Latest addition to West Didsbury’s independent high street
When PR guru Laura Graham from Vital Management & Publishing sent me a VIP invite to the press launch of Zaranda Bar, I RSVP’d straight away with an enthusiastic: “Count me in please!” Zaranda is situated in West Didsbury, a picturesque and well maintained suburban area in Manchester. If you are looking for quirky and cool bars to spend an “out out” night with your pals, West Didsbury is definitely the ‘in’ place to be. My expectations were pretty high knowing where the newest addition to the West Didsbury bar scene was situated. However, soon as I walked through the doors of Zaranda I knew I wasn’t going to be let down.
I immediately felt at ease, having been welcomed with glass of Prosecco. Acclimatising to the surroundings whilst sipping my drink, I took in the stunning decor of this trendy new cocktail bar and can tell you it represents the name Zaranda just perfectly. Subtle warm colours giving it that homely feel, but with an arty African touch. The attention to detail in Zaranda is impressive. From the African red colour plastering on the dance floor to warm deep blues and complimentary copper colours with feature light fittings and stunning furniture. Simple yet sophisticated. Manchester’s newest cocktail bar is named after an African village famed for its art and this was clearly noticeable. Zaranda is also a girl’s name meaning popularity, and a shaking device used in Spain – not bad origins for a music and cocktail bar. You can find this double fronted bar is in the centre of West Didsbury, opposite the Metropolitan.
Chatting to Laura whilst the place was filling up I found out the owners are looking for budding musicians to play funk and jazz to keep this place bouncing. If you think you fit the bill, I invite you to send an email to email@example.com. The music at Zaranda will be wide ranging, with all tastes catered for by DJ’s at the weekend, or local live musicians providing a mixture of house, dance, jazz,blues and classical, as well special guest singers during the week.
If you are like me,of a certain age and don’t particularly feel at ease hanging out in a bar with youngsters, I can reassure you Zaranda is the place for you. The age range was perfectly balanced, young and old were mingling and I particularly enjoyed watching the older crowd not shying away from shaking that booty! Brushing shoulders with some of the finest Coronation Street cast, Katie McGlynn, Brooke Vincent Sue Cleaver and Aley Mordell happily chatting away about girly stuff, Zaranda is most definitely the perfect setting for a girls night out. Zaranda’s design consultant Ruth Walsh feels some of the surrounding venues can be “too blokey” and therefore the house policy of no harassment of any kind will make Zaranda a first choice for women. So grab your gals and head out for a hassle free night of cocktails, music and dance, in a safe and happy environment.
Cocktails and Tunes
The drinks menu at Zaranda Bar features a selection of classic cocktails. However my new fave cocktail with a true Mancunian theme: ‘Sting Like a Bee’ which contains lashings of Manchester Rum, plum sugar and lemon, is one to be tasted and appreciated. Alongside the cocktails there is a vast selection of premium spirits and liquors. The bar staff are friendly and clearly know how to run a busy bar effectively with a smile and perfect suggestions, if like me you can never make your mind up which cocktail to go for. Zaranda manager, Gary Pearson, takes the cocktails menu seriously and is very proud of the opening menu, using not only great winter flavours but sourcing local products in support of Manchester brands. The Zaranda team will be getting involved in creating a spring menu and I can’t wait to come back and sample.
The party really got started with DJ Emma on the decks playing a crowd pleasing disco house set. The dance floor filled up quickly with arms waving in the air when cool musicians on the block Trumpet Fiesta and on the bongo drums the stunning Rachel Lashem made their way through the crowd. If the atmosphere in Zaranda Bar will be anything like on the press launch: warm; friendly; non pretentious; relaxed and filled with good vibes and beautiful people from all walks of life, you will definitely see me there in the near future trying out their lush cocktails whilst dancing the night away. If you get to see me in there don’t be shy and come and say “Hi”. I truly believe West Didsbury has just become a better place if you are looking for cocktails, fun, cool beats and great vibes.