When you think of a night out in Manchester the first thing that comes to your mind won’t be to visit a laundromat, but this isn’t any ordinary laundromat. Here’s our WashHouse Manchester review.
Located just around the corner from Printworks lies the following building (see image above). A building labelled WashHouse and with some washing machines and a vending machine in the shop front, or are they?
The WashHouse is an attraction that has to be booked in advance with numerous slots being offered on the website. Once you’re booked you enter the venue and pick up the phone placed on the wall. You’re given an option and within seconds you’re inside a speakeasy bar having passed through either a washing machine or a vending machine. It’s ever so clever.
There’s an upstairs area which is very spacious and includes a secret private bar through a walk-in wardrobe and right at the very top of the building is a photo booth and a laundry slide. But no ordinary laundry slide. One you can actually sit in and go down yourself with the help of a staff member if you tell them the secret phrase.
Nothing is ordinary in the WashHouse, there’s a big DO NOT PRESS button in the toilets that turns the venue into a nightclub and there’s even a DJ in the toilet tucked out of the way spinning some tunes. It’s all a bit mad but this isn’t the craziest bit.
The cocktails are some of the most outlandish and epically themed things I have even seen in my life, prohibition has never been so fun!
The pricing of each cocktail is a little steep with £14 per cocktail being the average price but you certainly get some very uniquely designed cocktails that are for sure. The menu is changing all the time but here’s just a sample of what we received.
The cocktail above was themed around fish and chips with a chicken scratching, small chip-like crisps and inside the mug a VERY strong chicken old fashioned. It was ridiculously strong but as with all cocktails made at WashHouse most of the alcohol is sneaky designed and wrapped up in flavour, sweetness and more.
This Parisian-themed cocktail was very sweet with whipped cream, a macaroon and even a shortbread with a French swearword of the day written on it for good measure all served up in this rather cute pink box concealing my glass.
Other cocktails included a bit more interactivity as this ‘Hooligan’ themed cocktail had you standing in front of a jail background and having your mugshot taken. Your photo is then printed out and attached to your cocktail where you will repent for your crime by getting leathered it seems.
From fancy dessert-style drinks to really bizarre and wonderfully creative drinks WashHouse isn’t just a drinking experience, it’s a viewing experience too. Seeing what other people are ordering around you as one cocktail was set on fire, one had fireworks and more. It’s an all-round sensory experience that makes you want to sample just about everything on offer!
Seeing the bar staff working their magic behind the scenes is like watching an artist paint his latest masterpiece. I was mesmerised by just how much care and attention went into not only making the drink but its presentation. This is what you’re paying for, these are where those extra pennies are going.
Low-hanging lamps and candles provide this secretive atmosphere, it was cosy and out of the two floors I preferred the bottom floor. It was more intimate and less crowded and felt very private. Upstairs was very open and it ruined the whole ‘speakeasy’ vibe the place is going for.
The top floor certainly has the more interactive elements with the toilet/slide but for an authentic experience, downstairs is where it’s at.
All the cocktails are creatively named but the staff are right on hand to deliver expert knowledge on their appearance and their creation (with a few surprises of course). It’s hard to know what you’d like or enjoy from the menu so the staff are right on hand to deliver their knowledge firsthand. It’s a nice touch and feels reminiscent of Michelin star service where your servers deep dive into ingredients that have gone into your food.
Washhouse is doing things right with its creative, inventive and unique drink delivery system in a wonderful environment perfect for a party or just a casual night or afternoon out.
Once upon a time, there was a drink served here where you had to Vape a portion of the drink. Another drink had a bucket and spade and the sand was edible. I’m merely describing these older menu additions to further prove my point of their endless creativity (or batshit insanity, take your pick).
The couple ended their night by ordering a drink called Cigarettes and Alcohol (seen on the 1st menu card below). This one gave them great pleasure and many photo opportunities. Jamie had described it as one of his favourites on the menu. A drink that once again delivers on the description. The kicker was that it comes with a vape pen. So you are vaping alcohol (in small amounts, mind you). This cocktail was very different and provided countless laughs. I did decline a chance to try the pen when offered.
This is one speakeasy that you should speak freely about with your friends. One of many unique and wonderful drinking experiences to be found within Manchester. After this particular attraction, we went on to explore Alcotraz, yet another incredibly immersive and unique experience. Hit that little blue link to check out our review of that place!
Who knew a night out at the Laundromat could be so fun?! I’m not even a big cocktail fan and enjoyed every drink I was served but be warned. They don’t skimp on alcohol portions here, we only had two cocktails and the second the fresh air hit me outside I felt like I’d been inside a washing machine that’s for sure!
A wonderful experience and a must-visit place in Manchester! Find out more about WashHouse right here – https://www.washhousemcr.com/