The Restaurant at The Refuge

4.6
401 reviews
£25 and under
Global, International
From small plates to a Sunday roast, Volta’s travels inspire our globally influenced Dining Room menus. An informal, but informed setting for a weekly catch-up or a gathering of your nearest and dearest. Sleeves up, dig in.

Support The Restaurant at The Refuge during COVID-19

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 401 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Energetic
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect in every way

QE
QueenEh
Toronto
1 review
Dined on 8 October 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience4

Went for a birthday dinner. Great ambiance, beautiful space. As a group a 4 we thought we could ask for a booth but told they were reserved for groups of 6+ and were seated at the high table. Just take note if that’s something you care about. Our server was really kind and attentive throughout the evening - was the highlight of the experience for sure. In terms of food, it was alright. It’s a small menu, sharing style but nothing on it reallyy grabs your attention. But the food came out hot, and was made well. Birthday girl was surprised with a little pudding which was very sweet and much appreciated. For whatever reason we had a lot of technical hiccups. Each round of food or drink came with a mistake. First round of drinks, we got a wrong drink. Second round, a glass instead of the bottle came. Food came out and went to the wrong table and then re-routed back to us. The bill came and had to be corrected 3 times. Overall I’d go back, but just for drinks and the atmosphere but you can skip dining in!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 5 October 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience4

We were seated at a table away from the rest of the restaurant, next to a till and cutlery stand. There were plenty of nice free tables in the restaurant so we were unsure why we were seated there. We asked to move and the hostess told us that we were sat there because they were understaffed (?) but she did move us to a much nicer table which we appreciated.

Once seated drinks service was unfortunately quite slow but if they were understaffed we can forgive this. The food was nice but came out piping hot as though it had been microwaved…nonetheless it was tasty. Pudding however, was not enjoyable. A very strange tasting chocolate mousse with pineapple, it wasn’t nice at all.

The final thing which soured our experience was the waiter bringing our bill over shortly after we had finished our pudding. We hadn’t asked for the bill, we still had wine left and there was no offer of whether we’d like to order anything else (which we did, we wanted to order some after dinner cocktails after we had finished our wine). I felt this was incredibly rude as it wasn’t even 9pm. I asked what time they close and the waiter replied he likes to be out by 10-11ish…???? Really poor service and very rude. Such a shame. Why are diners having bills thrust at them whilst still finishing drinks, hours from closing time and in a quiet restaurant. This was even more disappointing as we were celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday, just left a bad impression for us both.

KC
KCfoodie
London
29 reviews
Dined on 3 October 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Visiting Manchester with a friend for their first visit and wanted Sunday lunch so chose the Refuge as I had stayed at the adjacent hotel before. The venue is superb. Initially we were given seats at a high table with stools, which we declined as not comfortable for eating (OK for drinks but not eating), staff quickly found us seats at a regular table. Unfortunately we were told that they had run out of Yorkshire pudding (quite fundamental for a Sunday roast!), but were offered free sides instead. I chose pork loin and my friend the beef, both were very good and we cleared the plates! Good value for money.

F
Faye
Lancashire
8 reviews
Dined on 2 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food - amazing. The staf - fab! They explained the menu very well & were helpful. The background music was quite loud though & some of my party struggle to hear so if I had known it would be loud I would have chosen somewhere else as we struggled to hear each other. Would definitely come back again though with my friends. Loved the Salford Sling!

DL
DarrenL
Bedfordshire
2 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Enjoyed a nice range of sharing plates. Generous portions and all very tasty.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience3

Birthday dinner

B
Bogdan
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience4

Waited 70 minutes for the drinks and 90 minutes for the food.

The alcoholic beverages don't seem like having any alcohol in them.

The lamb was burned, the food portion was really small.

And in the end, the waitress made a mess while collecting the dishes.

KS
KateS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 25 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A Fantastic meal in the most beautiful building in Manchester

BM
BuckinghamMummy
Oxford
9 reviews
Dined on 24 September 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Beautiful building and decor. Great music and atmosphere Food was delicious Service friendly but they were short staffed

I’d booked well in advance but when we arrived the table wasn’t ready and then we were eventually shown to a table that was out of the way so good for social distancing but we felt a bit away from everything and everyone

The central area for drinks had beautiful lighting and I will return

DM
DioneM
London
7 reviews
Dined on 24 September 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience4

We went to the Refuge for my niece’s 18th, it was a family party of 6. Now we chose the place as my sister and I had previously had a great experience there, but this visit made us reconsider whether we’d ever go back. It took 45 mins for drinks to arrive after ordering, and an hour or so for food to arrive. The waiter raved about a dish that three of us ordered only for him to come back and say it wasn’t available. Bearing in mind that we were ordering at 18:30 on a Friday, for the dish to not be available was ridiculous. Then later on we ordered an affogato with amaretto, only to be told that they had no amaretto in the whole establishment. Pretty poor to be honest, and a serious disappointment on such an important occasion.

AF
AndreaF
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 24 September 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience4

The food tasted lovely but we received 2 tapas dishes at 6pm which were long finished before the rest arrived at 6:25 and only after asking for them and they were cold. Our table was booked for 5pm and we did not get our drinks until 5:50 & our food order was only taken at 5:30 even we were sat waiting whilst 2 staff laid tables in front of us. I have been 2 or 3 times before & not had this problem but unfortunately this was husbands first visit.

JB
JuliaB
London
2 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience, the roast was perfectly cooked and the staff were friendly and efficient.

ER
EleanorR
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Sunday dinner, gorgeous restaurant, would definitely go again

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 18 September 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience4

We normally always love coming here, but the service was awful. Waited over an hour for food and had to ask where it was before anyone came over

LS
LaurenS
Manchester
3 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Service was slow - staff all lovely but wasn’t enough of them - whilst we expected food to come out at different stages there were big gaps
Food nice but not great

MV
MusaV
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience5

The service was not great. We have been served the things we didn’t order and constantly had to keep asking for simple things. Not to mention, the food was finally on the table after more than an hour from placing the order.

HA
HA81
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great restaurant with nice food and nice atmosphere

JR
JohnR
1 review
Dined on 9 September 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Small plates Tapas was very nice however we felt it needed a little more for main course vegetarian!
Good food at reasonable price but not an amazing dining experience.

SJ
SusieJC
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

One of those places where you can dress up or down and feel totally comfortable. Great wine choices by the glass. Small plates perfectly proportioned for 2 sharing and waiter recommended 6 which was ample. The whitebait was perfection. Can't wait to go back again.

CB
CrazyBenny
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Being vegan, I recommend this restaurant for the selection of small plates and veg dishes.

JM
JohnM
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great service, great setting and the food was very nice. Only criticism was there could be wider choice on the menu but otherwise a great meal!

JW
JamesW
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience5

Was disappointed with the food. I had heard such good things about the roast dinners at Refuge but I have definitely had better roasts in Manchester. The food had a canteen feel and look to it and it lacked flavour. The food also arrived before our drinks and the Primitivo I chose tasted like it had been opened for a few days. A sad experience in a beautiful setting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went with my boyfriend for Sunday dinner. The food, atmosphere and especially service was amazing. We will be back x

M
Manc
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Came for my birthday yesterday and was disappointed I have to say.
Felt I was constantly asking for something that had gone wrong. Full drink was just taken, had to ask for missing items on the Sunday platter, pigs in blankets, some had no bacon wrapped around. Just all round disappointment on a special day with me and my girlfriend.

l
lvtay
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The most amazing sunday roast in a beautiful, ambient setting! Absolutely beautiful building, food, staff were lovely! The roast was the tastiest roast i have ever tried, every element to it was perfect! I can’t recommend here enough… we even drove 2 hours to get it!

P
Pinkp
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

First time here for Sunday lunch.staff very pleasant.food was good .large portions.we had a sharing platter and pork loin. Not many people in restaurant when we arrived but felt service was quite slow especially since majority of people were having the same meal.

MK
MaureenK
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall, a fabulous evening, great food, surroundings and especially the wonderful staff, namely Nadia who took great care of us throughout the evening, and Amy for accommodating our table time change request. Everyone was just so lovely!

OM
OonaghM
Yorkshire
2 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The service was painfully slow… seated waited 15 mins to get a drink order then another 15mins to get them. Food came faster but no one checked if everything was ok no ask if wanted another drink. Very very poor service. Food was basic ordered a Fattouch salad and what was delivered was a poor green salad def not a fattouch. Black garlic aioli was lovely. They were not able to do anything nut free so excluded most of the menu.
Venue was lovely but I’d not go again food and service just poor.

LJ
LynnJ
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely service and food. Airy atmosphere helped give reassurance for first meal out post lockdown.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great venue with impressive architecture. Friendly welcoming accommodating staff 😁

JS
JoanneS
1 review
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing food & service in a beautiful restaurant

SC
SamanthaC
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We had a selection of small plates which was a nice change. Cant comment on the largeplates.

ZT
ZoeT
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere, stunning building & tasty little plates!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

The food was delicious but our ox cheek came out cold - like fridge cold. They immediately brought out a new one and apologised but it was just a poor mistake.

CO
ClareO
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant with plenty of period features and character. Service was excellent and the food even more so.

SB
StevenB
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Staying in the clock tower thought we would give it a try, lovely setting and Tom who looked after us was superb. Food wise we liked the concept of little plates and not all at once.
Loved the chicken wings cod croquetes were ok, the fish curry spot on crispy skinmed white fish on a superb curry base, lamb flatbread very good very filling the gunpowder potatoes not to my taste but overall very good reasonable price fantastic setting and exceptional service

KD
KateD
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Fantastic venue - the place has such a cool vibe, with nice touches to make it comfortable. Food was incredible - we ate the ox cheek, it literally fell apart it was so tender. The whitebait - delicious. Chickpea curry - really tasty. Fish curry - the only dish we weren’t amazed by, it just tasted like a mild home made curry. We had cocktails and a bottle of wine and our waitress was brilliant and very attentive. She asked for feedback which was great, I felt comfortable to let her know our thoughts on the fish curry. Highly recommend the refuge - what a treat.

M
Michael
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, delish and inspired. You want everything off the menu.
Service was excellent and effective. All staff have a smile on their face.

CT
ClaireT
1 review