The award-winning Lightopia will return with its flagship event in Manchester this November, with a brand-new enchanting light and lantern festival, presenting a Christmas Fantasy. And this year, for the first time, the never-before-seen illuminated trail, will feature a brand-new dining experience, Dine in the Light.
Nestled in the park’s woodland and surrounded by lanterns, Lightopia’s illuminated Dining Domes make for a unique and atmospheric dining experience for families, friends and couples. The 10 dining domes will serve up an imaginative and hearty three-course menu of classic seasonal dishes, all with a whimsical touch and curated by three-rosette chef Chris Holland and The Life Cafés & Resorts Culinary Team. Former head chef of Alderley Edge Hotel in Cheshire and best known for his traditional British cuisine with a molecular and experimental edge, guests should expect the unexpected – smoke, sparklers and much more!
Drink, dine and be merry in your very own private dining dome, which sits up to six or twelve for up to 90 minutes, before or after heading off to discover the enchanting Lightopia light trail. The three-course menu and a drink come to £38 per person, a children’s menu is also on hand, served with a sprinkling of magic. Dome dining experiences must be pre-booked; Lightopians can choose from three dining time slots, 5pm, 6:30pm or 8pm.
Begin with a selection of winter-warming starters including Roasted Pumpkin Soup with a parmesan and sage crumble, Swiss Cheese & Riesling Fondue served with torn ciabatta for dipping, Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings and Sriracha Hot Dip and a Confit Duck Terrine with zingy orange and cranberry salad.
For the main event, Hanging Kebabs – choose from Lamb marinated in harissa, mint, cumin and served with toasted flatbread and dips or Smoky Barbecued Mushroom and Celeriac served with flatbread and preserved lemon. Other dishes include Sticky Glazed Short Rib of Beef with pureed potato and grilled tenderstem broccoli, slow-cooked Free-Range Chicken rubbed in Middle Eastern Spices served with pilaf rice topped with crispy onion.
Finish with a comforting Manc inspired dessert, The Manchester Trifle with layers of Vimto jelly, vanilla sponge and mulled blackberries or a Heaton Mess Meringue loaded with fresh cream, baked peaches and raspberries. The Dark Chocolate & Orange Mousse is a twist on the classic combo, made with silken tofu and cacao, topped with orange zest and Chantilly cream. Those with a savoury tooth can opt for the Lancashire Cheeseboard, a selection of locally sourced cheeses with biscuits and a local chutney. Beverages include mulled wine, a selection of festival cocktails, wine, craft ales and lager.
For little ones, let them enjoy the Pirate Banquet as they transform into the Captain of Fantasy. Plated in their very own pirate ship, that docks in the Lightopia Dining Dome, they can choose from a selection of pizzas by the slice, from margarita, pepperoni plus a vegan option, or alternatively fish goujons, both served with sweet potato fries, cheese bites, watermelon and cucumber. Sip on orange or apple juice, shiver-me-timbers strawberry lemonade or to warm up, Captain’s hot cocoa before filling their bellies with an ice cream dessert, which they can top with their own very treasure – a selection of delicious toppings!
Also new for Lightopia Manchester 2021, The Stables Courtyard Bar and Dining will offer a more casual dining experience. Excellent food, music and festive spirit come together in one truly joyous food and drink experience to top off your night at Lightopia Manchester. Reserve your table at The Stables, under the beautiful, heated canopy in the Courtyard, where there is a variety of food and drink outlets occupying converted vintage horseboxes! From tasty, gourmet soft shell tacos to delicious stone-baked pizza al taglio, roasted chestnuts plus festive beverages and theatrical cocktails. Walk-in on the evening or to guarantee your spot reserve a seat, £5 per person, which is fully redeemable against food and drink on the night.
Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 18th November until Monday 3rd January. The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays. Christmas Day is closed. Opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8.30pm daily.
Bookings for the Dine in the Light experience are now available here.
Advance tickets are priced at £20.00 for adults (or £22.00 on the day), £13.00 for children (or £15.00 on the day), and £60.00 for families of two adults and two children (£68.00 on the day). Children under three can go free. Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.