) we began with a delivery of sushi, nigiri and other forms of Asian delight complemented by a glass of Champagne. Plenty to share between the three of us so we asked for a short break before we were bought over the second delivery of desserts with an Asian twist. As a vegetarian I am always sure to take a carnivorous friend with me to make sure I give a fair review of things, but in the case of Grand Pacific I shouldn’t have worried. There was plenty of choice for all of us and I didn’t feel short changed as can often happen when you only have the choice of a few items on the menu. I would definitely recommend trying all of it – my favourites being the beetroot and goats cheese salad, and the apple and cinnamon dessert sushi roll. Mmmm…
It may be the weather or the fact I am getting a bit older, but in recent months I have been more and more attracted to the offering in Spinningfields. Living Ventures seem to have hit the nail on the head with Grand Pacific's relaxed holiday atmosphere, and with the range of bars nearby it both fits with the area while offering something a little different with its interesting food menu and easy vibe. The staff are nothing short of brilliant, and if we hadn’t felt so guilty taking up the space outside on such a beautiful sunny day we could have easily spent the afternoon sipping on cocktails and watching the world go by. The Asian High Tea is a great experience however many of our fellow diners opted for sharing plates from the main menu which looked well worth heading back for. All in all if you are looking to treat yourself after a hard week at work or popping in midweek for a cocktail, Grand Pacific is the perfect place to feel that you are chilling on the French Riveria and not in the centre of Manchester - if even just a short while.