The new Best Bar in the North category at the Class Bar Awards was off to a promising start with a strong list of contenders. Schofield's in Manchester prevailed, then went on to win Best Bar in the UK.
If we thought classic bars were decades in the making, Schofield’s made us think again. At two years old, Joe and Daniel Schofield’s central Manchester bar is exactly that and just what they intended – the quintessential timeless cocktail bar.
Its arched, period entry leads you into a two-level space, which is dominated by a long wooden bar. Illuminated by low-hanging lights, navy blue walls, brass fittings and flashes of ‘Schofield’s green’, it is every inch the classical look.
The drinks list kicks off with a nostalgic rendition of a dozen of the bar industry’s favourites – the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Dry Martini, Daiquiri et al - but all through the lens of the Schofields.
The second dozen drinks, though, is where the bar team – led by Rachel Orange – showcase seasonal recipes, changing on a quarterly basis.
Most have classical foundations, such as the sour Whoopsie Daisy with tequila, apricot, lime, pineapple, passion fruit and bitters.
These world-class drinks are served up with some of the best, friendliest service in Manchester – and it’s the execution of those two pillars of the bar experience that brings in the punters.
In doing so, they help to create the third: the atmosphere. You’ll struggle to find anyone who’s been to Schofield’s and disagrees that this is the Best Bar in the UK.
Best Bar in the North finalists: Tabula Rasa, Leeds; Speak in Code, Manchester; Blinker, Manchester