The Goose Green Festival is back this weekend for a fifth year.
Organised by Altrincham Unlimited, the FREE event takes place over two days on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August, with live music from 12 noon to 8pm on Saturday and 11.20 to 8pm on Sunday.
All this week, we’re focusing on some of the food and drink traders in Goose Green, and today it’s the turn of ‘Bambi’ Bamford, manager of House Restaurant & Bar.
ALTRINCHAM TODAY: To someone who has never been to House, can you tell us a bit more about you?
MB: The atmosphere in House is relaxed and welcoming, and we want visitors to feel comfortable and at home as they step through the door. The staff play a huge role in the venue’s ambience. Our focus has been to hire genuine staff with great personality. A caring family made of staff members, and from 18 to 80 we want our customers to become part of that family.
I feel lucky to say I enjoy going to work, and when the staff do to, it translates over to the customers as they get the best experience.
In our bar area patrons can enjoy a variety of live entertainment every Friday and Saturday. Thursdays is our open Jam/Baneoke night where we encourage local musicians and artists to get involved – email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Food is served from our tapas and grill menu, noon until 9:30. It features a great selection of gorgeous, modern tapas dishes, pasta and succulent steaks. Entertainment usually begins as the food winds down, where the atmosphere becomes electric. There is a great selection of lagers, ales, wine and cocktails – our favourite is the Pornstar Martini, with organic pineapple juice and passion fruit puree. Customers can relax, catch up with friends or have a little boogie, I’m just glad the ceiling is a little low, otherwise guests would be dancing on the bar!
AT: The Goose Green Festival returns this weekend – are you doing anything special to mark the occasion?
MB: The Goose Green Festival has always been one weekend we especially look forward to. We are particularly excited about the quality of talent that is performing on the main stage, starting with the choir around 11am.
Year on year the festival has grown in popularity, so we made the decision at House to open early from 11am, where we will be serving a variety of food and drinks, including gin cocktails, Aperol spritz and fine wine alongside super cool lagers and ales. Family members can take advantage and order one of our home stone-baked pizzas – these pizzas have been a massive hit each year and visitors can eat in or have them to take out.
From £4.95 you can enjoy one of our gorgeous pizzas with unlimited whippy ice cream at our Ice Factory, where you can make your own concoction, with a variety of toppings, fruit, treats and sauces, and of course we encourage patrons to photograph their creations, with prizes for the most outstanding!
This year as the entertainment winds down around 8pm, the festival continues indoors. We will be hosting a variety of live bands and acts until the small early hours:
- Friday 23rd – Natural Soul
- Saturday 24th – No Filter
- Sunday 25th – Ideal Forgery
- Monday 26th – Duelling Pianos
During the day our focus is on families, alongside the facepainting and crafts. Children can come enjoy our small cinema area, showing those popular cartoon heroes. If you fancy getting competitive they can play with seven others on our Nintendo Switch. However be warned – the staff don’t like to lose.
We will have a variety of bars and stands in our courtyard. There’s nothing like a fresh, cold pint of cider or lager on a summer’s day. Customers can grab a crafted Aperol spritz alongside our gin station, where you can create your own gin and tonic cocktails.
Our tapas and grill menu will continue until 9:30 at night, featuring a variety of modern tapas dishes, pasta, steaks and other gorgeous grill items. We want visitors to be able to fully enjoy the festival, so there will be full table service throughout the venue and front garden, so kick back, relax and enjoy the entertainment.
AT: How good has the festival been for Goose Green?
MB: The festival has not only been good for Goose Green but Altrincham as a whole. Each year it attracts thousands of visitors to the town. There is always a great line-up of entertainment alongside some creative food and drink. Visitors always have a great time and organisers have kept the event free for all! It’s a great opportunity to show Altrincham off, bringing local business, artists and the community together.
AT: Tell us a bit more about you and Adam, the owner.
Adam worked primarily as a chef, with over 30 years’ experience in some of the best hotel restaurants in the UK. House itself had a humble beginning as a small 20-something seater restaurant between an aging music store and a local deli. Adam brought his experience and skill set and developed something special, it hit a note with the local community and was packed every night. As the demand grew House expanded into the connecting venues.
I joined the team about four years ago – I have over 15 years’ hospitality experience including some local venues residents might remember: Junipers, The Brasserie and The French?
I am an art director by trade – before becoming general manager at House I spent a couple of years in Manhattan working for a boutique advertising agency. Myself and Adam do have contrasting skill sets, but we have always worked well together, kind of ‘ying and yang’. We have always had the ethos that the staff we hire don’t work for us, we work for them, as such they play a big part on what we are working on.
AT: What can people expect at House once the festival is over?
One word: ‘community’. A lot of hard work has gone on to turn Altrincham into the town it is today, a far cry away from the ‘ghost town’ of a few years ago. Myself and Adam have seen both sides of this spectrum and are making the choice to focus more on giving back to the community. We have already added USB ports and plug sockets to our inside tables, as a kind of free incubator space for local entrepreneurs to work from. Ourselves, we are trying to be more responsible, reducing plastic waste with paper straws and packaging.
Our chef James has been working hard over the last year, to try and source great produce from responsible local supplier. So whether it’s fundraising for a charity, or the staff volunteering for a local cause, we are focusing on the local community.
House Restaurant & Bar, 11-13 Goose Green, Altrincham WA14 1DW. Follow @DownToHouse on Facebook.