Who would have thought the ‘Refuge’ was back in fashion!

Thirty years ago the Refuge Assurance Co. was a Mancunian landmark like no other. Its clock tower and Victorian facade evoked traditional values, households spoke of the name with fondness and assurance. This was a name that by all accounts was as British as the bowler hat, the cricket bat and the cup of tea!

Now in 2017, this once old fashioned, outdated building located on Manchesters very own Oxford Street is back in fashion.

It’s located opposite the Palace theatre and Oxford Road station. It now houses a magnificent, passionate and well designed  reception area of the Palace hotel. It retains the heritage of the era by way of high ceilings and shiny ceramic tiles… once so out they are now in!

To one side of this impressive ground floor is one of the most creative restaurants I have ever had the pleasure to eat in.

Welcome to the Refuge Dining Room by Volta.

Dishes from around the world are presented tapas style for guests to share and enjoy.

They include starters like the baked feta, beetroot, hazlenut, dill accompanied by various breads and the crispy lamb shawarma, harissa and yoghurt together with the broccolini and garlic crumbs that are all to die for!

As there were four of us we had the whole stone bass, shallots, peanuts, tamarind, chilli and lime baked fish served in banana leaves…. incredible and not a bone in site!

This bistro style restaurant evokes creativity, passion and well balanced flavours that sets it apart from other restaurants.

The Refuge Dining Room has comfortable chairs and tables, set in spacious surroundings with high vaulted ceilings and comfortable “speaking level” music.

I loved this place, not just for the meal but the service and the wide ranging palette of colours and tastes it sets out and achieves.

And to think.. before I entered this grand building I would never have thought to set foot in this place for food… but I did and I’ll be back!


You can visit their website here