Last week we watched Manchester's most loved tiki hotspots pay the ultimate homage to all things tropical with the first ever Tiki Fest 2013. Tiki giants Hula and The Liars Club joined forces for a three-day spectacular including rum, music, art, a steel band and a little sing-a-long to finish off proceedings. Luckily we were on hand to sample a selection of the week's events ...
To kick things off we attended The Liar’s Club’s second Tiki Fest event, the Bacardi Tiki meets Speakeasy party. We were greeted by smooth singing and twangy electric guitar music courtesy of Nottingham based band Mood Indigo who were playing among the bamboo in the corner of the venue. Playing songs such as 'Time After Time', 'Moondance' and 'That’s Amoré', the crowd participated in the crooning creating a lively atmosphere whilst the exotic guitar solos encouraged everyone to sit back and be entranced by the entertainment. In addition to their usual cocktail menu, Liar’s had a selection of Tiki Speakeasy drinks such as the Liars Hold Up containing passion fruit, lime and lots of rum.
Thursday saw the celebration for The Liars Club’s 2nd birthday. Guests were treated to a Jamaican themed beach party alongside Appleton Rum and a rather special steel band. Hidden beneath the venue's inconspicuous doorway lay a magnificent display of two year's hard work. Engulfed in a decoration of balloons, the bar had some of its most famous concoctions flowing, including the 'alcohol-friendly' Zombie and personal favourite, The Santiago Julep. The live Tiki steel band provided the perfect ambience to accompany the night's celebratory atmosphere - further confirming that Manchester's recent Tiki takeover is going nowhere too soon.
Situated deep in the heart of the Northern Quarter, Hula Tiki Lounge never allows The Liar's Club to upstage them, with a week of events that always offered something new and exciting. The pinnacle of the week was Thursday's evening of food and drink pairings, including the only bottle of Diplomatico 2000 in the UK. And with the food on offer ranging from the delicious ginger cake, enlightening truffles and fresh sea salt it wasn’t much of a surprise when the initial batch of just a couple of groups embarking on their new culinary adventures, somehow morphed into a bar full of patrons listening to the history of the fabulous food and rums on offer, and Hula Tiki Lounge’s most popular night ever.
The hectic week was finished off with the revival of their ‘Tacky Tiki’ nights with the Zombie Jamboree, which combined everything that you know and love about Tiki bars, with a new lower prize on the ultimate cocktail: the Zombie. It’s hard to turn down a cheaper version of the classic three-rum drink we all know and love, especially when it comes with all the fun of sitting at the most exciting bar in Manchester, complete with flaming cocktails, jaegerbombs and crazy stories of bar nights out and the hilarious ‘Tiki Movie’ on the Tiki Fest facebook page.
After an action-packed week, it's fair to say that Manchester's obsession for everything Tiki is still prominent. The Liars Club and Hula both delivered with their incredible events, further proving why they're two of the city's favourite cocktail haunts. Now all we have to do is wait another year for Tiki Fest 2014 - fingers crossed.
Words: Joe Taylor, Kiran Flynn and Dan Winters