A very merry Christmas and a Happy Muse year!

It’s only bloomin’ Christmas time again! Which in our eyes means it’s completely acceptable to have a cocktail or two before midday (makes Christmas shopping go ever so well, believe us) before heading back to see us for a spot of late lunch or early dinner, paired with more cocktails or even a prosecco or two to round the evening off. Needless to say, in the restaurant industry, this is 100% our busiest time of year, and we love it. From the new menu to the festive cocktails, from the mass amounts of fairy lights to dragging the mulled wine cauldron from the cellar, we’ve got the “Christmas Crackers” Spotify playlist blasting and our spirits are high! (Pun intended  – Christmas spirits…alcohol spirits… you catch our drift).

This year, in the spirit of Christmas, we thought we would bring something different to the little village of Uppermill, with our Muse Christmas Markets – our tiny take on the infamous Manchester Christmas Markets. The idea was for those who didn’t want to head all the way into Manchester during the increasingly busy lead up to the big day could come to Muse and sit with a mulled wine and a bratwurst, peruse some local crafts and treats, and then head home without the hassle of going in and out of Manchester City centre.

We’ve had a mix of people selling a range of products from home baked cakes and brownies to vegan skincare and fine art, and although we admit it has been a slow start, we are excited to continue to expand our events at Muse. With this being our first attempt at anything like this, we have taken it very much as a trial and error event, smoothing the kinks out as we go, in hope to get better year after year! It is also a totally non-profit event for us, it is just something different we wanted to bring to the community of Saddleworth.  Good news is we actually own the huts! So keep your eyes peeled for more fun events coming up in the future.

Another Christmas classic is, of course, the festive menu – which is possibly the best thing about Christmas. (Quite a bold statement there we know, but as mega foodies, this is our season to really indulge). We feel our menu this year perfectly reflects Muse; fun and fresh with an exciting twist on old classics. We asked our ridiculously talented head chef Paul Cookson what his idea behind the menu was (whilst wiping the drool from our chins).

“We start the menu with the celeriac soup as it’s very seasonal, silky smooth and extremely warming, and the chicken and ham hock terrine with piccalilli and toasted sourdough always reminds me of Christmas! I also love the hot smoked salmon salad as it’s a bit different, with the earthy beetroot and the boozy dressing.

The turkey in the main course is chargrilled so it keeps nice and moist and juicy, paired with the bubble and squeak rosti potato, roasted baby carrots and winter kale as an alternative Christmas dinner. My favourite is the braised beef, using a beef skirt – it is the best braising meat in the world! The pan-fried hake fillet with the Puy lentils, morteaux sausage, crispy leeks and aioli dressing has a traditional French classic element but works really well as a winter fish dish.

My first head chef told me that it is the law to have a chocolate dessert on the Christmas menu so we have the chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream. The Christmas pudding is on there for obvious reasons and who doesn’t love an apple and blackberry oat crumble with thick custard?!”

Erm, we will take the lot, please and thank you!

This month we have also had the talents of Ben Sayah and Gypsy River Band come in to get us fully in the festive spirit with some amazing singing which got us immediately dancing. Mariah Carrey’s classic blissfully filled our ears and Fairytale of New York turned into some form of karaoke in which the whole bar partook  – no complaints here! Paired with one of our Christmas cocktails (the mince pie martini in particular) it was the perfect way to kickstart the season!

And of course we are all geared up ready for Christmas Eve, which we know will be heaving and we ask you to be patient with us! As on all busy nights our bartenders work their hands off trying to get everyone’s orders as quickly as possible and Christmas Eve this year is set to be a doozy. However, it’s New Years we are most excited for! With special entertainment and still some £70 tickets left for the evening do (AN OPEN BAR…. OPEN…BAR) get yours booked today by emailing bookings@musebargroup.com and let the festive partying commence!

We wish you the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years,

Muse x