Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Rlife Live Event / The Renaissance Hotel, Manchester

As a lover of both hotel stays and live music, you can probably imagine that I was over the moon when The Renaissance Manchester very kindly invited me to attend their Rlife Live Event last week.

The Rlife is a live event that all the hotels in the Renaissance chain put on around 4-5 times a month, showcasing homegrown talent. The emphasis is on 'local' - the events feature all manner of performers/artists from the Manchester area, including magicians, food tasting, singers and live music, and (luckily for me) the night I was there, an incredible Manchester-based band called Gypsies of Bohemia.

Through doing these events, the Renaissance are keen to show that they are more than just a hotel (albeit a very lovely one!) and instead want to expand their appeal to encourage people to discover what Manchester has to offer. By turning their Blackfriars bar into an entertainment venue, they hope to include not just hotel guests but also make the local community feel welcome.

With such a strong emphasis on 'local talent', it seems fitting that all the produce at the event was also locally sourced. The hotel have their own beer which is brewed especially for them at the Tweed Brewery in nearby Hyde. I sampled some of course (would have been rude not to!) and I can confirm its lovely, with an unusual hint of rose. 
Nibbles such as locally made crisps, and a subtly spicy yoghurt dip from Lancashire were also on offer. I was in my element!

Onto the music, the band playing were the Gypsies of Bohemia, who naturally hail from Manchester. The hotel is very proud of its Mancunian roots (which is also evident throughout their decor of local landmarks) and they want to introduce something different, as well as helping people discover lesser known acts from the local area. 

The band describe themselves as 'Manchester's first jazz manouche non-purists' and they were absolutely brilliant! They perform covers of popular songs and give them a unique and innovative twist, the fact that I found myself playing a game of 'guess the cover' only added to the fun! Their setlist included covers of 'Ain't Nobody', 'Crazy In Love', 'Wuthering Heights', 'Heart of Glass', 'Tainted Love' and 'Seven Nation Army', as well as a few lesser known ones like 'Just' by Radiohead (one of my personal favourites) and 'This Charming Man' by the Smiths. They ended by playing what can only be described as an fantastic rendition of 'Backstreet's Back' mashed up with Skee-Lo's 'I Wish' which is genuinely as amazing as it sounds.

The atmosphere was buzzing, with wine and beer flowing freely and everyone mingling. There was then a break from the music while the 'Blackfriars Beverage Ritual' took place, which is a free punch made in front of everyone and then shared out. The flavour of the night was honey (from Moreton in Cheshire), apricot brandy, Glanmorangie, cloves and lemon juice and it was delicious.

To top off a fantastic night, the hotel also threw in an overnight stay for me in one of their deluxe rooms and breakfast the following morning, which made me feel like a very lucky girl. As it was on the other times I've stayed, the service, rooms and food were amazing, and the staff all so friendly and welcoming, and passionate about providing the best service that they can.

I'd certainly go to another Rlife Event, I'd highly recommend it for something a bit different in the Manchester area. I had a ball!

Have you ever been to one of the Rlife Events in any Renaissance Hotel?


  1. Wow lovely pictures and looks like a great and fun event.
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