17 December – Soup 15 at CFCCA & a cosy meal at Abel Heywood

Polly Checkland Harding
Colourful photo of man's head

Our cultural countdown to Christmas… Today, cosy on down in traditionally-styled pub Abel Heywood before heading for a cross-art launch at CFCCA.

Fifteen is a retrospective at the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art (CFCCA) showcasing 15 years of work by Soup Collective, a Manchester-based conglomeration of musicians and artists who produce live visual and film events. Soup 15 launches today and will act as a snapshot of the creative collaborations and projects Soup Collective have been party to – many of which haven’t been shown publicly before. You can expect documentaries dressed as music videos (as with The Takeoff and Landing of Everything by Elbow), AV installations, 3D print with projections and more from a roll call of over 25 filmmakers, coders, animators and artists. Enjoy! Soup 15, CFCCA, launch 17 December (6-8pm), exhibition 18-20 December, free

Pair unusual art with a cosy Northern Quarter pub

Also in the Northern Quarter, and perfect for some pre-art launch refreshment, is Abel Heywood, a gastro hotel with a boutique hotel upstairs. It’s one of our top cosy pubs in Manchester, with a lovely steel-topped bar, velvet cushions and a good range of squishy seats and booths. There’s bar food downstairs, dining rooms up, and a new take on traditional pub food in both. The menu is sociable, dotted with small plates and sharing boards, and backed by a hefty drinks list: good on-tap craft and guest beers and a 15-strong gin list – which somehow feels fitting in a place that is named after Manchester’s Victorian mayor, the radical politician and pamphleteer responsible for the civic wonder that is Manchester Town Hall. It might be a new pub lovingly decorated to look like a classic, but this place still has a good bit of history behind it. There are special Christmas menus to choose from, too. Abel Heywood, 38 Turner Street (open 7.30am-12am Sun-Thur; 8am-1am Fri & Sat)

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