Category Archives: new members

Here come the Girls! Our Top 5 Women-owned Venues in Manchester.

This week we celebrate the ladies in our lives, not only by celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday 11th March but we are also #PressingforChange for International Women’s Day on March 8th.   International Women’s day this year is about addressing gender parity and increasing visibility of women.  

Therefore, are doing our bit to support our female friends and have put together a list of our favourite venues in Manchester which are owned by women.


This Glitzy bar and restaurant is known for its opulent interiors including a giant golden

birdcage booth, and for hosting live entertainment on the weekends, including wild and wonderful performers on and around the huge catwalk at the heart of the main restaurant. Needless to say dining is a multi-sensory experience that you will never forget.

Owner Karina Jadhav knows the restaurant business inside out.  After all, she co-owned the swanky Neighbourhood with her ex before they split.  Menagerie has had extra attention in the media, as it was revealed that stars of the Real Housewives of Cheshire became investors.  Forever Unique fashion boss Seema alongside artist Stacey, the wife of millionaire businessman Dave Forsey join Karina which should see these ladies dominating the restaurant scene across the UK.

If your mum prefers to be treated like the Queen that she is, Menagerie are offering bottomless cocktails to mums on Mothers Day with brunch, lunch or dinner for just £20 per person and enjoy a catwalk show as well.


Annies Restaurant and Tea Shop.

Located just off St. Ann’s Square in the iconic Royal Exchange building, tucked away from the hustle and bustle, this award-winning restaurant is the perfect setting to eat good old fashioned food and relax in comfort and style.  Actress Jennie McAlpine and her partner Chris Far own this comfortable, stylish venue. So if your Mum is a Corrie fan then you can treat her to delicious Afternoon Tea and feed her fandom by letting her know that it is owned by ‘Fizz.’


Founder Thomasina ‘Tommi’ Miers says she ‘fell in love with the incredible vibrancy and freshness of real Mexican food’ whilst living and working in Mexico.  After a winning Masterchef in 2005, , she teamed up with co-founder Mark to create Wahaca’s menu, constantly looking to the markets of Mexico for inspiration. Now Wahaca has a wealth of awards and great reviews for its constantly evolving, seasonal menu which is especially kind on the pocket.   Housed over 2 floors in the city’s historic Corn Exchange building and spilling onto Exchange Square, Wahaca Manchester brings award winning street food to this bustling new dining quarter in the heart of Manchester. If you are heading out to a concert at the Arena, why not swing by this gem of a place and get the party started by ordering  a  sharing platter and some shots of house tequila.

Sweet Mandarin

Sweet Mandarin is a lovely Chinese restaurant in Manchester owned by sisters Helen and Lisa Tse,  using recipes passed down three generations and memorized by heart as if they were nursery rhymes. If their names sound familiar, they were contenders on Dragons Den which saw them launch a range of sauces. The impressive menu boasts gluten-free and vegan alternatives so it is perfect for an early evening catch up with your friends after work.  We love the cocktails, inspired by the Chinese Zodiac. Try ‘Dog’ which is a refreshing mix of Vodka, Ginger, Mango, Soda Water & Lime.

Matt & Phreds

Matt & Phred’s is without doubt one of the names synonymous with the Northern Quarter and is a regular haunt for Social Circle Members. This Tib Street venue has for years now been bringing stellar performances by artists from the worlds of Jazz, Folk, Gypsy, Electro, Swing andmore who all love playing this special, intimate little venue.

As well as being able to see some amazingly talented musicians 7 nights a week, the bar and kitchen team at Matt & Phred’s are also at the top of their game. With an enviable cocktail selection, a cracking wine list, some of the best pizzas in the Northern Quarter  and some delicious sharing plates a night at Matt & Phred’s has pretty much every food craving covered. They have Happy Hour every day which can see you getting a free pizza with your cocktails. 

This amazing venue is owned by Claire Turner, who was named one of Manchester’s Most Inspiring Women IN 2017.

That is not all!

We have some great events lined up this week which focus on all things Femme. From the informative guided walk which explores the suffragette movement in Manchester, to the hysterical ‘Menopause the Musical.  All our events are female-friendly with professional hosts to make you feel welcome and members of all backgrounds and ages. So whether you come with friends or step out on your own, come join us at a free event.

Your First Time? Advice for Nervous Socialites.


It’s several weeks since you made that resolution that you would get out and meet new people. Maybe you want to try new activities, maybe you are new to Manchester and want to connect with people or maybe you want to expand your social circle in the hope you will meet the love of your life. At this point, the why’s are not important. However,we know you haven’t been out yet. 

Sure, you maybe telling yourself the same excuses that got you through last year.  You are busy at work, money etc, you threw yourself into a whirlwind romance that fizzled out just after Valentines day and …the list goes on.  

We are not buying it.

Deep down we know you are nervous, if not terrified.  Your current friendship group have been with you since university; when making friends was as easy as spilling your pint down their shirt and apologising profusely.  But it is different now.  As you consider the prospect of meeting new people, a million questions run through your mind.

Will anyone talk to me. What if they don’t like me? I really don’t want to walk into a room full of strangers and have everyone stare at me.

Soon all your worst nightmares are dancing through your mind and you find a reason not to attend the event you had been looking forward to.  Maybe next week?

We have been there, we have made the excuses but then swallowed our fear, pushed ourselves to go to an event and never looked back. 

We understand.  So we thought we would let you know what to expect along with some wisdom from our existing members. 

Who are Social Circle?

Well we are a group of socialites who wanted to meet new people and make friends, for all the same reasons as you do now.

Social Circle was started when founder, Stephen Sutherland, had just moved to Manchester as a single guy and wanted some mates to hang out with at the pub on a Friday night.  Over a Decade on and oodles of members later, we have over 150+ events to choose from per month, from cinema nights and restaurant meals to holidays abroad.  

Many of our members are single professionals aged 35-55 who are  living and working in Manchester. Whilst we all have our personalities you can be assured we all share one unique quality.  We want to meet new people, including YOU!

Everyone has been in your shoes so don’t feel nervous, enjoy it!

Emma Hodson, Host & Member

What to expect.

When you first book on an event, you will be contacted by one of our lovely hosts.  They will tell you everything from what they are wearing(!),  to which table they are sat at, so you can find them.  If you are super nervous then tell them, you can arrange to meet them earlier or at a specific place so you are not arriving alone.  Your host will chat to you to ease any nerves and introduce you to the rest of the group.  Most of our existing members know exactly what it is like to feel nervous and many will go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

Remember there is no pressure and there is no obligation to swap numbers or connect on social media. You will not be walking into a huge group of people who all know each other, and nor will hosts be pouring booze down your throat or making fun of you to help you to ‘loosen up’.  Each of our events are warm, friendly and very welcoming. You can stay for as little or as long as you want and even non-drinkers are welcome on pub crawls.

You are in complete control the whole time, just like any other outing with your friends.

“Relax….you’re in safe hands!”

Sarah Hobbs, Member.

Your first event.

Our suggestion for your first event is choose something that is familiar that you know you will enjoy.  If you  have a passion for the latest movies then come join us for an outing to I, Tonya.  You will certainly have a lot to talk about with your fellow cinema lovers in the bar afterwards.   If you like the idea of chit-chat and laughter over some of the best food in Manchester then maybe our Saturday night jaunt to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant is would be perfect for your first time with us.  Or throw caution to the wind and join us for our VIP night at Mahiki and enjoy some Tiki cocktails after work, we promise you will enjoy yourself so much you will be partying until the early hours with new friends.


“You’ve done the hardest part…. now just turn up and enjoy! We all had a first night, so know what it’s like and will make you feel welcome. You have absolutely nothing to lose but much to gain!”

Annette Fontaine, Host and Member.


Best of all, you can try out an event for free. So you really cannot lose.  


“Make sure you face your fears, and just come along.”

Wendy Skelton, Member.