Manchester City Council

To celebrate food, drink and art

Every so often I get a day where all the good things happen at once. I'm celebrating excellence in property tonight, but I'm also attending the preview for our Art Treasures Exhibition and the 10th anniversary launch of the city's Food and Drink Festival.

The Art Treasures were first gathered together in Manchester 150 years ago, and included sculptures, portraits and paintings by British artists such as Gainsborough, Turner, Stubbs, Constable and the Pre-Raphaelites, as well as European old masters including Michaelangelo and Rembrandt.

Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens were among the 1.3 million admirers in 1857, and this year our Gallery experts have painstakingly tracked down many of the original exhibits. The launch is great but there's not enough time to look at everything so I'm determined to return and wander around at leisure. Unlike the original exhibition, it's free and it runs at Manchester Art Gallery until January 26.

The 10th Food and Drink Festival is celebrating all that's good and healthy in Manchester cuisine and is the brainchild of Phil Jones, who has pulled together an outstanding range of events, exhibitions and feasts. We're determined to improve the eating standards of youngsters in Manchester and our school meals have a range of initiatives to tempt children to indulge in more fruit and veg. Some of the Food and Drink events are excellent, and I hope it inspires everyone who visits. No time to visit the launch of Manchester Fashion Week at Urbis but another great Manchester event to mention.

Just in case you're wondering, this all came after an 8am to 5.30 pm day doing rather less exciting but probably more important things, starting first off with a meeting of the Manchester: Knowledge Capital Executive Board.

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